• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Derby Kids’ Camp supporters throw a pitch ahead of 50th anniversary celebrations

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Aug 23, 2022

Business leaders and supporters of the much-loved charity Derby Kids’ Camp visited the site to see for themselves the impact the voluntary organization has on hundreds of underprivileged children every year, as the association is looking for volunteers to help mark its 50th anniversary.

Local public relations officer Kerry Ganly, journalist Angelica Celinska, Amanda Strong – founder of Strong Connections – and Paul Taylor from YMCA Derbyshire joined local businesses for a tour of the campsite where they also met volunteers and children .

Kids’ Camp also welcomed Derbyshire Lord-Lieutenant Elizabeth Fothergill and MP Brell Ewart, who planted a memorial tree on site as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and, during during the summer holidays, representatives from Derby City Council, Trent College and EMA Training also visited the camp.

“It’s great to see firsthand the impact Derby Kids’ Camp is having,” said Kerry Ganly, “kids are not just creating lifelong memories, but improving their confidence and social skills – and love being kids.

“We met ‘Animal Man’ while we were at camp; a former Derby Kids’ Camp kid who now attends camp every year. He brought a variety of unusual animals for the children to meet and it was nice to see their happy, smiling faces.

Derby Kids’ Camp, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023, provides free vacations to some of the city’s and county’s most deserving children who are nominated by their school; many live in poverty or have suffered bereavement, or they may find social interaction difficult after the past two years and subsequent closures.

Peter Ellse, founder of Cozy and patron of Derby Kids’ Camp, said:

“Volunteers are crucial for Derby Kids Camp, which is entirely self-funded. Over the past 49 years, the charity has provided 15,000 children with a much needed break.

“This year we were short of about 50 volunteers, which meant that 100 children who needed a break did not get one.

“We want to change that for the 50th anniversary of Kids’ Camp and that’s why we’ve invited leading businesses in Derby and Derbyshire to camp, in the hope that they will support us in 2023 by providing volunteers.

“It’s great for leadership, team development and purpose. Plus, if you hear the incredible and heartfelt challenges these kids had to overcome, it’s an irresistible grassroots project that’s hard to turn down!

“Through Cozy, as patrons we provide the land, storage, volunteers, weekly board games, monthly strategy support, and as a business, we fill any gaps that arise with brains, muscles or money.

“Cosy is proud to support this amazing charity.”

Run entirely by an army of over 160 volunteers, a typical week at Derby Kids’ Camp gives them the chance to try new activities, explore new environments and enjoy being a kid. They participate in various activities such as cave climbing and swimming.

Children stay in comfortable tents equipped with comfortable camp beds, with inflatable mattresses, duvets and cozy blankets, and the site has a fully equipped kitchen with electricity and running water.

President Chris Edwards said:

“Our vacations help to build children’s confidence and independence but more importantly the children leave with unforgettable memories of an amazing and well-deserved vacation.

“The camp is located in the beautiful Peak District and we have people – like ‘Animal Man’ – who return year after year.”

The charity has seen demand for places increase for 2022 following the challenges of recent years and the growing number of families struggling with financial and mental health issues. They have also seen an increase in the number of children requiring extra support and to respond to this the volunteers have created a ‘sensory tent’.

Derby Kids’ Camp is currently calling for volunteers for 2023.

Chris added: “We were seeing growing demand for holidays before Covid hit, and we expect this to increase even more as families feel the pinch from the rising cost of living.

“We rely solely on volunteers and it would be great to see some new faces at camp in 2023.”

To express your interest in volunteering at Derby Kids’ Camp, visit derbykidscamp.co.uk/keep-updated