MEET HENRY

Charity Registration number: 1075361

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the work carried out by Over The Wall. Sadly, they have been forced to cancel all camps for the rest of the year. However, as we reach the end of the second year of our partnership, this current situation should not detract from the incredible progress the Over The Wall team have made.

The aim of this three year project was to double the number of campers attending Over The Wall camps across the UK. Throughout the past 2 years Over The Wall have met and exceeded annual targets and they have been awarded Outstanding by Ofsted in both years. We have no doubt that had it not been for COVID-19, this amazing charity would have achieved the year three target and continued to help children just like Henry create fun and empowering memories that will last a lifetime.

Henry is an eight-year-old from London, who is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

Henry has never consumed or directly handled a peanut or tree nut; yet he has gone into anaphylaxis several times and required numerous hospital admissions. Each of these anaphylactic reactions have occurred from him encountering minuscule traces, either airborne or from touching a surface with peanut/nut residue. Henry is also allergic to legumes, dust mites and tree pollen.

Since diagnosis, Henry’s family has had to meticulously plan meals and the places they visit, which has naturally had a significant impact on them all.

Henry’s mum, Mariken explains, “Henry is very resilient and takes everything in his stride. He is very sensible, but we must be vigilant at all times. If we are out and he has a reaction, it can be very difficult to work out what has triggered the reaction. It could simply be that he has put his hand on something with traces of an allergen. This means we are constantly on red alert.”

Henry is fortunate to have a great peer group who look out for him. However, other parents are naturally cautious about having Henry over to their house, due to the high risk of cross contamination, so Henry tends to have play dates at his house. Sleep overs,  holiday camps and school residential trips are not something that Henry can safely take part in.

‘’This is why we were so happy when we discovered that Over The Wall provided a camp specifically for children with allergies.” explains Mariken.

As a family of four, Mariken, Henry, his dad and his brother all attended Allergy Family Camp in 2019.

“Camp was amazing – and not just for Henry – for us all.” says Mariken, “Henry got a huge buzz and sense of empowerment from the activities. He loved the rock climbing and zip wire- the experience was very confidence-building. Also, the volunteers were simply amazing. Diarmuid was our clinical volunteer, and not only was he fun, we felt so confident that if anything happened – he would be ready. We felt absolutely safe in Over The Wall’s hands.

After being at the camp for a short while, you could see how positive the experience was, Henry realised – ‘I’m hanging out with children, who all have the same thing as me…!’ And for him to be able to approach a buffet without any caution, and eat anything he wanted, well it just blew his mind.”

“Some people don’t have a true understanding of allergies, they don’t realise that if something goes wrong, Henry doesn’t just get sick, or unwell for a period of time, he could die and that’s a big worry for us to constantly carry. At camp, that worry wasn’t there.

The Over The Wall camp helped Henry to look at his allergy in a different, more positive way. At camp, he actually thought- without this allergy, we wouldn’t be where we are, having this amazing time! Camp allowed Henry to gain a kind of ownership and confidence in his own condition. It empowered him to understand that he is in control of it and that is huge.”

The determination of the Over The Wall team is outstanding and we look forward to witnessing their further achievements, both during this crisis and in the future.

www.otw.org.uk

 

0 Read More

MEET FINLEY

Charity Registration number: 1075361

As we enter the new year, we are delighted to receive this wonderful update from our friends at Over The Wall. Due to their ambitious expansion plans, more children like Finley will be able to experience these Over The Wall camps and build their very own empowering memories. 

At age 13, Finley was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. The impact of this discovery was huge. Having hidden the fact that he was ill from his family for some time, Finley eventually collapsed and was rushed into hospital. It was then that doctors diagnosed his illness. 

“We had noticed that Finley had become much quieter, had unusual eating habits and wanted more privacy but we had put this down to simply being a teenager.” Explains Finley’s dad, Matt. “After his collapse, we realised how ill he really was, he had become very emaciated.” 

Once diagnosed, various combinations of different medicines were trialled, all of which naturally led to Finley missing a huge amount of school. “He missed almost a year,” explains Matt, “Which inevitably had a huge effect on Finley.”

Eventually, getting the right combination of medicines meant he went into remission and now, at the age of 15, he has far more good days than bad. Although this was a very difficult year which impacted Finley in every way. It affected his schooling, confidence and friendships. At the time he was a very keen rugby player for his local team and had also been selected and played for the Essex/Saracens team. He unfortunately was forced to stop playing rugby, everything seemed to fall apart for him within the space of a year.

When Finley’s parents met a nurse at the hospital, she understood exactly what the family were all going through and immediately suggested that they apply for an Over The Wall Camp. 

“If i’m honest, I wasn’t too keen on going at first.” says Matt, “I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. It was a complete eye-opener for me. I came back absolutely thrilled that we had gone. I realised how important it was for our family to be together and spend time bonding. We overcame challenges together and shared such valuable times.”

“Family camp reassured Finley that as a family, we are in it together and there to support each other. It was also great to be a complete family. Siblings often get left out when one child is ill, but at family camp, Finley’s brother and sister gained an understanding of why time is often spent with Finley. There was a strong bond developed and a discovery between us that we are all in it together, no one is left out, we are all included.”

 

Here at the Kentown Wizard Foundation we are always extremely grateful to receive updates like these from our partners and we look forward to posting many more throughout this journey. 

www.otw.org.uk

 

0 Read More

INTRODUCING OVER THE WALL

Charity Registration number: 1075361

Over The Wall are a national charity that for almost 20 years have provided free transformational residential camps across the UK for children living with serious health challenges.

Through therapeutic play, these camps help to develop the confidence and self-esteem of a child while allowing them to create fun and empowering memories. All this in a physically safe and medically sound environment.

At the Kentown Wizard Foundation we are delighted to be able to support Over The Wall with their ambitious expansion plans with a grant of £865,000 over a 3 year period. The aim of this funding is to double the current number of campers attending Over The Wall camps across the UK.

www.otw.org.uk

 

0 Read More
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search