Teen-Family Camp leadership activities
HeartKids of South Australia Inc (HKSA) provide support, information and resources to children and young people who have Childhood Heart Disease (CHD) and their families.
HKSA is concerned with congenital heart disorders and acquired heart disorders (those which develop through other illnesses). It is one of the most common birth abnormalities affecting 1 in 100 children with over 2,000 Australian children born with CHD every year.
CHD is a major killer of children under the age of one and SA hospitals do not provide paediatric heart surgery. Families from SA/NT are required to relocate to Melbourne with their critically ill child, often at just a few hours notice.
UCF received an application from HKSA to contribute to the costs of their annual weekend Teen-Family Camp. HKSA required financial assistance to provide leadership activities at the camp. This included a speaker to brief participants on resilience, coping with CHD in the family, coping with the CHD journey and the socialisation of children with illness.
Children with CHD are often excluded from participating in a camp and HKSA’s programme has been demand driven to provide this opportunity for families navigating life with a child with chronic disease. The programme has received a satisfaction rating of 80% or more in the annual survey.
The UCF Board were pleased to approve a grant of $2,000 to HKSA.
Project outcomes and impact on the community:
- supporting HeartKids and their families emotionally, both pre and post-surgery, to live as close as possible to “normal” lives
- bringing together children with similar issues in a fun environment has shown to have a positive impact on the mental health of children with heart disease
- alleviate stress levels in the families by providing knowledgeable support