Kingswood Camp Isle of Wight horror story - BEWARE(16 Posts)
My son (10yo) went to Kingswood (previously CampBeaumont) last summer at the Isle of Wight, it was horrific. He called me on the first night at 4am homesick and it sounded like a funfair, all the boys were awake. He was put in a room with boys much older than him, he got bullied and assaulted (whipped with a metal belt by a 14yo) on the third night, racially abused and Kingswood staff covered it up. It went on so long (circa 1am) he filmed it on his phone. He went to get help but no staff were around, he had to get help from the older boys (15-16yos). The staff ultimately intimidated him to remove the video footage on his phone claiming "child protection issues" but in my view to cover up their blatant lack of care and availability to the children. They went further to remove him from camp (I had to pick him up on the Thursday of a sun-sun booking), they told me nothing of the assault(s) it was only when my son, sobbing all the way home, told me about the attack and the video and I checked iCloud and his trash can and found tons of it. The boys using his phone night after night filming as late as 3am, 4am in the morning. Then final footage my son took of him gettin abused and assault none of which did Kingswood tell me about. They just said he was banging on doors in the early hours ( which he did when he was looking for help and the staff was not available). On the end of the video footage you can hear a member of staff finally come into the room when my 10yo son was weeping in pain on the floor after being whipped by a 14yo. He knew exactly what helped because everyone else in the room told him what had happened, but Kingswood staff chose to cover up a crime and intimidate a child in doing so. I had to go to the police eventually as Kingswood chose to call my bluff in that I didn't have the footage which they believed had been deleted. The child who had whipped my son had been left to continue his holiday and his parents were non the wiser whereas my son was left traumatised and thinking he was a criminal.
I also reported to OFSTED but I've now found out that commercial organisations, even residential ones, who look after children over 8 are not bound by any regulatory body including OFSTED. They are just advised to join voluntarily. Therefore although the child assaulted my son, Kingswood does not get brought to task!!! That was such a shock to me. I sent my child in good faith expecting a standard of provision of service and duty of care. I've dropped charges on the boy because his parents were as shocked as I was and I don't wish to criminalise a sleep deprived silly ignorant child, but I'm furious Kingswood will keep packing kids in like sardines in my view to make lots of money and provide minimum service.
I'm sorry for what happened to your son, but why are you posting this now? Has anything else occurred to trigger your post?
Gosh that sounds horrific! How did you get the footage if the staff got him to delete it?
I assume it is posted now as it took a while for all enquiries to conclude?
Tbh I would have pressed charges, whipping with a belt is horrendous. And at 14 they would know the damage that would inflict.
I'm so sorry to hear this and I hope that your son is doing ok now.
I don't really understand your reasons for dropping the charges. I'm not sure a child hitting another one with a metal belt is "silly". Did the police advise on any action against Kingswood?
You shouldn't have dropped the charges. Now, nothing has been proved and the site can go on as before.
That sounds terrible!
I can see why (being generous) you might not want the 14yo to be charged, but the Camp have surely done something criminal? They have concealed child abuse!! Have the police charged them? Will they? I'd really be pressing for that if I were you. If the police won't bring charges, can you take civil action against them? And then get it in the papers when it's all over!
I also had a problem with inadequate safeguarding at a different Kingswood camp, but there was nothing I could do as DS did not actually come to harm, plus it was just before the camp was bought by Beaumont.... I can only assume the management is terrible!?
I'm v shocked by OFSTED not being responsible for commercial organisations with kids over 8. Surely someone must be??
^ yes, personally I would not have dropped charges against the 14yo either. He sounds sadistic!
It's taken this long for correspondence with Kingswood and Police to pan out.
Hence I've posted now. The police have said theirs no action they can take against Kingswood I have to persue with child services bodies and it's been a mind field trying to unravel who and what organisation should be dealing with this. any ideas welcome.
I have a full time job and am a single mum and preping my DS for secondary school applications and entrance exams took priority for a bit. I will be pursuing in the civil court where I can as this has affected my son especially when he's meant to trust adults to protect him.
He deleted as directed but he hadn't delete it from his trash folder so I was to restore
Tbh I find it hard to believe the police that there is no action you can take. Have you spoken to a good lawyer? Would you reconsider pressing charges against the boy?
I've been on to the local safeguarding service and they've questioned the polices actions and are looking into it.
Interesting. My DD's school took a year group on a residential to a Kingswood facility for two years in a row. Parents were not very happy the second time round even before the trip went ahead. The DC who went on the trip came back with video footage of the rooms/facilities and that particular residential was dropped pretty fast.
Call the IOW duty team at Children's Services. Insist on speaking to a duty social worker. It's within their remit. Major safeguarding concerns. Don't let people pass you from pillar to post so everyone gets to wash their hands of it.
Believe me, they will have had other complaints. Maybe they will be forced to take some action this time.
You should also consider contacting the local papers there who may be interested in investigating further...
Hat happened yet the police let Y OU decide that the charges were to be dropped?
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