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offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children living with serious illness and their families, with on-site medical and nursing care. GMSP’s contribution has helped to support 288 children living with serious illness and their families. 

campers hosted

since 1994 




served in 2018 


For children living with serious illness and for their families, life revolves around doctors’ appointments and treatments. As medical health takes precedence, emotional needs receive less active attention. Serious illness and disability can cause immense disruption to a child’s life and to that of their families. 

With every day of school missed and every activity or party unattended, a child’s sense of isolation can grow. The extra amount of work and stress to a family struggling with serious illness depletes them of the energy and funds to schedule in leisure and fun and can lead to depression. 


Barretstown is recognised as a centre of excellence in childhood cancer care and other serious illnesses. Higher rates of cancer diagnosis and improved survival rates are leading to an increase in demand for Barretstown’s services, as more and more children and families need emotional and physiological support during and after treatment. 

Barretstown works with all the main paediatric centres in the UK who refer children affected by serious conditions – primarily cancer and blood diseases. Its skilled medical and activity staff is supported by over 1,700 volunteers each year. 

Campers are referred to Barretstown based on their medical needs. Accommodation, food and medical assistance are provided at no cost to the family. 

Barretstown’s programmes include a wide range of activities including horse riding, arts and crafts, creative writing, canoeing, fishing, drama and music. An on-site medical team follows the medical regime advised by each child’s doctor. 


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