178 kids climb Sydney Harbour Bridge for their final Camp Quality camp
On Monday 22 September, 178 NSW children living with cancer climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of their final resilience-building camp experience with Camp Quality.
BridgeClimb gave the children a touch of adventure to the final camp experience, and helped 178 children conquer the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134 metres above sea level. As a special surprise they were greeted at the top by 'Giggle', our mascot.
This is the last ever camp that we will run for young people in the 13 - 18 age group in NSW. We're reducing our age range to help children with cancer aged 13 and under in collaboration with CanTeen, which supports teenagers and young people with cancer. Recently diagnosed children aged over 13 will 'graduate' up to CanTeen. This is to reduce duplication of services in the voluntary sector, and also to ensure all young people living with cancer over 13 years old are given the support they need.
By reducing our age-range, we're planning to become the first national Australian charity to offer support to children (0-13) who have a parent living with cancer.
Simon Rountree, Camp Quality's Chief Executive, said: "For many of these 178 kids, saying goodbye to Camp Quality - the charity that supported them and their families through their cancer journey - will be very emotional. But we pride ourselves in teaching these kids to face every challenge with resilience and to celebrate life every day: essential things for those who've faced cancer at such a young age. Camps like this are devised to give them back their childhood, but also to encourage independence and confidence. The Bridge Climb is a great example of that - it takes guts to go up there, but it's also fun and unforgettable!"
Using the resilient tools they've learnt at Camp Quality, the 178 children will 'graduate' into the big wide world, or up to CanTeen - so the camp is called their 'Graduation Camp.' Other activities at the camp included yoga, martial arts, paddle boarding, a session from Musicians Making a Difference, resilience workshops and a Farewell Formal Dinner at Doltone House.
'Graduation Camp' will be rolled out nationally across other states over the next year, to accomodate for every child taking the next step in their cancer journey.