Our camps provide holidays which are active, nurturing, fun and creative. We aim to provide adventure and to create memorable and meaningful experiences which sibling groups can share together and cherish forever. Our Camps are for looked after brothers and sisters ages 7-18 years with maximum of 25 young people per camp. We have a staff ratio of one to every two children at camps.
Our camps were established and founded in 2007 by a qualified and practicing artist/ arts therapists. Our Camps’ founder first travelled to America to look at siblings initiatives. The first ever pilot was ran by friends and supporters with similar skills, some of whom were care experienced. The camps were welcomed by those who have written and researched on these issues such as Audrey Mullender, Sonia Jackson, Mike Stein, Robert Sanders, Juliet Mitchel. We were supported by children’s Rights director Roger Morgan, Voice, Lord Listowel, The Who care’s Trust, The CLA & ANV, all of whom continue to support our work. Our camp model has grown out of child centred practice, the study and implementation of social pedagogic ideals using skills from professionals in the arts therapies, and social care.
The camps currently take place at an activity centre based in Pembrokeshire and the Lake District, and each camp is attended by over 25 young people – approximately 10 sibling groups – with 3-4 camps taking place each summer. The camps are attended by children and young people from varying local authorities.
We are currently taking referrals for our 2016 residential camps.
The dates are: 14th – 20th August and 21st – 27th August in the Lake District and 23rd – 29th October in Pembrokeshire.
We recognise that children need to feel safe in order to manage these lifelong relationships in positive ways, to rebuild and re-frame their relationships with the respect with which they deserve. We have ensured that our camps and other initiatives have a secure foundation and therapeutic understanding in which to assist these relationships flourish and grow.
We aim to tackle the social disadvantage and emotional cost that comes with not having a secure family unit. Whilst we may not be able to put families back together, we can try and ensure that they continue to develop and maintain the bond with their brothers and sisters. Studies have shown that this can promote emotional and social development as well as overall well-being.
Whilst at camp, the young people are supported by trained volunteers at a ratio of 2:1, a Camp Leader and Assistant Leader.
Our volunteers include a number of art therapists and other skilled professional and undergo child protection training, training days and an enhanced DBS check to ensure safeguarding.
Our camp leaders are highly skilled staff, trained leaders and mostly therapists. We work with specialised activity staff, and we run activities including coasteering, climbing, abseiling, adventure trails, surfing, sea kayaking team building etc. Our evenings are filled with storytelling and night walks, and if there is time music workshops!
We believe that having contact with ones brothers or sisters is a fundamental right and our camps are proven to provide a natural, supportive setting in which children and young people feel comfortable to build upon their sibling relationship. We ensure that we complete a rigorous post-camp evaluation including both children and social workers and carers and therefore, we ensure a reflexive process when developing our camps. We are very child-centred to ensure that the children and young people who attend our camps get very best out of our charity. This means that from the planning stage when the children and young people are referred to us, we ensure that we plan our activities and recruit. In our most recent camp evaluation, 98% of children and young people who attended our camps would love to be able return.
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