Derby Kids’ Camp is a local children’s charity entirely managed, staffed and run by an extraordinary team of around 170 enthusiastic volunteers.
Every summer we provide over 300 local young children with a free week-long holiday: jam-packed with activities ranging from campfires to cycling sessions; snake-handling to swimming; magic shows; football; crafts and waterfights!
Our volunteering team are energetic, enthusiastic and hard-working with a great sense of humour and fun – and most of all; incredibly generous with their spare time in order to ensure all these children have an incredible week!
Becoming a Derby Kids’ Camp Summer Volunteer is an opportunity to make an amazing difference to local young people – helping provide respite and an incredibly positive experience to children and families in need.
The children who visit us are aged between 8-11 years old and are nominated by over 40 local primary schools in Derby City and Derbyshire. They’re nominated for a variety of reasons – whether it’s financial difficulties; a recent bereavement or needing support with social skills – but without exception every child is in real need of a positive experience and a break from whatever challenges they are facing.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life – covering all ages and from a huge range of backgrounds. Some already work with children – in education, foster care and support settings – whilst others are working with kids for the first time on camp. They range in age from our junior volunteers in their teens, up to those who are retired. We’ve got volunteers joining us for their first time on camp and those who’ve come back from the 25th time– and all of them play a vital role in making Derby Kids’ Camp such a success!
As a Summer Camp Volunteer, you will join an experienced team of 30-35 volunteers caring for 60-70 children on camp. This is a residential role for 7 nights (Saturday – Saturday), with the children on site for 6 of those nights.
Most volunteering roles will include:
• Being a group leader alongside one or two other volunteers for a group of 6-8 children. You’ll care for these children throughout the week – ensuring they’re warm, dry, well fed and happy! Group leaders get to know the children well and are a vital part of the children’s support system on camp
• Supporting children to join in new activities, make new friends and try new foods! Many of the children who visit us can be nervous and shy (especially at first) and need some gentle encouragement to have a go at new experiences
• Running activities as part of a team – this could be indoor craft activities, sports games, walks, campfire songs, tuck shop and organising a talent show! We help our volunteers to play to their strengths and there’s plenty of support for new volunteers to get involved.
• Be a big kid yourself! Our volunteers come back year after year because they have a great time on camp – being a bit daft; joining in the waterfights and running around like a big kid for the week!
Our volunteers have joined us (and kept coming back!) for reasons including:
• Gaining experience working with children as part of the process of applying for teacher training or other roles with children and young people such as social work and health care
• Fulfilling the Duke of Edinburgh award residential requirement – taking part in a 7-night residential volunteering role
• Learning new skills and building confidence – there are opportunities to organise and lead activities, cook for large groups, talk in front of small and large groups and take the lead for a specific role
• To meet new people and make new friends – many of our volunteer team come back year after year because they made such great friends on camp and wanted to spend more time as a group. It can be a fairly intense week on camp and friendships are quickly made!
• Giving back to the local community – supporting local children and families during a difficult time in their lives
• Gaining new life experiences. You’ll be working with volunteers from a huge range of backgrounds, as well as children who’ve got big challenges going on in their day-to-day lives
• To make a big difference to local children who are in real need of a positive experience. Volunteering with these children is incredibly rewarding and they remember their week away fondly for years to come
We have a high ratio of children to volunteers (roughly two children to one volunteer), enabling us to work in teams and small groups on camp to support both new and experienced volunteers.
Each week has a Camp Leader team who are on-site all week and provide the main point of contact for any difficulties or concerns you may have during camp.
Our Member’s Representative is available all year round (including during camp) to help with any additional issues or queries from volunteers.
Free training is provided for all volunteers via an annual training day in July and on-site training during the first Saturday of camp.
All your meals and transport during the week will be provided. We are unable to provide travel expenses for getting to and from camp, however transport from Derby to camp and back again can be provided should you require it.
Volunteering is residential, with the volunteer team camping on site during the week. Many volunteers bring their own tents, however we are able to loan tents and camping equipment to volunteers without their own.
Volunteers can apply from age 16 onwards. We occasionally take junior volunteers a year or two younger than this, however this is discretionary so please get in touch with us to discuss this.
You don’t have to have had previous experience working with children – many of our volunteers first worked with kids on camp. However, many of the children visiting us are facing big challenges in their lives, so you’ll need plenty of empathy and understanding in order to support them effectively.
Applicants will need to complete a DBS check (previously known as a CRB) with Derby Kids’ Camp and provide two references. You will also need to be based in the UK and able to travel to Derby before camp to complete DBS paper work and attend the volunteer’s training day.
You will need to be able to attend the full week – camping on-site during the week.