The Silverliners Test Run the new ABI Centre

We had the pleasure of welcoming a group from ABI charity The Silverlinings in conjunction with Accessible Dreams in September to help ‘test-run’ the Centre.

Everything at Calvert Reconnections has been designed with acquired brain injury (ABI) survivors in mind, so now that the renovations have been completed, the team were keen to get some real-time feedback from people using the building as is intended, on a very practical level.

The team hoped to receive detailed feedback from the group, after a week of living in the centre and participating in some of the activities we will be using as part of our pioneering rehabilitation programme. Although we have some clear ideas about how the programme is to be delivered, the team welcomed clear and constructive ideas for improvements and development alongside direct feedback. On both accounts, the group were very supportive, and their opinions and suggestions were incredibly beneficial.

A group of 4 adults with ABI (more than 10-year post injury), 3 organisers and 7 support workers stayed in our newly converted grade II listed building at Old Windebrowe. The group comprised of males, females and wheelchair users, most of whom experienced difficulties with dexterity, vision and cognition.

Jill, Calvert Reconnections’ Clinical Lead and the Lake District Calvert Trust’s Chief Instructor, Rob, spent a lot of time throughout the week with the group. During the day, the group took part in a range of activities including catamaran sailing, a Lakeland walk, canoeing, rock climbing and a high-ropes course. These activities have been tried and tested at the Calvert Lakes site; however, it was great to see and hear how our group tackled the challenges and overcame problems faced during the activities.

canoeing

Over the course of the week we gained a lot of useful feedback, both in terms of clinical requirements and the groups aspirations for the service, but also at a very hands-on level when it came to the day-to-day workings of the building. The team were left with many ideas regarding the delivery of the rehabilitative programme as we continue to develop the service.

Their feedback has been invaluable; we know what we do well but we also know what we still need to do, for example, the team know that we need to give the centre a more homely feel and this was clearly a priority from the group’s perspective. Happily, we are well underway with this task now so watch this space!

We discussed ideas that we thought may or may not work. For example – uniforms; we have been looking into getting uniforms but feedback from the group advised us against staff being easily identified as support i.e. in uniform – because at home family and friends wouldn’t wear anything different!

We received some amazing feedback about individual achievements too… “We have all had a wobble seeing people achieve so much” and “It was a great feeling getting to the top when it would have been easier to give up”. Other comments have been… “He has been really in the moment this week, more than I have ever seen” to simply “that was fun!”

As a team, we feel very lucky to have spent the week with this group. There was lots of fun and laughter and they were keen to participate in activities during the day, offer each other encouraging support, provide positive ideas and give constructive feedback re. what we are doing – both right and wrong!

We would love for Silverlinings to come back to Calvert Reconnections when we are fully up and running, and in the meantime continue to respond to feedback and improve our exciting new venture…

 

Catamaran on lake

More about

The Silverlining Charity offers opportunities for all those affected by brain injury (Silverliners) to get involved in exciting and purposeful activities in the community. Their service users include the brain injured as well as family members and friends who are often overlooked despite the effects brain injury can have on loved ones. Read more about the Silverlining Charity here.

Accessible Dreams look beyond disability and injury to ensure every dream is accessible and in doing so offer their clients opportunities and adventures that are often assumed to be beyond the reach of those with serious injuries. They have established annual Skiing, Surfing and African Safari trips but their greatest pride comes in offering a bespoke service, tailored to the individual dreams and needs of each client. Read more about Accessible Dreams here.

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Calvert Reconnections
Old Windebrowe
Brundholme Road
Keswick
Cumbria, CA12 4NT

T: 017687 85381
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Charity number

Calvert Reconnections is part of The Lake District Calvert Trust.

Registered Charity No. 270923