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Jane James backs brain-injured teenager’s appeal to save outdoor activity centre at risk of closure

JANE James and Associates has supported a brain-injured teenager’s campaign to save an outdoor activity centre facing closure.

JANE James and Associates has supported a brain-injured teenager’s campaign to save an outdoor activity centre facing closure.

The Lake District Calvert Trust, which has been welcoming guests with disabilities for more than 40 years, launched a Bounce Back Appeal to plug a £1 million funding gap due to lost revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, that brought it to the brink of closure.

Among those supporting the appeal was Oliver Voysey, who formed Oliver’s Calvert Army to complete a series of 13 challenges in the run-up to his 13th birthday. Among his tasks were walking on a treadmill for 13 minutes, standing independently for 13 seconds and completing a 13-minute walk.

Oliver suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he was just two days old and was left with full limb cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, learning difficulties and severe vision impairment. His family encouraged others to set and complete their own challenges to raise money.

On behalf of the company, Luci Lloyd, Head of Operations and Clinical Support, donated to the appeal page set up by the Newcastle teenager’s mother, Sarah. Oliver, who has visited Calvert Lakes 12 times, had set a £25,000 target but ended up raising an amazing £220,000.

The centre, which overlooks Bassenthwaite Lake and has its own boathouse and stables, has now raised more than £730,000 and will be re-opening on June 21. It offers huge range of inclusive activities for families, schools and groups, including sailing, canoeing, abseiling, hiking, riding and a high ropes course

Luci said: “I read about Oliver’s story on LinkedIn, I am familiar with the Calvert Trust and the great opportunities it offers its guests with disabilities. The centre is incredibly important to so many people, as it allows them to access outdoor activities in a safe and accessible way.

“I have always heard such positive stories from children and families who have stayed there. It was an easy decision for us to donate. “

Calvert Trust fundraiser Rosie Cumella wrote in response to the donation, saying: “Now more than ever, this will make a huge difference to us, enabling more people with disabilities (including their friends, families, and carers) to experience the joy of life- enriching outdoor adventures. Thank you for helping us continue our important work for them and for families like Oliver’s.”

Watch a video about Oliver’s challenge here and find out more about the centre here.

 

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