Summer camp for children with serious illnesses forced to go virtual

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Jones

This summer more than 1,000 children with serious illnesses should have been getting the chance to have a break at one of 15 camps run by the charity Over the Wall, but they've been cancelled because of coronavirus.

The residential camps give children the opportunity to take part in activities such as canoeing, climbing, cooking, archery and arts and crafts.

It also gives them the chance to have fun with other children.

Children can take part in activities from home as part of the virtual summer camp. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Sean Oakey, who suffers from multiple serious allergies that affect much of his life, went to one last year. It was his first time away from home.

His parents say it made him "a lot more confident" as "he's really quiet and shy but he really came out of his shell".

We deal with some of the most vulnerable children in the UK so we took the decision early on to cancel the camps and try to find an alternative.

Kevin Mathieson, Over the Wall

The charity has set up an alternative this year, called 'Camp in the Cloud' which enables children to take part in activities while still meeting others.

Over the Wall hopes something positive will still come out of this experience.

It hopes that when the residential camps return, the online ones may continue so children who cannot leave home or hospital will still be able to take part.

Credit: ITV News Meridian