It’s 2 silvers for Calvert Trust Exmoor at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2019
The centre is celebrating after winning twice at the Visit Devon Tourism awards on 28th November. We were awarded silver in both the Active and Sporting Experience of the Year category and the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award category.
Calvert Trust Exmoor are thrilled to be recognised by the judging panel as key members of the Devon tourism trade. “It’s a big step for accessible tourism when a small centre and charity such as ourselves can win awards like these,” says Mike Gray, CEO of the Trust.
“To be considered one of the leading holiday destinations in Devon, alongside some of the biggest names and attractions in the county, is personally very moving and a positive for disability holidays.”
“We would like to say thank you to Visit Devon for recognising that people with disabilities can and should visit Devon as a holiday destination. Also thank you to all our guests for your continued support, you make what we do so worthwhile,” Mike adds.
“There are so many sporting and activity-based locations around Devon that could have been finalists, so we were very pleased to be finalists,” says Hannah Furber, Sales and Marketing manager.
“But unlike other places, we are also a charity who rely on donations to function. The money we receive goes towards bursary funding for guests and helps us maintain our facilities. If anyone would like to kindly donate to the charity, please call 01598 763221.”
We welcome thousands of disabled guests every year from all over the country. Those with behavioural, learning, sensory and physical disabilities, alongside their families, friends and carers, enjoy time at our fully accessible centre doing a range of exciting outdoor activities. We also runs school residentials for disabled students and their teachers.
Guests enjoy accessible canoeing, bike riding, horse riding, zip-wiring, abseiling, climbing and much more. Their stay includes accommodation, dining and evening entertainment whilst bringing about personal achievements, increasing confidence and growing friendships.
All of this adds up to make us one of the top places for disabled people to visit in Devon and the South West of England. Why not discover the Calvert Experience yourself by booking a break?
The 2020 London Marathon
Philip, Neil, Linda, Jenny, Roy and Liz, are running the 2020 London Marathon on behalf of Calvert Trust Exmoor.
They are each entering the marathon for the first time and have generously decided to sponsor Calvert Trust Exmoor, a charity who provide life-changing opportunities for those with disabilities.
On 13th September the runners met at the Calvert centre to discuss their motivation, training and fundraising plans whilst enjoying drinks and the views of Wistlandpound Reservoir.
Philip, who lives in Croyde, said: “I feel extremely lucky to participate in an event that is on many bucket lists. Doing it for a cause makes it even sweeter. Everyone should have the opportunity to be active. In my mind, physical health is essential for mental health. Helping Calvert fulfil their mission is a blessing.”
Neil, from Barnstaple, said he is “very excited and honoured to have been given the opportunity to support the wonderful work done at Calvert Trust Exmoor.” He will be getting his children involved with fundraising, adding that they will be hosting family cycle rides and walks alongside bingo and quiz nights.
Linda, when asked how she felt when offered a marathon place, expressed that she will be running for her step-dad, who has always supported her. “My stomach did a few turns and my hands were shaking! I couldn’t believe I finally had a London Marathon place. It’s been on my bucket list for years.”
Jenny, who plans to raise money by hosting a ‘new to you’ clothes sale plus raffles and craft shows, has been trying to enter the marathon for 15 years. “I was so happy that finally I had got a place. It had been my one dream to one day run and finally it has come true” she said.
Roy, of Chittlehampton, added that he was quite simply “over the moon” to be running the marathon and raising money for a good cause.
Liz, also from Croyde, said she has had an “excellent working relationship with Calvert Trust Exmoor over many years and I love the excellent support they give to its service users and their families. I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon and am thrilled to be running for such a worthwhile charity.”
We’ll be keeping you up to date with their progress every step of the way!
The 2019 London Marathon
On the 28th April 2019, 6 runners tackled the 26.2 miles on behalf of Calvert Trust Exmoor. Thanks to Jo, Nicholas, Jessica, David, Brandon and Colin for raising over £9000 – which we’re aiming to improve on in 2020.
In the build-up, the group fundraising through bingo sessions, sponsored treadmill runs, musical evenings, cake sales, and they collected money from work colleagues.
On the day itself, everyone had high spirits. Jo was caught on camera giving a wave, showing lots of enthusiasm…
Here’s Jess, holding her much deserved medal after crossing the finishing line…
Plus Jo celebrating with hers after doing everyone proud. She raised over £2000 via a Justgiving page…
Colin, who entered through a Ballot place, decided to fundraise for the charity and trained by running around our reservoir…
And finally, Nick who also raised over £2000…
Jess had the following to say about the experience…
“This is the first time I have got really involved with charity work and supporting Calvert Trust Exmoor has been such an amazing and rewarding experience. The support they have given me with my fundraising has been incredible and I would just like to say thank you to the team for this. I have been invited up to the centre a few times and I can really see where the money that has been raised is needed and how important it is. Running the London Marathon has been one of the best experience I have ever done and the hard work has been worth it for this amazing charity.”
Whilst Jo added…
“It was such a privilege to run the London Marathon for a fantastic local charity, seeing the amazing work they do really inspired me to put my heart and soul into training and fundraising. The support was lovely, they came to all our events and kept us updated with news about the marathon.”
The Big Issue magazine has featured Calvert Trust Exmoor in a summer holiday special. Issue number 1366, dated 8th July, was entitled ‘Let’s Go Outside’.
It featured a piece called Make outdoors great again: The charities empowering us all to go wild – in which we made an appearance.
For this Big Issue mention, we discuss how charities are helping those with disabilities and unfortunate circumstances make the most of the summer and nature.
The piece highlights that “studies show outdoor time lowers blood pressure, improves short-term memory and helps the body fight off illnesses. A King’s College London study even found that hearing birdsong improves mental wellbeing.“
But added that “not everyone can take a stroll through the countryside when they feel like it” and many children do not have access to the outdoors or adventure activities.
This is where we come in…
The Big Issue continues with: “There’s a well-documented lack of provision to help disabled people enjoy the outdoors – but the Calvert Trust is changing that. The charity takes people with physical, behavioural, sensory and learning disabilities on outdoor adventure holidays that help them build self-confidence and gain greater independence.
Hannah, our sales and marketing manager, is quoted as saying: “People with and without disabilities motivate each other to do new things. Some guests struggle to communicate their feelings [but] the emotion, exhilaration and achievement felt during activities are clear. It’s what you can do that counts.”
The text then adds: “At Exmoor (guests) can try horse riding, canoeing, abseiling and climbing using adapted equipment. While getting their adrenalin pumping participants also make new friends, learn new skills and boost their physical and mental wellbeing. “By the time they leave, our guests have created wonderful memories and accomplished far more than they had ever dreamed possible,” Furber adds.”
Finally, The Big Issue quotes one of our guest case studies – a story about Gemma, who has cerebral palsy. Part of which includes:
“Even as a full-time wheelchair user, all the activities were achievable. There was no onlooking for Gemma,” her mum said. “It was a brilliant weekend. Gemma enjoyed every moment of it, whether cheering others on during activities, in the forest learning bushcraft skills and toasting marshmallows over the fire.”
Read the full article, featuring more of the case study and examples of other charities doing wonderful work.
Thanks to The Big Issue for including Calvert Trust Exmoor.
Volunteers wanted…we need your help!
We are looking for volunteers who might be able to give us a couple of hours of their time to come along and support our fabulous local charity, through helping us with our collection tin fundraising outside supermarkets in Barnstaple, North Devon.
There are dates in October, November and December 2019 – so if you would like to get involved, please get in touch.
We require volunteers continually throughout each day, so as little or as much time as you can spare would be brilliant! If you are an individual, couple or a group/club we would love your help and support.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Discovery Community Fund have awarded Calvert Trust Exmoor bursary funds to aid those with autism and their families in Somerset for holidays at the centre…
The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund has generously awarded Calvert Trust Exmoor £60,000 over four years…
Everyone who visits our centre in North Devon enjoys a real experience with us, creating memories and a story to come away with!
Experiences such as:
- The joys of participating in our activities and using the facilities during a first-time visit
- Overcoming a seemingly impossible personal challenge
- Making new friends and seeing new Devon sights
- Spending time with family in a stimulating but relaxed environment
We all see the world in different ways, and our guests come to us for many reasons – it all adds up to unique and personal Calvert Trust Exmoor Experiences for each guest.
We’d love to hear your Calvert Trust Exmoor Experiences over social media
Let us know about the activities you did, the joys and achievements you felt, and the memories you have of your time with us.
Here are some Calvert Trust Exmoor Experiences we’ve received in the past for some inspiration:
The Gee family, including young Lucas who has Global Development Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder…
“Lucas loved everything, especially the horses and crate stack. We all enjoyed it together. It was brilliant to have an opportunity to do something different together that we wouldn’t normally get to do.
His face lit up doing the different activities, although he’s non-verbal we could see he was enjoying it, he was very smiley and laughed a lot. Since coming back from Calvert Trust Exmoor, Lucas has seemed more ‘chilled’; we are already planning our next trip to the centre!”
Claire visited with her son Scott who has Autism…
“We both relaxed, and it allowed us to rebuild our relationship. It felt very safe there. We are both more positive, with lots of ideas to try, and a changed approach to life.”
Sally, her son Adam and her partner Mark. Adam has Corpus Callosum (ACC), Global Developmental Delay, sensory processing difficulties, and physical difficulties. He is also non-verbal…
“We hadn’t had a holiday for years; we struggle to find anything Adam can do, and end up just doing the same things we would do at home but in a different place! Adam loves being outdoors and he’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so Calvert Trust Exmoor sounded ideal for him.
I can’t put into words how much this break has meant to us, we had the most amazing week. Adam did activities we never thought possible and we have shared so many special moments that I will treasure forever; being in a sailing boat, alone with just Adam with no restraints or chair, was very special.
It is truly a very special place, somewhere we could be ourselves and celebrate Adam’s differences instead of apologising for them.”
Derek and Elaine, husband and wife. Derek, who is in his 80s, has had Vascular Dementia for several years…
“Our first activity at Calvert Trust Exmoor was the horses; from the moment we went into the stables Derek woke up, was interactive and able to hold conversations, and loved every second of his time with the horses.
We had a wonderful week and were ‘on a high’ when we left; it was wonderful to have some time together as husband and wife again, rather than just being his carer.
It was like I had suddenly got the old Derek back. I think this stimulation of being at Calvert Trust Exmoor unlocked something and restored some of his brain function.”
We are very pleased to have once again been accredited as 5 stars by Visit England…