Disabled People Abandon Outdoor Activity Breaks As Cost-of-living Crisis Bites

The majority of disabled people are abandoning plans for outdoor activity breaks due to the cost-of-living crisis - at huge cost to their physical and mental health.

A new report by Calvert Lakes - the Keswick-based residential outdoor centre delivering challenging outdoor adventure breaks for people with disabilities - reveals that 55% of disabled people will forsake outdoor activity breaks in 2023 due to financial concerns. Even more alarmingly, 93% believe this will impact on their physical health and 92% believe it will impact on their mental health.

In total, the Lake District Calvert Trust received responses from 432 schools, adults, carers and charities, covering thousands of disabled people throughout the UK.

Commenting on the findings, Sean Day, Centre Director for the Lake District Calvert Trust said:

“This research is extremely alarming.

“First and foremost, the majority of our visitors are disabled children. For children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, outdoor physical activity has a fundamental role in their development.”

“It is widely accepted that the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted disabled people,” added Sean.

“The Office for National Statistics has also confirmed that disabled people in the UK are being hit even harder by the cost-of-living crisis than non-disabled people.

“If disabled people cut back on outdoors activities due to financial pressures their physical and mental health will suffer.”

To combat the financial pressures facing visitors, the Lake District Calvert Trust utilises bursary money awarded by generous benefactors. This funding is, where possible, passed on to guests, enabling those who require financial assistance to receive a percentage of the total cost of their break.

“Bursary funding forms an integral part of our operation and enables us to offer help to people with disabilities who without it would not be able to take part in the specialised activities we provide,” continued Sean Day.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, demand is higher than ever as many schools, families and individuals struggle to fund that extra dimension to their lives that can make all the difference.

“Prices at the centre are subsidised by our own fund-raising efforts, but are still beyond the means of some organisations, families or individuals who would not be able to attend without the extra help from bursary funding. This has become of paramount importance in the current national situation. Our ability to continue to provide much needed respite, and a safe and secure place for people with disabilities to enjoy the unique services we provide, has never been more important.”

People canoeing with Calvert Lakes
Canoeing with Calvert Lakes