BBA Resources

Burn Camps

What are burn clubs and camps?

Burn clubs and camps are an opportunity for young people who have suffered burn injuries, to meet others, share experiences and improve self esteem. Clubs usually offer a range of activities ranging from day events to a residential camp experience offering a variety of challenging, creative, socialising and fun activities. This focus on physical challenges is based on evidence that if young people with scars, who may not feel good about how their bodies look, can feel good about what their bodies can do, then this helps them have a better body image and higher self esteem.

History of clubs and camps in the U.K.

Burns camps are well established in the USA, and began to develop in the UK in the 1990’s, where they gradually gained recognition in their contribution towards the psycho-social rehabilitation of burn injured young people. There are now 13 clubs around the UK.

Funding position

All clubs and camps are at present funded without NHS support, through donations and fund raising efforts. A variety of volunteers are drawn from both NHS and non-NHS backgrounds. Roles are not usually part of job descriptions, although some NHS staff may be granted study leave to assist with events.

Burn Care Review recommendations

Burn care review recommendations are supporting the development of burn club and camp programmes as a necessary aspect of burn rehabilitation. NHS funding is also being proposed.

Burn clubs / camps in the U.K.

Burns Services that do not have clubs are always welcome to contact a club and get involved with their activities.  There is an National Burns Camp every August : contact Burned Children’s Club for details.

Links with other organisations

Burn clubs have developed close working relationships with local fire services, both for support with fund- raising, and volunteers for burn camps and other club events.
Close links have developed with the ‘Children’s Burns Trust’ charity in London. The trust has been involved in raising funds for regional and national events, starter funds for clubs, and has facilitated information sharing and training opportunities.    www.cbtrust.org.uk
‘Changing Faces’ organisation has been involved in providing activities centred on psycho-social issues.  www.changingfaces.org.uk

U.K. Association of Burn Camps & Clubs

The Burn Club SIG has representation from each of the Clubs around the UK. The group meets 3 times a year, sharing good practice, guidelines and supporting new and existing clubs.  The AGM is held at the BBA Annual Conference. The group also runs an annual Burns Camp Jamboree held in October, that is open to all clubs at no charge, thanks to the CBT for their financial support.
Contact Caroline for further information: caroline.james@nbt.nhs.uk

The European / International picture

The International Association of Burn Camps has established bylaws and membership criteria, and holds bi-annual workshops in the USA. Membership of the association and attendance at the workshops is open to UK clubs and camps.?The European Burns Association has a burn camp committee. Although a number of European camps have been held in the past, the committee’s role in recent years has been to pro-actively encourage European burn centres in setting up regional / national camps.
The UK has supported the World Burns Jamboree with several clubs sending children and volunteers. The first was held in 2006 in South Africa, the second in Nova Scotia in 2008, and the 3rd was held in the UK in 2010. The next camp will be in 2012, venue still to be agreed. 

Young Leader Training Programmes

A young leader training programme has been developed by the Manchester Burns Club to facilitate the progression from burn camp participant to a leader role. The programme is being adopted by other burn clubs, and it is proposed this should be implemented nationally.

Evaluation of Clubs and Camps

Significant clinical qualitative evidence has been collected to support the value of clubs and camps. Quantitative data is currently being gathered.

New Developments

Manchester Children’s Burn Club held the first Young Adults camp in conjunction with their adult burns service in 2009. This group are hoping to organize and adults support camp also.
Shortly afterwards the FAB Club, Welsh Dragons and B.U.G.s held their first Young Adults Camp.