Uni Camp for Kids gets grant to help traumatised children

BACK L-R: Camp executives Camille Whitehead, Cameron McAlpine with Minister Peter Tinley and Sarah Jayne Robinson (in green sitting) with some of this year’s camp kids.
BACK L-R: Camp executives Camille Whitehead, Cameron McAlpine with Minister Peter Tinley and Sarah Jayne Robinson (in green sitting) with some of this year’s camp kids.

LEARNING the joy of sailing was one of the activities that a group of disadvantaged and at-risk kids got to enjoy at a camp run by one of WA’s oldest charities.

With all participants giving their sailing trip an enthusiastic thumbs up it was another successful camp for Uni Camp for Kids (UCFK).

Today, amidst wafts of chlorine and boxes of hot chips at the Aqua Jetty in Warnbro, Youth Minister Peter Tinley presented camp executives with a $93,952 Lotterywest grant.

Much of the 80-year-old charity’s success is down to the boost in self-esteem, confidence and resilience the camps provide for the kids that go on them.

They use the annual grant to run three week-long camps at Point Peron, near Rockingham, for up to 270 children aged five to 12 years.

They run four day-long picnics spread throughout the year.

Student volunteers from the University of Western Australia co-ordinate and operate the camps for children who would not get the chance to enjoy a holiday break.

Children chosen for the camps have generally experienced significant trauma.

The volunteers work as mentors to the children and connect with them through a range of activities designed to build self-worth and resilience.

Activities can include trips to Perth Zoo, Kings Park, obstacle courses, beach visits, mini fun fairs, and meeting WACA and AFL sports teams.

Minister Tinley said it was great to see how much the kids enjoyed the camps.

“The volunteers who run UCFK have a long tradition of enriching the lives of young Western Australians who have often experienced great hardship,” he said.

“This fantastic work has occurred for more than eight decades.

“The McGowan Government recognises that childhood experiences can have a long-term impact on personal development.

“So these camps are designed to give young people the chance to have fun and create happy memories, countering less positive experiences in other parts of their lives.

“Not-for-profit community groups play a valuable role in making WA a better place for us all, and I wish UCFK and their volunteers the best of success in 2019.”