Published on 15 January 2021

DRWF in collaboration with children’s charity Over The Wall will present two Camp In The Cloud events in 2021 – Closing date for applications is 14th February.

DRWF and Over The Wall will provide free virtual camps in 2021 for children with type 1 diabetes in the UK.

The events follow 2019’s first Diabetes Wellness Family camp in partnership with Over The Wall, specifically for families with children with type 1 diabetes aged from birth to 17.

To provide an idea of what to expect from the Camps we share the experience of Jessica, who has type 1 diabetes.

Jessica at our Camp in the Cloud event.

When Jessica was three years-old, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She was immediately required to take insulin injections four times each day in order to treat the condition.

Having diabetes also meant that Jessica’s parents were under immense pressure to regularly monitor her blood sugar and condition 24 hours a day. However, things became easier when she received an insulin pump and later a blood glucose monitor, allowing her parents to remotely review her blood sugar levels.

Jessica’s mother Hannah said: “With the aid of technology, at the age of nine, we were finally able to let Jessica go to a friend’s for tea, without us being there with her. However, as she gets older, we are conscious that she will want to be even more independent and do more things by herself.

“We are aware that we have to cultivate her independence, her positivity and confidence and must help guide her through her teenage years, so when we discovered the Camp in the Cloud events we knew that experiences like that would very much be an important part of her journey.”

Jessica’s parents applied to attend the residential Diabetes Family Camp scheduled last year, however, the event was cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19. In response to the camp closures, Over The Wall created an interactive online platform designed specifically for the children who had applied to attend camp in 2020. The aim was to bring, the joy and magic of the physical camps into each families’ home.  

Camp in the Cloud Map

Camp in the Cloud

Ahead of the online events children were sent a package by post including activities and assets to make their camping experience more interactive.

Hannah said: “On the first day of Camp in the Cloud, Jessica was so excited, despite the cancellations, she was thrilled to have received the mysterious box. She had all these packages, and now she could finally open them! As a teacher and someone that works with the Brownies, I must say the thought and organisation put into these activities was very impressive. It was not an easy thing to have developed in such a short time, but to have done it on that scale - well, Over The Wall should be proud of themselves.”

She added: “For a lot of families who have a child with a serious health condition, the places that were usually open to parents were all shut, and that is incredibly isolating for families. Managing a child’s needs, whilst juggling home schooling, working from home, whilst looking after siblings is a huge challenge, so it was definitely a highlight to have a weekend where everyone could do something fun at home, as a family.

“We especially loved the marble run made with recycled materials - in fact, I’ve stolen that idea for Brownies! Jessica absolutely loved writing the stories and the balloon animals. Actually, I can’t think of anything we didn’t love! Jessica also enjoyed chatting and communicating with other campers, and the ‘Cabin Chats’ were incredibly well managed. The staff made sure everyone spoke and had a chance to chat- it was very effective.

“There was definitely a buzz around the house during our Camp in the Cloud. There was a lot of fun and laughter, and we were all able to get involved.

“What Over The Wall did this year was unprecedented. Now, I know that word has been used a lot this year, but to shift from their physical camps, to a remote virtual camp, in such a short amount of time, and to do it this well, with such efficiency and expert planning, and to have made it this much fun … it was nothing short of a major achievement.”

Those wishing to sign up for the events are reminded that the deadline for applications closes on Sunday, 14th February.

Two one-day events are set to be held on
·27 March 2021 (open to residents in England only)
·16 October 2021 (open to UK residents)
Running from 9:30am to 10:30pm.
Read more about the Camp in the Cloud events here

The camp was a welcome addition to DRWF’s existing award-winning diabetes wellness event programme. The charity received the Judges' Special Award and Highly Commended in the Empowering People with Diabetes category, at the annual Quality in Care Diabetes Awards in 2017.

Sarah Tutton, DRWF Chief Executive, said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our ability to provide support to people with diabetes through our Diabetes Wellness Event programme, in the last 10 months. Camp in the Cloud is an innovative way in which to reach children with type 1 diabetes, and their families, at a time when in-person activities are impossible. We are thrilled to be partnering with Over The Wall again in 2021 and look forward to providing some much-need fun, and respite, in what has been a really challenging period for us all. Places are limited, so I would actively encourage those wishing to secure a place, to get their application completed in good time before the deadline of 14th February.”

DRWF educational events during Covid-19 pandemic

We had hoped that our Diabetes Wellness Event programme would be up and running again in early 2021 however, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and current restrictions are likely to prevent some of our planned activities going ahead, certainly in the first 3 months of the year.

This is under constant review of course and will release updates to our plans as and when we are able to. In the meantime, if there is anything that we can do to help you, please do contact

Call to action - How you can support DRWF during this time

Sarah Tutton, Chief Executive of DRWF, said: “Research is the only way to find new treatments and a cure for diabetes. We have multi-year grant awards in place right now which we must do our utmost to honour and we must be able to react to ongoing applications that we receive for research work that could truly make a difference to the lives of people with diabetes. 

“We exist on voluntary donations and fundraised income and like most charities, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our ability to raise the funds we need. We expect the months ahead will be just as challenging, and sadly this may have an impact on our ability to fund the volume and value of research work that could fuel the next big breakthrough.

“Charities need us, as we need them, more than ever before. Our supporters enable us to keep our research funding on track meaning that the diabetes research community has funds available to find the cure that could transform the lives of millions. We can’t thank our supporters enough for their continued support during these challenging times.”

Read Lockdown guidance for staying home and safe for people living with diabetes during Covid-19 pandemic
Read How people with diabetes could become more ill if diagnosed with Covid-19
DRWF operations during the Covid-19 health crisis

The DRWF team is working remotely. Covid-19 guidance, particularly where it aligns or impacts with diabetes guidance, is shared as quickly as possible through the DRWF website and social media channels with the aim of making it as easy to understand as possible and a reliable source of latest news.

Further reports to follow – visit DRWF news page
Support DRWF by making a donation here
Find out more about DRWF-funded research here
Find out more about DRWF fundraising here
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Read DRWF diabetes information leaflets here
Join the Diabetes Wellness Network here

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