Helping Hands is a program that strives to provide an integrated camp experience for children that benefit from additional supports in camp.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands is a program that strives to provide a positive, integrated day camp experience for children and youth with differing abilities who require additional support in camp. A limited number of spaces and days are available for those requiring a helping hand in a smaller ratio. Families who are applying for subsidy from the Niagara Region should first complete the subsidy process for Helping Hands prior to contacting the YMCA. The fee for Helping Hands is $50 per day. For details on how to register, please contact the Day Camp office at or 905-934-9755 ext. 280.

Does your child need one-on-one support at camp? Please assess your needs using the following criteria:

  • Extra support is needed in school.
  • Additional support or assistance is required for basic care (eg. toileting, feeding and changing)
  • A physical, developmental and/or learning disability exists that affects the safety of the participant or that of other program participants.
  • The participant is currently associated with a support agency.

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions or if you are unsure if your child requires one to one support, please contact the Helping Hands team at 905-934-9755 ext. 280 before November 11 to confirm the accessibility of the program location, special requirements you may have, if a Helping Hands Counsellor is required, and the suitability of the camp.  A member of our Helping Hands team will do a phone intake and work with you to determine what support is required at camp.

Registration for our Helping Hands program is in high demand. The number of Helping Hands spots are limited. If no support is available, families will have the option to bring their own Independent Support Worker. Please contact the Helping Hands team at for more information on this option

If your child requires specialized supports and/or the Helping Hands program is full families have the option to hire their own Support Worker to help their child successfully participate in YMCA Day Camp.  For more information on this option please contact the Helping Hands team at a minimum of one month prior to the first day of camp.

Winter Break intake will open on November 11, 2019 at 9am by emailing

Community Living

In Port Colborne-Wainfleet and Fort Erie, the YMCA of Niagara partners with Community Living to offer children with intellectual challenges that are supported by the agency additional support in camp.  For more information, please contact:

Port Colborne Wainfleet – Rita Smith, 905-835-8941 ext. 135

Fort Erie – Andria Willick, 905-871-6770 ext. 240