Derby Kids' Camp Welfare Team
For 5 weeks every summer, a coach-load of children are dropped off at Derby Kids’ Camp with neatly packed suitcases and bags full of clothes for the week. Inevitably, within days (or perhaps just hours!..) someone’s joined the water fight fully clothed, toothbrushes get lost somewhere down the back of the tent and half of camp appears to be mysteriously sharing one hairbrush...and that’s where DKC Welfare Team comes in!
‘Welfare’ on Derby Kids’ Camp encompasses both a marquee full to the brim with spares of everything we could possibly need; and a team of volunteers on each week who make sure all the kids are warm and dry...and about as clean as they’re going to get whilst spending a week in a field!
As part of the children’s holiday, Derby Kids’ Camp provides all of the beds and bedding for the kids tents. With anything up to around 70 children staying with us each week, that’s a lot of duvets, pillows, covers and blankets! All of the bedding - such as duvet and pillow cases - is sent to the laundry at the end of each week, and so we need two week’s worth of supplies – as well as plenty of extra spares to re-make any wet beds.
We also have stocks of toiletries and toothbrushes alongside a whole range of clothes, PJ’s, wellies, crocs and waterproofs to loan out to the children who join us on Camp.
With over 300 children aged around 8-11 visiting us each summer, we need a wide range of sizes available to make sure there’s always something that will fit!
The children all bring their own clothes, but for various reasons often need to borrow more. Often, the weather is a surprise - the children who camp with us come predominantly from the city area and find that their favourite trainers or canvas pumps aren’t as waterproof on a field as they may seem at home!
It can also get pretty chilly on camp, particularly at night – and so we’re always lending out extra jumpers and blankets to make sure the kids are nice and warm.
Some children don’t already own some of the items we suggest for camp. We suggest the children bring their older clothes as they can get muddy whilst playing in the field or exploring caves, and as some families would struggle to afford to buy new items we keep plenty to loan out to the children instead – ensuring the holidays can be truly accessed free of cost to every child who stays with us.
Drying clothes in the middle of a field in the Peak District can definitely be a challenge at times!
We have two extra areas of Welfare – one is a smaller marquee known as the drying tent. Filled with a huge clothing rack, and armed with a heater, this is like a giant tumble dryer! The kids aren’t allowed in this area, but their group leaders will take any wet clothes and shoes to hang up, and return them to the kids once they’re dry.
We also have an outdoor laundry and drying area. We’ve got a limited electricity supply on camp, so the laundry is run in true retro style with a mangle and some dustbins! It enables the welfare team to keep on top of any wet bedding throughout the week.
Each week has a team of dedicated ‘welfare’ volunteers, who are responsible for ensuring all the kids have plenty of warm and dry clothes, and a warm, dry and cosy bed to sleep in at night.
Every morning, the welfare team check all the beds whilst the kids are having breakfast and remake any wet beds. The wet covers and sheets are then washed and dried. We also have a shower on camp and the welfare team make sure any child who has wet the bed is given the opportunity to shower the morning after.
We make sure to mention night-time problems or bedwetting at every home visit, in order to tell any child worried about it that it’s something really normal to us on camp and nothing to worry about!
We have night shifts every night on camp, so there are always on-duty volunteers awake at any time of the night. They keep an eye open for any children who may be awake after wetting the bed, so that the bedding can be swapped straight away and a dry pair of pyjamas given out for the rest of the night.
We regularly need to restock the welfare tent to replace old and worn clothes, so any donations of new or ‘nearly’ new clothes in children’s sizes are greatly appreciated. We’re happy to take anything other than jeans or canvas pumps (both of which are difficult for us to dry on the field), alongside items such as single duvet covers, pillowcases or towels.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pick-up of clothing.