This year HOOP were able to help three young people improve their quality of life by part funding their attendance at Morelife Summer Camps.
Here are their stories:
From Kellie, Isabelle’s Mum
Some people say Friday the 13th is bad luck, but not for me. This is the day when I finally found HOOP UK.
After many years of different health professionals trying to help my daughter Issy, nothing was changing and she was still gaining weight. I felt desperate for someone to help.
I needed outside help. When you are dealing with a child it’s very difficult to control, I felt guilty if I stopped her eating when she was telling me she was hungry and I felt guilty if I let her eat when I knew she shouldn’t be hungry. We were in a constant battle with each other and with food.Issy
I had spent the day scouring the internet looking for help and made many calls and sent emails, then came across HOOP, I made a phone call not expecting anything!
Jill Tipping answered my call and from that moment everything changed: she was the first person who I felt understood me and made me feel able to explain without feeling guilty. I told her all about my family and Isabelle. All of my emotions came flooding out and it felt like a huge relief. She said we will help you and give you support, then said I really should talk to Lesley, the founder of HOOP. I passed on my phone number not knowing what to expect.
Within a few hours I had a call from Lesley and again I knew she really understood what my family was going through and she wanted to help. We talked about the More life camp, and I knew about it but at £4250 never thought this would be possible!
She said we will work together and HOOP are right beside you. She gave me some things to do and then, with the help of Gemma Corston- Love, Hoop set up a Just Giving page. I was astonished by the support within 3 weeks they had not only raised enough for Issy but also enough to send another child, Abby, as a day camper.
So, on 27th of July we drove Isabelle almost 300 miles to Leeds to the More- life camp. This was very scary and hard to do and I was just praying that Isabelle would settle in. As we pulled up to this beautiful building, Woodhouse Grove School, 3 members of the camp team came over to the car to meet us and Issy.
Isabelle’s time at More life camp this summer has changed our lives. This was not an easy thing to do: send your 12 year old child away for 5 weeks to help her to lose weight, and many people simply don’t understand the situation and lack sympathy. They think it’s as easy as don’t feed her so much and make her exercise……
More life camp has given Issy the tools to help herself. She now understands food. She has become more independent, more confident and is willing to try new exercise and understands the importance of keeping active.
As a family this whole experience has been very hard at times but ultimately had the most positive impact on all of us. We are so proud of Isabelle and forever grateful to HOOP who made this possible. Kellie Thorne.
My experience of Abby’s time at camp has definitely been a positive one. It was ideal for me as Abby was a day camper and I could catch up with her at night and share her excitement of what she had learnt that day and what she would be doing the following day. Abby has taken a lot from her time at Morelife Camp, even more than I expected considering it was only for a short period of 5 weeks. The changes in her are amazing; not only has she learnt how to look at calories, nutrition and portion control and lots more but what has impressed me the most are the changes towards how she looks at food and how it no longer controls her life. Her confidence has grown so much since attending camp and she is a lot more content. I like that camp never made Abby feel like she was on a diet and that all food was allowed but just in moderation so that it was easier to continue on at home. I’m so glad I got this opportunity to send my daughter to Morelife camp as she is now on the right track to a happy and healthy life style thanks to the changes she was taught. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and to all at Morelife!
I enjoyed camp and the activities plus I got to meet a load of new friends who were struggling like I was. It was fun the way that the staff at camp taught us about food and I could understand what they were teaching me. When camp was over and I was at home, I was a little overwhelmed with trying to remember everything but I finally got the gist of things and now can continue with it. I keep in touch the friends I made at camp and they help me get along with the things I need to do and keep me motivated, also some of the staff keep in touch with me to help me too. I really enjoyed camp and I wish the 2015 campers well and also enjoy their experience like I did.
Sending Nick to More Life Camp was an easy decision to make as we knew he would benefit from it so much. Once we had saved enough money for him to attend as a day camper, we purchased a trailer tent and started checking out campsites, when you wonderful Hoopies came to our aid and helped pay for him to go for three weeks and to stay as a residential camper, which was amazing.
The hardest part was leaving him and having the courage to make him stay. Lots of nights there were tears from both Nick and me, as he hates being away from home so much, and gets very anxious being in new situations and large groups.
While he was at camp he kept saying he hated it, but once home did admit it wasn’t as bad as he made out, he just hated being away from home, and having to meet new people and try new things.
Since coming home from camp, Nick has added MFP to his phone and is monitoring what he eats, he is looking at labels to see what is the healthiest choice, and we have been having a family weigh in on a Sunday morning. He is riding his bike to school several days a week and asking to go swimming.