The Buzz Youth Activity Group (a local Cheshire-based organisation set up for young disabled people aged 8 – 18, delivering fun and creative activity sessions on a weekly basis), recently visited the Lake District for a weekend packed with fun and challenging physical activities. Here they tell Disability Horizons about their trip.
Our weekend of fun began on Friday 10th February when members, volunteers and staff travelled to the Calvert Trust in Keswick, Lake District. The weather was a little bit cold so there was much excitement as to whether it would snow! Upon arrival the members were shown around the venue, chose where they were going to sleep and unpacked their bags. A lovely evening meal was served and everyone went to bed very excited about the weekend ahead.
Saturday dawned and, after a hearty breakfast, the fun really began. Members first went horse riding, then participated in grooming the horses, and visited the resident donkey.
Next was rock climbing and the zip wire activities – both very popular – resulting in some ear piercing screams of delight, which could probably be heard all the way back to Cheshire. Getting to the top of the climbing wall was an extremely proud moment for the young people. The sense of achievement felt by everyone in the group was overwhelming. Staff and volunteers commented how positive it was that the venue had equipment which enabled everyone to participate, including the zip wire which could accommodate any size of wheelchair.
Later in the day everyone chilled out in the fabulous hydrotherapy swimming pool with one young person commenting: “this is what heaven must be like.” A visit to the sensory room completed the day’s adventures, at which point the physical effects of the day became evident as the relaxing and cosy atmosphere in the sensory room sent everyone off to sleep.
After a good night’s sleep, Sunday morning arrived and the young people were up bright and early to go canoeing. Everyone got dressed in their waterproofs, wellingtons, hats and gloves and headed to the lakeside to start the adventure. The beautiful surroundings at the lake enabled some wonderful photographs to be taken as a memento of the trip. Everyone managed to board their canoe safely, although this was accompanied by a lot of laughter as a few volunteers nearly ended up head first in the water! It took some time to get each canoe out onto the lake, with some young people deciding it was easier for volunteers to do all the hard work whilst they sat back and enjoyed the view!
Once away from shore the hard work really began! Working in teams, everyone managed to paddle across the lake to enjoy the stunning scenery and beautiful countryside views. The instructors based at the venue provided fantastic support and guidance making the young people confident to try new adventures and learn new skills.
All too quickly the weekend came to an end and, after a final meal back at base, everyone reluctantly returned home. It was a quiet trip back home with tiredness taking over after such an adrenaline fuelled few days.
Final comments from the young people before they went home included: “when are we going again?”, “I loved the donkey!”, “thank you for a great time” and, finally, “I had the best time ever,” which summed up the whole weekend!
By Melanie Hinde and Shelley Williams
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