Giving kids a break

Why do children need a Derby Kids’ Camp holiday?

Date: 29.04.2019

Every year, over 300 young children arrive at Derby Kids’ Camp ready for a fun-packed week in the outdoors. But how are these children selected and why are the holidays so important for them?

Nominating deserving children who need a break

Children laughing on slide during holidayWe work with almost 50 local schools in Derby City and the surrounding areas who are given a number of holiday places each year. The schools are asked to nominate the children aged 8 to 11 years old who they believe are most in need of a holiday.

We don’t always know the reasons behind the nominations, however in the past we’ve been made aware of a wide range of social and economic reasons why children are offered a Derby Kids’ Camp holiday.

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In 2018 we asked schools to fill in anonymous questionnaires to highlight the main reasons they were nominating children. The responses accounted for 152 of the children given a holiday in 2018.

Many of the children had several nomination reasons.

The top three were:

• Providing respite for a single parent family – affecting 45% of children. One or more children from the family may attend Derby Kids’ Camp.

This was quite often paired with other challenges at home, such as financial difficulties, and allows us both to give a young child a fantastic week away whilst providing support for a single parent who may be facing a very challenging summer.

• Social interaction difficulties – affecting 44% of children. Many children who visit us find social interaction difficult – whether it’s from the challenges of the autistic spectrum or simply being very shy and finding it overwhelming to make new friends.

DKC Volunteers develop positive relationships with the children throughout the holidays, supporting them to participate in new activities, step out of their comfort zone and socialise with their peers, and we often hear that children have returned to home and school with increased levels of confidence.

girls laughing in front of holiday tent

• Financial hardship – affecting 40% of children. It has been widely publicised in recent years that many families who struggle financially find it even more challenging over the school summer holidays. Nominations for financial reasons may be because a family simply can’t afford to take a child on holiday, or it may be that there are huge financial challenges with feeding children during the school holidays – and a week at DKC gives the family a little breathing space.

Our holidays are provided entirely free of charge to all children, including transport to and from a location near their home and pocket money if the family are unable to provide it. We also have spare clothes and shoes to loan children so that their families don’t have to spend money on extra items.

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Reasons children were nominated for a Derby Kids' Camp holiday in 2018:

Reasons children were nominated for a Derby Kids' Camp holidayCan I nominate my child for a holiday?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept nominations directly from parents or carers. If you feel your child is in real need of a break, please speak to their school to ask if they would consider including your child in their nominations.

We are sometimes able to accommodate nomination requests from Social Services or other support agencies – please contact us on

Sadly, the demand for holidays has far outstripped the availability in recent years. We are working hard to increase the number of holidays we can provide but places are often full long before the additional requests finish coming in.

How can I help?

It costs us around £45,000 - £50,000 each year to provide over 300 children with a free holiday – including transport, food and activities. Each holiday currently costs us around £150 – we receive no government support so our fundraising team work tirelessly throughout the year to reach the figure required.

We are increasing the number of holidays offered for the second year running – any support you can give would help us to provide more deserving young children with a much-needed holiday.


Donate to Derby Kids CampYou can donate online via our JustGiving page – and as we are a 100% volunteer-run charity every penny of your donation will go directly towards providing an amazing week for a child who needs it.

children having fun on camp during water fight