From 14-17th August, nine Ability members attended a weekend residential at the Calvert Trust in Keswick.
The Calvert Trust is an outstanding place set overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake. It’s also a place where disability doesn’t really exist because they provide an environment that is accessible for all. They remove barriers to participation and provide activities that encourage team work and also challenge boundaries.
We kick started the first evening with a pool party, taking advantage of the onsite pool that included many inclusive and sensory features including a ceiling track hoist from changing room to pool, sensory lighting and visual projector, music, and water features including a waterfall and jacuzzi bubbles.
Saturday was a day of adventure where young people challenged themselves to take part in activities they may not have tried before. This included canoeing and kayaking in the morning and climbing and zip wire in the afternoon. Young people pushed their limits and many ended the day feeling proud and with a huge sense of achievement. The day ended with another pool party and a disco in the onsite games room.
On Sunday we were taken to a nearby woodland and osprey viewing point. Young people learnt bushcraft skills including fire making and how to use a Kelly kettle which we used to make hot chocolate. Young people also melted marshmallows on the fire and made some popcorn. They even made some charcoal pencils to draw with! The group enjoyed a walk down back to the resort taking in the amazing views of the nearby lakes and peaks. Back at the resort the group took part in orienteering and an indoor swing.
The staff at the Calvert Trust were fantastic. Their expertise in disability and outdoor adventure ensures that their centre is accessible and inclusive for a wide range of needs. The accommodation included many accessible features including mobile hoists, slings, raising beds and adjoining doors to link rooms together. Disability is challenged by removing environmental and social barriers.
Our young people thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. The residential enabled them to practice skills for independence, and also provided opportunities for young people to work together, and have fun whilst challenging their boundaries.
The Calvert Trust is an exceptional place that allows young people with additional needs or a disability to experience a residential to its full potential, without any barriers, which is what we work towards in our Ability Zone sessions at Mahdlo.
For more information about Mahdlo’s Ability sessions, contact Amy on 0161 624 0111 or Amy.Taylor@mahdloyz.org