Three north London mums kept their fundraising skills under wraps to raise almost £700 for Camp Simcha this week.

Anita Rietti, Judy Silkoff and Sara Benbassat hosted a head scarf wrapping demonstration evening to raise money for the charity, which supported Anita after her daughter was born with a life-threatening heart condition nearly five years ago.

Her daughter Batya defied the doctor’s predictions that she would probably not make it to full-term and, at best, be alive for a few minutes. Batya gave her parents 15 precious months with her.

Anita said: “Camp Simcha, which supports families with seriously ill children, kicked into action 3 days after Batya was born. Their team of incredible staff and tireless volunteers would stay with Batya in hospital, giving us time to run back home and tend to our other children. Volunteer ‘Big Brothers’ or ‘Sisters’ also supported my other children, entertaining them and joining us at family retreat days, theatre trips and outings.

“I look back and I marvel how far as a family we have come, and I know that it was only with Camp Simcha by our side that we came through it.”

Last year Anita and her husband Benji joined a Camp Simcha fundraising challenge through the Grand Canyon.

Anita said that this year she was searching for another way to give back to the charity.
“I wanted to do something original but also something I felt comfortable organising. I came up with the idea of hosting an evening for a targeted audience of women, showing them how to wrap head scarves; and then my friends Judy and Sara helped me make it a reality.
“We had about 50 women, with a buffet cocktails, cupcakes and a raffle – all in a very relaxed atmosphere with Judy demonstrating different ways to wrap scarves around their hair. There was a big selection of colourful scarves so that ladies could have a go themselves after.

“It was a lovely evening, where guests had fun and also learnt a bit more about the charity which did so much for my family,” says Anita.

“Camp Simcha brought a sense of calm to our otherwise beautiful, yet volatile journey; gently offering what we needed when we ourselves couldn’t even think of what that was. That is the simple reason why my family and I continue to try to give something back to the charity that rekindled the light when it went out for us, to help ensure they can do the same for other families.”