Devon is blessed with some of the most amazing countrysides in the UK. From rivers and woodlands to seaside walks, there is something for everyone to see and enjoy.
You might imagine climbing over turnstiles and manoeuvring across rocky outcrops when you think of trails in Devon, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many North Devon trials are completely accessible to those with mobility limitations and steps are being taken to try to improve those that aren’t.
Make the most of your accessible holiday in Devon and give one of these stunning trails a visit.
Wistlandpound Reservoir, Exmoor
Not only is Wistlandpound the site for our amazing canoeing activities, but it also offers wheelchair and accessible paths around the reservoir.
With astounding views across the reservoir, this trail promises a beautiful day with plenty of birds and wildlife to see and enjoy.
Image Credit: Philip Halling via wikicommons
The Tarka Trail
Named after the famous Otter, Tarka, from Henry Williamson’s novel, this trial is a 180-mile figure of eight that is frequented by walkers and cyclists alike.
A haven for local wildlife, the Tarka Trail offers some of the most beautiful woodland and riverside walks in all of North Devon.
Much of the trail is surfaced for wheels with the only traffic being cyclists. Parking is available along most of the trail but it is worth noting there is no wheelchair access ar either Landcross or Loxdown.
Image Credit: Rod Allday via wikicommons
Baggy Point, Croyde
Baggy Point is a headland in North Devon that overlooks one of Devon’s most popular surfing and holiday destinations.
The car park at Baggy Point is owned by the National Trust and offers both disabled parking and a disabled toilet.
The trail itself is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in length and is level to allow visitors of all abilities to enjoy the sweeping cliffside views.
If you’re interested in finding accessible beaches in North Devon, check out our blog.
Image Credit: Row17 via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking for a short and serene walk, then why not check out the trails at Arlington Court. Built in the 1820s, Arlington Court is a stunning neoclassical style country house now turned museum owned by the National Trust.
Arlington Court has over 20-miles worth of trails to walk and explore across the estate, but perhaps the most popular is the lakeside walk. This 2-mile trail runs through wooded pathways alongside the lake and is tramper friendly. Trampers can even be hired from Arlington Court by contacting their reception team.
Image Credit: Roger A Smith via WikiMedia commons
Marine Drive to Putsborough
Woolacombe is an award-winning destination for family holidays and draws in tourists from across the country to enjoy its fantastic views and golden sands. It’s also home to some of the best coastline trails in North Devon, including the Tarka Trail from Morthoe to Ilfracombe.
The level trail from Marina Drive to Putsborough is perfect for both wheelchair and tramper users alike. With stunning views from Baggy Point to Morte Point and all the way out to Lundy Island, this 2-mile trail is a must for anyone staying in North Devon.
As facilities go, there is a car park at either end of this trail with accessible toilets as well. Putsborough has a cafe that’s open from April to October and from Marine Drive, you have access to everything that Woolacombe has to offer.
There is so much of Devon for you to see and explore and we hope this list helps you to make the most of your holiday!
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we offer a range of activities for both children and adults. To find out more about our accessible breaks, get in touch by calling 01598 763221 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Expect: Canoeing at Calvert Trust Exmoor
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we pride ourselves in offering a vast range of activities for our guests to enjoy that they might not be able to experience elsewhere. Perhaps one of the most popular of these activities is taking to the water in our specialised canoes.
Not only do we hold the British Canoeing Quality Mark, but we also have exclusive use of the surface of Wistlandpound Reservoir, a beautiful haven just on the edge of Exmoor National Park.
If you’re looking for specialised holidays for people with disabilities, please get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you make some memories.
Accessible Canoeing at Calvert Trust
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as being out on the water, and thanks to our specialist equipment, it’s an experience that everyone can enjoy.
With our selection of hoists and an innovative accessible pontoon that provides easy access for wheelchair users, we’re able to adapt every canoeing experience to the individual. We also have a designated boathouse at the edge of the water where we provide all relevant safety equipment, including buoyancy aids.
In order to make sure everyone is as comfortable as can be, your instructor will get to know everyone in their group and their specific needs. We ensure that everyone has the room they need whether it’s a space, a seat on the wooden beams or perhaps a beanbag depending on the individual’s needs.
Our guests have also been big fans of the endless hot chocolate we provide while out on the water!
Why Choose Canoeing at Calvert Trust
All of the activities we offer come with their own range of benefits, and canoeing is no exception.
Not only does the peace and quiet of the reservoir offer our guests a brilliant opportunity to relax, but canoeing is also a fantastic sensory experience for individuals of all ages and abilities. It can also be an exhilarating and exciting experience where our guests are also able to improve their motor skills and even learn and develop technical skills.
We try and encourage everyone to have a go at paddling to really get their heart racing! If there’s more than one canoe, then groups are also able to race, play games and play catch with balls across the water.
Tips For First Time Canoers
Here are some tips for first-time canoers:
- Go with the flow – It’s not a race. Go at a pace you feel comfortable with and really take in the natural wonder of Wistlandpound all around you.
- You’re in good hands – Our canoes are not your typical individual canoe. They are specifically designed and adapted by fixing two canoes together with metal bars so it’s impossible to capsize them. The instructor will be there the entire time to ensure everyone is safe and having fun.
- It’s okay to be nervous – Taking on a new challenge is always a little scary and that’s okay! Just know that we are there to support you and make sure you enjoy yourself!
If you’re interested in booking an accessible holiday, or you want to know more about the activities we have to offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
5 Free Apps to Help Cope with Anxiety
Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed are not uncommon and should not go unaddressed. Many of us experience anxiety and stress, especially during times of uncertainty and change – how can we manage these feelings and develop a more healthy mindset?
As a Devon charity and trust, here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we understand how important it is to address mental health struggles and support each other. This is why we have collated some great apps and free resources to help you cope with anxiety and learn some skills to rest and relax the mind even when that feels like an uphill battle.
If you are experiencing more severe issues, please consult a mental healthcare professional.
For more advice, you can also refer to our blog on places you can turn to when you need support:
Developed as a joint project from the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, this app is a simple mood diary, allowing you to record your changing moods and feelings.
By tracking how your feelings shift, the app aims to teach you how to manage anxiety and stress, illustrating new ways to view problems and develop positive ways of coping.
Through questions and guidance, Catch It supports you as you make sense of your moods – users have described how useful this can often be when trying to feel calmer.
This free app hosts a library of guided meditations designed to help users relax and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
The guided sessions are led by world-renowned mindfulness experts and psychologists. You will also have access to thousands of music tracks and ambient soundscapes to help you fall asleep or quiet your mind.
There are more than 1,500 meditations tailored specifically to dealing with anxiety.
Stress & Anxiety Companion
This one is great for individuals with mild to moderate anxiety and stress levels.
With techniques built around cognitive behavioural therapy, the app uses an array of breathing exercises, mindfulness games and relaxing music designed to help you set positive goals and routines and manage problematic thinking.
The Stress & Anxiety Companion is all about helping you identify why you’re feeling anxious or stressed and learning how to manage these negative thoughts.
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM)
This engaging and practical app is a helpful resource for those that want to confront their anxiety and really learn how to manage it.
SAM helps you understand the causes behind your anxiety and gives you tools to monitor changing moods, thoughts and behaviours.
Through the various available self-help exercises and reflections, you can learn how to develop healthy thought patterns and actions.
This free app is designed to help users cope with depression, anxiety, stress and more.
With a range of cognitive behaviour therapy and acceptance commitment therapy methods, the app provides actionable advice on overcoming negative thinking patterns, helps you put your feelings into perspective and gives tips on staying grounded during times of stress.
You can also use the diary to record thoughts and learn how to keep calm with effective breathing exercises.
Again, it should be noted that these apps should not be considered a replacement for professional help – but they can be great aids for boosting general mental health and wellbeing!
Taking to nature and enjoying activities outdoors can also work wonders for mental wellbeing and self-confidence. To find out more about how adventure breaks could help improve mental health, take a look at our blog below:
For more information about the Calvert Experience and the disability activities we offer, please get in touch.
Our Favourite Residential Activities
Residential trips provide an exciting escape from everyday life. The disability adventure activities available on these kinds of breaks are not only great fun but also offer new experiences that push budding adventurers out of their comfort zones.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are passionate about the fact that everyone should be able to enjoy a range of activities, no matter their abilities. We host a variety of instructor-led activities, both indoor and outdoor, for children and adults to enjoy.
Whether you’re visiting for a day or staying with us for an adventure-packed week, you’ll get the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of activities that help encourage that ‘I CAN do it’ attitude that we are always championing.
Read about some of our favourite residential activities to discover what’s possible!
Adventure Activities for Disabled People
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we provide adaptive equipment for all of our activities to support those with physical, sensory and learning disabilities to become fully immersed in each activity – whether it’s cycling or bushcraft, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into!
Our team of qualified instructors will tailor activities to individuals, ensuring that everyone can be included and supported.
The activities offered at the Calvert Experience include:
- Challenge Course
- Crate Stack
- Giant Swing
- Horse and Carriage Riding
As you can see, there’s a lot to experience – but what are some of the best activities to take part in?
This, of course, will largely come down to personal preference and what each guest enjoys. However, how enjoyable an activity is can also be based on embracing a challenge, overcoming fears and learning something new – all of which are things our activities encourage.
Abseiling at Calvert Trust Exmoor
Abseiling is a brilliant activity for those who want to challenge themselves and try something they’ve never done before.
We know that many of our guests have never tried abseiling before and understand that it can be a daunting prospect. However, this is what makes it such a great activity to experience on a trip away!
Abseiling on our all-weather wall provides a brilliant opportunity for guests to build up their confidence and facilitate a sense of achievement, as well as helping work on coordination and motor skills.
The wall and activity is fully accessible; regardless of ability and mobility level, everyone will be able to have a go.
Climbing at Calvert Trust Exmoor
Similarly, climbing is an activity that encourages guests to push themselves and enjoy something completely outside of normal, everyday activities.
When taking part in climbing activities, all of our guests are completely supported – wheelchair users and those with limited mobility can be hoisted up the wall via a harness system.
Guests with limited movement can also make their way up the wall with the support of their friends, family and group members who can help hoist them up and down – all of this offers a great opportunity to build feelings of team spirit and encouragement.
Take a look at our blog post on climbing at Calvert Trust to find out what else you can expect:
The Giant Swing at Calvert Trust Exmoor
We love this activity because it’s so much fun! Having a go on the giant swing involves being hoisted into the air and dropped in a swing, allowing individuals to plunge and soar through the air – an all-around exhilarating experience.
Being ‘dropped’ like this may sound a little alarming, but everyone will be entirely safe and secured into the adaptive harnesses.
Guests who have a go on the swing can choose how far up they are hoisted before making the drop, giving those who are more nervous a chance to experience the thrill without being taken to heights that are too uncomfortable.
The Zip Wire at Calvert Trust Exmoor
Like the giant swing, the zip wire will have you whizzing through the air – another great activity for those that love a bit of a thrill!
Again, our adaptive harnesses are designed to support everyone who wants to have a go at speeding down the zip wire.
Those that want to really make the most of the experience can have a couple of goes zipping along the wire, depending on how many people are in each group.
Canoeing at Calvert Trust Exmoor
For those who like fantastic views and a bit of peace and quiet, there’s no better activity than canoeing at Calvert Trust.
As well as specialist equipment to allow everyone to get out on the water, we also have exclusive use of the surface of Wistlandpound Reservoir. This gives us a safe and controlled environment where our guests get the most out o this experience.
Canoeing with us is a great opportunity for a unique sensory experience that also helps to improve motor skills and learn and develop technical skills.
Horse and Carriage Riding at Calvert Trust Exmoor
A trip to the countryside isn’t complete without a chance to admire the local scenery and all the animals that come with it – in this case, we of course mean our horses!
We know that most people don’t often have the opportunity to interact with horses, which is what makes this activity so special.
Guests are able to meet the different horses and ponies and learn about everything that goes into caring for them. They can also ride the horses or take a drive in the horse-drawn carriage, building up their confidence around these lovely animals.
Please note that the horse and carriage rides only take place during midweek breaks, and are not available for weekend guests.
Whether you want to huddle around the fire and toast marshmallows or head right into the action on the giant swing or abseiling wall, we’ve got something for everything to enjoy. As you can see, some of our favourite residential activities are all about embracing the short time away from everyday life and making the most of the adventure!
If you are interested in finding out more about the Calvert Experience and all the activities we offer, please get in touch.
Accessible Beaches in North Devon
North Devon has some fantastic beaches that make great must-visit spots all year round. With plenty of ice cream, a refreshing sea breeze and the sun shining down (if you’re lucky), there’s nothing quite like a relaxing meander along the Devon coastline!
Everyone, no matter their abilities, should be able to enjoy the seaside views and coastal activities that North Devon has in abundance. If you’re embarking on an accessible holiday in Devon, why not check out some of the lovely spots that we mention below?
The beach and coastal town of Westward Ho! are famed for being the only place in the UK to have an exclamation point in its name. The name comes from the book by Charles Kingsley, a popular novel from the 19th century that inspired a new wave of tourism to Bideford and the surrounding areas.
Equally as iconic as the name is the pebble ridge – the stretch of pebbles at the top of the beach that acts as a sea natural defence. This ridge makes an impressive visual spectacle but can be challenging to clamber over. For easier access down to the sandy beach below, there is a gentle slipway, giving wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility a more accessible way down.
Dogs are very welcome on the beach, but there may be some restrictions as to which areas you can take your dog during the summer months, so make sure to check the signs on arrival.
There are plenty of beachside cafes and eateries, perfect for when you need a bit of refreshment after you’ve admired the waves and sands. You will also find access to accessible toilets.
The scenery at the Saunton beaches is incredibly diverse, with vast stretches of soft sands, impressive dunes and a collection of rock pools to enjoy. The beach is popular with families, surfers and pretty much anyone who likes to spend their days making the most of the natural world around us!
There is a range of shops, food outlets and toilet facilities with accessibility before you get down to the beach via a concrete ramp. Getting from the ramp onto the beach can be more difficult as there is a small lip that leads onto very soft sand.
To make getting to the beach more accessible, the Saunton Beach shop has three Landeez beach wheelchairs and two NOMAD all-terrain wheelchair carriages available to hire on a half-day, daily or weekly basis.
Saunton is dog-friendly and only asks that you keep dogs on their lead in more heavily crowded areas like around the slipway.
The coastal town of Ilfracombe is full of unique charm, with Tunnels Beaches being one of the main attractions – aside from the 66-foot harbour-side statue of a pregnant woman designed by Damien Hurst!
Because of its stunning seas, gorgeous views and rich history, the beach here is also a popular location for weddings. It is a privately owned and maintained beach, meaning there is a small fee to enter.
Despite the dramatic views, the landscape isn’t too difficult to navigate as the tunnels after which the beach is named are either paved or concrete, and a gentle slope takes you down to the main beach.
Dogs can accompany you in the tunnels but must be kept off the beach. There are accessible toilets near the site.
Another one of North Devon’s quaint seaside towns, Woolacombe is home to three miles of glorious golden sands and lively waves. The spot that lies between Morte Point and Baggy Point is a favourite amongst families and surfers.
The beach holds many awards and is renowned for its natural beauty, cleanliness and great facilities. The beach itself is accessed by two short slopes – you can also hire an all-terrain mobility scooter or beach wheelchair from the Tourist Information Centre.
Dogs are allowed on the beach at certain times of the year and may be restricted as to where they can go. South of Mill Rock is free of restriction for your four-legged friends all year round.
Local amenities include a range of beachside cafes, pubs and shops. There are also accessible toilets available.
Just a little way off Woolacombe, you will find the scenic Croyde Bay. Set between two headlands and framed by the lush green hills of the Devon countryside, Croyde is the perfect spot to soak up spectacular views and fresh sea air.
The shore boasts fine, golden sands backed by rolling dunes. It is another popular spot for surfers and swimmers, with lots of surf schools perfect for beginners – Croyde is rated among the best surfing beaches in the world.
The easiest access to the beach can be found at the north end, where there is a short sloping path suitable for wheelchairs.
Hiring Beach Wheelchairs in North Devon
Even if there are ramps and slopes offering an easy way to get down to a beach, navigating the uneven terrain and softer sands can still present challenges if you’re using a mobility aid – this is where beach wheelchair hire comes in!
Thanks to the Countryside Mobility Scheme, many beaches and other more rural locations around North Devon are equipped to provide wheelchair hire, allowing everyone to access and admire Devon’s beautiful countryside.
To find out more about how to hire manual or electric beach wheelchairs or carriages, check out our blog below:
Many beaches will have official websites for tourists and visitors outlining their local amenities and giving more details about what to expect upon your visit. Before making your way to the beach, it can often be a good idea to get in touch with the relevant tourist information centre.
Have you been to any of these wonderful beach locations yet? Tell us about your experience on our Facebook page, or let us know if we missed your favourite spot!
Financial Support for Parents and Carers of Disabled People
For parents and other carers of disabled people, young and old, financial concerns can be a challenging reality. It is no secret that caring for someone with a disability is rewarding, but it can also be both emotionally and financially demanding.
As a carer, you owe it to yourself and those you care for to understand the kind of financial support and potential benefits that are available to you.
As a disability charity in Devon, we know how important it is to recognise the challenges faced by carers and parents of people with disabilities, especially when it comes to money. Seeking help with benefits and funding can help you cover the costs of things like accessible holidays and new specialist equipment along with practical costs of everyday life.
Getting a Carer’s Assessment
There are a number of schemes and benefits that carers of disabled people can access when seeking financial aid. If you care for someone else, you are eligible for a carer’s assessment, which will be undertaken by your local council. The test is free and can be requested by anyone over the age of 18.
Organising this assessment is often the first step to take when considering what kind of support can be given to you – whether this includes financial or practical help or both.
When you get a carer’s assessment, you could get help with:
- Housework and gardening.
- Taxi fares.
- Help with caring to give you a break.
- Specialist training and equipment to help with your role as a carer.
- Advice on benefits and for careers.
If you do qualify for this support from the council, help with finances may be included in your subsequent care and support plan. However, a further financial assessment may also be required after your initial carer’s assessment.
You can get a carer’s assessment by contacting your local council. To find out more about organising one, get in touch with them or refer to the NHS website.
As a carer, you may be entitled to a variety of monetary benefits to help with the additional costs that supporting someone with a disability can bring – especially if your role as a carer means you cannot work in full-time employment.
If your carer’s assessment deems that you are a carer and eligible for benefits, you can receive a carer’s allowance. This is a state benefit that includes £67.60 a week. This can be claimed by carers who look after someone for 35 or more hours a week and comply with the other rules of eligibility.
Other Benefits for Carers
If you are a parent of a disabled child, you can claim the disability living allowance for children, which can amount to between £23.60 and £151.40 a week.
Other state benefits like the carer’s credit and carer premium can offer some additional allowances. To find out more about claiming a carer’s allowance and other related benefits, you can go to the government website.
While a carer’s allowance can offer some relief, paying for more expensive things like outings, trips and equipment may require more extensive funding. Applying for a grant through a disability charity can prove a great option for those that need extra financial support. Most grants will not have to be paid back, unlike a loan.
Many UK charities facilitate grants – this money is used for things that cannot be provided for by the local authorities.
Turn2Us is a wonderful organisation that makes searching for potential grants and funding that bit easier. Conditions of charitable grants will be different from charity to charity, so finding the right one for you can be tricky. The Turn2US Grant Search helps narrow down the grants that you could be eligible for.
Their Benefits Calculator is another helpful tool that supports people who are trying to understand the kind of financial benefits available to them.
The Disability Grants site provides another useful database to help you discover the right aid for you and the disabled person you care for.
How to Find the Right Financial Support
As with the facilitation of grants and funding, there are plenty of organisations out there that offer resources and advice on finding the right avenue for financial support.
The kind of aid you need may often depend on your individual situation, so make sure to take advantage of all the available resources.
Support for the Person Your Caring For
Making sure the person you care for also has access to the financial and social care they are entitled to can help alleviate some of the pressures on you.
The person you care for may be able to claim disability benefits, so make sure to look into this along with the potential benefits that you yourself can apply for.
Struggling with money as a carer can be isolating, but it’s important to recognise that there is support for those that need it. As a parent or carer of a disabled person, you should not have to worry over money on top of everyday stressors.
Supporting people with disabilities and their families is at the heart of what we do. Find out more about our bursary options to discover how you could be supported when organising an accessible activity holiday to Calvert Trust Exmoor.
For more information about The Calvert Experience, please get in touch with our friendly team.
Celebrating Carers Week
It’s Carers Week – the perfect time to show your support for carers and the valuable work they do! This is something we should always strive to do, but a dedicated week provides great opportunities to learn, listen and make impactful change in your community.
Like many Devon charities and trusts, here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we know how important it is to give recognition to the vital role of a carer – something that is too often taken for granted. So, what does Carers Week involve, and how can you celebrate it?
What is Carers Week?
Every year, the Carers Week campaign aims to highlight and uplift the work done by carers across the country. The 2021 campaign takes place this week, between Monday 7th and Sunday 13th of June.
As a result of the pandemic, more people have been taking on care roles, and gaining additional support has become more challenging. So, it is now more important than ever that we prop up the often unheard voices of carers. This year, the campaign focuses specifically on unpaid carers, making them more visible and helping them feel more valuable.
Every year, individuals and organisations come together to provide support, run activities and raise awareness for this worthy cause.
Why Should We Celebrate Carers?
According to carersweek.org, 6.5 million people in the UK are classified as carers. The responsibilities of a carer are varied; whether this means caring for an older family member or supporting someone with a mental or physical disability.
It is often a demanding role, fraught with challenges – celebrating carers is all about recognising these challenges and putting systems in place to facilitate the necessary support.
Being a carer is incredibly rewarding, but it is not without its difficulties. Prioritising education and helping people understand what constitutes being a carer and their contributions to individuals and communities is one of the ways we can show our support and help change things for the better.
How Can You Celebrate Carers Week?
To celebrate this week, you can head over to the Carers Week website and find out what kind of events are taking place near you. You’ll find plenty of events and activities to get involved with. Some of the many great events hosted by individuals, groups and organisations include:
- Virtual or socially distanced meetings and get-togethers centred around celebration and support.
- Sessions to raise awareness and provide education.
- Wellbeing events highlighting the possibilities of meditation and yoga when de-stressing.
- Resources and professional advice, whether it be financial, emotional or anything else.
Remember to search the Carers Week activity map to find events near you. You can also make a pledge of support, outlining what you are going to do or continue doing to further the cause and help give carers more visibility.
If you’re celebrating Carers Week, be sure to let us know what kind of events you get involved with or tell us how you’re showing your support via our Facebook page!
5 Benefits of Introducing Bushcraft Activities to Disabled Children
Activities that allow children to connect with nature can offer an abundance of learning experiences, opening the door to new skills and ways of looking at the world.
Making these kinds of activities accessible to disabled children is at the heart of what we do at Calvert Trust Exmoor. Our range of disability adventure activities provides exciting experiences for children of all abilities, helping them discover new possibilities.
Bushcraft specifically can be incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons – we talk through some of the most significant ones.
What is Bushcraft?
Bushcraft simply refers to relevant skills and knowledge relating to the outdoors and navigating the natural world.
Our bushcraft activity sessions include things like fire lighting and cooking, campfire storytelling, woodland crafts and shelter building.
Enjoying the outdoors in a safe and supportive environment can provide brilliant opportunities for every individual.
Nature’s Beneficial Impact on Wellbeing
Just taking in the natural world and dedicating time to enjoy it can be incredibly beneficial for people of any age.
It is important to take a step back from the modern, digital world, especially for children who are still developing and changing. Nature has a soothing quality that can help boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Spending time in green spaces is vital for all individual’s mental health and wellbeing, so it is vital that we make this accessible to everyone!
Feeding the Spirit of Adventure
Many children with disabilities can have trouble accessing countryside spaces, but we aim to support everyone and cultivate the ‘I can do it’ spirit in all of our guests – we are always interested in showing that there should be no restrictions when it comes to enjoying and learning about nature.
Bushcraft activities help promote a sense of adventure and discovery. These feelings help children find new connections and encourage them to get excited about learning all manner of things.
Toasting marshmallows on an open fire is certainly a delicious adventure that anyone can enjoy!
Providing a New Perspective
Entering the natural world and interacting with it in different ways can be transformative.
Learning new skills in a new space can help children open up as they gain a fresh perspective on the world around them, themselves and others also taking part in the activities.
Bushcraft activities can teach children about science, safety, self-reliance and help inspire a broader understanding of their place in the natural world.
New Sensory Experiences
Doing bushcraft activities deep in nature provides an expansive sensory experience.
With the rustling wind and birds in the trees, there are countless sounds to discover, along with the exciting sights of crackling fires and creepy crawlies.
Children can also engage their senses of smell and taste with campfire snacks after crafting sessions, where they can get to grips with natural materials and the engaging textures of the forest.
Any kind of residential trip that’s full of exciting activities is bound to include a social aspect. There are lots of opportunities for children to make friends as they participate in group activities and explore together.
Working with others is a crucial life skill that can be taught through a range of bushcraft activities as children learn to collaborate and work together.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we offer a range of activities for both children and adults. To find out more about our accessible breaks, get in touch by calling 01598 763221 or emailing email@example.com.
What Support is There for Mental Health?
Looking after your mental health is essential for your wellbeing and general happiness. This, however, is often easier said than done! Understanding when you need a bit of support is a significant step in the right direction.
For those that struggle with their mental health, there are a plethora of great resources that aim to help you through a range of situations.
Our work as a dedicated Devon charity and trust makes us keenly aware of how important and beneficial it is to have access to a range of mental health organisations that listen to you no matter what.
Below, we discuss how you can seek support and what kind of resources are available to those that need it.
Seeking Support When You Need it
Seeking support is an important first step that often feels like a big hurdle to overcome.
It’s common to be unsure about reaching out when dealing with mental health challenges but accessing the resources that are right for you can help you feel empowered about making positive changes in your life and solidify that you don’t have to feel alone.
The mental health organisation Mind state that you may want to consider seeking help if you:
- Find that you are worrying more than normal.
- Feel that you are enjoying your life less.
- Experience thoughts or feelings that are difficult to cope with and have an unwelcome impact on your day-to-day life.
- Feel you want to access further support or treatment.
Even if you are not sure whether you are experiencing a specific mental health problem, you can and should always find resources to support you, whether this means talking to a mental health professional, accessing resources from a dedicated organisation or reaching out to a friend.
Talking to Others
It may sound like a generic piece of advice, but talking to others and opening up can be of genuine value when you feel like you’re struggling.
Reaching out to people you can trust and are close to can help when you’re discussing your initial options and deciding how to move forward.
If you feel you cannot talk to a friend or family member, there are many organisations out there that will listen to you and guide you to further resources.
Mental Health Charity Helplines and Organisations
In the past few years, we have seen a concerted effort to destigmatise talking about mental health and those that struggle with it. Thanks to the work of vital organisations and the individuals behind them, people who require support, whether they need an empathetic ear or are in crisis, have plenty of places to turn to.
The NHS provides a useful A-Z list of charities, organisations, helplines and support groups, covering a range of specialities and advice.
Below, you can find a more detailed look at some of these brilliant resources.
Mind provides information and support, aiming to empower those that are experiencing mental health problems while championing understanding and the improvement of mental health services.
You can access their helpline by calling 0300 123 3393 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about what they do and how they can help on the Mind website.
For immediate emotional support, the Samaritans helpline provides someone to listen to those that need to talk.
No matter how big or small your problems feel, you can call their helpline 24 hours a day at 116 123 or get in touch with someone via email@example.com.
This organisation works to transform the lives of those affected by mental illness and change the way mental health struggles are viewed.
You can call their advice line on 0300 5000 927 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, the Rethink website is full of expert advice, information and further resources to support anyone affected by mental health problems.
Carers can, of course, reach out to any of the previously mentioned charities, but Carers Trust is another resource dedicated specifically to supporting carers health and wellbeing.
Find out more on the Carers Trust website.
Turning to Your GP
If you would like to talk to someone in person, your GP can be your first port of call when seeking formal help. Some mental health services may require a referral, which a GP can take care of.
If you’re struggling with more serious mental help problems, a GP can help by:
- Making a diagnosis.
- Offering advice on treatment like therapy or medication.
- Referring you to a psychiatrist or mental health specialist.
- Recommending other support options you could benefit from.
Treating ourselves kindly and embracing even the smallest victories is vital when improving our mental health and seeking the right kind of support. If you are struggling, take a look at the resources we have mentioned here or speak to a healthcare professional for tailored advice – you are never alone in your challenges.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are dedicated to supporting individuals of all abilities on our accessible activity breaks. We provide a fun and supportive environment to help our guests build confidence, gain independence and discover new experiences.
If you’d like to support the work we do, find out how you can get involved or make a donation!
How to Make the Most of Your Adventure Holiday
Adventure holidays that are packed with activities and fun experiences can feel like a whirlwind. Amidst all the excitement, there are various things you can do to make the most of your break and have the best time possible.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, our activity holidays for disabled people provide lots of opportunities to learn new things and create some wonderful memories! We share our top tips for embracing your time spent on an adventure holiday and making the most of all the new experiences.
Before any kind of holiday or adventure away from home, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for everything to come.
Make sure you think about what you’ll need to pack and how much. You’ll need to consider the best kinds of clothes for adventuring and be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you with both waterproofs and suncream.
It can also help to find out what to expect from the activities you’ll be doing and where you’ll be staying. Knowing what to expect before arriving can reduce any nerves, helping to grow feelings of excitement and anticipation instead!
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
Going on an adventure is all about getting out of your comfort zone and finding new things you didn’t know you could do or enjoy before.
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we offer a wide range of accessible activities that will probably be totally new to you and our other guests. Having some anxiety before trying something like abseiling or canoeing is normal, but overcoming fears can be a great motivating force, helping to boost your overall experience.
Make Friends and Embrace the Social Aspect
Embarking on an adventure holiday where lots of other guests are also taking part in the activities can be an excellent opportunity for making friends and building up some social confidence.
Try to have fun with the others who are trying out the activities – you’re sharing these unique experiences together, and the friends you make and memories you share can end up being one of the most memorable parts of the holiday!
To make the most of this social aspect of an adventure break, check out our blog below:
Enjoy the Local Scenery!
When on holiday, you are also given the opportunity to enjoy the local scenery and escape to locations different from everyday life. Adventure breaks are great for celebrating the outdoors and taking in all that nature has to offer.
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are lucky enough to be situated in a stunning location, surrounded by countryside views on the edge of Exmoor’s National Park – there are plenty of chances to enjoy the local scenery here!
Ultimately, making the most of an activity break comes down to letting yourself be present, having fun and enjoying your adventure!
To find out more about the Calvert Experience and the exciting opportunities offered by our accessible holidays, you can get in touch by calling 01598 763221 or emailing us at email@example.com.