WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13: A children’s charity has been flooded with appeals for help to pay youngsters through summer camps this year.
Now the Coalition for the Protection of Children has launched a drive to put as many disadvantaged kids through summer school as possible over the summer school break.
Coalition president Sheelagh Cooper said applications for assistance were running at double the rate of last year.
She added: “Many of the children we deal with will be unsupervised over the summer because their mothers have to work.
“We want to provide as many summer opportunities for as many children as we can — but the demand this year has been much higher than anticipated.”
The Coalition helps pay for between 30 and 40 children to spend time at summer camps, for periods of time ranging from a week to several weeks.
Ms Cooper said: “It’s something we like to do every year and it’s very important. Children need to be supervised in the summer and it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to learn to sail, for example.
“For many of them, they would never get the opportunity to do something like that. Sailing is great, but it can be quite expensive and some families just can’t afford it on their own.”
Ms Cooper said that sponsors — either individuals or corporate — can choose to sponsor a specific child through a chosen camp, or can donate to a central fund.
Coalition executive director Nicola Feldman added that the recession was biting deep into the budgets of many families, a likely cause for the increase in applications.
She said: “The need for children to be productively engaged over the summer months is vital, especially given the increase in anti-social behaviour dominating segments of the community in recent times.
“We would like to ensure all young people are enrolled in camps for the entirety of their summer, both to allow the students to have a fun break from their regular school schedule and also to ensure they do not become caught up in less productive pastimes.”
Cost for summer camps range from a minimum of $60 per week for government-operated camps, up to $200 per week for private camps such as art or sailing programmes.
Ms Feldman added: “We are looking for a minimum of one week to a maximum of eight weeks of camp sponsorship per child.”
She added: “As it is a matching program, payment can be made directly to particular camp programmes or can be sent to the Coalition.”
For more information call 295- 1150 or email Ms Feldman at Nicola.email@example.com.