Bristol Children’s Help Society

helping the most disadvantaged children

>How do the children benefit?

Children come for a week and learn to swim in our outdoor pool, enjoy sport in the activity playground, visit the seaside, many for the first time ever, learn about the pleasures of rural life and being in the countryside.
They get psychological and emotional support.
They see a different way of life, where learning can be fun and their achievements are recognised.
They gain confidence in their own abilities and the opportunity to learn new skills in a supportive and safe environment.
They go home feeling better about themselves, growing in resilience to withstand their difficult childhoods.

>How do we know it works?

There is strong evidence that positive experiences at a young age, influence behaviour and decisions later, helping to reduce antisocial activity, teenage pregnancies, addiction and alcohol abuse.
Most of the organisations that bring children to Barton come back year after year. If it didn’t work they would not come again!

>Experiences of visitors to Barton Camp


"I felt happy and safe."
"I didn’t want to leave. It meant leaving those lovely fields and going back to a dingy old street. It meant a lot to me. We were all poor, from different parts of Bristol. We were all welcome"
"The best things about Barton Camp are the swimming pool, the park and the roast dinners!"
"I changed my attitude and behaviour after Barton Camp. I wanted to give my parents something back because they paid for me to go and it was hard for them."
Quotes made by children who have visited Barton Camp and heads of disadvantaged schools.


"We had two girls who never spoke a word to anyone. At Barton they relaxed, had fun in the pool, started talking in sentences"
"The children need to know that there is another way of living, some of them are living in extreme conditions. If they see a better life they can aim for a better life. We go down to the Camp and we live!"
"Barton Camp is a haven. They won’t be threatened by other children or their parents"
"Teaching troubled children is best done in the morning. After lunch they start to dread going home. Their concentration wanes. One day of study at Barton Camp is the equivalent of 3-4 days in the classroom. The effect on performance in the classroom is extreme"