We were recently invited to record a podcast with our wonderful corporate supporters, Cicerone Press, to talk about inclusion and accessibility in the outdoors.
This wonderful Kendal based business have supported Bendrigg over the last few years raising over £15,000 to support our work.
In the podcast we chat about :
*The services and experiences offered here at Bendrigg Trust
*The amazing impact of outdoor activities
*How Bendrigg have adapted throughout the pandemic
*How you can support our work
Click here to join in the conversation with Amy & Hannah from Cicerone Press and Martha our Fundraising and Marketing Officer here at Bendrigg Trust.
Read more about how Cicerone has supported the work of Bendrigg Trust here.
A Special Winter Wonderland Trail At Bendrigg Trust
Santa has been visiting Bendrigg for many years but this year he has asked us to host a special event that will help to spread some Christmas joy to local disabled people and their families!
The Bendrigg Elves have created a Winter Wonderland trail through our accessible 15 acre grounds where you can explore and keep your eyes peeled to tick off 12 fabulous festive installations! From nutcrackers & reindeers to candy canes and snowmen, the Bendrigg Elves have really gone to tinsel town for this special event.
Our Yurt will be transformed into Santa’s grotto and although the big man himself won’t be here (we think he’s got stuck in the tube slide!), one of our very friendly Bendrigg Elves will be waiting to present you with a small gift.
Thanks to funding from The Hadfield Trust & Windermere & Ambleside Lions, this event is free to attend. However all places MUST be pre-booked on our booking portal. To make things as safe as possible for everyone, bookings will allow a maximum of 1 family bubble (6 people) or one class bubble per time slot. Booking arrival times will be staggered by 30 minutes to allow plenty of time and space in-between each family, there shouldn’t be more than 2 families on site at any one time and in our 15 acre grounds you’ll barley notice there is anyone else here.
Please refer to the further information below if you have any questions. Once you book your place you’ll receive a confirmation email with further information about parking, toilets etc.
Dates & Times
This event will be held between Friday 18th – Wednesday 23rd December and you must book to attend. Bookings will be available from 9am in 30 minute slots with last entry at 4:30pm.
How long will we have to do the trail?
The trail will take about 40 minutes to walk around depending on the speed you wander.
Will there be other families on site?
Booking arrivals will be staggered by 30 minutes and families will have 1 hour to explore the trail ensuring safe social distancing along the trail in our 15 acre grounds (you’ll barely notice there is any one else here!). To make things as safe as possible for everyone booking will allow a maximum of 1 family/household bubble up to 6 people per time slot. The only other people in the grounds will be Bendrigg Staff.
How Much Does It Cost?
This event is free of charge, there is no pressure to do so, but if you would like to make a donation there will be a box on the day for cash donations or you can make a donation online here.
Are Bendrigg Covid ‘Good to Go’?
Yes Bendrigg are ‘Covid Good to Go’ and will adhere to all government guidelines to keep you safe. We ask that you please remain responsible ensuring your family do the same in order to keep our staff safe. (Social distancing, face masks inside & hand washing/sanitising) more details will be sent upon booking but if you’d like to read any of our policies please go to our website here.
Group numbers should be limited to 6 and we ask that you only visit Bendrigg with members of your own household or support bubble unless exemptions apply.
Can you travel to Bendrigg to access this service?
Please do not visit Bendrigg if you or anyone in your household have Covid-19 symptoms. More information on Covid-19 symptoms can be found on the NHS website here.
Currently Cumbria is in Tier 2. Information on the Tier 2 restrictions can be found on the Government website here.
If you live in a Tier 3 area you should avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including Cumbria which is in Tier 2. There are exemptions to this, for example, ‘to access voluntary, charitable or youth services’. To this end, with the procedures we have in place, we are able to accept families from local, Tier 3 areas who are in need of this service. More information on the Tier 3 restrictions can be found on the Government website here. We ask that you check the guidance and if you believe you come under the exemptions described, we are happy to accept your booking. Please contact us on 01539723766 Mon-Fri 9-5 if you have any questions.
Might the event be cancelled?
We may need to cancel this event at short notice and we will notify you as soon as possible if this is the case. As the event is ‘free of charge’, we will not need to make any refund to you.
Should you have any further questions after reading the above information please contact our team 9-5 on 01539 723766. Please note that we are currently running on reduced staff capacity and will endeavour to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible, thank you for your patience.
Accessible Activities For Adults With A Disability
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we are able to offer some subsidised Adult Day Activities for a limited time throughout September and October.
Thanks to funding, Bendrigg can offer some heavily subsidised half day activities over the coming months for adults with a disability, their friends and families. The cost of £72 is for up to 12 people maximum, at least one of which must be an adult (aged 18years+) with a disability.
To ensure we support as many people as possible booking is limited to one day per disabled adult. Please book your slot and we will be in touch to find out more details about your group (number of people, ages, needs etc.)
Half day activities will run from 1.30pm- 4.30pm and could include a selection of activities such as canoeing, cycling, sensory room, archery, zip wire, orienteering, sensory swing and tube slide. Activity availability depends on a number of factors so not all activities may be available on each day. After booking, one of our Tutors will be in touch with you to discuss your individual requirements and suitable activities.
Accessible Activities For Families with A Disabled Child
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we are able to offer some subsidised Family Day Activities for a limited time throughout September and October.
Thanks to funding, Bendrigg can offer some heavily subsidised day activities over the coming months for families with a disabled child. The cost of £144 is for the whole family however at least one child must have a disability and be aged 17 years or younger to access these activity days. Each day is for one family/bubble (up to a maximum of 12 people).
To ensure we support as many people as possible booking is limited to one day per family. Please book your slot using our booking link below and we will be in touch to find out more details about your family (number of people, ages, needs etc.)
Day activities will run from 9.30am-4.30pm and could include a selection of activities such as canoeing, cycling, sensory room, archery, zip wire, orienteering, sensory swing and tube slide. Activity availability depends on a number of factors so not all activities may be available on each day. After booking, one of our Tutors will be in touch with you to discuss your individual requirements and suitable activities.
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 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.
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!
At Bendrigg we see the impact that a high-quality residential has on our clients every day. People discover what is truly within them – what depths of character, what powers of determination, what sense of joy. It is no exaggeration to say that for many visitors, a stay at Bendrigg can prove to be a life-changing experience for both participants and volunteers/carers/teachers alike! ‘When Joel got the Bends’ is a wonderful case study from Birmingham Phab Camps volunteer James about the importance of perceptions and ultimately believing in yourself and others. Read the full story here.
Ask any adult what their fondest memory of school is and most will come back with an exciting story about a residential trip; how they explored, played, took risks, tried new things and made new friends. At the time, you don’t realise how these experiences shape who you become later in life.
The Government are committed to making such opportunities available to everyone, no matter their background, ability or needs. In their recent white paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’, the Department for Education outlined the need for every child to have experiences that equip them with “the knowledge, skills, values, character traits and experiences that will help them to navigate a rapidly changing world with confidence”.
High-quality residentials play an important part in this aim with impacts being seen immediately. The research project, Learning Away, demonstrated the impact that residential learning can have on learner engagement, achievement and relationships. They found that “a residential learning experience provides opportunities and benefits/impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context”. These traits not only open doors to employment and social opportunities but underpin academic success, happiness and wellbeing.
It can be argued that these benefits are even more profound and life-changing for the 0.9million children (7%) in the UK who are disabled. High-quality residentials provide “opportunities for students with disabilities to be engaged in physical activities” which is greatly needed as 86% of families with disabled children go without leisure activities. Add to this the fact that 65% of families caring for disabled children report feeling isolated frequently or all of the time and the need for truly inclusive outdoor provision is clear.
Inspiration through adventure
“George” (a pseudonym) was one such student for whom a brilliant residential had a profoundly positive benefit. Therry, a teacher who frequently brought students on residential courses to Bendrigg Trust, tells his story:
The youngest student we ever had with the team was an 8 year old young man, George, with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and profound visual and auditory impairments. This was to be his first time away from his family and home. He blossomed with his responses and became so smiley and noisy (to the degree of cheeky!) showing us there were ways around, through and over the barriers we previously had believed to be there in the school environment.
Once free of his wheelchair and secure in his climbing gear, George felt his way carefully up the climbing wall requiring minimal support from Bendrigg staff but making his own choices, as his fingers and feet found bumps, hollows and things to push and pull on. He was able to fly along the zip wire with happy howls of delight and his eyes, which we understood to provide him with no vision, sparkled. We know that Bendrigg worked its magic in ways no one could have imagined and we are so grateful that George was able to have this experience. I wish it was possible to bottle this ‘Bendrigg magic’ from start to finish so everyone could see, and truly believe what each individual can achieve.
“George” may be a made-up name but his story is real.
Bendrigg Trust believes in the impact that high-quality residential courses can have for young people with a disability; combining activities that they never dreamt possible with a welcoming and inclusive home-from-home. From learning to make your own bed to taking your first journey in a canoe, Bendrigg believes in giving young people skills for life, an increased motivation and appetite for learning and broadening horizons, often opening up a whole new world of opportunity.
Do you have a story about the impact outdoor learning? Comment below and let us know!