The indefinite ban placed on the Student Action Kids Camp following an incident over the Easter period has been lifted, enabling the camp to go ahead as planned this summer following some pending organisational changes.
YUSU Societies and Communications Officer Sam Bayley was keen to emphasize the Union’s commitment and support for the popular project, stating in a press release: “The Executive have made their wishes clear that Kids’ Camp should continue, but feel it is essential that any potential risks are further limited.”
Joey Ellis, YUSU Student Development and Charities Officer, who organises the camps, said of the decision: “I’m really happy about allowing Kids’ Camp to go ahead. It’s a great opportunity to help the development of young people. Jamie [Tyler] and I are going to work together over the next few weeks to make sure that camp is as good as it can possibly be.”
Although this decision means that the camp is set to go ahead this summer, the YUSU Executive hope to change its structure by putting through a motion for change at the upcoming UGM in week 8.
As reported by Nouse last month, the YUSU Executive decided to suspend Kids Camp two weeks ago after receiving a letter from York City Council detailing an allegation and requesting information about the activities of a specific child on camp. Bayley refused to comment as to the nature of the allegation or whether it concerned any member of the Union.
The decision caused an outcry amongst students who volunteer for the project, which runs residential Easter and summer camps for local youngsters. “It’s really terrible,” commented Derwent JCRC Chair Oliver Lester at the time, who worked on the camp at Easter. “People absolutely love camp and get so much out of it,” he added.
Applicants for the upcoming Kids Camp are currently being assessed, and training for the volunteers, which previously consisted of a day’s training in child protection with Ellis, is set to become more comprehensive.