A Spotlight on... the Bendrigg Trust
Bendrigg Trust is a residential activity centre, specialising in delivering high-quality courses for disabled and disadvantaged people. It aims to promote inclusion, encourage independence and build self-confidence through the safe provision of adventurous activities.
Bendrigg Trust provides something that is so specialist and unusual that people come from all over the UK to stay with us, and many groups and individuals return year after year. Around 80,000 people have experienced what we have to offer over the 40 years since the trust was founded.
From the moment a person arrives they are supported and encouraged to do as much as they can, from making their own bed and helping at meal times, to pushing themselves to reach that little bit further up the climbing wall or taking their first canoe trip on open water. No matter what a person’s perceived abilities, we gently support and encourage them to challenge themselves to achieve more throughout their stay.
‘Every child has found their hidden talents and overcome their fears.’
Situated near Kendal in Cumbria and with 40 years’ experience, we are a leader in our field and are continually developing to ensure we remain at the forefront of disability innovation. We are proud to share our knowledge, expertise and skills with others towards our ultimate vision of an inclusive society where everyone is equal.
We provide inclusive adventure activities on site and in the beautiful Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks, a short drive away. These include caving, climbing, canoeing and cycling (to name but a few).
‘Canoeing was great, all children and staff had smiles on their faces the whole time.’
The Kinross Building houses our unique climbing wall, indoor cave, sensory room and sports hall, providing opportunities for active participation in all weather conditions.
Our clients take home amazing memories and a sense of having achieved things they previously would have considered impossible. They take this new-found confidence back with them into their everyday lives. Their experiences also open the eyes of families, teachers and carers to embrace new and more daring opportunities to enrich their lives.
‘Watching the children facing the challenges, socialising and increasing in confidence and independence. Every group I have bought to Bendrigg always talk about their positive experience with excitement and happiness years later.’
We pride ourselves on our flexible, affordable and innovative approach to high-quality experiences. Every course is tailor-made to meet specific aims and needs to ensure groups or individuals get the most out of their stay; everyone can take part. Whether you are part of a school or group, an individual or a family, Bendrigg can help you to achieve through adventure.
‘Altogether a wonderful experience that all the children and staff will remember for the rest of their lives!’
Bendrigg Trust’s specialist facilities allow everyone to enjoy an outdoor adventure experience. Our accessible accommodation, including en-suite bathrooms, profile beds and ceiling-mounted hoists, cater for even the most severe and profound disabilities.
New 5-star accommodation
Acorn house is a 24-bed, completely accessible accommodation unit separate from the main lodge. With two accommodation wings, lounge, kitchen, dining area and games room, our newest accommodation block caters for all abilities. Acorn House has 10 en-suite bedrooms, each sleeping 2-4 people.
Bendrigg Lodge, our original building (and a former hunting lodge) has a variety of bedrooms catering to a range of needs, sleeping 40 people over three floors.
All of this is situated in 15 acres of beautiful grounds between the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District national parks.
We also run Fell End, a self-contained bunkhouse in the Yorkshire Dales, which sleeps 14. Being self-catering, it’s the perfect weekend retreat.
We are lucky to have a dedicated team of staff, many of whom have been with us for a significant number of years. Their expertise comes from continuous training and development backed up by years of practical experience, but their most precious skills lie in their ability to create a rapport with our visitors and their carers.
‘Your staff are fantastic, so understanding and caring and the love of their job shines through.’
Volunteers have supported our staff and visiting groups for over 30 years. More than 150 people volunteer at Bendrigg each year on a day-by-day or residential basis. We couldn’t do this work without them and they, in turn, take away some wonderful memories and new life skills.
As a registered charity we receive no government funding and rely heavily on donations. Without these donations we simply would not be able to help people achieve through adventure.
2018 is our 40th Anniversary Year: we’d love you to join us in our celebration. Sign up for our inclusive family Activity Festival on Saturday 29 September here. We look forward to welcoming you.