Keswick Lions get Calvert Reconnections on the road!

Brain injury survivors staying at a ground-breaking new medical facility near Keswick will be helped on their road to recovery by a specially-equipped mini bus provided by local Lions

The UK’S first intensive rehabilitation centre for people with acquired brain injuries will open early next year at Old Windebrowe in Brundholme Road on the outskirts of the town. Called Calvert Reconnections. the neuro-rehabilitation centre will provide places for 13 guests for up to six months at a time. More than £1.8 million has been raised to pay for the facility, starting with £225,00 from the hugely-popular Go Herdwick sheep sculpture trail in 2016, since when there have been contributions from 21 different organisations- plus significant personal donations from supporters and members of the public.

Now Keswick Lions has led a successful £25,000 fundraising campaign to buy a mini-bus for the residential centre, which is part of the Lake District Calvert Trust charity. The local Lions group pledged £8,000 and approaches to Cumbrian colleagues resulted in Windermere and Ambleside Lions giving £5,000, with Kendal, Grange, Furness and Lancaster Lions all offering smaller amounts. The Lions Clubs International Foundation was so impressed with the local fund-raising bid that it agreed to provide the outstanding amount via match-funding to allow the vehicle to be bought.

Diane Cannon, of Keswick Lions, said: “We are delighted to support the Calvert Reconnections Centre. Our aim was to provide it with a specially-equipped minibus to be used to transport residents and their teams around Keswick and the local area where they can gain invaluable experiences on their road to recovery.

“I am personally very proud of ions to co-ordinate this bid and to see how clubs in our district supported have us. I cannot wait to see the fully kitted-out minibus in use.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK suffer life-changing brain injuries, leaving them facing a long and difficult road to recovery, often with limited support. From early 2020, Calvert Reconnections will offer specialised rehabilitation programmes for those who have suffered an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Working with leading clinicians and academics, the Calvert Reconnections centre will offer world-class ABI programmes tailored to support individuals in their recovery. Led by a multidisciplinary team, the six-month programme will transform lives, offering motivation, developing life skills, providing vocational activity and encouraging outdoor adventure – and ultimately tangible results and pathways back into everyday life.

The original building where it will be based is already fully refurbished and Paul Stafford, the centre’s business development officer, said he was delighted with the Lions’ “fantastic” fundraising effort which will provide the facility with its own transport option. He said: “The focus will be on delivering clinical therapies alongside experienced activity instructors utilising challenging outdoor activities to support individuals and their recovery from brain injury. This will be combined with making strong connections with the local community to seek out experiential and vocational opportunities to enable ABI survivors to achieve their true potential.”

The Lake District Calvert Trust was founded in 1976 and was inspired by John Fryer-Spedding, whose vision was to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside. It now employs over 40 permanent staff and welcomes more than 3,500 people every year to its specialist facilities at Bassenthwaite, catering for up to 60 guests, many with profound and complex disabilities.

Photo caption:
Jill Beswick (centre left), manager Sean Day (right) receiving the £25,000 cheque from Keswick Lions Diane Cannon and (from left) Ray Sheldon, Chris Pond. Alan Dunn, Alan Graham, Martin Ousby and Clive Beauvais

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Calvert Reconnections
Old Windebrowe
Brundholme Road
Cumbria, CA12 4NT

T: 017687 85381

Charity number

Calvert Reconnections is part of The Lake District Calvert Trust.
Registered Charity No. 270923