Lake District Calvert Trust celebrates re-opening of its centres
Today, Monday 21 June, Calvert Lakes and its sister organisation, Calvert Reconnections (a specialist acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre), open their doors after 15 long months, with Covid-19 secure policies in place and all outdoor activities available.
Yesterday, the occasion was celebrated by two individuals who have been fundamental in helping secure the organisations’ future – fundraisers extraordinaire, Oliver Voysey and Charles Deans.
Thirteen-year-old Oliver Voysey, a brain injury survivor and Calvert regular, literally zipped at speed down the Calvert high ropes course zip wire through a ribbon to be greeted by fellow fundraiser, Charles Deans from Wigton. Socially distanced dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant and Calvert staff members were also present to cheer the pair on.
Today, Calvert Lakes is ready and raring to receive its first staying guests in 2021/this year. And the good news it – it’s looking busy over the Summer and early Autumn while late Autumn dates are selling fast and 2022 has just gone on sale but the message is ‘book early’!
The centre is operating at 75% capacity and has a rigorous set of Covid protocols in place to help protect both guests and staff members alike. All Calvert front line staff have received both Covid vaccinations and all are being tested twice weekly. Social distancing remains in place under current restrictions and staff use PPE where and as required.
Chief Executive, Sean Day commented:
“it’s fair to say this day has been a long time coming and we are all incredibly grateful and excited that it’s finally here. Seeing regular guests return and the centre start to fill with life again is just brilliant. The message is ‘we are open, we’re busy with guests and busy making up for lost time so do book early to make sure you get the break you need and the dates you want!”
Calvert Reconnections, its sister organisation, is an acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre and originally ‘opened’ on Friday 13 March 2020 only to close again due to the first national lockdown little over a week later. Funded in part by the phenomenon that was the 2016 ‘Go Herdwick’ Public Art Trail, Calvert Reconnections this week will at long last welcome its very first Acquired Brain Injury Survivors. These individuals will be the first to experience Reconnections’ ground-breaking, holistic approach to brain injury rehabilitation and the team are excited about the impact they hope to make.
“We can’t wait to welcome our first participants” says Head of Service, Claire Appleton, “Every single member of the team has an important part to play in the delivery of our new rehabilitation service and the whole team is raring to go”
The future of the organisation was thrown into doubt when it was revealed in late 2020, that Calvert Lakes had lost over £1 million of income as a result of the pandemic. However, the troops rallied as the Calvert Bounce Back Appeal was launched and by April, Charles, and Oliver along with the time and effort of countless other fundraisers and the hard work of the Calvert Team had raised an astonishing £730,000 for the appeal securing the charities’ “immediate future”
However, while business is as buoyant as the centre’s specially adapted catamaran that allows ‘can-do’ Calvert visitors to experience the joy of sailing, fundraising can never stop. While this most recent fundraising appeal has mitigated the impact of the pandemic in 2020, the Calvert team must continue fundraising to fill the gap of six months lost income in 2021. In addition they must ensure they have sufficient contingency funding in place to continue their service, keep courses affordable and rebuild sufficient reserves to overcome adverse conditions.
Fundraising Manager, Jennifer Scott commented:
“We have been overwhelmed by the public’s response to our Bounce Back Appeal. However, like many other charities, we still have some way to go on our journey to recovery and continued fundraising is key to that.”
“There are so many ways that the public can support us and every little really does help. From becoming a ‘Regular Giver’ by making monthly donations via our website or leaving a Gift in your Will to volunteering leg power to run in the London Marathon or the Great North Run later this year. We’re also delighted to announce the Calvert Lakes Virtual Garden Party on Saturday 10 July”
The team are asking family and friends to host a virtual Garden Party in their gardens on Saturday 10 July, take pictures, tag Calvert Lakes and share on their social media platforms. Those who can are encouraged to collect donations from people taking part to forward onto Calvert Lakes to help support them in their specialist work supporting people with disabilities.