A lady in a harness and safety rope system climbing up a wall and smiling at the camera

Rebecca’s story

After a 9-month hospital admission, Rebecca was eager and ready to head to Calvert to make some unforgettable memories...

Meet Rebecca…

Rebecca loves visiting Calvert Exmoor because we are one of the few places in the UK where she can do activities.

Rebecca has Marfan syndrome, a disorder that affects connective tissue. One aspect of Marfan syndrome can be tall and thin torsos with long arms, legs, fingers and toes. Rebecca herself is 6 foot 9 inches tall, but as she explains in this story, the syndrome affects her in multiple ways, including being a wheelchair user.

She visited twice in 2023 and sent us the following email. Shared with her permission, here is Rebecca’s happy feedback…

A lady in a harness and safety rope system hanging next to a climbing wall and smiling at the camera

Rebecca said…

"Having a complex disability and life-limiting condition, Calvert Exmoor is the only place where I am able to participate in adventurous activities. It is such a special place.

After recently being discharged from a 9-month hospital admission where I was critically ill, this break was particularly important to us. A place where Dad and I can make memories and participate in adventurous activities.

Dad also does not have to worry about me because the whole site is accessible, and the team are wonderful. It takes all the stress away.

Please may you pass on my thanks to the following members of your team:

The instructors were incredible. They were both so relaxed and welcoming and ensured that I was challenged physically.

Despite my health having deteriorated since my last visit they both ensured that I was able to participate in the activities and was challenged. They made changes to the climbing wall to enable me to try new routes and we even abseiled down the steepest outdoor wall!

They included a neck support for the swing since my muscles no longer enable me to support my neck when on the swing.

They added balloons to the archery board to make the activity more challenging and found me a bow that I could use. Having lost a lot of strength in my arms I can no longer use the larger bows. The smaller bow with less tension enabled me to participate in archery and I loved it!

I am also grateful for their lack of judgment. I was very sick on Wednesday and needed to spend the day in bed having treatment (IV treatment that I self-administer). This sadly meant I could not participate in the afternoon activities, however, they were so understanding and non-judgmental. I was so worried I had let the group down but they reassured me that this was not the case."
A lady in a harness and safety rope system climbing up a wall and smiling at the camera


"The stables team remembered us, from a year ago and made us feel so welcome. Last year we struggled to stay on the horse because of my long legs and short stirrups.

Remembering me from last year they had purchased some longer stirrups enabling me to ride Ruby! It was the first time they had used the stirrups to the longest length, and this enabled me to access riding a horse for the second time in my life (both at Calvert!).

It was an incredible experience. The team had recruited some more staff to help me ride. Because I cannot walk and needed support on the horse, four members of the stables team and the instructor supported me whilst riding. I had the best time and cannot thank them enough for the incredible experience.

The catering team – although I am unable to eat and drink (I am fed via my heart using TPN), the team went out of their way to make me Jelly each day. This is the only food I am able to eat. It provides me with a different taste. I brought the Jelly not expecting them to be able to cater for me, however, each day they made it up

As someone who is unable to eat and drink, having some taste once a day is a lifeline and I am super grateful to them for doing this for me.

The cleaning staff were amazing. They ensured I had black bags every day to put all my medical waste in. I am on TPN which is delivered using IV treatment. This needs to be sterile and requires a lot of equipment. The team ensured I had enough bags to dispose of the waste and every day took away my refuge.

I would also like to shout out to Ollie (instructor at the time) who spoke with us every day. Ollie was so positive, and it was a real highlight to catch up with him every morning on our way to our activities."

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