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