The Lake District Calvert Trust is a residential outdoor centre, specialising in activity courses for people with disabilities, their friends, family members and/or colleagues. The Calvert Trust’s 60-bed centre is based just 4 miles out of Keswick in the heart of the Lake District, close to the shores of the beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake. Bedrooms, mostly configured for 2 or 3 occupants, have accessible en-suite wet-rooms with shower chairs and the centre can provide portable hoists and profiling, raisable beds if required. The centre also has an on-site hydrotherapy pool, a sensory room and a games room which are free to use during the evenings.
Headway North Cumbria took a group of 24 members and supporters for an activity weekend at the Lake District Calvert Trust on Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 2019.
Those travelling by minibus departed the Morton Community Centre, Carlisle, at 15:00 to meet up at the Calvert Trust at 16:00 with those that were travelling under their own arrangements. We were greeted warmly by our hosts at the Calvert Trust, allocated our accommodation for the weekend, introduced to our instructors and given a tour of the site. As we were the largest group there that weekend we were granted exclusive use of the Farmhouse as well as three rooms in the Lower Byre.
Dinner was served at 18:00 and we then had exclusive use of the swimming pool for an hour, before retiring to the games room for a few hands of cards, a game of pool and the usual banter.
An early start on Saturday morning (earlier than some would have liked) with a hearty cooked breakfast served at 08:30 to fuel us for the day’s activities. Activity courses are run in groups of up to 12 people and so our group was split into two for the day.
Group 1 went off to Windermere for catamaran sailing. They had a full day out with the opportunity to sail and steer the boat and moor up for a picnic lunch at Wray Castle – a gothic revival building on the shores of Windermere.
Group 2 had a morning of bushcraft on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake followed by an afternoon on a lakeland walk/push in Dodd Wood above the Calvert Trust centre. During the bushcraft session members spent time learning about the natural world, lighting a fire, boiling water and cooking marshmallows. During the walk/push the group enjoyed the beautiful lakeland scenery overlooking Bassensthwaite Lake and some members were fortunate enough to see an osprey in flight. At the Lake District Osprey Project lower viewing point we were invited to look through telescopes to view the platform created for the ospreys to nest on. It was wonderful to see an Osprey on her nest.
After a busy day of activities the groups met up again over the evening meal and exchanged stories about their adventures. The branch also took the opportunity to acknowledge the birthday of one of our members with an excellent birthday cake very kindly made for us by the catering staff at the Calvert Trust. Those members that still had energy left were able to participate in a social evening held in the games room.
Sunday morning and once again it was an early start. Two activities for each group today with Group 1 going to the stables followed by sailing, and Group 2 canoeing in the morning and on the zip wire in the afternoon.
The two hour session at the Riding Stables gave members the chance to ride a horse – the first time for some of them. The group were also involved in other horse related activities such as grooming, horse care, and learning about horse behaviour and body language. A good and steady wind allowed for some lively sailing in the afternoon.
The windy conditions proved a little challenging for Group 2 who were canoeing on Bassenthwaite Lake in rafted canoes or double kayaks during the morning. The choppy conditions meant that everyone got wet and some bailing out of the canoes was necessary! The zipwire through the trees at the centre was popular with some “showing off” during the descent.
Our members should be congratulated for the enthusiasm and determination that they displayed throughout the weekend. For many the activities were new and challenging but they threw themselves into the sessions with good spirit and humour. It was great to see the group coming together across the weekend and helping each other out where necessary. The atmosphere was great and the weekend provided the opportunity for members to get to know each other better – a great team building opportunity.
The weekend certainly seems to have been enjoyed and appreciated by participants and many will have personal achievements to celebrate. Although tiring the weekend energised many of our members – a number of which were keen to share their experiences with other Headway North Cumbria members during our Day Centre session the next day.
The cost of the weekend was offset by bursary funding through the Calvert Trust which was very much appreciated.
We would like to thank all the staff at the Lake District Calvert Trust for providing a slick and seamless weekend of activities that were very well organised and much appreciated by the members. We would also like to thank Cumbria Community Transport for providing a minibus for the weekend.
A selection of photographs and selfies taken by our members during the weekend can be found in the gallery in the Photo Album called Lake District Calvert Trust Activity Weekend and can also be viewed in the slideshow below.