Amputation Foundation’s overwhelming experiences
Friday 28th September – Monday 1st October 2018, 18 visitors
The Amputation Foundation is a unique charity, that not only assists amputees but also medical professionals in their plight to give new amputees the best start, following amputation. We had the pleasure in welcoming 18 visitors from the Merseyside branch for the first time over the weekend.
We caught up with Damien and Stephen who gave us a little more insight into their time here. They said they initially chose the Lake District Calvert Trust due to the facilities here and the accessibility of the centre. Their chosen activities were sailing, cycling, high ropes, the zip wire and archery.
It was the high ropes that the group found as the most challenging but at the same time the most rewarding, “It was difficult” commented Damien, “particularly around the trees going round the obstacles but everyone manged to do it with a great sense of satisfaction and personal achievement.”
Stephen said that the visit has had a “hugely positive” impact on the group. They issued ‘Courage Awards’ (for a bit of fun), however so many individuals “stood out, by what they have overcome this weekend.” One member of the group hadn’t swam since her amputation, “She swam in the pool on the first day, and she totally overcame her fears which takes real guts; she continued to swim throughout the week and loved it!” One member had said to Stephen that the course has been more therapeutic than speaking to his councillor!
Asking about the stand-out features of the Calvert Trust, Damien said “It’s the understanding of disabled people and their needs. That’s well accommodated for. It was never a hardship to do anything for anybody.” He continued, “The instructors always found a way to include everyone, despite their disability. One guy has been an amputee since he was 1 year old and has never been on a bike, and never thought he would be able to. And he did it [cycling] – he will be out buying a bike this week!”
Damien said “It’s the only place I’ve ever been which has been built for people with disabilities, rather than facilities where they ‘tag on’ disability extras. And it shows.”
They both agreed how the setting “has been absolutely fantastic, the location is very beautiful”. It was the first time for one member of the group to come to the Lake District and they have been blown away by the beauty of the place. At this point in our chat, a member of the group was leaving. She said to me “Thank you. Your staff have been amazing.” Damien says that “this has been the response from everybody – every single one of them wants to come back!”
To sum up Stephen says he was “Overwhelmed; not by myself and what I’ve done but by watching these people come together. We have come as strangers and left as friends”. The group are committed to coming back next year, and as with all our guests we look forward to seeing them again.