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 16 members and supporters for an activity weekend at the Lake District Calvert Trust on Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July 2023.
We met up at the Calvert Trust at 4pm and 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 the largest group there that weekend we were granted exclusive use of the Lower Byre.
A tasty dinner was served at 6pm and we then had exclusive use of the swimming pool for an hour, before retiring to the games room for a few drinks, a quiz, 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. The original plan had been to split into two groups – one going catamaran sailing for the day, whilst the others went to the stables in the morning and did bushcraft in the afternoon. Unfortunately the catamaran was unavailable so one group went sailing on Bassenthwaite Lake whilst the other went horse riding.
The two-hour session at the Riding Stables involved activities such as grooming and horse care and also gave members the chance to ride a horse.
A strong and gusty wind allowed for some lively sailing for those that ventured on to the water.
Both groups teamed up in the afternoon for bushcraft. We were taught how to light fires and had the opportunity to cook our own bread and toast marshmallows – a messy experience for some. We returned at about 4pm and those that wanted to had the opportunity to go to the swimming pool again.
We met up again over the evening meal and members exchanged stories about their adventures. Those members that still had energy left were able to participate in a social evening held in the games room – a few more drinks, another quiz and more banter.
Sunday morning and once again it was an early start and another change to the plan. The Calvert Lake staff decided that for safety reasons it was too windy to go canoeing as originally planned for some so, once again, the two groups joined together to do a walk /push. The route chosen was the very scenic Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail. We started at the Threlkeld end of the trail and walked the route of the old railway, over bridges and through tunnels, until arriving at Fitz Park in Keswick. We finished at Café West where we had the opportunity to enjoy a tea/coffee/hot chocolate and snack.
Our members should be congratulated for the enthusiasm and determination that they displayed throughout the weekend. For some 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. It was 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.
The cost of the weekend was partially offset by a Keswick Bridge bursary arranged 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 well run weekend of activities, and for accommodating and adapting to the needs of our members. This was very much appreciated by all.
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 and can also be viewed in the slideshow below.