Friday 19 December 2014

Barretstown calls for summer volunteers at Kildare camp

Aishling Phelan

Published 23/01/2014 | 16:47

Leukaemia patient Olivia Killian (4) and her twin, Laura, join author Cecelia Ahern at the launch yesterday of the Barretstown campaign
Leukaemia patient Olivia Killian (4) and her twin, Laura, join author Cecelia Ahern at launch of Barretstown campaign last year

A children’s cancer charity has called for volunteers to give up their time to offer life-enhancing programmes to seriously ill children.

The children’s charity has received 84pc more applications from women than men.

Every year Barretstown needs over 900 volunteers to help the children’s charity to rebuild the lives of children affected by serious illness and their families.

The closing date for applications for summer camp volunteers is Friday January 31.

Summer camps range from 5-8 days in duration and volunteers must commit to the full session.

Barretstown provides short breaks for children affected by serious illnesses, primarily cancers and serious blood diseases and their families. 

Barretstown’s camp in Kildare serves 2,500-3,000 children each year, entirely free of charge to the families who attend.

Donations and fundraising efforts are vital for the charity to help more sick children experience Barretstown each year.

Survival rates from childhood cancers are 75pc or higher.

The charity spoke about how these children can have lengthy and difficult treatment and have their childhoods severely disrupted.

The therapeutic recreation provided by Barretstown is seen as a crucial part of the treatment of childhood illnesses, helping to reduce the disruption to a normal childhood.

Barretstown was founded by the actor Paul Newman in 1994 and modelled on his renowned Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in the United States.

This year marks Barretstown’s 20th anniversary and the children’s charity will mark this milestone by hosting a year long festival of events.

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