Here at Saltrock, we believe one of the most important things in life is the ability to get outdoors and head out on all sorts of adventures! Our love for the outdoors is everywhere, from inspiration behind our clothing, to the way our ambassadors embrace the active lifestyle - we live for the outdoors and think that everyone else should too!
This is why we are proud to support the Calvert Trust, a local charity that works hard to create outdoor adventure holidays for guests with disabilities, along with their family and friends - find out more below, and feel free to make a donation in their collection pots in any of our North Devon stores!
‘Adventure sports’ and ‘disability’ probably aren’t phrases you normally associate with each other, but at Calvert Trust Exmoor accessible activity adventures are the norm; people of all ages with all types of disability take part in adventure sports like sailing, climbing, archery, wheelchair abseiling, horse riding, accessible cycling, canoeing and many more.
The charity, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, runs an accessible centre on the western edge of Exmoor not far from Saltrock HQ, and welcomes guests with disabilities from across the South West to stay for residential activity holidays with family and friends. The fully catered accessible accommodation is National Accessible Scheme accredited, and five star rated by VisitEngland.
“The real secret to what we do is treating every single person as an individual” explained Rob Lott, Head of Communications at the trust. “We don’t make any assumptions about what you can or can’t do, and because of this our instructors are able to adapt each activity to the particular individual they are helping at the time. It’s all part of our ‘It’s what you can do that counts’ philosophy.” Take that approach to life, add a few items of specialist equipment including some designed and built by the Calvert Trust team, and it’s amazing what can be achieved, from abseiling in a wheelchair to firing arrows with your teeth!
Many people are surprised by how much they can do at the centre. As recent guests the Reardon family put it; “Our 9 year old son is severely disabled, immobile, and visually impaired. We naturally assumed he would spend the entire week on the side lines in his wheelchair whilst the rest of us had fun. WRONG! We have been brought to tears many times as we watched our instructor carefully and respectfully include our little boy in all activities. Never in our wildest dreams did we think our boy would be taking part in climbing, canoeing, sailing, zip wire and even archery, to name a few”.
The work of Calvert Trust Exmoor is all about removing barriers and helping people with disabilities to get outdoors and appreciate their surroundings, challenge themselves and achieve more than they ever thought they would.
As well as removing physical access barriers, the charity works hard to remove financial barriers to access through fundraising and providing bursaries to help people in financial need. They host around 4,000 guests a year, for 2017 about 800 of these guests will have received some financial help from the charity. If you are interested in their work and would like to find out more about donating or fundraising for them you can find them using the links at the end of this article.
The charity also works in partnership with one of our favourite local surfing beaches, Saunton, to help more people with disabilities to be able to access the beach and the water. Calvert Trust Exmoor have provided two NOMAD accessible wheelchair carriers that live at Saunton Beach Shop and enable wheelchair users to get onto the beach, still in their own wheelchair.
A trip to Saunton is a popular day out choice for many guests, and has led to a partnership where Calvert Trust Exmoor is Saunton Sands' chosen charity to fundraise for, and the Trust provides accessibility support and advice to enable more people to access Saunton Beach.
Rob Lott is a musician, beach lover and ‘camper vanner’, who also happens to be Head of Communications at Calvert Trust Exmoor. He loves seeing the smiles when people overcome a challenge they never thought they would be able to do; he also loves telling as many people as possible about it afterwards!
You can find out more about Calvert Trust Exmoor on www.calvert-trust.org.uk/exmoor, by finding them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by contacting them on email@example.com or 01598 763221.
Phone: 01598 763221