Camp Simcha saves the day for birthday girl


Penina Stern was crestfallen on learning that her parents could not be with her in Manchester on her sixth birthday — they were in Birmingham where her 10-month-old brother Ari was undergoing heart surgery.

But Camp Simcha saved the day through its big brother and sister programme. Penina’s “big sister” Sara Kachani took her and siblings Zehava and Aviva out for dinner, bringing along presents, balloons, blowers, decorations and a birthday cake. All the girls had their nails painted.

Their mother, Rivka, said she had mentioned the situation in passing to Camp Simcha family liaison officer Daniella Berkeley. “It was literally a throwaway comment but Daniella immediately said Camp Simcha would do something.

“Two hours later she called back with a list of ideas. When I told Penina that instead of mummy making her a party Camp Simcha was going to, her face lit up.

“Later she said: ‘It’s really good you are away for my birthday because I get to do something much better.’ Thanks to Camp Simcha, she had the most wonderful time.”

Daniel Gillis, head of services, said it was an example of its bespoke support to families with seriously ill children.

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