How it all began
When I was 17, my brother was involved in Camp Simcha and I recall hearing him describe what it was like to be part of Camp Simcha. In 2007, whilst at yeshiva in Gateshead I received a call asking me to be a Big Brother volunteer to a 12 year old boy. I was delighted to be involved and became Big Brother to Chaim Ozer Hoffman. For the next two years, I went to his house once a week, took him to learn in his after school programme and really enjoyed getting to know him and his family. I was also invited to their house for many a Shabbos meal.
Highlights of my time with Camp Simcha were definitely the Family Retreats and Camp in the USA.
I went to Retreat in Bournemouth with the Hoffman family which was amazing. I also spent two incredible summers with Chaim Ozer at summer camp in the USA in 2008 and 2010. [I was also there in 2009, however unfortunately Chaim was not able to join me on that occasion.]
Where I am now
Ive been married for nearly 12 years now to Aliza (Shapiro) from Manchester. She was a Camp Simcha Big Sister volunteer too. We went on Retreat together after we were engaged and did Camp Simcha events together. Aliza works for GIFT and I am a lawyer. We live in Manchester with our four boys and we still keep in touch with my Little Brother who also lives in Manchester. One event we always get together for is Purim.
Camp Simcha Alumni
I am really happy to be involved with Camp Simcha Alumni because some of my best memories and friends are from my time with Camp Simcha. Unfortunately, there have been some sad times along the way but seeing the difference Camp Simcha makes in the lives of children and their families, the experiences I’ve had and friends I’ve made are definitely worth maintaining and celebrating.