Giving kids a break

Pete's retiring after 36 years volunteering for DKC!

Date: 02.11.2019

We’d like to say a huge thank you and wish the very best of luck to one of our most long-term volunteers - Pete Kay, who's retiring from Derby Kids’ Camp after more than three decades of voluntary service!

Pete is one of the most experienced and long-serving volunteers at Derby Kids’ Camp and has racked up an incredible 36 years of DKC volunteering! Due to an upcoming relocation across the country, Pete is stepping down and will be sorely missed by us all.

Derby Kids' Camp volunteer having funPete joined Derby Kids’ Camp back in 1983. In these earlier years, there were only two tents which had any lighting - in the form of gas lamps! Food was prepared on four gas burners - and with no running water on tap, hot water had to be heated in a large water caldron.

With his background as an electronic engineer at Rolls-Royce, Pete felt he could use his knowledge and experience to improve these facilities, and he set about creating new water and electricity systems for camp.

Thanks to Pete’s designs, Derby Kids’ Camp now has running hot and cold water to the kitchen and wash tents, a shower unit, electric lighting in all tents and electric fridges in the kitchen - a true 'glamping' experience! The systems have all been designed to cope with challenging conditions – being used in tents on an exposed (and often wet!) field – and to be easy to use, as if they were in a home environment.

derby kids' camp cook volunteers
The number of both children and volunteers camping with Derby Kids’ Camp has grown over the years, and these systems have grown along with camp – enabling us to provide cooking and washing facilities to cope with the numbers, as well as keeping the tents lit up and cosy at night!

Not one to leave things as ‘good enough’, Pete has continued adding to and developing his designs. His most recent adaption – to add ‘night light’ settings to the lights in the children’s tents – was introduced for DKC 2019. These night lights provided great comfort to many children who were nervous about spending their first nights under canvas this summer.

Alongside his practical work on camp, Pete has also undertaken many trustee roles, including Equipment Officer, Vice Chair, Camp Organiser and most recently, Treasurer – making a great contribution to the management of Derby Kids’ Camp and a difference to hundreds of young children from the county.

Derby Kids' Camp at night

DKC Chairman, Chris Edwards, said, “The dedication of the Derby Kids’ Camp volunteers never fails to amaze me! But what is incredible is the number of volunteers who return year after to year to provide so many children with an unforgettable holiday. Pete has given so many hours, so many years of his time, energy and dedication to Kids’ Camp and it would be hard to calculate how many thousands of local children have been on Camp thanks, in one way or another, to Pete’s support. Over the years he has helped to model Camp into the amazing place and amazing group that it is. I cannot thank him enough for all those years of dedication – incredible!”

Best of luck with your new projects Pete and a huge thank you for your incredible contributions to Derby Kids’ Camp – you’ll be hugely missed and we hope you pop up to visit us for a coffee or two!