When Jessica was three years-old, she was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Treatment for condition meant that she was immediately required to begin injecting with insulin four times each day. Having diabetes also meant that Jessica’s parents were under immense pressure to regularly assess her blood sugar, and monitor her condition, even throughout the night. However, things became easier when she received an insulin pump and later a blood glucose monitor, allowing her parents to remotely review her blood sugar levels.
“With the aid of technology, at the age of nine, we were finally able to let Jessica go to a friend’s for tea, without us being there with her.” Says Jessica’s mum, Hannah. “However, as she gets older, we are conscious that she will want to be even more independent and do more things by herself.”
“We are aware that we have to cultivate her independence, her positivity and confidence and must help guide her through her teenage years, so when we discovered Over The Wall’s camps- we knew that experiences like that would very much be an important part of her journey.”
Jessica’s parents applied for camp and received a place at the Diabetes Family Camp, but unfortunately, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, all camps were cancelled. In response to the camp closures, Over The Wall created an interactive online platform designed specifically for the children who had applied to attend camp in 2020. The aim was to bring, the joy and magic of the physical camps into each families’ home.
Camp in the Cloud
“On the first day of Camp in the Cloud, Jessica was so excited, despite the cancellations, she was thrilled to have received the mysterious box,” said Hannah. “She had all these packages, and now she could finally open them! As a teacher and someone that works with Brownies, I must say the thought and organisation put into these activities was very impressive. It was not an easy thing to have developed in such a short time, but to have done it on that scale- well, Over The Wall should be proud of themselves.”
“For a lot of families who have a child with a disability, the places that were usually open to parents were all shut, and that is incredibly isolating for families. Managing a child’s needs, whilst juggling home schooling, working from home, whilst looking after siblings is a huge challenge, so it was definitely a highlight to have a weekend where everyone could do something fun at home, as a family.”
“We especially loved the marble run made with recycled materials- in fact, I’ve stolen that idea for Brownies! Jessica absolutely loved writing the stories and the balloon animals. Actually, I can’t think of anything we didn’t love! Jessica also enjoyed chatting and communicating with other campers, and the ‘Cabin Chats’ were incredibly well managed. The staff made sure everyone spoke and had a chance to chat- it was very effective.”
“There was definitely a buzz around the house during our Camp in the Cloud. There was a lot of fun and laughter, and we were all able to get involved.”
“What Over The Wall did this year was unprecedented. Now, I know that word has been used a lot this year, but to shift from their physical camps, to a remote virtual camp, in such a short amount of time, and to do it this well, with such efficiency and expert planning, AND to have made it this much fun … it was nothing short of a major achievement.”