March 12th 2018 was a wonderful night in Manchester celebrating the work Camp Simcha does and raising £240,000, a record amount for our biennial Manchester dinner.

Nicola Toubkin, whose four-year-old daughter Talya was treated for kidney cancer, and Tony and Tracy Levene, whose son Joey has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, were among parents who spoke in person and in the dinner film whilst the appeal was delivered by Lee Bladon who’s daughter Evie sadly passed away when she was only 3 years old and whose family was also supported by Camp Simcha.

Dinner chair Daniel Hamburger, who with his wife Cindy hosted the evening, spoke about the work Camp Simcha does in Manchester: “Here in Manchester, three part-time Family Liaison Officers manage to provide 24/7 support to the many parents Camp Simcha looks after. Through them the charity provides 23 different services, supporting over 180 individual family members here, day in day out, throughout the year. Some 75 specially trained young Big Brothers and Big Sisters, voluntarily, give over 6,000 hours a year of their time to over 130 children.

“In the last year, 140 children and parents from Manchester attended one of the incredible UK-based residential family retreats … hundreds of hospital transport journeys were provided and over 30 emergency food packages per
month were delivered for families who need it as they go through a medical crisis.

The film at the dinner featured the story of Joey who was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy when he was 18 months old. His Dad, Tony said.  “When we first got the diagnosis it felt like our world had been shattered and nothing was normal or would ever be normal again. When Camp Simcha got in touch with me I wasn’t sure whether we needed them. They suggested we come to one of their events to see what happiness it could bring to the family. They were right…

Joey’s mother Tracy talked in the film about how important Camp Simcha have been to the whole family

“Prior to Joey being born we were just a ‘normal’ family. You always believe it is not going to happen to you… this is something that happens to someone else, you read it about it in the paper or on Facebook. I never thought it would be us, that we would need Camp Simcha. But now that we have them in our lives I don’t think it is something we can ever do without.”

You can see the full film here

You can also see all the photos of the night here.

A huge thanks to all of the wonderful committee who put so much hard work into making the event happen, and to our Co Chairs, Daniel and Cindy Hamburger.