OVER THE WALL CHARITY HELPS CHANGE THE LIVES OF SERIOUSLY ILL CHILDREN THROUGH HOLIDAY CAMP ACTIVITIES, & MORE…
• Camp gives children a chance to do things they never dreamed were possible
• Parents know care is provided 24/7, so they can also get a break
• Almost 10% of UK children aged 8-17 suffer a limiting, long-standing illness
[LONDON, 17th June 2011] Over The Wall (OTW) was founded in 1999 as part of Paul Newman's international Association of Hole in the Wall Camps to provide free, life-changing, therapeutic holiday camps for children affected by serious, life-limiting illnesses. The camps take place around the UK during school holidays, and help children try new challenges, build confidence, and interact with others like themselves. Often staying at camps is the only time they spend with their peers away from home, aside from hospital stays.
Richard Mott, CEO of OTW points explains, “These children can spend months or years in and out of hospital undergoing frightening and painful treatments. Many experience isolation, or even peer rejection. OTW camps enable children to gain independence, form friendship groups, and enjoy a range of adventurous and creative activities together.”
“A CHANCE TO DO THINGS I NEVER IMAGINED”
Jennifer and Jacqueline are thirteen year old identical twins who suffer from sickle cell anaemia. They require frequent hospitalisation, plus constant care and medical treatment. Yet they’ve been going to OTW camps each summer for several years. In Jacqueline’s words, “The best thing about the camp is you get to do things you wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before. And you get to meet other people with the same condition. Every camp I’ve been on, I’ve made new friends. You forget about everything at home.” In Jennifer’s words, “The carers were really nice, very generous. They gave me their makeup and painted my nails! The activities I did were zipwire, swimming, music, horse riding and craft. We also did kayaking outdoors on big lakes, and I could see all the trees above which I kept looking at! I didn’t think about home when I was there. When they asked if I wanted to call home, I just said, No! I’ve kept in touch with about half of the friends I made. We use Facebook to stay in touch.”
A WELL-EARNED BREAK FOR PARENTS, SIBLINGS WELCOME TOO
OTW camps also give parents with a well-earned break from their often-exhausting care role. In the words of the twins’ mother, Stella, “The Over The Wall camp is fantastic because it gives me a real break so I can just rest and catch up on a few things. I even get to go for a drink with friends, which is something I never get to do. The camp also boosts my confidence that I’ll be able to ‘let go’ of the girls when they’re older.”
The camps are also open to siblings of sick children, whose lives are often substantially impacted upon.
CAMPER SUCCESS STORIES
Amelia O’Connell, 13, from Liverpool
Amelia recently represented the UK at the international Association of Hole in the Wall Camps gala in New York. Amelia stunned the audience, which included superstar Stevie Wonder, with her rendition of Over the Rainbow. According to Amelia, “It was an amazing opportunity to sing for such a huge audience, and it just shows that dreams really can come true.” Amelia was six when she underwent a life-saving operation for a serious heart condition.
Vicky Steventon, 18, from Basingstoke, Hampshire
Vicki is currently studying for four A-levels in the hope of gaining a place to study genetics at university. She is keen to ‘give something’ back through science, having suffered from kidney disease since the age of 2. Vicky underwent a kidney transplant aged 13, and describes how, each year, Camp played a big role in her life. After her exams, Vicky is keen to be a Volunteer at one of OTW’s camps.
Alex Warne, 13, from Worthing, West Sussex
At the age of six, Alex was diagnosed with an acute form of Leukaemia. During the same year, his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. One year later, the day after his seventh birthday, his grandfather died. Soon after the funeral, Alex wrote a book in his memory, The Heaven Flower, which tells the story of how a few days after his death, Alex was given a sign that his granddad would visit him one last time. Alex’s book was published by Canaan Press earlier this year.
Family plaster brand, Elastoplast, is proud to announce its collaboration with inspirational children’s charity Over The Wall. Simon Edwards, brand manager for Elastoplast says, “We believe that wherever they are, and whatever their circumstances, children need mental, physical and emotional stimulation that extraordinary experiences provide. Over The Wall has made this opportunity a reality for hundreds of seriously ill children, and Elastoplast is pleased to support this important and inspirational cause.”
• The children mentioned above are willing to be interviewed, as well as others.
Please contact ROAD for further details.
• Richard Mott, CEO, Over The Wall
Bryanston School, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 0PX
The Pioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, DY14 8JG
Tulliallan Castle - Scottish Police College, Kincardine, Fife, FK10 4BE
Ruth Delacour at ROAD Communications
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