Guest speaker Claire Lomas addressing guests at the Lake District Calvert Trust Charity Ball.

Guest speaker Claire Lomas addressing guests at the Lake District Calvert Trust Charity Ball.

The Lake District Calvert Trust, a residential outdoor centre for people with disabilities, hosted its inaugural Charity Ball on the evening of Friday 27th September which successfully raised over £10,000 for the inspirational charity.  The Trust, which is based on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, specialises in providing outdoor activity courses for people of all ages with physical, sensory and learning disabilities. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Trust’s new fund ‘Bridging the Gap’ which provides additional support to those wishing to benefit from the life-changing experiences available at the centre who would otherwise not be able to afford to do so.

The event took place in the Mountain Hall at The Rheged Centre, Penrith where over 120 guests were served a four-course meal designed by TV chef Peter Sidwell followed by a packed evening of music and entertainment. Live music from the Gershwin Gang Jazz Band and a Charity Casino all proved popular with the guests. Guest speaker Claire Lomas, a former top level event rider who completed the 2012 London Marathon in 17 days using a ReWalk robotic suit, provided an inspirational insight into how she rebuilt her life after being paralysed from the chest down. Sandra Pryor then delivered an emotional account of how she was inspired by her trip to the Calvert Trust to climb Great End, a 3000ft Lakeland peak, on crutches over three days.

Sandra commented on her experience at the centre “In 2012 I attended the Lake District Calvert Trust which taught me that by changing my way of thinking, using hours per mile instead of miles per hour, and with the support of a team of volunteers, my dream could indeed become a reality.”

The Lake District Calvert Trust specialises in providing residential outdoor activity courses for people of all ages with physical, sensory and learning disabilities. Its mission is to challenge disability through outdoor adventure. Pioneering equipment adaptations, and intensive, instructor-led activity programmes (that include climbing, abseiling, canoeing, sailing, horse riding, trap driving, archery and orienteering), provide an environment whose aims are to teach, challenge, motivate, engender confidence in ability, promote independence, and foster integration. All instructors are highly trained and specialist qualified, and the facilities are specially adapted and accessible to all. The Lake District Calvert Trust provides a unique and life-changing experience for those with disabilities, who are encouraged to believe that it’s what you CAN do that counts.

The Trust relies on fundraising activities and the generosity of its supporters to continue its work with schools, groups, families and individuals and Sean Day, Director at the Lake District Calvert Trust commented on the success of the event:

We are delighted with the success of our first ever Charity Ball, the amount of money we raised exceeded our expectations by far and will make a huge difference to our ‘Bridging the Gap’ fund. It provided a great opportunity to get together and celebrate everything the Trust represents and to hear from our inspirational guest speakers.  We are extremely grateful to the sponsors of the event and all those who gave so generously with the donation of prizes for the auction and raffle that helped make the event such a success.”

You can support the ‘Bridging the Gap’ fund by contacting the Calvert Trust on 01768 772255 or visiting www.calvert-trust.org.uk/lake-district