Restore was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the National Burns Camp held every year in Cambridgeshire which welcomes eight to seventeen year-old children with over 20% burns.
The camp voluntarily organised by former fire-fighter Dave Webster and Karen Read, from the Frenchay After Burns Children’s Club in Bristol, brings together several smaller support burns’ clubs from England, Wales and Scotland for a week of activities and games. Their aim is to raise self confidence amongst the children and to remove the negative stigma associated with the appearance of burns.
Dave Webster, who has being running the camp for fifteen years, said “The entire week is a confidence builder for them, they are getting into the water, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, each evening there is some sort of social activity. They are able to become comfortable about their burns, sometimes talk about them, meet and connect with others their own age who have also been badly burnt.”
The psychological impact of a burn injury can be difficult for children to deal with and teenagers particularly tend to struggle with self image and confidence issues. Many cases see children go through years of surgery and physio following their accidents. We met some inspirational young people with incredibly positive attitudes.
The camp is free and open to all children who have been burned or scalded. Past attendee, Declan Meaney, 20, joined the camps when he was 10-years-old, two years after being burnt and continued to attend each year until he turned eighteen.
Visiting for the open day, he said, “It was nice to know that you’re not the only one out their with burns but there are actually hundreds or even thousands of people with the same injuries. When I first came, I never used to take my top off and always wore polo necks but about three year ago I really started to come out of my shell with my scars, being able take my top off and show people.”
After seeing the amazing work they do, Restore looks forward to working closely with the Burns Camp in the future and to our joint fundraiser event in 2016.