Save Outdoor Ed

Save Outdoor Ed

A campaign to save the UK’s Outdoor Education Centres from closure

saveoutdoored

The outdoor learning sector delivers formative educational experiences to at least 5m students across the UK every year. The sector provides over 15,000 jobs and £700m to the UK economy.

However the Impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across all areas of Outdoor learning with reports showing an estimated lost revenue of £275 million until mid March 2021 and each day over 70,000 under 18’s and 20,000 over 18’s missing out on valuable learning experiences.

Outdoor Learning Covid-19 Impact Survey

The report conducted by UK Outdoors paints a bleak picture of the devastating impact that Covid-19 is having on the Outdoor Education sector, regardless of the efforts made by many to diversify.

Over 80% of respondents rely on residential school visits for at least half of their income

Two thirds of 127 respondents expect their income to fall by over 80% year on year

30% of respondents have disposed of assets to generate income and half of all respondents are expecting their April 2021 reserves to be down 80% on February 2020 levels

In order for the sector to survive the pandemic we need the Government to step in and provide a support package for outdoor education centres, as they have in Scotland and Ireland.

We need to shout about the #SaveOutdoorEd campaign loud enough so that the Government hear us. We can do this through telling them about the amazing impact that outdoor education has on our countries young people, and the vital role outdoor centres will play in the recovery and learning of young people after the pandemic. **Information at the bottom of this post on how you can support the campaign**

 

The Impact of Our Outdoor Activity Centre

Bendrigg Trust is a specialist outdoor activity centre which provides residential opportunities for people of all abilities including profoundly disabled and disadvantaged people. We enable people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access adventure activities, the opportunity to do so and it is often life changing.

Our Principal Nick Liley has led the centre through an incredibly difficult time to maintain our stability as a charity, but this stability has been dependant on the Governments furlough leave scheme and significant internal fundraising efforts.

I am unwavering in my belief that Bendrigg Trust will be key to the recovery of people with disabilities following the pandemic. People with disabilities will be more isolated, have more anxiety, be less independent, be less active, have more severe health conditions and will have fewer life chances than ever before.

Bendrigg Trust will be part of the solution, renewing peoples self-confidence, independence and self-esteem. We will reconnect people with nature and with other people within the disabled community. We will have a very clear task ahead of us once things reopen and it is imperative that we receive the financial support from Government to do it.

– Nick Liley, Bendrigg Principal

 

 

Throughout the pandemic we have kept in touch with our visitors to find out their current needs and how Bendrigg can play a part in helping them through this difficult time. The truth is that most of our visitors are in a desperate situation. Many families with members who have additional needs are struggling through the pandemic a statement which is backed up by this report from the office for national statistics.

Of all the worries they had, more than 1 in 4 (27%) disabled people were most concerned about the impact on their well-being

Our research and communications showed that families are desperate for a safe outdoor space, to get away from the same 4 walls safely, reconnect with people and enable their family member with additional needs to build their independence again.

In order to support our visitors through the pandemic, we gained our Covid Good To Go badge and opened up our grounds for families to enjoy a safe accessible outdoor space with access to an accessible toilet. The demand for this was huge and peoples feedback showed how much of an impact this service had after shielding indoors for months on end. Once restrictions lifted further we applied for and secured funding to be able to offer accessible day activities for families, college groups and adults with a disability. We also ran our first ever “Winter Wonderland” trail with great success again, the feedback showed just what a huge difference having access to a safe outdoor space meant to them.

Despite the challenges faced, Bendrigg rose to the challenge and we’re able to welcome a total of 484 participants along with 413 carers/parents/family members since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Client Testimonial – The Whittingham’s

It has been a stressful & emotional time for anyone, but I can only share the impact on my son who has Autism & ADHD. Having to socially isolate has had a huge knock on effect on my son’s overall happiness, motivation and self esteem.

My son has major difficulties with social integration & social communication.  The importance of being included in groups in order to improve these skills, to feel included, to try new opportunities, to exercise, are so beneficial for his Autism & ADHD. Unfortunately any groups he attended, suddenly shut in March 2020 with very short notice including his school. Some groups have not been able to reopen, or have closed for good and 1-1 support with his carer stopped. My sons wellbeing has deteriorated because of the nature of the support which is aimed at increasing impendence and confidence through social, recreational & leisure activities within the local community.

The lockdown was sudden, there was no time to prepare for the disruption and change in routine. We were suddenly isolated.  Being autistic he finds social integration & communication very difficult – all the services & activities to help him with these skills stopped. He no longer was included, no longer able to develop and improve these key skills, and no longer able to feel empowered.

Every time the rules change it causes great confusion and conflict which results in fear, anxiety & frustration. We live in the countryside and normally see very few people, but when the restrictions lifted, suddenly there was an influx of people passing our home. No way were we able to go for a walk, he feared we would have to pass people in the narrow lanes and felt very vulnerable and anxious.

Being active in the outdoors has always aided in my son being able to re-focus and enjoy all of the benefits to wellbeing through being in the outdoors in the sunlight and fresh air.

Bendrigg rose to the challenge facing Covid 19 to create worthwhile outdoor experiences through creative problem solving and provided amazing opportunities that are very satisfying in meeting my sons needs.

Going to Bendrigg gave my son the opportunity to get outdoors again, somewhere he felt safe. It gave him a great sense of freedom not being controlled by the environment, virus & people around him. I believe it was a massive achievement in the face of adversity.

The activities seemed to have an immediate positive effect! Not only was it great for him to be active which helps us to have a healthier mind & body. His confidence was brimming, he was being more independent and was able to make choices with little prompting. He wasn’t clingy or hesitant, initiated conversation with the instructors  (he says the staff at Bendrigg are always friendly & supportive) & within our support  bubble we shared excitement and had lots to talk about regarding the activities, offering peer support  and encouragement and even a little bit of healthy competition.  The whole day had such a great sense of fun, I hadn’t seen my son laugh, smile,  have fun & be at total ease for months.

Through preparation, we felt safe and reassured in being able to give my son these new experiences and challenges. We were able to take part in a great range of activities in a safe & secure way – meeting the Covid 19 government requirements.

The activities at Bendrigg have had a lasting positive impact on my son, that will last a life time.  I’m sure many will remember their time at Bendrigg during the Pandemic.

What Can You Do To Support The Campaign?

There are many ways in which you can support the campaign to save outdoor education centres :

While Government restrictions make the normal operation of Residential Centres impossible, we implore them to provide financial assistance to help this viable & worthwhile industry survive this period of forced closure.

  • Write to your local MP

Once you’ve signed the petition above, you can find your local MP’s details here. Write to them to voice your support for the Save Outdoor Ed campaign sharing your personal experience of outdoor education and the impact it has had on you. Call upon them to provide financial support for the sector to ensure centres survive the pandemic.

  • Share this blog post on social media, via email or whatsapp to your friends and family asking them to take action. On social media use the hashtag #SaveOutdoorEd and tag @BendriggTrust so we can share/retweet your posts.

You could post about how outdoor education centres have impacted your life or someone you know add photos or a video telling people what you’ve done to help and why you think this campaign is so important.

  • Set up a fundraiser or make a donation to your local outdoor education centre

If the Government do not offer a package of support, we will be reliant on fundraising through trusts, foundations and the general public.

You could fundraise in aid of Bendrigg Trust to help ensure our survival so that we can be here after the pandemic to enable more disabled people to have life changing adventures.

If you’d like to make a donation to Bendrigg you can do so online here alternatively you can email Martha our fundraising and marketing officer or call our office Monday – Friday 9-5 and one of our team will be happy to help.

 

Thank you for your support together we can get through this

 

 

An Update From The Bendrigg Team

Bendrigg Trust Update 04/01/2021

Bendrigg is currently closed to the public as of 04/01/2021 & is not accepting volunteers. Our office remains open with limited office staff working on essential tasks such as planning for the future, communications and fundraising. If you would like to talk to us about a future trip or if you have a query please call us during normal office hours on 01539723766 and we will do our best to help.

We were so proud of our ability to adapt during 2020 and although we weren’t able to offer our normal residential services as of March 2020, we still made a huge impact on the lives of disabled people and their families through our grounds access days, adventures activities for families and adults and our Winter Wonderland event.

Feedback from the Whittingham Family

“Bendrigg rose to the challenge facing Covid 19. They created worthwhile outdoor experiences through creative problem solving and were able to provide opportunities that were satisfying in meeting our needs whilst also being great fun!

My son has ADHD and Autism, being locked down has negatively impacted his overall happiness, motivation and self-esteem. Being autistic he finds social integration & communication very difficult, all of the services & activities to help him with these skills stopped because of the pandemic.  He was isolated and no longer able to develop & improve these key skills.

The activities at Bendrigg seemed to have an immediate positive effect! My son’s confidence was brimming, he was being more independent through being able to make choices.  The day gave him and us a huge sense of achievement.”

The need for accessible outdoor adventures for disabled people is growing and even more essential than before. Bendrigg are working hard to do all we can to be there for families like the Whittingham’s once it is safe for us to re-open.

How Can You Support Bendrigg Trusts Work in 2021?

We’ve been asked how people can support Bendrigg throughout 2021 and we’ve put together some ways that you can get involved in supporting us below.

💚 Fundraise for Bendrigg

Even though our doors are closed right now, we still have vital work going on behind the scenes with fundraising, planning and building/grounds maintenance, this is so that when we’re allowed, we are ready to provide safe outdoor space and adventure activities for disabled people and their families. It is the unavoidable and necessary costs like heating, hot water, staff time and maintenance that are essential and enable things like our free grounds access days and the Winter Wonderland to take place as they take considerable planning and staff time – every little really does help and we are always extremely grateful for your support.

You could take on a fitness challenge, host a special zoom party or organise a front room family quiz in aid of Bendrigg… whatever takes your fancy! For fundraising help and advice please call or email Martha – martha@bendrigg.org.uk

💚 Help to raise awareness

You can help to raise awareness by sharing your experience with friends, family or anyone you know who may benefit from our services in future. Although we aren’t open now, as soon as we can, we will be offering services for disabled people and their families and the more people who know about us, the better! So follow our social media pages by clicking the links below, share a post, tag a friend and share your experience with others to help spread the word.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

💚 Leave a review

When we are able to open again we expect that people may be worried about Covid safety measures and hearing from people who have already been to Bendrigg and experienced our services can make all the difference. You can leave reviews here on our Facebook page, Google and on Euan’s Guide.

 

💚 Take care of yourselves

In the meantime, we will be trying to keep in touch with you all as much as possible through social media and our E-newsletter spreading the Bendrigg Buzz with helpful information and positive vibes to you at home. We know this is such a difficult time for many of our visitors and we want to let you all know that you are all in our hearts. We can’t wait to welcome you back soon for some more adventures.

With love, from the Bendrigg Family x

 

 

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.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge

Give The Gift Of Adventure

Help us to raise £12,000 during the 2019 Big Give Christmas Challenge! By donating, you’ll enable more people with disabilities to access an adventure holiday of a lifetime.

What is the Big Give Christmas Challenge?

The challenge starts at midday on Tuesday 3rd December and ends at midday on Tuesday 10th of December – so we have just 7 days to raise our ambitious target of £12,000. 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?

This year all funds raised through the Bendrigg Big Give 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.

The pupils from Wilson Stuart School came on a residential to Bendrigg earlier this year. They were only able to afford their visit after receiving financial support from the Bendrigg Subsidy Fund. You can see what it meant to them to experience the adventures at Bendrigg in the short video below.

 

“The whole experience was life changing for our students. I cannot express how amazing this residential was. The students have tried so many amazing activities and experienced what it is like to spend time away from family and carers, many of them for the first time. Independence is at the forefront of what we do at school and Bendrigg Trust advances the opportunities for all our students to try new things.” Teacher, Wilson Stuart

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 can I donate?

In order for your donation to be doubled you must donate via the Bendrigg Big Give Christmas Challenge Link : bit.ly/BigGiveCC20

You must also make sure you donate between midday on Tuesday 3rd December and midday on Tuesday 10th of December when the challenge ends.

Please, donate today and help to give more people with disabilities the experience of a lifetime!

****UPDATE BIG GIVE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE 2019

We are thrilled to announce that as of 12 o’clock on Tuesday 10th December, we have not only hit our target of £12,000 but with your generosity we’ve absolutely SMASHED it raising a grand total of £17,618 with gift aid that’s over £18,500!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us throughout the challenge, your donations will enable people who would not have been able to afford to, a chance to have an adventure of a lifetime here at Bendrigg.

 

 

 

 

Want to know more about the impact of your donation? Click here to read our 2018 impact report.

 

Charity Challenges 2020!

It’s never been easier to support your favourite cause, which, if your reading this blog post, must be us! HURRAY!

With a whole host of amazing charity challenge events out there, take a look below to see what you, your friends, family and work collegues could get involved with to fundraise for Bendrigg in 2020!

2020 Charity Challenges

Edinburgh & Glasgow Kilt Walks

Dates : Glasgow – Sunday 26th April 2020 Edinburgh – Sunday 13th September 2020

Details : The Kiltwalk is a unique walking event offering three distances to choose from, suitable for walkers of all ages and experiences. The difference with this event is that 140% of the sponsorship money raised by Kiltwalkers comes directly to Bendrigg!


Keswick To Barrow & Coniston To Barrow

Dates : Both – Saturday 2nd May 2020

Details : The walks are 40 miles and 21 miles respectively. Teams of between 4 and 12 members test themselves on a challenging route, to raise money for charities and good causes.

 


Super Hero Tri & Winter Wonderwheels

Dates : Super Hero Tri – Saturday 15th August 2020 Winter Wonder wheels – Saturday 6th December 2020

Details : The Superhero Series is the UK’s one and only disability sports series for the Everyday Superhero! In the Superhero Tri you can take part in a sprint, half or full Triathlon event. In the Winter Wonderwheels, Everyday Superheroes are invited to cycle, walk, run, push, or anything in between, a 1km, 5km or 10km course.

 


Great North Run

Dates : Saturday 13th September 2020

Details : Bendrigg has 15 charity places for the 40th Great North Run very special anniversary! The run is a half marathon starting in Newcastle and traversing 13.1 miles across the Tyne Bridge, through Gateshead and finishing along the coast road in South Shields.


Prudential Ride London

Dates : Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 starts at 06:00 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. Bendrigg only has a limited amount of places available so click below to find out more.


How will my fundraising make a difference to Bendrigg?

The money you raise will make a huge difference to our charity. Times are tough for everyone right now, but particularly for those families with a disabled member. We rely on donations to be able to subsidise our courses and ensure that people of all abilities can afford to come to Bendrigg and experience adventure. You can read more about our Impact on our 40 year Impact Report HERE or Contact Us on 01539 723766 if you’d like us to post you a copy.

 

How can I sign up to a charity challenge for Bendrigg in 2020?

Signing up couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is complete a Registration Form HERE and return it to sarah@bendrigg.org.uk

 

I’d like more information, how can I get in touch?

Sarah & Martha our fundraising dream team will be happy to answer any questions you have or help you with top tips to maximise your donations! Call them on 01539 723766 or use our online form HERE

 

Fancy planning your own fundraising event? Or supporting Bendrigg Trust in some other way? Check out our “Support Us” page for more details.

 

 

Gain An Hour, Give An Hour…

Last month, our fundraising Activity Festival unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a sickness outbreak. It was the right decision for the health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers however it means that the fund raised income we were counting on receiving during the festival has been lost.

This month the clocks go back and everyone will gain an hour of time. We are asking people to support Bendrigg by Giving the hour you Gain and donating your hourly wage.

By donating your extra hour, Bendrigg will be able to subsidise the cost of our courses for those that struggle financially – enabling everyone the opportunity of the ‘Bendrigg Experience’ no matter their social or financial circumstances.

We hoped to raise a minimum of £3,000 from our Activity Festival which would support 150 people to have a weekend of inclusive activities at Bendrigg. Please donate and ensure no one misses out.

Donate on our website – Click Here

Donate via Facebook Fundraiser – Click Here

 

 

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.