In the early 1960’s a few men (led by the late George Eustance of West Kirby) recognised that a group of polio disabled children were in need in assistance in regaining their independence – a camp under canvas was set up for the children.
This holiday camp has evolved over the years under different leaderships, however the ethos has always remained the same – to provide free holidays to disabled children aged 9-15.
The camps are held at The Barnstondale Activity Centre, a specialist holiday centre in the heart of Wirral, and Barton Camp, a residential camp for children in the Mendips run by the Bristol Children’s Help Society. At each camp we cater for up to 30 children each year. The charity needs to raise some £35,000 to run a camp, which is then free of charge to all children.
The week’s programme includes on-site activities such as, evening entertainment and day trips including Blackpool, Chester Zoo, Southport, theme parks, flying at John Lennon and swimming. An in-house sports day is held mid-week and a drama evening is held with a local theatrical group. The children make props in art sessions run by the helpers guided by a visiting artist.
The camps are run by a team of about 30 helpers (we aim for a one-to-one ratio of helpers to children), many of whom have been coming to our camps for many years.
The helpers come from all walks of life including teachers and medical students. All bring energy and enthusiasm and give their time free of charge. As they are all volunteers, the atmosphere created is one of our camp’s greatest assets - probably the reason we get many repeat requests from children to attend our camps.
We have a doctor on call who sees all the children’s medical reports and a paediatrician checks, prior to acceptance, that the medical condition of each child is within our own care capabilities.
All connected with the camp have been DBS approved and all locations are risk assessed. We have child protection policies in force and are registered with Ofsted as a Children’s Holiday Scheme.
We hope this brief summary of our charity and the service we provide is of interest. If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Committee members.
or for an application form please contact us via
To find out a bit more about who we are and our background, please read a short history of the charity.