Devon County Council will be closing the A399 from 4th November to 29th November 2019 for essential retaining wall and road repairs.
Therefore no vehicles will be able to travel from the South Molton roundabout on the A361 along the A399 to reach our centre.
A signed diversion will be in place: continue along the A361 to Barnstaple, onto the A39 into the town centre, turn right onto Bear Street (C459), through Bratton Fleming, turn left back onto the A399 before reaching Calvert Trust Exmoor. And vice versa.
Other routes are available if you wish, however they may be single lane tracks and unsuitable for large vehicles. We recommend planning your journey well and allowing more travelling time when visiting us in November.
If you are in any doubt, the Customer Service team will be happy to discuss the topic further, please call 01598 763 221.
SPELL has been created by the National Autistic Society as a guideline to help people communicate and understand the needs of people who are on the autistic spectrum. Here at the Calvert Trust Exmoor, we believe in making the world an accessible place for all. As a dedicated site that includes holidays for disabled visitors, we would like to spread awareness of autism to make life feel more accommodating for those who are affected by the disorder. In this article, we explain the SPELL structure and how it can help communications for those who have autism.
What is SPELL
SPELL has been created by integrating the five essential factors which have proven to be the most effective communicators for people with autism. SPELL aims to improve the lives of those with autism by providing surroundings that feel more considerate and approachable through accessible communications. It is a structure that can be applied throughout the autistic spectrum, such as Asperger syndrome.
SPELL is broken down into five letters, to explain the implications. These are:
Positive Approaches and Expectations
Below we will discuss each part more in-depth.
Providing a setting that feels structured, and doubtful of surprises, will help someone with Autism. The reason for this is because many people who have the condition do not react well to a change in routine.
Supplying information in a structured way is made easy with visual aids. These can be simple pictures and words of the daily routine, organised in a list. This can help someone with autism manage the expectations of the day by seeing them beforehand in a clear format. It can also help to reinstate a feeling of independence and control over a situation because expectations have been communicated, subsiding feelings of stress and nervousness.
Therefore, creating a safe and stable environment can significantly improve the overall wellbeing of someone with autism. Over time, when a routine is broken due to unavoidable change, someone with autism may be able to adapt to the changes due to the feelings of care from stability previously provided.
Positive Approaches and Expectations
By ensuring people feel encouraged and motivated to do well, progress can advance considerably for anyone who feels esteemed by positive comments and achievable goals. By creating realistic targets for people with autism, which are based on a thorough evaluation, a person can feel more confident through the recognition and development of the natural aptitudes of their personality.
For someone who has autism, this is incredibly important for them to feel a sense of accomplishment and the desire to further their abilities. The National Autistic Society states that many people who have autism struggle with verbal communication and therefore do not feel compelled to push themselves and progress in this proficiency. As a result of feeling of incompetent, the idea of trying something new is avoided even further. By practising how to overcome these scenarios, the sense of anxiety can be reduced. Eventually, people can acquire the ability to acknowledge new situations and set themselves higher goals that will support their overall wellbeing.
Empathy is a humans best route to understanding. By taking the time to think about how an individual with autism may see the world, it could potentially help you to unlock what may cause them anxiety as well as what may help them to communicate better. Those who are more successful in creating a trusting relationship with someone who has autism communicate in a relaxed, consistent, well humoured, logical and empathetic manner.
Environments should feel relaxed and well systematised to maintain a sense of focus and decrease the chance of distraction. This may include the level of volume in a room, smells, lighting, clear room layout and colour schemes. Any communications should remain clear enough so that they don’t overwhelm an individual. Some people with autism may need an increase of time to digest information, and this needs to be respected in any settings. Sensory rooms are used for those people who require extra support to feel calm. Each individual with autism will vary on this.
By viewing people with Autism and their support network as a unit, anyone who is significantly involved in their life such as parents, carers, siblings, teachers and medical professionals, should look to disperse information as a team to keep communications up. Parents should always be informed of all developments and situations, and are often viewed as partners. By keeping all involved on the same page, relevant information can flow, and any misinterpretations can be lessened.
Hopefully, this article has supported you in the understanding and the potential benefits of the National Autistic Society’s SPELL framework. If you would like more information about Autism, take a look at our article on Understanding Autism. Please take a look at our site for further information on our range of charity holidays for disabled people.
Going on holiday is an exciting time for all! If you are planning to travel with a person who has special needs, you may feel like travelling greater distances can come with challenges. Here at the Calvert Trust Exmoor, we feel that holidays for people with disabilities should be made achievable wherever possible. If you are planning a getaway with a family member or a friend who have special needs, we have some tips you can take to ensure a smoother journey!
Have Back-Up Plans and Precautions
As you would expect, planning well in advance and pre-planning any unexpected situations are hugely beneficial when trying to organise travel. Discussing all issues beforehand with all necessary participants is a must as you can decipher any vital problems with travelling and accommodate around them. Therefore, make sure you know what to do in the incident of an emotional breakdown. By having a plan in place, you will spend less time worrying about what could go wrong and more confident in managing emergencies.
One of the most important aspects to consider is how you will cope if a medical emergency occurs. If you require medical attention, how will you do this, and what will be your course of action? It is good to note down any special needs or medical conditions. This may include contacts, care plan and their history.
Secondly, ensuring you have all the required medical documents for travel is vital. It may be that you need individual confirmations of their condition and any equipment while on the move. A Doctor’s letter is top of the list. If travelling abroad, you could try to get hold of the document in the language of the country you are visiting, if necessary. Secondly, a copy of any prescriptions, also in both languages. Any medical insurance documents are essential, alongside the number for the emergency medical helpline.
Before you embark on your adventure, it is essential to think about the condition your passenger may be coping with and how travelling may affect them and in what way. For example, will an alteration in noise and sensation affect your passenger? If so, you need to deliberate how you can ease this change in scenery for the comfort of the traveller.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard
The sunflower lanyard was initially launched at Gatwick Airport and is now endorsed by the majority of railway companies, airports, NHS locations and supermarkets across the UK. The sunflower lanyard is a form of communication for people with disabilities that are not noticeably clear to signal that assistance may be necessary. It is a useful thing to have, and we would recommend its use while travelling, especially on public transport.
Talking to companies you plan to travel with is essential. Each section further in the article will go into further detail on this topic.
Tips for Car Journeys
If you are travelling by vehicle, you may need to look into what modifications you need to include for a disabled traveller. As previously mentioned, preparation is key, especially with any behavioural issues. Ensure you have a simple piece of paper with a list of medicines, contact details for medical support and any other information. Make sure to check out where the accessibility service stations are allocated on your route and ensure all comfort and stress relievers are packed in the car, just in case!
Tips for Travelling by Train
Inform stations if you, or someone with you, are travelling with a disability so they can help you on your arrival. It is also essential to note down any platform changes and where accessible toilets will be located in the station. You should be able to find this out when you inform the company. If you are travelling with a child, show them pictures to familiarise them with what the journey will entail. If possible, avoiding the heaviest hours of traffic should reduce the stress of the journey for all involved! Ensure all comfort blankets and toys have been packed too in case of an upset. If you happen to come across a friendly member of staff who is happy to talk about the journey, this can also help to ease any anxiety.
Tips for Travelling by Plane
Firstly, contacting the airline is a must. You can explain the needs of passenger travelling. Any procedures in the case of an emergency and the equipment necessary to accompany the individual onboard can be confirmed. Obtaining written permission from the correct medical professional is essential and needs to be with the guardian at all times. This should be used to ensure that equipment and medication can be taken on the flight. Before the flight, make sure to explain the small size of toilets, so the person is aware of the circumstances before the experience. Once you are at the airport, heading over to the appropriate airport staff is essential to help a smooth check-in.
Hopefully, we have eased some concerns you may have when trying to plan travel arrangements with an individual with special needs. For more inspiration on where to visit on your next holiday, take a look at our blog on Six of the Top Accessible National Trust Sites in Devon.
Spending time away from home overnight can initially feel like a daunting idea for both a parent and their child. However, a residential trip is an exciting time for a child to experience their first taste of independence. Residential trips are an opportunity to try new activities, make friends, grow in confidence and discover talents they may never have known they had outside of school! As an accessible site that provides school residential trips in Devon, we routinely witness the positive results of children experiencing our activity breaks. We have compiled some tips to help you to encourage your child to look forward to the week ahead if they are feeling nervous.
Begin by asking your child how they feel about the trip. Ask if there is something that they are worried about or a particular aspect of the residential they may not be looking forward to. It is healthy to help your child articulate any concerns into words if possible. By expressing their worries, it may release a lot of anxiety in itself. Areas they may feel anxious about are sleep arrangements, food and activities. Take the time to go through each worry and give reassurance by creating solutions together. Let them fully tell their story before offering comfort and express it is understandable for them to feel this way.
Create a List of Positives
Following the initial discussion, move the attention away from the initial concerns and create a list of all the possible positives to look forward to. Uncover together the activities your child is enthusiastic to try, the feelings they want to embrace and any scenarios they would like to laugh about.
Turn it into a Poster
After creating a fun and exciting lists of all the positives opportunities coming their way, form it into art! Create a poster of all the fun possibilities to help your child envision the positive outcomes of attending a residential trip. Not only will drawing it out help it sink in, but also the final product can be placed on a wall and used as a reminder of the exciting trip ahead!
‘Flip the Fear’
Natalie Costa, who is responsible for PowerThoughts.co.uk, has an excellent remedy to help encourage children to perceive worries from a different angle. Instead of using the words ‘nervous’, ‘worried’ and ‘anxious’ to describe the overall feeling towards the trip, insert ‘excited’ as a replacement. With the understanding that nervousness and excitement have incredibly similar physical responses, swapping nervous energy with positive energy can be an effective solution.
Look up the Location
The best way to feel more comfortable with a situation is to familiarise yourself. Look up the destination on Google and scroll through the area together. Have a look at pictures of the surrounding sites for your child to gauge what it will be like there. Discover anything the area is famous for and some landmarks to look out for on the journey there.
Arrange a Sleepover
Easing your child into understanding life with your temporary absence can be done through the organisation of a sleepover. This could be arranged at a friends house or grandparents. It will help your child to familiarise you not being there while encouraging fun with friends.
Create a List of Things to Take Together
Compile a list of things your child would like to take on the trip. If your child is going on the residential through a school trip, the school will most likely have a list of essential items to pack. Work with this, and re-write it together, so your child feels like they have some ownership over the experience. You can decide which exact items of clothing you will take and the benefits. A small cuddly toy as a mascot might be an excellent addition too!
After you have produced a list of items, pack them together too! It will help them to feel involved and gear them up for the event.
Imply the Idea of Independence
This may be your child’s first trip without you, which may be scary but is also an exciting introduction to independence. Talk about the trip and all the things they will be able to accomplish on their own. Explain how they will have inspiring stories for you to hear when they return, and you can’t wait.
The Calvert Trust Exmoor is dedicated to providing all residents with a supportive and enjoyable experience. For some inspiration on places to explore in the area, take a look at our blog Six of the Top Accessible National Trust Sites in Devon.
According to the National Autistic Society, an estimated 700,000 people may have the disorder; this can convert into a statistic of 1 in 100 of the population with autism. As autism is not one, but a range of disorders, it is referred to as ASD, which stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Wendy Chung has discussed how we have seen an increase in cases of ASD in more recent decades, and this may be a result of an improvement in diagnosis abilities. However, it may be challenging to diagnose, as there are many variations. In this article, we aim to help you understand what autism is and discuss the advantages of support for people with autism.
What is Autism?
Autism is a condition that affects the neurobehavioral aspects of a person. It is understood that people with autism generally have sensory sensitivity and this changes how they interpret their surroundings. It affects how senses are communicated to the brain and results in possible confusion. Their perception of the world, compared to someone who does not have the condition, may feel like a sensory overload. As a result, it can affect how they socially interact and communicate, therefore making connections and interactions more difficult. Everyday situations that may usually be viewed as comfortable can feel overwhelming for someone with autism. However, this can also mean that some people with autism find tasks that others find difficult, incredibly easy.
What are the Exterior Signs of Autism?
As there is a spectrum of autism, immediate diagnosis can be difficult. It is understood that signs of autism usually emerge by the age of three. It may not be apparent until the child reaches a year and half years old when difficulty in communication becomes noticeable. However, sometimes, signs are there from birth. For others, it may not be until a change of environment in later life which triggers symptoms of autism to surface. This is because the new circumstance is beyond their competence, and it has never been previously probed.
Common behaviours of autism include struggling with talking (especially about how they feel), being around others, and playing with other children. Repetition of words, movements, phrases, questions, and types of food are also indicators. The coping strategies at times of stress may differ to what you would expect and usually involve repetitious movements, such as rocking, hand movements and pacing. A fondness to particular objects is also a trait associated with autism. It is not unusual for people with autism to not observe other people or happenings around them. In more severe cases, children with autism may cultivate seizures which can arise during their teenage years.
What Difficulties do People with Autism Face?
As previously mentioned, people who have autism suffer sensitive senses which can be very uncomfortable, overwhelming and sometimes painful for them. It can be unclear for people around them as the cause for their discomfort may not be visible. Change is not received well by people who have autism and a change in routine can be extremely unsettling for them. In some cases, this level of discomfort can cause self-inflicting, harmful behaviours. Furthermore, the development of communication skills can be hindered, dependent on the level of autism. However, in some academic aspects, they may soar in their capabilities, such as music, drawing, maths and memory. The National Autistic Society has revealed that only one in six adults with autism have a job; this suggests that many people with autism struggle with independent living and responsibility in their adult lives. Support should make this a more achievable goal but may not be a viable outcome for all cases.
Why Are Diagnosis and Support Important for People Who Have Autism?
It is understood that early diagnosis of autism is enormously beneficial. Firstly, it creates awareness for themselves, their families, friends and other relationships about their situation and explains why certain behaviours may erupt. These surrounding people need to take the time and to understand the effects of autism. It has been reported that 34% of children with ASD feel that bullying is the worse part about going to school. This is a heart-breaking statistic which proves why the correct support and understanding can make a massive alteration to someone’s life, especially a child.
Our Devon activity breaks are a fantastic, inclusive opportunity for everyone to enjoy a safe space, accessible for all. Our programmes are specially arranged before arrival at the Calvert Trust Exmoor, which assists the transition of our guests to the new surroundings. In addition to this, we have a pictorial programme displayed throughout the stay, also designed to help ease transitions. For more information, take a look at our blog, How Can an Adventure Break Improve Confidence for a Disabled Child to discover more about the benefits of adventure holidays.
The National Trust is an independent charity dedicated to preserving the nation’s most beautiful dwellings. It focuses on maintaining buildings, but also gardens, nature reserves, coastline and countryside. With such an expanse of locations, it is almost an impossible task to select the best. We have concentrated this blog purely on the area of Devon, as it is close to our hearts and is filled with many scenic sites and locations.
Salcombe Hill is a prominent part of the coastline, situated on the South coast of Devon. The stunning, rustic cliffside dominates the landscape, and it is no surprise the area is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The spot is an ideal location for a short, easy adventure, just under one mile in length. The route is maintained in perfect condition and consists of gravel paths, making it a fantastic course for wheelchair users or families with pushchairs. Located near Sidmouth, the area provides gorgeous views of Ladrum Bay and High Peak. Be sure to take a picnic to really take your time and enjoy the view.
A popular site in Devon, Killerton is perfect for an exciting day out with a variation of activities. Constructed during the 18th-century, the Killerton estate consists of a stunning Georgian house surrounded by beautiful woods, parkland and farmland, stretching to 6,400 acres in area. The top places to see include a charming garden, fashion exhibition and the old chapel. There is an all-terrain tramper that can be hired for the day but booking well in advance is necessary as it is in high demand.
Located in between two popular surf spots, Croyde and Putsborough, this magnificent section of coastline is an admired national trust location. Loved by many, Baggy Point provides the most stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean as the dramatic rock formation stretches out to sea. The surrounding sea is mesmerising in any condition and is a beautiful spot to take in, while in calm or rough waters. The west side of the point, reachable via Croyde, is an excellent, accessible route, here you may see seals if you’re lucky! The path is well maintained and level, ideal for wheelchairs, trampers and pushchairs.
Castle Droggo is a distinctive castle situated in amongst the dramatic backdrop of Dartmoor. The mighty castle overlooks the atmospheric Teign Gorge and provides an absorbing and fascinating visit for anyone who goes there. A tramper is also available in this site, which is fantastic for anyone who would like to explore the gorge. At the top of the gorge, lies a stunning view of Dartmoor and the proceeding valley. Again, this is also a top-rated site, so booking well in advance is a necessity.
This charming location is situated in the surrounding area of Bovey Tracey. It is a delightful estate, consisting of beautiful beehives, fields, vegetable gardens, orchards and fruit gardens. The idyllic fish pond, in particular, is a pleasant area to relax. If you fancy a little stroll through the gardens or would like to explore further afield in the majestic woodlands, there is something to satisfy everyone.
Hiring the tramper here is free, but donations are appreciated.
The undeniable charm of this stunning gorge lies in the impressive 30m waterfall. You will not be disappointed by the array of beautiful plantation along the river and captivating woodland surrounding the area. It is a magical destination whether in winter or summer seasons, each attractive in their own way.
If you require a tramper, the Lydford Gorge tramper is only available between March and October due to a reduction in Winter staff. It is recommended to book the tramper two days in advance to ensure there is a trained member of team onsite. There are a couple of routes you can take around the gorge; both require accompanied users for safety precautions. One will take you to the bottom of the Whitelady Waterfall. The second is a charming route along the old railway.
We hope we have provided you with some inspiring ideas for your next accessible holiday in Devon. If you would like to learn more about our very own accessible holiday breaks, take a look at our blog on How Can an Adventure Break Improve Confidence for a Disabled Child? for more information.
Outdoor activity and exercise is something that can benefit everybody. It allows us to immerse ourselves in a natural setting, offering us experiences beyond our usual routine. Here at the Calvert Trust Exmoor, we believe it is something that should be encouraged by all, and for all. Opportunities to try new experiences should be seen as a possibility for everyone, no matter their age or ability. We have been fortunate to witness many positive outcomes in the wellbeing of people who attend our residential trips, whether that be for a week or a short break. In this article, we will be focussing on the positive effects of outdoor adventures, and how this type of break can improve a child’s confidence if they have a disability.
What Happens at an Adventure Break?
It is first important to clarify what an adventure break involves. The Calvert Trust, in particular, is an accessible site which provides a variety of activities, for a range of abilities. Canoeing, abseiling, accessible cycling, horse-riding and sailing are just a few activities to name which are accessible at our residence. We have access to equipment which may not be commonly available elsewhere, allowing residents the opportunity to experience completely new activities. Our five-star, fully accessible accommodation is tailored to each visitor, ensuring each guest only has to focus on making the most out of the exciting activities available. With all accessibility needs managed, visitors have the freedom to make friends in a safe environment which encourages them to try new experiences. Our dedicated and qualified instructors remain with the same group of residents throughout the week, forming trusted relationships and building self-confidence.
The Connection Between Physical Health and Mental Happiness
As most of us aware, there is a positive relationship between the completion of exercise and the improvement of mental wellbeing. Physical activity merged with the outdoors is especially relevant in terms of de-stressing and feeling calm. Adventure breaks combine physical exertion, a safe outdoor environment and specialised support all in one place.
In 2015, the campaign ‘Learning Away’ completed a review on the impact of an adventure residential for children with disabilities. It was reported many children felt the residential helped to improve their confidence. Around 80% of both Key Stage Two and Secondary school children felt they were more self-assured to attempt new things as a consequence of the adventure break. It is understood this was a result of positive feelings when completing activities which challenged social, leadership and learning skills.
Feelings of Liberation When Completing Activities
In Ireland, the Government completed a study on ‘Promoting the Participation of People with Disabilities in Physical Activity and Sport’. The research discovered that the completion of physical activities encourages personal empowerment. It seems like a basic concept, but if you complete an exercise or activity, it demonstrates to yourself that you are competent. This feeling of competency is an inspiration to attempt other goals because dictating feelings of self-doubt have been overcome and replaced with the feeling of perseverance.
As a result of encouraging children with a disability to accomplish these types of adventure activities, many children may feel a sense of independence. This could be because the child is open to activities that they may not regularly do. An effect of this exposure is a freshly engaged mind, and a test of determination. New activities encourage the child to practise communication and co-ordination skills, which in turn, reassures them to learn and be proud of what they are completing.
The Role of Sportsmanship and Inclusion During Activities
In many sports, and forms of exercise, sportsmanship plays a vital role. When trying new activities on your own, or as a team, adapting your competitive behaviour is a must. Team events practised at adventure centres encourage participants to work together. The only way to succeed is to communicate efficiently and support other team members, considering each other’s ability and role in the group. As a result, we see children form lasting friendships which take into account one another’s diverse backgrounds and life experiences. This social networking is essential to create a sense of belonging within the child, as well as educating them about social inclusion. Completing activities such as this acts as a valuable reminder of effective socialisation and community building for each child to refer back to. As a result, the child can relate to an example of when they demonstrated skills such as leadership and inclusion and succeeded in teamwork.
Attending an adventure break is an opportunity for a child to experience something beyond what they are familiar with. For some, it is an avenue to demonstrate they have other talents and skills beyond school life, and sparks inspiration for life after education. It can improve confidence in a child as it validates the success of new activities in a friendly social group. It also acts as a reassurance to children that learning something new affects everybody, no matter who you are. Take a look at our outdoor adventure activities in Devon for more information on what to expect.
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.