It is with the deepest regret that, following very careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Derby Kids' Camp Summer Camp for 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
Though this has been a very difficult decision for us to have to make, the health and safety of the children & families we support and our team of volunteers, their families and loved ones is of paramount importance.
At this stage, there are so many uncertainties with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect our everyday lives and the logistics of Summer Camp, that we have concluded that it will be impossible to provide holidays this summer.
We recognise, of course, that in these increasingly difficult times, the need to support local children and families is even more important and so, over the next few weeks, we will be considering how Derby Kids' Camp and our dedicated volunteers can support our service users and the local community in other ways - such as support for children & families following school closures, free online content for the children and educational support from the teachers within our volunteer team.
It is our absolute intention to resume our Summer Camp holidays in 2021 and, once the pandemic is beaten and restrictions are lifted, Derby Kids' Camp will consider any opportunities to provide alternative breaks for children such as weekend breaks.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone of our incredible volunteers who have applied for Summer Camp 2020 - you will, of course, be given priority for applications in 2021; and we ask you all to continue to support the charity and the children by getting involved in our 'extra curricular' activities as and when they are announced.
To the schools and the many families throughout Derbyshire who Derby Kids' Camp support - we offer our sincere apologies and, should you feel that we might be able to help in other ways during these difficult times, we would ask you to contact us to discuss.
We wish all our volunteers, children, families and supporters the very best of health and send your our warmest wishes during this extra-ordinary and challenging period in all our lives.
Chairman, Derby Kids' Camp
There are so many unknowns at the moment that it is impossible for us to guarantee, but our sincere hope is that we will run a full 5 weeks of Summer Camp again in 2021.
As soon as this is confirmed, we will publish the dates.
For Summer Camp 2021, all volunteers will need to re-apply as normal. However, every volunteer who has been accepted for Summer Camp 2020, will be offered a 'priority application' for 2021 which should ensure your place next year.
If you have been newly DBS checked this year, your DBS will still be valid for Summer Camp 2021.
If we were planning to meet with you to complete your DBS check, but this has yet to be completed, we will now postpone your DBS check until 2021, following your volunteer application for next year.
We will shortly be announcing a number of activities and projects to support children and families during the summer in 2020.
These activities may include regular online content such as live-streaming and videos of 'bedtime stories' read by our volunteers, online campfire songs and craft activity videos - we would love to hear your suggestions and to see everyone getting involved!
We will also be contacting our schools to discuss how our volunteers might be able to support their skeleton staff with in-school childcare arrangements following school closures.
Fundraising during these difficult times will, of course, be an even greater challenge than usual. In order for Derby Kids' Camp to come back better and stronger than ever in 2021, we would ask all our volunteers and supporters to use some of their 'summer camp' time to support our fundraising activities in any way they can.
Many of our volunteers are qualified and experienced teachers who have already offered - via social media platforms - to support families with any questions to support their children's education at home. We would like to 'adopt' this extremely kind offer and work with our teacher-volunteers to further support our service users wherever possible.
We would hate to think that all those children missing out on summer camp this year will also miss out on outdoor play and the significant mental and physical benefits outdoor activities provide.
Though guidance strongly advises social distancing and avoiding contact with others, encouraging children to play in the garden is still recommended - but always stay at least 2 metres away from other people.
Guidance and restrictions from the Government are constantly changing and so you should always ensure you are following the latest guidelines.
Social distancing and avoiding contact is key to reducing the spread Coronavirus. Therefore, sadly, you should avoid letting your child play with their friends in direct contact. Avoid them playing with friends in the street and avoid playgrounds, etc.
This will be extremely difficult and distressing for many children, particularly now that schools are all but closed and contact with friends has been significantly reduced for the foreseeable future.
Encourage your children's imagination and play and encourage supervised contact with their friends and family over online platforms such as FaceTime. Perhaps an organised and regular 'online playdate' each day with their friends can be arranged. However, it is very important of course, that online activity is supervised by a responsible adult/parent/carer.