As a result of the war in Ukraine, many children have had their lives severely impacted. Lewis was working in Kyiv when the Russian invasion began, therefore is fully aware of the dangers and fears and wants to ensure children do not miss out on Christmas fun after what they have been through.
Lewis said: "We want it to be an amazing camp, it's not going to be just take them somewhere and sing a few songs. We want a positive memory at the end of this year for them. The idea is to take the kids to somewhere we know is going to be safe, to give them a chance to have fun and normality.
"Also, for the kids who have been displaced and are away from their own communities, they can be around their own community and speak their own language again, have their customs. They can speak, help each other, make connections and feel at home again. For the ones still in Ukraine who we will bring to the site as well, it's more of a time when they don't have to panic, and their parents can rest and recuperate, have time to think about themselves."Point Camp has been running for years but its providing of fun for children in Ukraine has arguably never been as vital. Image: Point Camp
Lewis, who lives in Holbeck, was teaching English at a school in Ukraine when war broke out. He spent time in bomb shelters before eventually making his way to the border and managing to return to England.
He explained: “It was absolutely surreal, not really panic but more direct thinking - 'we need to do this, we need to do that'. At the same time, it was very scary. You could hear bombs, you could see tanks, you could see soldiers, we were in and out of the bomb shelter for a couple of days with all the other people there.
"Trying to get to the border was just absolutely terrifying, one night we just had to sleep in the car in the woods and you don't know whether headlights that are coming are nice or not nice. We were going past roadblocks and seeing destroyed vehicles and everything. It was the most awful experience I've ever had.”
Point Camp has been running for years but its providing of fun for children in Ukraine has arguably never been as vital. The team working to make Point Camp’s Christmas plan a reality have already worked to supply food, medical supplies and more to those in Ukraine and are now asking for help in ensuring they can give the gift of festive fun to as many children as possible.
AdvertisementHide AdAs a result of the war in Ukraine, many children have had their lives severely impacted. Image: Point Camp
Lewis, who started volunteering with Point Camp around eight years ago, said: “The whole team is super passionate about it because we love working with kids, we love working at camps. We will be just as happy to be doing it as what we hope they will to be there.”
Donations can be made on the official GoFundMe page.