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Project information

Family Retreat

To deliver 2 residential Family Retreats. For families with a child with cancer and those with a child with serious / life-threatening illness. The 3 day retreats provides fun positive experiences for the sick child / their sibling as well as therapeutic & respite opportunities for the parents

June 2017 - June 2017

Charity information: Camp Simcha

Camp Simcha logo
  • Need


    When a child has a serious illness, it is not just the child who suffers; the rest of the family is affected too, in different ways. We believe that the best way to improve the quality of life of the sick child is to impact positively on the whole family and bring everyone’s needs into the equation.


    Our retreats are designed to deliver a varied and exciting programme of fun activities and stress-free quality family time. We aim for the children and parents to leave feeling refreshed & revitalised, having had an incredible experience, which helps them feel positive & ready for their daily challenges. The children get powerful, positive memories to enjoy/ to look forward to . Parents, siblings & the children to feel part of a supportive network in a safe, culturally sensitive environment

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide positive experiences for the sick children, their siblings and the parents


    » Provide a range fun activities, outings tailored for physical and cognitive abilities of the children and adults
    » Provide 1:1 volunteer support and 24/7 medical care for those in need to ensure that all needs are catered so the parents don't have to worry.
    » Cater for the family's every need, making them feel special. Often this is their only opportunity for a break each year due the child's health needs

    What success will look like

    Each retreat is jam packed with fun, recreational and/ or therapeutic experiences for the whole family. Success is shown through collation and analysis of feedback after Retreat

    Aim 2

    Ensure the parents have the opportunity for respite safe knowing their children are happy and safe


    » Special parent activities such as meal for 2 or outings geared to parents only
    » Provide opportunities for the parents to build relationships with other parents who can empathise with their situation

    What success will look like

    Parent's confidence in our ability to entertain the sick children and their siblings is clear by the fact they are happy to leave them in our care and enjoy their respite time

    Aim 3

    Ensure the whole family enjoy a stress free, safe & culturally sensitive residential


    » Provide medical care and doctors on site for those in need
    » Adhere to all Jewish customs ensuing that the Retreat can be inclusive to all levels of Jewish observance

    What success will look like

    This is clearly testified in parent's evaluation of their experience and by virtue that they look forward to Retreat the following year. Often this is their only family break

    Aim 4

    Enable a supportive network for the whole family


    » As part of the Camp Simcha family sick children and siblings have a 1:1 Big Brother or Sister who spends time with them making them feel special
    » The children get to spend time with their peers - either sick or other siblings building relationships with others who can empathise
    » Parents get to build relationships with other parents who understand their challenges and can empathise and share experiences

    What success will look like

    Retreat provides a unique opportunity for parents, sick kids and siblings to share their experiences with empathetic peers. Feedback testifies to the supportive nature of Retreat

  • Impact


    Retreat won't make the sick child better, but it allows children make long term positive memories and let's them experience their childhood. For the parents it can help improve their longer term frame of mind and ability to cope with their challenging situation. . This is demonstrated by families repeatedly returning to Retreat following such positive experiences each time and testifying to improved emotional well being of the whole family


    We are dealing with children with serious and or life threatening illnesses. Children can have an urgent health crisis whilst at Retreat. For those who need it we fund 24/7 medical care and we have a doctor onsite for the duration of Retreat to deal with any health crises that may arise.
    In terms of operation and delivery of the activities of Retreat - Camp Simcha staff/ volunteers are experienced in delivering a positive experience and dealing with any operational challenges that may arise


    We will report to donors following each Retreat with attendance stats, programmatic activities and testimonials of impact by parents

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £170,631

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      Amount Heading Description
      £71,043 Accomodation Both Retreats each hosting up to 150 individuals for 3 nights
      £53,000 Catering 3 meals / day for 4 days for all present at each retreats
      £24,500 Programme All activities, outing costs, entertainment, activities and props
      £9,455 Merchandise branded Tshirts, balloons, tote bags
      £12,633 Travel, Carers & Misc Coach travel for all guest (MCR/ London), 24/7 medical care and Misc

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Wohl £40,000 Guaranteed
    Anon £45,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Family Retreats over the years have taken place at various hotels. Most recently we have been happy with the location, cost, layout and facilities provided by The Oxford Belfry. We envisage using this hotel again for 2017 Family retreats. It's a good geographic location for our guests from North and South England. All families are in the care of Camp Simcha and have at least one child with a serious or life threatening illness. Their socio-economic standing varies as we don't charge for services


    We believe that by supporting the whole family they are better able to cater for the emotional, medical and practical care needs of the sick child. The siblings attending relish the special attention they receive at Retreat, as they may feel they aren't a priority at home due their sibling's health issues. The parents benefit from enjoying seeing their children have fun while also benefit from the respite and activities aimed at them - knowing their children are safely having fun

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Camp Simcha is 20 years old. It has been delivering emotional, practical support and positive experiences to Jewish children and their families dealing with a child with serious or life threatening illnesses in a culturally sensitive environment. We offer a wide variety of services to meet our aims including a children's only retreat, respite care, summer play scheme, counsellling, art therapy, hospital transport and a Big Brother and Sister programme and much more.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Daniel Gillis

    Head of Services - he oversees all services including hands on involvement operationally and budgetary for the Family Retreats

    Hayley Philips

    Retreat Manager - she organises the activities and coordinates the whole retreat logistically (with support from colleagues)