6th – 13th August 2016
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the Lake District, as everyone started to arrive at Bendrigg Lodge for the first week of the Independent Living Projects! There was a sense of excitement and a few nerves as we said goodbye to parents and carers to get ready for a week of fun ahead!
We enjoyed a delicious meal to welcome us to Bendrigg and then set off on a night walk! Not much sleep was had on the first night as everyone got used to their new beds but we had plenty of energy for our activities on the first day!
We worked in 3 teams, doing different activities on some of the days, some people went caving, others climbing and some people headed to Lake Windermere for canoeing! For many people this was the first time they had tried these activities and it was pretty scary! We explored the cave and were even brave enough to see what it would be like without any lights on! There were lots of challenges to be had on the climbing wall, it was amazing to see people facing their fears and climbing right to the top! We practised our abseiling skills coming down the wall and some even did a free fall abseil in the glorious sunshine! Canoeing was a wet day for all, splashing and jumping is an essential part of the day!
On Tuesday we all headed out together to Morecambe, we spent the morning exploring Happy Mount Park and got wet in the splash park before an afternoon of bowling. No day at Morecambe would be complete without fish and chips overlooking the sea; unfortunately we couldn’t see the sea through the mist, but we were promised it was out there somewhere!
Wednesday was the team challenge day. We worked together in orienteering, on the zip wire and in the indoor cave to earn points for our teams. The afternoon involved plenty of messy games to earn even more points – eating doughnuts from a string without using our hands was a particular highlight!
On Friday we had some choices to make for options day; some people had a trip to the farm, others enjoyed kayaking, some people challenged their climbing skills on a ghyll scramble and others enjoyed swimming in an outdoor pool.
And if we weren’t too tired there was lots fun to be had in the evenings too, singing at the campfire, making lots of Olympics themed crafts with Emily [Bendrigg’s resident artist], a movie night and lots of goes down the tube slide!
It was an amazing week and it was really special to share everyone’s achievements as we all received certificates on the final morning. There were tears as we said goodbye to all the new friends we had made this week but everyone was ready to head home for a rest and to share our amazing stories.
Louise Edgell, Volunteer