017687 72255
017687 72255

The Programme

Calvert Reconnections

Creating pathways back into everyday life

Every year hundreds of thousands of people suffer life-changing brain injuries. They face a long and difficult road to recovery, often with limited support.

The Lake District Calvert Trust has challenged disability through outdoor adventure for over 40 years. Now, working with leading clinicians and academics, they are offering a ground-breaking, world-class rehabilitation programme tailored to support individuals in their recovery.

Lead by a multi-disciplinary team, this six-month course will transform lives – offering motivation, developing life skills, providing vocational activity and encouraging outdoor adventure.

Ultimately, Calvert Reconnections offers participants tangible results and real pathways back into everyday life.

In 2016 our ‘Go Herdwick’ project helped raise initial funding for this project, to develop the Old Windebrowe farmhouse and tithe barn near Keswick into a new specialist rehabilitation centre.

Why now?

In recent years, LDCT has seen a growing demand for support and rehabilitation following an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Long standing views held that improvements were unlikely after 6 months, however recent research suggests that the brain is capable of far more improvement than previously understood. The research highlights the opportunity for a new holistic approach to rehabilitation, encompassing physical exercise, experiential learning, and support in developing a new self-concept after a life-changing injury.

What is the programme?

Working with leading clinicians and academics, LDCT is developing a new approach to brain injury rehabilitation. This will focus on ‘learning through doing’ in the outdoors, supported by a multi-disciplinary team in a purpose-built residential centre. It will marry the latest thinking in neurology with LDCT’s expertise in accessible, life-changing outdoor challenges. This innovative Rehabilitation Centre will help people with ABI reach their full potential for recovery, not only improving their physical and psychological well-being, but also increasing their self-confidence and independence.

Why we’re different?

We plan to provide a residential centre for people in the post-acute phase following an ABI, tailoring a programme to meet each individual’s needs and goals. Along with our expert advisors, we have identified factors which are likely to lead to significantly improved outcomes:

Three reasons we’re different

Physical exercise reinforces the adaptive processes of the brain post injury: helping thebrain ‘scaffold’ to compensate for damage. It also improves people’s mental health, outlookand wellbeing

Outdoor Activities have been demonstrated to improve people’s understanding of themselves and their abilities, post brain injury, with long-lasting benefits.

Group work and a social environment have also been identified as key factors in recovery after an ABI.

Currently there are no facilities available in the UK 

to comprehensively address this critical formula following the initial, post injury rehabilitation.

LDCT is committed to providing tailored care to each participant through a three tier programme of rehabilitation support to meet a range of needs:

  1. Long term residential rehabilitation
  2. Specialist short courses (5 day or weekend), and
  3. Day-centre provision in partnership with other charities to offer non-residential support in the local community.

The new Calvert Reconnections centre will be based at one of LDCT’s existing properties, Old Windebrowe in Keswick. Refurbishment of the building started in early February and is due for completion during the summer, with doors opening towards the end of 2019.

A typical day at Calvert Reconnections

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Time Activity Good to know
7amWake, wash, dress and prepare for dayWe provide shared bathroom facilities to promote sharing and planning skills. There are always overnight support staff present on-site to supervise and encourage participants.
8.30amBreakfast & tidy upEveryone eats together in communal dining facilities alongside support staff.
9.30amMake packed lunchLots of help and encouragement on hand from support staff
10.00amMorning planning meeting. Clients involved in planning and preparation, reviewing
 resources, weather forecasts, etc.All clients and staff to meet and plan the day’s activities. 2 different planned activities will normally be available with coaching and support staff on both. Clients to be involved in planning and decision making process.
10.30amDepart for activity programmeA range of outdoor activities available supervised by experienced instructors and support staff. More experienced clients will be expected to support less experienced clients.
12-1pmLunch on activity or at Centre
4pmReturn from activity programme, pack away equipment and clothing. Group reviews. Shower and change.Supervised by coaching staff; client led.
6pm.Dinner.Communal meal prepared by chef. Clients involved in setting tables and clearing up afterwards.
7.30pmEvening therapy session focusing on skills such as self-reflection, goal setting, concentration skills, creative writingLed by clinical team – OT and support staff.
Essential therapy sessions will be timetabled to avoid periods when clients may be fatigued.
9pmSocial relaxation timeSupervised by overnight support staff.
10pm-7amOvernight supervision by onsite support staff.


Example programme

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Week Programme
1Arrival and induction to the Centre. Introduction to the different activity options.
2Ongoing initial assessment completed and rehab plan agreed with client.
3Introduction to indoor climbing and cycling. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
4Consolidation of climbing skills and canoeing. 2 rest days and 1 social skills day.
5Hill walking introduction. Outdoor climbing skills. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
6Navigation skills and climbing skills. 2 rest days and 1 social skills day.
7Navigation skills consolidation and rope work. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
8Rigging climbs and hillwalking. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
9Rigging climbs and abseiling, canoeing. 2 rest days and 1 social skills day.
10Hillwalking and abseiling. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
11Climbing skills and discharge transition planning. 1 rest day and 1 social skills day.
12Climbing NICAS award assessment. Course completion and discharge.

Our activities


Work towards your British Canoeing personal canoeing and kayaking awards or learn to sail dinghies following the RYA National Sailing Scheme on Bassenthwaite or Derwentwater.

Theatre by the Lake

 Year-round professional theatre just five minutes away.

Horse Riding

Enjoy either riding or trap-driving with our friendly horses -an ideal way to promote calm and well-being.

Visit Keswick

A pretty market town on your doorstep

Hand Biking & Cycling

Taking place at a local nature reserve and on flat ground, our specially adapted bikes allow you to enjoy this popular activity.



Exhibitions, events, cinema, shops and food – perfect to unwind.

High Ropes Course

Built on a slope with access at ground-level, this challenge is perfect for ambulant and some manual self-propelled wheelchair users.

Lowther Castle

Inspiring ruins, extensive gardens, space to breath


Just you, your rod and the fish – a mindful activity, perfect for self-reflection

Rock and Rope

Help develop self-belief and progress through the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) then head outdoors!

Lakeland Walk & Push

Great views guaranteed and tailored to the abilities of the group, from clambering up local mountains to leisurely wheelchair descents on forestry tracks.


A historic house with beautiful gardens and lake views

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Get in touch

Calvert Reconnections
Little Crosthwaite
Cumbria, CA12 4QD

T: 017687 72255

Charity number

The Lake District
Calvert Trust is a registered charity (Charity No. 270923)