When I was eight, me and my dad went to CLDF Wild Camp. I had met other children with liver disease because I’d been to the British Transplant Games but this was the first time I’d done anything like this. We were in a camp out in the countryside and did our own cooking over a campfire. The best bit was building our own shelter to sleep in. It was a really fun weekend and I still keep in touch with some of the people I met then.
Earlier this year I heard about CLDF Breakaway which sounded similar to Wild Camp but with more activities and without any parents so I asked if I could go. It really was fun – the activities were good but the best bit was staying up late with friends I had made, even though I didn’t know any of these people before I agreed to go. To anyone who is thinking about doing either of these but isn’t too sure, I would say just go and give it a go!
Harrison’s view is endorsed by his mum, Mel:
With both Wild Camp and Breakaway we were keen for Harrison to have the opportunity to gain new experiences away from home, get stuck into the outdoor activities and have the opportunity to talk to young people in a similar situation. I felt this would really help him grow in confidence.
Wild Camp was fine as his dad was with him but I admit I was nervous about Breakaway because it was the first time Harrison had been away from home without us. However, after speaking to Michelle and being reassured, I felt better. Harrison was looking forward to it and wasn’t fazed at all which helped.
To any parent who is concerned about their child going a CLDF residential trip, I would reassure them that the processes and procedures the team have in place are tried and tested. The team are experienced and qualified to run this event and are fantastic at it, so your child will have a good time. One tip I would give is if you can, make sure you child joins in the Zoom session a few weeks before the start so they can get to know people before they go.