Over The Wall Children's Charity
Over The Wall provides a place where children with serious illness and disabilities can be brave and have fun with others. These amazing places are in-person – at residential camps and also available online – with Camp in the Cloud.
Creating the Magic of Childhood
Right now, 1 in 10 children* are missing out on childhood due to a serious illness or disability – and that number is growing.**
For these children, quality of life is adversely affected by isolation and their inability to participate in many of the everyday activities enjoyed by their friends and peers. This often results in a growing lack of self-esteem and confidence which can become a barrier to future growth and development.
That’s where Over The Wall Children’s Charity comes in.
Over The Wall is a UK based charity for children with serious illness and disabilities, and their families, to discover a world of mischief and magic. A place where they can be brave and have fun with others. These amazing places are physical – in residential camps and also available online – with Camp in the Cloud. And what’s more, it’s all free!
Their everyday challenges are unique and special. Attending a transformational camp or experience allows them to leave that all at the gate. They get reminded of what it means to be a child. They get to laugh, dance and cause mischief all in a safe relaxed environment.
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, Over The Wall provides a safe environment for children and young people to build confidence and self-esteem whilst first-class medical care ensures our unique ability to cater for more than 130 different conditions.
Over The Wall Camps and Experiences
Over The Wall’s free residential activity camps are an opportunity for children, young people and families to get away from home and the day-to-day pressures of life. We offer a medically and physically safe environment that allows young people affected by health challenges to step outside of their comfort zones, establish friendships and build their confidence through meaningful and exciting activities.
We run camps at selected sites around the UK, and offer transport hubs from certain UK cities, all free of charge. When we say ‘camp’ we don’t mean tents; we provide comfortable accommodation with beds! Any dietary requirements will be discussed as part of your application process.
Camp in the Cloud is a free, inclusive and engaging camp-at-home activity programme where campers and their families can experience the magic of an Over The Wall camp from home. Campers are sent our “Seriously Fun Box” in the post which contains everything they need to take part, and is packed full of games, activities and useful resources, as well as other goodies and surprises! Campers are also given access to our secure online platform where they can engage with a meaningful programme of activities and games.
Our vision is to provide every child living with the challenges of serious illness or disability, and their families, access to our free-of-charge transformational programmes.
Over The Wall provides the space for children to bond over trying new things they wouldn’t be able to do back home. It’s the chance to challenge by choice. It’s the chance to have the most fun they’ve ever had. It’s the chance to celebrate who they are and everything they’ve accomplished. It’s a chance for them to figure out who they are.
It’s the chance for them to be a kid again.
Over The Wall's Values
It was after the businessman Joe Woods, had arranged for children from the UK to be flown to The Hole in The Wall Gang camp in the US, that a friendship between himself and Paul Newman, actor, philanthropist and camp founder, developed. In 1999, the two of them made the decision to set up a camp in the UK, that was later named Over The Wall.
When Over The Wall first launched, it catered for 25 children with cancer. After that first camp, the charity went from strength to strength, providing camps for various illnesses across several different locations in the UK.
*Chronic Conditions in Children and Young People: Learning from the Administrative Data, UCL Institute of Child Health 2016
** Make Every Child Count, University of York 2020