How I brought even more joy to my Camp Simcha wedding

'Big Sister' Kayla Moise asked the Leigh children to be her bridesmaids and pageboy on her big day


A bride has put even more joy into her big day by inviting the children she supports at Camp Simcha to be her bridesmaids and pageboy at her recent wedding.

Camp Simcha “Big Sister” Kayla Moise (formerly Hollander) asked the Leigh children, Sofia, nine, Amelia, six and Freddie, two, to walk her up the aisle at her wedding to Shalom Moise at Finchley United Synagogue.

For the past 18 months, Kayla has been the children’s Camp Simcha “Big Sister”, taking on the voluntary role after Amelia was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal condition.

Camp Simcha provides practical, emotional and therapeutic support to seriously ill children and their families.

The charity’s “Big Sisters” and “Big Brothers” are specially trained volunteers, who act as “ambassadors of fun”. They visit the child who is unwell and their siblings regularly, either at home or in hospital.

“The children were all so excited when I asked them,” said Moise, who is from north London, adding: “They have become like family to me, so it was only right that they should be my bridesmaids and pageboy.”

The children’s mum, Ilana Leigh, said it felt “very special” to be part of Kayla and Shalom’s celebration.

She said: “The kids were overjoyed when she asked them. They did really well on the day.

“All the family made us feel so welcome and there was something really amazing about the ripple effect of being part of the Camp Simcha family and seeing how far that goes.”

Camp Simcha’s head of services Daniel Gillis said Kayla’s wedding showed that “the special bond between ‘Big Brothers’ and ‘Big Sisters’ and the children they look after goes well beyond their time volunteering for the family.”

He added: “We have volunteers from over 25 years ago who are still in touch with their families. It really speaks volumes about the important role they play in each other’s lives.”

The wedding was the first of two that have taken place recently, where children supported by Camp Simcha were bridesmaids and pageboys to their “Big Sister”.

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