Best friends with health issues kick off Havant children's charity campaign to raise £30,000

SIGHTS have been set high by a Havant charity aiming to raise £30,000 to help fund its residential camps for seriously ill children.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 7:11 pm

Over The Wall has been selected to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge match-funding scheme, which means any donations made to the charity made up until December 10 will now be doubled.

The Big Give is the UK’s largest online match funding campaign and offers the supporters of a select few charities the opportunity to have their donations doubled.

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Olivia Withers and Elsy Williams are helping to kick off Over The Wall's £30,000 fundraising bid as it receives double donations from The Big Give

In 2020, Over The Wall will aim to allow 1,200 children with illness to experience its free residential camps, which is more than it has ever taken before.

Donations made through The Big Give will help raise the funds to take these children to camp for free, with Over The Wall being the only UK charity providing these camp experiences.

Olivia Withers, a nine-year-old former camper from Gosport, is helping raise awareness for the charity and its Big Give campaign, along with the friend she met at camp, Elsy Williams.

Olivia has multiple complex allergies, eczema and asthma, which all trigger further health problems.

Elsy was diagnosed with an acute autoimmune condition meaning she also has allergies to 27 different food products, airborne allergies, asthma and eczema.

As a result, both children have experienced isolation and low confidence. Due to their allergies their lives are meticulously planned, and they are unable to participate in spur-of-the-moment fun with their peers.

Over The Wall camp was the first place Elsy and Olivia had met other children with similar health challenges, and they are now friends for life.

Camp gave them the confidence to be themselves, socialise with and support one another.

Olivia’s mum Emily Jenkins said: ‘Camp is the best thing that ever happened for Olivia. It really changed her for the better. It made her understand that she is amazing and special.’

The Big Give is a charitable trust founded by Sir Alec Reed and supported by jobs firm Reed.

To have your donation doubled, go to bit.ly/mdoublemagic or for more information visit otw.org.uk.