The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020

GIVE THE GIFT OF ADVENTURE

Help us to raise £10,000 during the 2020 Big Give Christmas Challenge! By donating, you’ll enable more people with disabilities to access adventure and make memories that last a lifetime.

WHAT IS THE BIG GIVE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE?

The challenge starts at midday on Tuesday 1st December and ends at midday on Tuesday 8th of December 2020 – so we have just 7 days to raise our ambitious target of £10,000. The special thing about the challenge is that all donations given during the time frame & via the big give website, are matched, meaning your donation is DOUBLED and so is the IMPACT for our beneficiaries.

HOW WILL MY DONATION MAKE AN IMPACT?

All funds raised throughout the challenge will go towards The Bendrigg Subsidy Fund. This fund enables socially and economically underprivileged people with disabilities to benefit from the ‘Bendrigg Experience’. Without this financial aid, our participants would simply not be able to experience these life-changing adventures.

This video was created for the Bendrigg Trust free of charge by the wonderful team at Amphigean 

THIS YEAR, THE SUBSIDY FUND IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT… HERE’S WHY

This year, the subsidy fund is perhaps even more important than ever before, with so many disabled people having to shield for months on end, time spent outdoors with family is even more important. We know this because of the demand and feedback we’ve had from services provided during the pandemic.

How Have We Adapted Our Services During The Pandemic?

Whilst we have not been able to offer our regular residential services, we worked hard behind the scenes because we knew, once it was safe, our visitors would need us more than ever. Once restrictions started to ease we adapted our services in order to give disabled people a safe place away from busy public places.

With minimal staff on site, we opened our accessible grounds for families and adults with disabilities. We were overwhelmed by the demand, with some families travelling over 50 miles just so they could access a safe outdoor space at Bendrigg. Many of these people had not dared to leave the house since shielding first began in March.

Since lockdown the only safe access space we have had as a family has been the Bendrigg Trust grounds access. We have not accessed public outdoor spaces as family members are vulnerable and we have seen photos of public areas very crowded and totally unsafe.

– The Oldfield Family

Once restrictions eased further we were able to use funding to offer day activities for families and adults with a disability. Many of the families who accessed our grounds were able to access day activities with their children, at a time where they were still cautious about venturing out into public spaces.

We’ve only accessed outdoor space once, that was yesterday afternoon at Bendrigg. My son has been very reluctant to take walks, even though we live in the countryside.  He has feared people passing us on the lane, he has noticed the increase of people walking by our house. This is the first time I’d seen my son have fun, smile & laugh, be at ease for several months! He felt totally safe & reassured at Bendrigg – the staff were awesome & the grounds are amazing – my son comes alive in the grounds of Bendrigg.

– The Whittingham Family

Covid has undoubtedly had a huge impact on many peoples the mental health and wellbeing, but it has also impacted people financially, and this is also why the subsidy fund is so important.

We loved the canoeing, archery, cycling and tubing as we were able to do all the activities with Grace and this is a first for us as a family. We would love to access more but finance would be a problem, though we are not on income support our wages have been affected by pandemic so we don’t have any spare money at the end of the month.

– The Meager Family

 

The subsidy fund will help to give disabled people and their families a place to feel safe again, to smile again…. that’s what your donation can achieve.

By donating in the Big Give Christmas Challenge where your donation will be DOUBLED – you’ll be enabling even more people to access adventure.

HOW & WHEN CAN I DONATE?

You must donate via this link http://bit.ly/BigGiveCC2020 between midday on Tuesday 1st December and midday on Tuesday 8th of December via our Big Give link in order for your donation to be doubled.

Please donate and give people the gift of adventure!


GET INVOLVED DURING THE WEEK?

Campfire Vibes

Throughout the week of the Big Give, we’ll be posting several videos from the team to bring the Bendrigg Campfire to you. Keep an eye on our social media pages (Facebook  Instagram  Twitter) during the week for some fab songs and stories from our team.

Sign Out Loud Zoom Concert

Sign Out Loud are hosting a very special fundraising zoom concert in aid of Bendrigg on Friday 4th of December! If you’d like to join the party, please send an email to kate@signoutloud.co.uk

The party starts on Friday 4th at 5.30pm for approximately 1 hour and the Sign Out Louders are asking for a minimum donation of £5 per camera to be made through our Big Give link here >>> http://bit.ly/BigGiveCC2020

Lake District Radio Host Sponsored Request Show

Beth Pipe from Lake District Radio is going to be hosting a special request show in aid of Bendrigg Trust on Friday 4th of December. Beth will be taking requests from Saturday 28th November via email : Live@LakeDistrictRadio.org or via social media @CumbrianRambler on Twitter & Instagram ready to play on her show on the Friday. Then when you hear your request head over to our Big Give page to donate http://bit.ly/BigGiveCC2020 

 


Want to know more about the impact of your donation? Click here to read our 2019 impact report.

“None of us know our limits until we are allowed to test them”

After commenting on a recent twitter post about his trip to Bendrigg in 1992 & 1993, we asked Mark to share his story!

 

“In the early 90’s I was a support worker, employed by an inner London borough, working in the community supporting a small group of brain injured people. The work was tough but fun, my colleagues and clients became lifelong friends. My boss Paul was a very dry-humoured Cumbrian, exiled to London, and one day he came up with the idea of a holiday at Bendrigg.”

I was utterly stunned by the setting

“Before long we were packing up the persistently unreliable minibus and making the journey up the motorway. I had never been to the Lake District before and I was utterly stunned by the setting, it was a far cry from the inner London estate we had come from. For one of our guys it was one of the first times he had ever been out of central London, it was a genuine culture shock. I remember his face as we surveyed the open spaces and huge sky.”

We did things that I did not think could be done

“Our care tasks remained the same whether we were in London or the Lakes. People needed support to wash, dress and eat etc but now we were adding activities such as canoeing, abseiling and caving to our days. We did things that I did not think could be done, people with very limited movement and even more limited opportunity, took on physical tasks that looked impossible. It was the Bendrigg staff that made the impossible possible, it was their knowledge, encouragement and belief that pushed us all, me and my colleagues included, to go beyond what we thought we could do. True bravery is wheeling yourself backwards off of an abseiling wall when you have never attempted anything like that before and you never thought you could do it; I saw that happen more than once.”

It was a week of working hard and playing hard

“I recall that the evenings were as much fun as the days. I was taught to fire-breathe, a trick I still wheel out from time to time, much to the amazement of my own children (and the horror of health and safety officers the world over); but my inability to learn how to juggle has persisted. The week flew by and, following a second visit by the nice man from the AA, we packed the van and hit the M6 South. We were all exhausted, but we had earn’t this tiredness, it was a week of working hard and playing hard. It was so hard that we booked for the following year and did it all again (as did the nice man from the AA).”

None of us know our limits until we are allowed to test them

“It is more than quarter of a century since I last visited Bendrigg Lodge, I see from photographs that the centre has expanded but has remained true to its aims of inclusion and pushing boundaries and expectations. None of us know our limits until we are allowed to test them, many of us are hesitant, needing the support of trusted people to enable us to go one step further. Bendrigg did that for my clients, my colleagues and me. In the intervening years I am sorry to say that three of my four clients and two of my five colleagues have now passed away, some of my happiest memories of them all are of being on the wind-swept hillsides or lakes near Bendrigg. I still work with people affected by brain injury.”

They taught me to see ability

“My visits to Bendrigg were amongst the hardest working weeks I have ever had but they remain the most memorable too. They taught me to see ability, they showed me what it means to work in a team and they formed a lifelong love of the outdoors. I am a city-boy but I relax by spending time in the hills. I am certain that Bendrigg has had an impact on thousands of people in a similar way and I look forward to seeing it continue to thrive and give life-changing opportunities to many.”

 

Do you have a Bendrigg Story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! 

A boost for Bendrigg

A group of plucky Playdale staff members, collectively known as the Playdale Paddlers, undertook a kayaking challenge back in July this year. Their challenge (that they chose to accept!) was to kayak the 11-mile length of Lake Windermere all in aid of Bendrigg Trust. Despite incessant rain on challenge day from beginning to end, the Paddlers not only completed the course but completely smashed their target time! They paddled the 11 miles in just three hours & twenty minutes, a truly fantastic achievement!

Recently, Bendrigg Fundraising Officer Sarah went to Playdale HQ to be presented with a cheque for the total amount raised – a phenomenal £1,428.86! You can read more about this here or for the full round up of the challenge day itself (including a wonderful video!) click here.