Stacey Solomon enjoys being part of the 'best club ever' at Camp Simcha

The celebrity told guests that being Jewish was like having 'an extended family'


Celebrity Stacey Solomon has said that being Jewish is like “being a part of the best club ever”.

The 34-year-old told guests at the annual Camp Simcha Ladies’ Lunch: “I find that whatever I do and wherever I go in my life, I have extra extended members of family within the Jewish community.”

Solomon, who was in conversation with journalist Suzanne Baum at Finchley Synagogue, shot to fame when she finished third place on The X-Factor in 2009. She went on to win I’m a Celebrity, become a regular on Loose Women and now presents her own show Sort Your Life Out, where she helps families declutter their homes.

Asked what she thought the secret to her success was, Solomon said she owed a lot to the support of her family.

“I didn’t grow up thinking those opportunities would ever be available, […] but my dad, who is here with me, has always said to me: ‘Just go for it Stace. One day, it will be there, and one day, it won’t. Just give it your absolute all, and, whatever happens, you’ve got your family.’”

The mum-of-five said that she relied on her family to help with childcare when she was working. “If we need childcare, we say: ‘Dad, you have the baby', 'Mum, you have the teenagers'. When they say it takes a village to bring up a child, we have got an entire kibbutz.”

Taking her fame with a generous pinch of salt, Solomon said that rather than being brought down by trolls, “they bring me quite a lot of joy. I just find it funny.”

She added: “Not everyone’s going to like you and I think it’s alright for people to say: ‘You get on my nerves.' I probably do get on some people’s nerves. There’s a really good saying, which is: ‘I’m not everyone’s cup of tea otherwise I’d be a mug.’ That’s how I deal with it.”

On sharing her highs – and her lows – with her six million online followers, Solomon mused: “I like to share things. I don’t know if that’s a Jewish thing actually. I need reassurance - 'Does anyone else have this?' 'Has anyone else ever fallen off a treadmill in front of everyone?'

"It’s not a conscious decision to share because I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s more: ‘Help! Is anyone out there? Is anyone else thinking the same as me?’”

Guests also heard from Camp Simcha mum Jessica Goldberg, whose son Ori, aged nearly three, has pulmonary hypertension and is awaiting a life-saving double lung transplant.

Mum-of-four and former Maths teacher Jessica, from Manchester, explained that since his diagnosis over two years ago,she stays at home ‘caring for my beautiful son, unable to work’.

“I spend many days and nights in hospital apart from my husband and three older kids. I am navigating this medical world whilst attempting to continue the normality of class and friend WhatsApp groups, where conversations and concerns are so different and unrelatable to my own."

Revealing the impact that it has had on the rest of the family, Goldberg said: “My incredible children are mini medical professionals, reading SATS monitors, aware of Ori’s signs and symptoms of struggle, stopping him from biting his tubes and wires - as any normal toddler would be doing. They are fully aware of the fact that their friends make plans for their holidays and trips, yet we say: ‘One day’. One thing remains constant: Camp Simcha is always our lifeline.”

With her family liaison officer providing practical and emotional support, volunteers being available for Ori’s siblings and access to therapeutic arts, sibling clubs and family retreats, Camp Simcha provided them with “a vital community of support which goes a long way towards mitigating some of the isolation that our situation brings”, said Goldberg.

Camp Simcha co-founder and head of family liaison Rachely Plancey told the 340 guests: “I myself have a son and daughter living in Israel with their families, and I can honestly say the situation there is always at the forefront of my mind right now.

“However, there are those in the UK who need our support too. Families, where the anxiety we’re all feeling now comes on top of unbearable stress few of us can imagine.”

The lunch was sponsored by committee chairperson Victoria Joseph and her husband Lance and organised by the charity’s Ladies committee.

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