Camp Simcha scores gala goal


The National Football Museum kicked off Camp Simcha's first Manchester gala dinner on Monday.

The city centre venue was packed to capacity to raise funds to enable the charity to continue its work supporting Jewish families in Manchester who are coping with children who have serious illnesses.

The charity's supporters heard from Camp Simcha families about the work it does supporting sick children, from being available around the clock for practical and emotional support to the parents and siblings, to providing activities to improve the quality of life for the child.

Leeann and David Cohen, whose son Alexander, 12, suffers from Agammaglobulinemia, a rare condition which means that much of his immune system does not function or respond in any way to a bacterial infection, said they could not have coped without Camp Simcha after Alexander was diagnosed at 18 months old.

The Cohens told the 250 guests: "Camp Simcha has been a ray of sunshine in our lives. It helps give Alexander and his sister Charlotte back their childhoods and in turn they give us the strength to keep going. Camp Simcha has done that for us and for so many Jewish families. We have to ensure that it can continue to be there."

The diners were also treated to an insight into the life of scriptwriter, producer and co-creator of The Matt Lucas Awards, Ashley Blaker.

Camp Simcha chief executive Neville Goldschneider said: "Camp Simcha is reaching around 650 children, siblings and parents in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Gateshead, Leeds and Bristol, supporting them with a wide range of serious and life threatening conditions.

"We began working with a family in Manchester in 2007, gradually this grew to the point where our caseload here represents 20 to 25 per cent of the families we support.

"Our first gala dinner in Manchester has been a huge success and we are delighted that so many people came along to give their support."

The event raised more than £170,000 for the charity's support work.

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