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November 2023 Newsletter

Hello to all of you who support us in many different ways! This has been an extremely exciting, busy and fulfilling summer for Camp Jojo.



Magical Memories for Families


This summer we had five camps for families of children with complex needs, on our beautiful site at Ivy Farm on Mersea Island. We kicked things off with a new collaboration camp with Highshore Special School in Lambeth, London. This allowed us to reach some inner city families who had not heard of us, many of whom had never been camping before. For some of these families, Camp Jojo was well out of their comfort zone. We were very impressed by the families’ enthusiasm and bravery to try something new. We were pleased that parents made connections with others who they had not previously met and were able to continue these connections back in London. When your child has complex needs, and uses special transport to get to and from school, parents often miss out on the ‘hanging out at the school gates’ experience, so getting to know other parents can be difficult.  


Then we had another four camps – all great fun, and very moving to see families achieve a camping experience. Some of the children achieved things their parents never thought would be possible. Like going into the sea in a floating wheelchair; or being hoisted into a hammock in the woods; or toasting marshmallows on a campfire….and much more. One parent described the ‘monumental sense of achievement’ that they gained from bringing their medically complex child camping. We have had lots of positive and emotional feedback from families and it drives us forward, giving satisfaction and pride to our whole team.


A Camp Jojo Anniversary!



This summer we celebrated five years of Camp Jojo. The camps began in 2018, when five friends, all with a vision for accessible camping, came together to run one camp for a group of families who they knew from school connections. Since then, Camp Jojo has gone from strength to strength, with thirty-nine families attending this summer, spread over five camps. We are proud of how far we have come and would like to thank everyone who has helped us along the way - whether as volunteers, or financially, or with donated equipment, or simply cheered us on; we appreciate you all. We look forward to the future for Camp Jojo.




Expansion Plans


Each year we are overwhelmed with family applications, this year receiving 4 times as many applications as we could accept. So we know the need for accessible camping experiences for the whole family; and we find it very hard to have to say no to so many families.


In 2024 we will be increasing to six camps on Mersea during the school summer holidays. We are also conscious that many families travel a very long way to reach us in Essex, which is neither easy nor practical with children with such complex needs. With this in mind, we are now planning for the opening of a second site in the North of England. We will pilot this in 2025.


In 2024 we will also be expanding both our staff team and our volunteer team. We will have a second Operations Manager starting in January, plus we will be recruiting a small-bid fundraiser in the near future. Please look out for our adverts on our website and social media or contact us at information@campjojo.org.uk.


We also continue to look for new trustees to join our board; and we are particularly keen to hear from anyone from an accounting or financial background, who also shares our passion for inclusion and accessibility. If you are interested, please also email information@campjojo.org.uk for more information.



Fantastic Fundraising


Some recent examples of fundraising for Camp Jojo have included a ‘dawn to dusk’ relay event at Alleyn Court Prep school, which saw over 100 pupils and families come together to run in relays from 4am until 9pm! They raised a whopping £12,000. A musical evening with a fish-and-chip supper at Ivy Farm, widely supported locally, raised £2500, and  a concert at East Mersea Church raised another brilliant £800. Fisher Jones Greenwood, a Colchester legal firm, also held a barn dance at the farm, raising another £2500. We are so grateful to our wonderful community of Camp Jojo supporters and volunteers, who go above and beyond to support us. If you would like to do a fundraiser for Camp Jojo, please let us know and we will support you in it.


National Lottery Success


Every year we also apply for bigger grants of course, and are grateful for those we have received this year. We are particularly delighted that we have been awarded a 3 year National Lottery Community Fund grant,as this will cover approximately 55% of our costs for our Mersea camps over the next 3 years. Of course, we still have 45% to find, and all the costs of our northern campsite expansion, so we are not letting up!


Friends of Camp Jojo


Some of you have told us that you want to support Camp Jojo with smaller, regular donations. This is a very important source of income for us, as it allows us to know what regular income we can rely on.


If you would like to become a ‘Friend of Camp Jojo’ in this way, please follow this link to set up your direct debit or make a one off donation:



If you would like to know of other ways you can support us or you have any questions, please contact information@campjojo.org.uk.




With good wishes,

The Camp Jojo Team







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