Nothing Is Impossible

Nothing Is Impossible

By Liz Dyke

There have been so many special moments for me whilst working as a tutor at Bendrigg over the last 9 years, it’s hard to pick out just one or two. The way that both individuals and groups come together and challenge themselves is incredible and so rewarding to be a part of.

I remember one young man sat with me at the top of our free hang abseil who was petrified of going over the edge into “thin air” – a totally rational fear when we’re designed to walk on the ground. You could see his inner battle going on as, on the one hand, his mates were all doing it so he should be able to do it too, but logic and reasoning was telling him that it just wasn’t natural. We talked together about his reservations and what was stopping him – it takes a lot of trust, in both the person holding the safety rope (who he’d only known a few days), and also in the equipment… Was it strong enough? What would happen if he let go? Could he get tangled in the rope? Was it safe? – All valid questions. He was determined though and he inched ever closer to the precipice, slowly but surely finding the courage to put his trust in the rope and in me to keep him safe. Then, letting the harness take his weight whilst his feet were still on solid ground, you could see the apprehension and fear begin to give way to determination and the realisation that “he could do this”. We all held our breaths as he perched poised and ready for that final leap into the unknown, the tension building, his class mates cheering him on, his teachers willing him to succeed.

The joy and emotion that swept through everyone as he stepped off the edge and hung suspended in mid air was incredible and he continued to amaze himself and everyone by taking complete control of his rope and lowering himself, slowly and smoothly back down to terra firma. A massive achievement for him! 

It took a huge amount of determination and resilience on his part to push through his fears and overcome them, putting his trust in others and in his own ability to succeed at a challenge unlike any he had previously faced but he did it…. and actually came back for a second go too!

This is just one example of the wonderful moments I have had the pleasure of being part of at Bendrigg. Our guests have reduced me to tears many times as I continue to see them achieve what, in their minds (or those of their carers, teachers and parents) was, seemingly, “impossible!!”

Nothing is impossible, no problem insurmountable, sometimes we just need a little help and guidance – mixed with determination, resilience and a positive “can do” attitude.

Liz xx

 


 

Our people are one of our charities 7 core values and Liz is one of the most kind, caring and thoughtful people we are lucky enough to have on our team.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff team remain of paramount importance to us, simply put, Bendrigg isn’t Bendrigg without our amazing team.

Please help us so that we are able to continue offering adventure activities for all, once it is safe to do so, by supporting our Resilience Campaign.

Thank you from all the Bendrigg Family x

 

The Genesis of a Bendrigg Tutor

The Genesis of a Bendrigg Tutor…

By Rex Pickles

If you wind back time, to when the Bangles were topping the charts with ‘Walk like an Egyptian’, – a young, smooth chinned twenty three year old, dressed in his smartest draylon flairs, paused to draw breath outside the doors with the sign saying ‘Welcome to Bendrigg Lodge’.

Gaining his composure, he pushed open the doors, passing the waterproofs and boots and through into the dark corridor beyond.

Immediately unfamiliar sounds echoed down towards him. It was a Friday, and the visiting groups were busying themselves as they prepared to leave, bags being stacked and bedding thrown out of bedrooms.

Having taken four tentative steps, a door burst open next to him and out bounded a young lad with Downs Syndrome. Spotting the weirdly dressed stranger, the young lad skidded to a halt and accosted him.

‘ Hi, who are you? ‘ blurted the question, but without waiting for a response continued. ‘ My names Tommy, and I’ve done this, this and this. ‘- and proceeded to list all the activities he’d been doing that week.

Then came the final question. ‘ What have you been doing? ‘

Slightly stunned by the lads enthusiastic outburst, the young man looked around to see if there was anyone there to guide him. There wasn’t.

‘ Err, well, my names Rex and…’ he answered, frantically trying to think what he’d done the previous week. And frankly the truth was – very little, other than hanging round mates flats, doing whatever youngsters do whilst on the dole in Preston. ‘ Nothing really. ‘ ‘ Ah well. ‘ gushed the lads response ‘ If you come here, you’ll do loads! ‘

And that was my first introduction to Bendrigg. Thirty four years on, and I’m still grateful to you Tommy, for giving that somewhat insecure and unsure young man a little inspiration.

Thank you Tommy….

 


Our people are one of our charities 7 core values and if you’ve been to Bendrigg you are highly likely to have met the amazing Rex. He is the face of Bendrigg to many of our groups and the epitome of what we are all about. He is happy, full of experience and cares deeply about his team mates and each and every group with whom he works.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff team remain of paramount importance to us, simply put, Bendrigg just isn’t Bendrigg without our amazing team.

Please help us so that we are able to continue offering adventure activities for all, once it is safe to do so, by supporting our Resilience Campaign.

Thank you from all the Bendrigg Family x

 

 

 

A Brief Story Of My Bendrigg Journey

A Brief Story Of My Bendrigg Journey

By Dominic Bingham

 

Dom joined Bendrigg as a Trainee Tutor at the beginning of 2020 but his journey at Bendrigg started long before this year. Below he tells us of his Bendrigg Journey.

My first experience of Bendrigg Trust was when I was in my first year of university. I came to Bendrigg’s amazing climbing wall, to experience ways that climbing can be made accessible to everyone. This sparked a light in me and made me think “this is where I want to go in life”.

Growing up, both my parents worked with disabled people and I had previously worked in a care home for adults with autism and learning difficulties. So that summer, I decided to volunteer. I came again that year on multiple occasions, and again several more times in the years to follow.

Each and every time I volunteered there was an abundance of heart felt and breath taking moments. Things as simple as seeing one client who earlier was being hoisted to then be given the time to independently unstrap and take off his climbing harness. Also having noticed at least one person from each group being unsure about doing an activity, typically being climbing, abseiling or the zip-wire, and one way or another they were always able to achieve and take part in the activity with support from the Bendrigg staff.

These moments really made me look up to the staff and appreciate the difference they were making to these people’s lives. This influenced my studies and in my third year of university I undertook research into the impact that Bendrigg was making to these people’s lives in my dissertation. I looked at the transfer-ability and impact of a group trip when they go back to school life and the results were amazing.

All of the schools that took part in my study, found the short term impact from the residential, didn’t just stay the same, but actually continued to develop in the short-mid and even long term. My studies also found that not one pupil reverted back to their former selves.

There were comments from the teachers along the lines of “the pupils are more confident in their abilities and their ability to be independent since the residential” and “I can see an increase of willingness from pupils to take part in class” and “they’ve gained a better understanding of others abilities”.

One school even mentioned pupils (including some with Autism) performing on stage in front of an audience, that before the residential, would have been a significant challenge for them.

Now I feel incredibly honoured to be working at Bendrigg as a trainee tutor. I’m enjoying being one of the people that make a difference, like the staff I volunteered alongside and looked up to for so long. 

 

Our people are one of our charities 7 core values and Dom has been a great addition to the Bendrigg family.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff team remain of paramount importance to us, simply put, Bendrigg isn’t Bendrigg without our amazing team.

Please help us so that we are able to continue offering adventure activities for all, once it is safe to do so, by supporting our Resilience Campaign.

Thank you from all the Bendrigg Family x