Robin’s earliest memories are of his father bullying and abusing him. His father abandoned the family and moved away three years ago, but Robin still has nightmares and wakes up sobbing.
School had been tough for Robin, with a combination of learning disabilities and shyness leading to difficulty making friends. He was often bullied on the way home from school, arriving back trembling, with bruises and sometimes even burns on his arms and legs.
Summer holidays had perhaps been the worst time of all for Robin. His mum earns very little, and she has two younger children besides Robin to feed and clothe. There are no family holidays and Robin has never even been on a day trip to the seaside or the countryside. He has missed out on many of the experiences that most of us have when we are young.
Our summer camp last August helped to change that.
We took Robin and a group of other 8- to 12-year-olds to a safe holiday campsite in the countryside, under the supervision of trained staff and volunteers. Here was peace. And here was gentleness, because the organisers couldn’t have been kinder to Robin. He was withdrawn at first, but he gradually began to realise that these were adults he could trust. Here he also found other children who wanted to be his friends, not his tormentors.
Robin returned from camp a much happier child, with both his mother and his teachers noticing a marked improvement in his confidence. He is looking forward to going to summer camp again this summer and can’t wait to see some familiar faces from last year.
Meanwhile we’ve been helping Robin’s mum cope better with the stress and hardship of being a single parent. She’s been attending cookery classes at her local Salvation Army centre which helps parents cook healthy meals on a tight budget.
Please help us do for other children what we have done for Robin – blowing away their loneliness and fear, and helping them live fuller and happier lives.
A gift of:
- £25 could help to pay the cost of running a weekly parent-and-toddler group.
- £45 could help to send a child on a Salvation Army summer camp, building their self-confidence and giving them exciting new learning experiences.
- £100 could help to run a youth club, giving young people from troubled backgrounds the chance to develop new interests and skills and make something of their lives.
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