A profoundly brain injured 13-year-old is helping Calvert Lakes, the accessible outdoor activity centre, to recover from the financial-impact of Covid-19.

In a normal year, Calvert Lakes in Keswick welcomes thousands of visitors for short stays, education and adventure.

With a perfect storm of Covid-19 related restrictions hitting the centre in 2020, Calvert Lakes launched an Emergency Bounce Back Appeal in December.

The response to the Appeal is exceeding expectations with the centre now preparing to reopen in the coming months, thanks to the generosity of the public and the charity’s longstanding supporters.

Determined to play their part in the centre’s financial recovery, Oliver Voysey and his family from Newcastle, raised over amazing £70,000 through their Oliver’s Calvert Army crowdfunding appeal.  Following their appearance on ITV’s This Morning programme with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Oliver and his family went on to appear on BBC Breakfast, attracting national headlines, thousands of social media shares and support from former England football captain, Alan Shearer!

In the run up to his thirteenth birthday party in January, Oliver undertook a series of 13 inspiring challenges to support Calvert Lakes, including walking on a treadmill for 13 minutes, standing independently for 13 seconds and completing a 13-minute walk.

Explained Oliver’s mum, Sarah:

“Oliver suffered a brain injury when he was two days old. He survived but was left with catastrophic damage which caused sight loss, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties. He needs specialist care daily and lots of additional support.

“Throughout his life we have fought to show him that anything is possible, and that we will do all we can to help him rehabilitate. Calvert Lakes has helped us to do this.

“Calvert Lakes really do make disability just a word. They have given Oliver experiences we didn’t think were achievable. His confidence has soared doing canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, cycling, ghyll scrambling, sailing, assault courses, horse riding and fell climbing. Nothing is impossible at Calvert.

“The psychological impact this has had has been amazing. We’ve seen Oliver go from strength to strength and he lives by the motto ‘never say I can’t’. “

While Calvert Lakes’ Emergency Bounce Back Appeal continues, the Trust’s new, eagerly-awaited residential brain injury rehabilitation centre, Calvert Reconnections has confirmed it will open in the Spring.

Calvert Reconnections has developed the UK’s first residential brain injury rehabilitation programme combining traditional clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors.  Recent research by the charity found that 91% of case managers believe brain injury rehabilitation post Covid-19 is going to be more reliant on the private and charitable sectors due to stretched NHS resources, while 86% anticipate an increase in the use of outdoor activities in rehabilitation plans for brain injured patients.  89% expect the UK to face a “tidal wave” of brain injury rehabilitation need, while the majority of case managers will look to resume face-to-face rehabilitation as soon as it is safe to do so.


Calvert Reconnections is continuing to take referrals in advance of its opening, with high levels of interest in its new service.


To contact Calvert Lakes please go to www.calvertlakes.org.uk


To contact Calvert Reconnections please go to www.calvertreconnections.org.uk

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