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