‘Adventure sports’ and ‘disability’ aren’t phrases that are normally associated with each other, but at Calvert Trust Exmoor accessible activity adventures are the norm; students of all ages with all types of disability take part in adventure sports like climbing, archery, horse riding, wheelchair abseil, carriage driving, canoeing and many others.
The charity, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, runs an accessible activity centre located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the western edge of Exmoor, and welcomes schools from across the UK with pupils of all levels of ability to stay for residential activity breaks.
Many guests are surprised by how much they can do at Calvert Trust Exmoor, as Naomi and Tobias from John F Kennedy School said recently:
“Calvert Trust Exmoor in the only centre that could cater for the needs of all of our students. I have taught Tobias for a year, but I really didn’t know him the way I do now. He is able to do things we simply didn’t know about! The bond between the students has grown and the staff have gained so much from the opportunity to support our young people in this incredible environment.”
A break with Calvert Trust Exmoor includes a structured programme of exciting accessible activities, which are specifically designed and equipped to cater for all. Within each activity session these activities are then tailored to the specific needs of the particular guests taking part.
Rob Lott, Head of Communications for the Trust explains:
“Our philosophy is ‘it’s what you CAN do that counts’; our experienced instructors tailor the activities they are delivering to best enable every single one of our guests to be able to take part. We are all about ‘can’!”
The CLOtC accredited centre has just released the third film in their #TeamCalvert series, all about accessible school residential experiences for pupils with disabilities. The film features staff and students from Mill Water School in Devon taking part in adventurous activities like horse riding, canoeing, cycling and bushcraft, during a school residential break at the Exmoor centre.
In the short film teacher Sarah Clarke tells us about what it’s like to visit the centre with her students:
“I think the nice thing about Calvert is that each pupil can access something that challenges them, individual to them…”
Sarah also explains what the pupils and staff get out of it, and how the parents feel about their children visiting Calvert Trust Exmoor:
“Parents love us to bring their children to Calvert, They love that their children can take part in activities that they can’t otherwise provide, and they know that it’s safe…”
The fully catered accessible accommodation is five-star rated by VisitEngland, and has also been accredited against the National Accessible Scheme as being suitable for less mobile guests, part-time wheelchair users, independent wheelchair users, assisted wheelchair users, visually impaired guests and hearing impaired guests.
You can read more about their accessibility from the accessibility statement on their website here: calvert-trust.org.uk/access.
The accommodation consists of ensuite single, twin and triple bedrooms including some with H-track ceiling hoists, as well as a number of apartments with open plan kitchen and living space, which can be booked on either a self- catered or fully inclusive basis. They also offer mobile hoists, shower chairs, electric beds, trembler pads, and other free of charge loan equipment to make your stay more comfortable regardless of your disability.
Other facilities on site included a fully accessible hydrotherapy swimming pool with high needs changing facilities, a Jacuzzi, games room, bar, sensory room and the Acland room, which is a fully glazed, elevated, communal area with fantastic views to the south west across Wistlandpound Reservoir, down the valley of the river Yeo and into South Devon.
Fully inclusive breaks at the centre start from as little as £210 per person. You can find out more about school residentials at Calvert Trust Exmoor on calvert-trust.org.uk/schools or by contacting them on [email protected] or 01598 763 221.