Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure

Introducing...Kielder's Latest Fundraising Hero

Determined Debbie North is aiming for personal and fundraising success when she attempts to complete Wainwright's Coast to Coast to raise funds for Calvert Trust Kielder - no mean feat when you consider Debbie suffered chronic degeneration of the spine and is now a wheelchair user.

Debbie Test Driving the TerrainHopper

Former head teacher Debbie, from Lincolnshire, retired through ill health but, as a former keen hill walker, never lost her love of walking and the great outdoors.

Spurred on by her desire to keep enjoying what had been a huge part of her life Debbie began investigating all terrain wheelchairs which, she soon discovered, meant she could once again enjoy one of her favorite pastimes.

Debbie's research led her to a 'Tramper' wheelchair hire scheme in the Lake District and Forest of Bowland. But her heart lay in the Yorkshire Dales where she and her husband had previously spent many weekends walking and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

So Debbie began fundraising. And she carried on fundraising until she had raised £7,000 to buy the National Trust a 'Tramper' all terrain wheelchair which was launched in April this year and is now available to hire out for £5 per day from the estate office at Malham Tran in the Yorkshire Dales.

And she's not stopping there. Spurred on by her success Debbie sought a new fundraising challenge - and this time it's even bigger.

Debbie is aiming to raise £11,000 to buy a TerrainHopper for Calvert Trust Kielder. The TerrainHopper is an award winning electrically powered off-road wheelchair.

Debbie said:

"I knew about Calvert Trust in the Lake District and was impressed at what they provided for disabled people and their families. At that time I hadn't visited Kielder but I had been on a holiday to Northumberland and loved the area. I only saw a small part of the area but what I saw was stunning and I looked forward to having more holidays there.

So I contacted Calvert Trust Kielder and asked if they were interested in having a TerrainHopper to add to the other activities that they provided. I thought that this exciting vehicle would be ideal to use in the forest around Kielder and around the coastline of Kielder Water.

They did their own research, took a test drive and agreed with me that the TerrainHopper would be a fantastic resource for the centre.

And so it began. I need to raise £11,000 and have lots of events and activities planned, including a Spring Ball and Yorkshire Celebration Day, but mainly Wainwright's Coast to Coast which will take me two weeks on a TerrainHopper, kindly provided by the design and manufacturers Sam and Debbie Dantzie.

Planning, training and fundraising are all now in full swing so I literally can't wait to get out there and go. Calvert Trust Kielder is a fantastic place and I just really want to do all I can to support it and help others enjoy the great outdoors."

You can help Debbie and Calvert Trust Kielder by making a donation on Debbie's Just Giving Page.

You can also keep up to date with Debbie's story and fundraising at or on Facebook - accessthedales.


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