The Calvert Trust

Its funny how you can stunble across things as you bumble through life.

I was half watching CountryFile as I prepared dinner yesterday. At they end of the programme there was a trailer for something called Thrillseeker and the website address was flashed up. Wondering what this was about and whether or not there might be something of interest for me – I quite fancy trying out a climbing wall – I logged on late last night.

As I navigated around this BBC website I noticed several links to other websites promoting outdoor activities for people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties. One of these was the Calvert Trust. Thinking I had come across this organisation before but not really sure I clicked through.

I might have heard of the Trust but I certainly haven’t seen the website before which is wonderfully comprehensive and I would urge you to check out. You can find their overall aim nicely summarised on the homepage – “Accessible outdoor activity breaks and courses for people with disabilities, together with their families and friends.” A more comprehensive statement of their aims can be found here.

They have three centres:

  • Calvert Trust Exmoor
  • Calvert Trust Kielder
  • The Lake District Calvert Trust

Each centre offers various activities including:

  • Climbing (indoors and outdoors)
  • Abseiling
  • Horse Riding and Trap Driving
  • Canoeing/kayaking/Canoe rafting
  • Sailing
  • Hill Walking
  • Orienteering (indoors and outdoors)
  • Swimming
  • Ghyll Scrambling
  • Hand CyclingLand Yachting
  • Archery
  • Challenge/Ropes Courses
  • Trapeze and Swing
  • Caving
  • Zipwire
  • Golf buggies
  • King swing
  • Problem Solving and Team Work Challenges

Again, dependent on which centre you chose, there are different types of accomodation. For instance at Kielder you can choose from:

  • Activity Breaks at the Main Centre
  • Respite Care with activities at the Main Centre
  • Self Catered accomadation

What really resonated with me was this comment I read on the site from the mum of a young lady with Down’s syndrome called Lauren. Lauren and her family had visited the Calvert Trust Exmoor Centre on a bursary with her mum, dad and brother.

“One of the most unexpected gains from our stay at Calvert Trust was my utter surprise at how unusual it felt – how odd – and how wonderful, to stand back and actually watch Lauren doing something, without me being constantly with her.

Now that’s respite.

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