The Bendrigg Blog

Sensory Room Hire

Sensory Room Hire

Explore Your Senses

During Covid-19 we understand that families with additional needs have been shielding for months without access to therapeutic sensory rooms and as our centre is just starting to get back up and running we are now able to offer our sensory room to hire under the following terms :

  • 1 family at a time OR 1 bubble at a time (i.e. from a residential care home)
  • Up to a maximum of 12 people
  • £30 for 2 hours use 10:00 – 12:00
  • Accessible Toilet & Parking available

After a short introduction from our team, you can co-ordinate the different light projectors, music, bubble light tubes, glitter balls and interactive light panels, to create an atmosphere of your choice.

There is also a ceiling-mounted hoist which allows wheelchair users to be transferred into one of the many supportive bean bags.

We’re Good To Go!

Bendrigg Trust have been awarded the government official “We’re good to go” badge and more information about what we are doing to ensure we are Covid secure can be found on our web page here :

Book Your Place

You can hire our sensory room through our online booking portal here

Or alternatively please feel free to contact us for more information.



See what other facilities we have for hire here.

Trusts & Foundations Officer Vacancy

Bendrigg Trust Job Vacancy

Trusts & Foundations Officer

Bendrigg Trust are seeking an experienced Trusts and Foundations (Fundraising) Officer on a part-time basis (2 days, 14.5 hours a week) who will have the primary responsibility of raising income from charitable trusts and foundations. This exciting role is vitally important to the organisation at this critical and challenging time.

Based near Old Hutton, Kendal, Bendrigg Trust is an outdoor education centre specialising in working with disabled and disadvantaged people. Through inclusive adventure, residential experience and social inclusion we aim to ensure disabled people are empowered with the attitudes, skills and behaviours they need to thrive.

This role seeks to develop Bendrigg’s trusts and foundations income through building on the existing strong relationships we have with trusts, and developing new ones. The Trusts and Foundations Officer will be responsible for securing core and restricted grant income for the different areas of Bendrigg’s work to ensure that outdoor adventurous opportunities are accessible to all.

The successful candidate will have experience working in the voluntary sector and the ability to successfully manage a varied workload whilst working under pressure to meet deadlines. This role would suit a self-starter who will manage a diverse portfolio of relationships to secure funding and support for Bendrigg’s work.

This is a temporary fixed term (maternity cover) contract for a period of approximately 8 months starting October 2020. Although advertised as a PAYE position, Bendrigg will consider applications from fundraisers on a freelance basis. This role location is flexible and so both home or office-based (Kendal) applications will be considered.


Closing date for applications: Thursday 27th August 2020, 5pm
Interviews will take place on: Friday 4th September 2020
Expected start date: Monday 5th October 2020


  • PAYE Position: £22,753 – £25,753 FTE (£9,101 – £10,101 pro rata)
  • Freelance fundraiser daily rate to be discussed at interview.

Further Information – Documents Download

Job Advert

Job Description

Person Specification

Summary & Terms of Employment

To Apply

For an application pack please email :



Mental Health & Wellbeing Resources

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 18-24 May 2020.

This years theme is Kindness.

Why Kindness?

The Mental Health Foundation have chosen the theme of Kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.

Kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. Research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation & creates a sense of belonging. It can help to reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships.

Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem. It can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.

They also wanted to shine a spotlight on the ways that kindness is already flowering during the Covid-19 pandemic and want this to continue to spread into every community in the UK.

How Can You Get Involved?

The Mental Health Foundation will be releasing new data to reveal how many of us experience kindness in the UK and a summary of the latest evidence about its important mental health benefits.

During Mental Health Week, you can get involved by doing these 3 things :

  • Reflect on an act of kindness. Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  • Use the Mental Health Foundations Online Resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands in practising acts of kindness to yourself and others during the week
  • Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Mental Health and Disability

The office for National Statistics published an article in 2019 which gathered data from the Annual Population survey relating to disability, well-being and loneliness in the UK. It showed the following :

  • Disabled people’s average ratings are lower than those for non-disabled people for happiness, worthwhile and life satisfaction measures.
  • Average anxiety ratings are higher for disabled people at 4.27 out of 10, compared with 2.66 out of 10 for non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people with a mental impairment as a main health problem have the poorest well-being ratings.
  • Disabled people whose impairments affect them more severely have poorer well-being ratings than disabled people whose impairments affect them less severely.
  • The proportion of disabled people (13.3%) who report feeling lonely “often or always” is almost four times that of non-disabled people (3.4%), with the greatest disparity for young adults, aged 16 to 24 years old.

Covid-19 Lockdown & Your Well-being

At Bendrigg, our aim is to promote inclusion, encourage independence and build self-confidence through adventure activities. During the Covid-19 pandemic when adventure and access to the outdoors for many disabled people isn’t possible, we know that many will be struggling with prolonged periods of isolation having a negative impact on wellbeing & mental health.

So we’ve put together a list of resources to try to help you through these difficult times.



A free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults including, professionals and volunteers, parents and carers & older people.

Mentally Healthy Schools

Mental health and wellbeing resources for school staff


Calm Zone – Activities and tools to help children feel calmer 

Council for Intellectual Disability

Easy Read Information Guide for people with communication difficulties – Tips for positive mental health

Mental Health Foundation/Foundation For People With Learning Disabilities

Easy read guides for people with communication difficulties, including Feeling Down : Looking after my mental health 


Coronavirus and your wellbeing

How to cope when you’re supporting someone else, looking after yourself and support for you.

The NHS Every Mind Matters

Tips to help if you are worries about coronavirus

The National Autistic Society Website

Information about anxiety in Autistic adults 

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

Mindfulness for Kids with Learning Disabilities & Covid-19 related resources for families with a child with a learning disability.

Downs Syndrome Association

Keeping fit and healthy at home – includes advice on mental health and a helpline.

Keeping fit and healthy at home

How to Start a Journal

A guide to journaling

Mindfulness Practices for Children With Autism

6 simple tips for children with Autism to practise Mindfulness

Mind Over Mountains

Mind Over Mountains utilise the outdoors as a tool for tackling mental health issues. Whilst their normal services aren’t available their facebook page is full of inspiring interviews and free mindfulness video sessions. 



We hope you find the information above helpful and please feel free to contact us if you know of any resources which aren’t included that you think could help others.



Corona Virus Related Resources

Corona Virus Related Resources

During this pandemic, we realise that many of our visitors, their parents, carers and teachers will be struggling and we want to do what we can to help. We have gathered information & links to some helpful resources below.

Disabled Children’s Partnership 

This website includes links to :

Official government advice, resources for DCP organisations, resources relating to particular conditions, regional specific resources, helplines and other sources of advice and guidance.

Well Child

COVID-19 Direct Response Service

WellChild are offering a direct response service to try and help families with a disabled member to get the things they need. This could include access to food delivery, prescription collection, PPE.

Active Cumbria

Active Cumbria have pulled together a whole host of resources for staying active at home.

Family Fund

This webpage includes links to government guidance, charities and organisations, local help, finances and advice on mental health and well being.

Short Breaks Scotland

Short Breaks for Strange Times

This web page has links to “short breaks for strange times” including everything from online courses, virtual museums, exercise programmes, read-a-longs and websites for children and young people.

Mind Over Mountains

Mind Over Mountains have been hosting free 30 minute mindfulness sessions on Tuesdays at noon via their Facebook page.

Sight Advice

Sight Advice have put together some FAQ’s about corona virus on their website for people with visual impairments.

National Autistic Society

This website has a whole hub of information for people with autism and learning disabilities including Benefits and Employment, Social Care, Health and Well being and Resources for families.


Mind is a national mental health charity and their website has lots of practical information and advice to help with you well being.


The NSPCC have put together some helpful resources including how to help children with special needs and support if you’re struggling including links to online counsellors & homeschooling children with SEND

Special Needs Jungle 

This blog provides advice for families with a disabled child. The corona section of their website has helpful up to date information relevant for SEND families.

The Money Advice Service

The money advice service provides information and search tools to look for financial donations that you don’t have to repay. Many UK charities & trusts provide grants to help with the extra cost of ill health or disability – on this site you can search for what grants are available and information on how to apply.


Scope is a charity fighting for equality for disabled people. They have lot’s of resources as well as an online community where you can join discussions with others who may be in a similar situation to you. There is also the opportunity to share your experience of corona virus/lock down with Scope, to help influence Government decision makers.

My Tutor

Useful tips and ideas for parents homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 lockdown. Written by Emma Bradley, a qualified teacher and mum of three, the blog is full of details from her personal experience – a great source of inspiration for other parents.

Homeschooling during COVID-19: how one family is doing it



Please let us know if you have come across any other helpful resources that you’d like us to add to the list above by emailing



What Bendrigg Means To Us…

What Bendrigg Means To Us…

A guest blog from Dawn Flint, mum to the lovely Lewis, 14.


What does Bendrigg mean to Lewis and I? Everything!

Throughout Lewis’ life ‘He’s happy watching the other children’ is a phrase I’ve heard time and time again. Those words are guaranteed to make my blood boil! Lewis is not happy watching others, he wants to be involved in everything.

We often describe Lewis as a white knuckle child.

He loves adventure, activity and speed. Bendrigg is one of very few places where he can experience all of those and participate in absolutely everything on offer!









Lewis is 14 and has an un-diagnosed genetic condition.

He has no independent mobility or speech and is reliant on us for all his care needs. Lewis uses an eye gaze communication aid to communicate and is constantly talking about Bendrigg, telling us that he loves the climbing wall, tube slide and indoor swing.

Lewis has been to Bendrigg 9 or 10 times over the last 5 years either with myself on family weekends or with school.









I can honestly say that our weekends at Bendrigg are the highlights of our year!

Watching Lewis climb walls and abseil back down, laugh with delight as he goes down a tube slide, relax in the amazing sensory room, grin as he spins round the room on a swing suspended from the ceiling to his favorite music and all alongside friends. It’s a truly heart-warming and magical place.

The staff at Bendrigg are amazing, taking as much time as is needed to make sure every child can participate. It’s all done with smiles on their faces and encouraging words. It truly is our favorite place to be, offering adventure, fun and friendship for all.

Check out some more heart warming testimonials and Bendrigg stories from families, groups, individuals and volunteers here.

What does Bendrigg mean to you? Get in touch with Martha our Marketing and Fundraising Officer to share your story.



Be An At Home Hero & Take On The 2.6 Challenge

Become an at home hero for Bendrigg Trust 

With only a few days to go before the #TwoPointSixChallenge really gets going, here’s a simple guide for how you can get involved!



What is the 2.6 challenge?

Sunday 26 April, would have been the 40th year of the London Marathon, which in it’s history has seen over £1 billion being raised for good causes.

Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the London Marathon, as well as other mass participation events, have been postponed resulting in many charities, including Bendrigg, loosing out on much needed fund raised income.

The #TwoPointSixChallenge is a way of bringing the nation together to support UK charities by inviting supporters, such as yourselves, to come up with their own challenge incorporating the numbers 2 & 6, to help raise much needed funds.

People can do whatever they wish, as long as they adhere to the Government social distancing guidelines.

2.6 Challenge










How Can I Get Involved?

Getting involved with the challenge couldn’t be easier…

1. Think of a challenge that incorporates the numbers 2.6 or 26 this could be anything from cycling 2.6 miles to playing a 26 minute virtual concert to friends and family. 26 keepy-uppies or a cooking challenge. Stuck for ideas? Click here to download the 2.6 challenge idea pack.

2. Take a video or photograph yourself doing the challenge & share it on social media making sure you tag @BendriggTrust #TwoPointSixChallenge so we can thank you for supporting us.

3. Donate or fundraise £26 via our unique charity link :

4. Nominate a friend or family member to take on their own 2.6 challenge for Bendrigg!


All the team at Bendrigg will be so grateful for your support & we hope it will help to bring a sense of “at home adventure” until we can welcome you back to Bendrigg in the future!





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

Rare Disease Film Festival Awards

Rare Disease UK Hosts The First Rare Film Festival Awards Helping To Raise Awareness For Rare Diseases.

We were grateful to receive funding from the Scottish Power Foundation in 2019 towards our Adventure For All Project – Promoting, Sharing, Inspiring. Part of the project included funds for us to create several short films to help promote the power of adventure activities for people with disabilities.

One of the films focused on Pip Rowlands, who first came to Bendrigg when she was just 5 years old. The story takes us on an incredible journey through Pip’s climbing journey and the impact that it has had on her day to day life, living with a rare condition called DDX3X.

Category : Best Agency Charity Collaboration

Film – Climbing : The Ripple Effect

We Won!

We are thrilled to announce that our film won in the category and we couldn’t be happier. We couldn’t have done it without the amazing Adamedia who we worked alongside to create the film, and of course the stars of the show Pip, Alix, Clare & Gary, and Pip’s climbing coach Kara.

Funding from Scottish Power Foundation was topped up by the BMC which meant we could create this film which helps to not only raise awareness for Pip’s rare condition DDX3X but also will hopefully inspire more people to try new activities and perhaps even take up climbing as a new hobby!

People’s Choice Award

There is a people’s choice award now open for you to cast your vote for your favourite film.

Click here to watch all the shortlisted videos and place your vote!


Congratulations to everyone who entered a film, the competition was tough and we thought all of the videos shown were amazing in their own right.


Check out the rest of the films in our Adventure For All Series on our YouTube channel.