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Calvert Trust memories

  • Posted on Apr 23, 2019

Wilma Lawrie shares memories of being at the opening of the Calvert Trust Outdoor Centre, Lake District

“It’s not long til this year’s big UK Wishbone Event, the Brittle Bone Society’s first outdoor event at the Calvert Trust, Little Crosthwaite, ‘near Skiddaw beside Bassenthwaite Lake for everyone aged 4 and up. How do I know the address so well?

I had a go in a canoe in my school swimming pool and loved it never having done any outdoor sports before, so joined a group of ‘really ancient’ disabled paddlers in their 30s and 40s who took the teenager me, under their paddles, encouraging me to gain confidence and new skills. Some of us spent a week canoeing, sailing, abseiling and prusicking, sit skiiing (not me as too scared) and more at Plas-y-Brenin, the National Outdoor Sports Centre in Wales – I LOVED it and the flame giving me my love of the outdoors was lit. After that first proper taster, I joined my local canoe club and began venturing onto open water, then canoe surfing, white water canoeing (probably scaring my parents to death) and did some canoe instructing at Croft-na-Caber on Loch Tay in Scotland. When the Calvert Trust opened their first outdoor centre in the Lake District in 1978, our Scottish Lothians based group of canoeists were invited to demonstrate our ‘skills’ showing how with access to try new activities, the right instruction and opportunities, many more things are possible no matter your disability…and we ended up being featured on ‘Nationwide’, the 70s version of ‘The One Show’.

This year’s BBS Wishbone weekend long event will give you the chance, as a family or individually, to try different activities safely with the support of expert outdoor instructors and it’s great fun too. All these years on, ‘really ancient’ me still remembers the great time we had at the Calvert Trust, trying out all sorts of new things. Coming home from the beautfiul Lake District with more confidence, I learned to sail a Challenger trimaran and dinghies as well as canoeing at every chance. I suppose you could say that ‘Wilma’s Thousand Miles for the BBS’ came from that time. So, even although it’s less than 10 days away, it’s not too late to get in touch with the Brittle Bone Society as there are still a few places left and you can also apply for a grant, so don’t let the cost put you off and, if you can come, I’ll look forward to meeting you and seeing you all enjoy the great outdoor experience that helped me all those years ago.”

Find out more here about this years event and how to register.