In May 2018, a 10-strong group, including teachers, visited from Montacute School in Poole, Dorset. All six students who came, like many of our visitors, have a severe learning disability and some also had physical disabilities and additional medical needs.
The group, however, had one stand-out difference from other visitors: they were here to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The school chose to come to Calvert Trust Exmoor for the residential element of the Award because, as their teacher Ruth Payne explained, “Most of our participants in the DofE Award scheme need additional care, accessible accommodation and assisted catering to meet their medical needs and to keep them safe.”
During the mid-week break, the students threw themselves into our challenging activities with gusto. Visit organizer, Rupert Meadway, said afterwards: “The activities gave all the students the opportunity to experience personal challenge at their individual levels of ability.”
“The centre also provided great opportunities to socialise with a range of different people – some students struck up friendships with other young people and all enjoyed spending time with the centre staff, too.
“The visit surpassed their expectations and those of our staff. The environment and accommodation were fantastic, and all the Calvert Trust staff were very attentive and happy to adjust to meet our needs” he added.
A year after their visit to Calvert Trust Exmoor, the students met up once again – this time at Buckingham Palace, for the Awards ceremony.
“The students forged such strong friendships at Calvert Trust, and when they met up again at Buckingham Palace in May 2019, they were reminiscing about their trip – the horses, climbing, archery – it was a joy!” Rupert added.