Pauline Ure, November 2015
"I am a children’s community nurse, part of the palliative care team here in Devon. I visited a family this morning and Mum was telling me about her stay at Calvert Trust Exmoor last weekend. I wanted to pass on the feedback and thank you very much.
This family have a disabled daughter with unpredictable medical needs and their 13 year old son died in March, this year, of the same disease. You organised a last minute break for the whole family. It is always difficult to plan ahead as they never know when their daughter will be well. So this flexibility was very important to Mum.
Mum told me through misty eyes, with her hand on her heart, what an amazing time they had, a really special weekend, with some really special memories, you know the ones you remember forever'. Their daughter's disease is terminal and these memories are even more special since March and time feels so limited.
What was also really important is that you catered for the Whole family without any fuss. I know that you do this every day and probably don't always remember the difference you make but for this family and the memories you helped them create, I sincerely thank you for all the great work you do."
Rachel, October 2015
"I travelled with a special person with particular needs, and every need was catered for. The instructor was patient with him and enabled all of us to participate in the activities. The centre is well adapted for all disabilities and the catering was simple but filling. All activities were adapted so everyone, able or less able, could participate at their own level and most achieved more than they thought would be possible."
Janice P, September 2015
"I have loved every second of being here, my daughter has complex health needs and it is very difficult to find a holiday destination that suits all my family but at the Calvert Trust its completely the opposite. The facilities and the opportunities for disabled people are outstanding. Can't wait to return."
Hayley Smallman, August 2015
"We love the fact that our 9 year old son, who is a wheelchair user, has so much desire and ability to be independent here. It is wonderful to see him set off to dinner on his own saying “I’ll meet you in the dining room”. We also feel there is something special about the atmosphere here; difficult to put your finger on, but just relaxed and positive!”
Helen Morgan, July 2015
"Steve was a real adrenalin junky before he had a brain stem haemorrhage at age 40. He loved climbing, hill walking, motorbike racing; a real outdoors person. Severely physically disabled and now 12 years on from his stroke I was sceptical about how much Steve would be able to get out of the challenges at Calvert Trust Exmoor. How wrong was I!
To see Steve doing crate stacking, the giant swing, canoeing etc. was completely amazing. The look of anticipation on Steve's face was priceless. Thank you for making it happen. We were really impressed with the care and consideration our instructor showed to everyone in our group. He certainly went the extra mile to make sure that Steve could join in all the activities. He also found effective ways to communicate with Steve so that Steve felt involved. Thank you.
The accommodation, staff and facilities were fantastic. It is the first time that we have taken Steve away for a few days and everyone at Calvert Trust Exmoor made it a really pleasurable experience. Before we came, I thought it was expensive. Having experienced a weekend, I think it's great value."
Charles Family, June 2015
"This week I learned not to underestimate my abilities. Even after 10 challenging years as a wheelchair user I learned new skills. The most inspirational people I met were the instructors, nothing phased them. They never said NO. The staff across the centre were brilliant. The gardens, views and facilities were fantastic. The pool is amazing - I never want to use my local ice pool again!
Amy Nettleton, May 2015
"Every single member of staff were helpful, cheerful and friendly. Facilities were clean and adequate, you could see the staff working hard 24/7 to keep them maintained. There's no activity a person couldn't take part in! The equipment you have to ensure everyone can have a go is impressive. The instructors are positive and encouraging without being pushy. The weekend was amazing as we expected it to be. We will definitely be returning again and again."
Friel Family, April 2015
“The place is so well set up and caters for everyone including the severely disabled. Ceiling track hoists, manual hoists, even elephant feet to put on table legs so a wheelchair can get under. They have equipment to enable EVERYONE to rock climb, zip line, abseil, swim, archery, block stacking and a lot more. They have thought of everything! Kitchen staff never stopped, always cooking the next meal or baking home-made cakes and the cleaners are always around mopping and tidying making sure the centre is tidy. I cannot say enough about this place to do it justice. Thank you to everyone who made our weekend so special, we'll be back time after time, you've made a guest for life out of us" Kirsty S (via TripAdvisor), March 2015
"I like the swimming pool and doing things with my daddy who is disabled, we could do things as a family."
Freeman Family, February 2015
"I had an amazing experience! I can't thank the tutors enough for the dedication and commitment to do this, we couldn't do it without them."
Rosie, January 2015
"We came to you with a disabled child and left with enabled child and enabled parents. As a direct consequence my daughter took up judo as we came away seeing her abilities and not her disabilities; yesterday Millie gained her yellow belt in judo. She has overcome her selective mutism, shyness, and tactile defensiveness and triumphed in a sport I would have never considered suitable. I just wanted to express my gratitude for helping give a life to a life limited child. The Calvert Trust Exmoor will always hold a special place in our hearts."
Michelle Hough, December 2014
"Many of our children have never had the opportunity to try these activities or leave home, some have been bullied and some have never met another child with a disability. At Calvert Trust Exmoor they have bonded fantastically as a team, tried all of the activities, encouraged each other and laughed a lot; thanks for a great time! Staff as always are flexible, friendly and approachable, hence why we come back. Facilities and activities are unique, allowing access to such a well organised and varied programme of activities that facilitate physical, psychological and social interaction. Truly a holistic therapeutic experience."
Serennu - Neville Hall Hospital, November 2014
"We found we could relax at Calvert Trust Exmoor because we weren't worried about our son's behaviour in front of others whereas we do worry and struggle in mainstream trips. We have come away feeling enthused to walk and bike ride more at home. We had a great weekend and enjoyed sharing outdoor pursuits as a family in a beautiful setting. The food was amazing and gluten free options available with no hassle. The layout maps on the website were especially informative so our son could see beforehand where everything was. We were really impressed with the instructors and their calm and patient manner."
Knott Family, October 2014
"Our son recently had elective amputation and as a family it has been a difficult time so to come together and achieve all these activities, laugh lots, build confidence and enjoy going to sleep in the evening was amazing. I couldn't sing Calvert Trust Exmoor's praises loud enough, everyone goes above and beyond to make sure you are OK. We came as individuals and left as a family."
Ruth Murphy, September 2014
"Before Chris came to Calvert Trust he didn't speak very much and would refuse to take part in social activities and would rather sit in his room all day; since spending a week here Chris has spoken to everyone in the group and taken part in all the activities. I'm going home very proud. All the activities were great, the rooms were always clean, food was lovely and everybody made us feel welcome."
Sam Thomas, August 2014
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay; the staff, accommodation, facilities and activities were all excellent, everyone was kind, inclusive and welcoming. Our instructor took such great care of us all, he helped everyone make the best use of the activities and their abilities, and was unfailingly kind accepting and patient."
Jackie Kirby, July 2014
"You made us cry with happiness. You don’t know how much these activities meant to many of our students. Thank you so much for always going the extra mile."
Trisha, June 2014
"One child with a fear of water (Mum even struggles to get him into the shower!) went canoeing on the lake for the first time!! Last year he went on the speed boat with the instructor - but this year with his team mates in the canoe. One girl scared of heights managed abseiling (with the help of the instructors), she was very proud. All the instructors over the weekend were amazing, they knew when to 'push' the children when facing fears. You cannot fault the food, brilliant choice and nothing was too much trouble."
Charlotte Thomas, May 2014
“Calvert Trust Exmoor proves that it is only the barriers in society that disable people, not the person's disability. Zack said it's the best holiday he's ever had. For me, being able to do the activities with Zack, rather than watching or aiding him, was an experience I will never forget.”
Jacqui Maddox, April 2014
"A huge thank you for enabling us to have a fantastic family weekend with you. To be somewhere where our son was completely accepted and included was the most amazing experience and one we didn't want to end by returning to the real world!
Our daughters thought the weekend would be all about him but were so pleased to find that was not the case, they were included in everything as much as he was and had a fantastic time! Every member of staff was great but particular thanks to our instructors who managed to get the very best out of our son (and the rest of us!).
To experience the feeling of acceptance as a family and have fun into the bargain is the perfect break! Thank you!"
McKay Family, March 2014
"Thank you for showing me kindness and love. See you next year."
Joe Kinsman, February 2014
"Thank you all for an excellent weekend; 5 star service. The instructors and staff were great, thanks for your commitment."
Paul and Pete, January 2014
"Thank you to everyone involved with our first visit to Calvert Trust Exmoor, from booking in the accommodation, the food and the activities were fantastic. We met like-minded people and had a great lot of other guests with us, although only 11 in our group. I hope to bring Nicky again in the Spring /Summer as its hard to find holidays for Nicky to enjoy, but his face revealed just how much he enjoyed himself. I have tried many types of holidays but this was superb in every way. No one was staring at him, no one tutting, just complete acceptance."
Jackie Mason, December 2013
"Thanks for a fantastic week, I've really enjoyed myself. My self-confidence has gone through the roof! I'll definitely be coming back again (hopefully when the weather gets a bit warmer!) Thanks again, Hope to see you soon!"
Alex, November 2013
"We had the best time ever, children & adults alike. You have all been wonderful!! Can't wait to come back again, very soon I hope!"
Naseerah, Wandsworth Hearing Support Service, October 2013
"This was a holiday without parallel in our experience - a real life changer in so many ways - and I cannot recommend this highly enough."
Gillian Manvell Pavlitski, September 2013
"We met people from all walks of life who were so welcoming and inclusive. It was wonderful to watch everyone have the opportunity to be involved in every activity, considering individual's needs and being flexible with the programme whenever needed. Nothing was too much trouble. We have had a fantastic time - thank you!"
Muggleston Family, August 2013
"I have never experienced such a disabled friendly environment. The facilities are exceptional. It was a pleasure seeing my group feeling so at ease and at home outside their usual environment; within 24 hours of arrival they were at home and it was nice to be able to let them explore without the usual supervision, which is a testament to the safe environment you have created."
Easterbrook Farm, July 2013
"What a brilliant place! We did not come across any member of staff that wasn't friendly, they all went above and beyond to make us all happy! The food was incredible too!"
Katy, Kristen, Laura & Ali Lulworth, June 2013
"I returned last week from Calvert Trust Exmoor and I just wanted to thank all of your staff for a wonderful stay.
Everyone we dealt with from the minute we arrived were extremely attentive and welcoming and provided wonderful levels of service, from the housekeeping and reception staff to the catering staff and instructors.
I'd especially like to commend the work of your instructors who joined us for all of the activities throughout the week. These two fantastic individuals are an absolute credit to your organisation and are fully responsible for making the entire week the success that it was.
They showed a reassuring confidence in their ability to look after us which immediately calmed the nerves of several of the group members who were quite anxious at being away from home alone for the first time since their injuries, never mind the thought of throwing themselves down a cliff edge hanging onto the end of the rope. Their obvious passion for the work that they do was evident from the minute we arrived and being such friendly and empathetic individuals they were simply an absolute pleasure to spend time with.
Through their hard work and dedication they have helped transform the lives of all of the participants who left last week with some very special memories and a new lease of life for the future - an invaluable gift and much appreciated by all. As a result, several of the group members are planning to book with you again for private visits to enjoy the activities with their family and friends, which is a fitting testament to the high levels of service they received during their stay."
Jo Sheasby, The Backup Trust, May 2013
"I was with the Midland Heart group that was with you last week, I had an amazing few days doing activities which, at the age of nearly 87, I didn't think would be possible!
It was a wonderful experience, but even more so I was tremendously inspired to see disadvantaged & disabled people, some of them severely so, participating and succeeding in these challenges.
The support and encouragement given by the staff was truly wonderful. Thanks you for all this and for the comfortable accommodation and delicious food. Long may your work continue."
Rene Hayes, Midland Heart, April 2013
"I first came to Calvert Trust Exmoor about 6 or 7 years ago, I was able to relax and enjoy myself, and do things I never thought possible like drive a horse and carriage, climb the wall, and go kayaking. Thanks to the people who support you, people like me can come to Calvert Trust Exmoor and enjoy a well-earned break and become people again, and meet other people like myself who for whatever reason find it hard to get on in "normal life".
Jamie Cave, March 2013
"I've just returned from my weekend supporting the Bader Braves at Calvert Trust Exmoor, thank you for such a wonderful, enjoyable and inspirational time. Everything about the place is first class, the facilities are wonderful inside and out, there is just so much on offer and all in a safe and accessible environment.
I hope there will be many more Bader Braves Calvert Trust Weekends and I shall certainly look forward to my next visit! Thank you all so much for a wonderful, heart-warming, and eye-opening weekend, and thank you on behalf of my mother, Joan Bader, for creating the opportunity for us to fulfil one of Douglas Bader Foundation’s aims so perfectly. Lastly a very big thank you on behalf of all the Braves, their families and carers, whose lives you brightened so much."
Wendy McCleave, Douglas Bader Foundation, February 2013
"Thank you a wonderful time that was had by myself and Laura at the Share Music event which was hosted by yourselves last week. I was overwhelmed by enthusiasm, helpfulness and support that your team gave both Laura and myself, especially our instructor. The Instructor showed such empathy and kindness towards Laura and the way she was able to interact with Laura was wonderful to see. She was a credit to the Calvert Trust and to herself. The new Acland room is a wonderful addition and all of the participants appeared to thoroughly enjoy their time there, from watching the snow to seeing the sun come out!"
Emily Whittaker, Cygnet Care (Devon), January 2013
"All of the instructors were excellent, as were all the other staff, and all the activities were excellent and to a very high standard. Special thanks to our instructor who was not only professional, but showed great empathy, kindness and understanding to our client Paul, who took part in more activities than he has ever done, and achieved so much. Many thanks to all at Calvert Trust Exmoor for all your support and for providing us with an excellent holiday."
Paul, Malcom & John, December 2012
"Just had possibly our best holiday ever, because we were all together, and able to completely relax. Monday to Friday was way too short, so we are already planning to return. We couldn't have met a nicer group of people, both guests and staff. The food was gorgeous, the accommodation spotless and comfortable, and the activities, well, I didn't imagine myself doing half of what we did but we loved every minute."
Sarah Davies, November 2012
"We were at Calvert Trust Exmoor this weekend with actionairs. Can I say a big thank you to everyone at the trust. It was a truly an inspiring weekend. The care shown by your staff to the visually impaired children was unbelievable and they even had time to help a 50 year old softy like me with a fear of heights. Food was fantastic. Thank you to everyone."
Pete Houghton - RNIB, October 2012
"Seeing the determination, enjoyment and achievement of our clients, especially those with limited mobility for whom many activities present a huge challenge. One such client tried everything achieved on every activity and filled us all with respect. I think the week moved the boundaries of his world and certainly moved the boundaries of our understanding of him."
Headway Somerset, September 2012
"Thank you for a wonderful week!! This is our eighth or ninth time and we're still coming back, so it must be good! Instructors were excellent and made the holiday really enjoyable, We'll see you again next year for some more fun!!!"
Paul, Kirsty, Mum & Dad, August 2012
"Our students really enjoyed themselves. The instructor was helpful and got to know them very well - he was also very patient! Abseiling, canoeing and crate stacking were brilliant - appropriate, challenging and fun. In general the services especially catering and cleaning were outstanding."
National Star College, July 2012
"Everything was fantastic, the food, the staff, and we were matched perfectly with another family for the group activities, All of the activities were great fun and it was fantastic seeing both my children giving everything a go and enjoying themselves. I got see my youngest boy achieve things I never thought he would. It was great to see him doing things in a safe environment."
Christine Bartlett, June 2012
"We're so grateful for all of your help, support and guidance in the preparation and actual duration of the visit - its been awesome!! We (the staff) are fatter (because of the gorgeous food - so plentiful) and fitter (lots of robust healthy outdoorsy activities), and the children have had some lifelong positive experiences. All praises to a wonderful organisation that actually looks for the positive achievements of all people with physical and learning disabilities. In my twenty years of teaching both mainstream and special educational needs young people, this has easily been the best, most positive experience I have had the fortune to be part of. You deserve award after award!!! Hope to be back again soon!!"
Audrey Hopkins, Heritage House School, May 2012
"This was our third visit to Calvert Trust Exmoor and we come back because we love it here. Staying fully catered takes the pressure off so we can concentrate on the activities and have fun. The range of activities is brilliant, and as parents of a disabled child it is amazing to be able to participate and not have to be always assisting. We can join in too, knowing our daughter is safe, encouraged and supported. It's great to meet other disabled families and for us to see we are not the only ones. Everyone can participate and everyone is fully supported."
Lisa Reakes, April 2012
"This was the first time for some of the young people to be away from their families, and what a time they have had! Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm and encouragement. One especially inspirational moment was seeing one of the lads who has a severe physical disability managing to take part in the rock climbing. This would have been amazing in itself, but he had an accident the week before at school and came to Calvert in plaster!"
Jenny Woolf - Devon County Council LDP, March 2012
"We came here as a trial to see if Calvert Trust Exmoor is as good as it said, and we have to be honest - it was better than we could ever expect. Brilliant set up and our instructor was amazing, very good with the group, very fit and helpful. The trial was a success and we will be back!"
Michelle, Voyage, February 2012
"On behalf of the "Echo Group" I would like to thank your whole staff team for making us so welcome over the weekend. We all had a fantastic time and felt well supported! Thank you to everyone involved. Your instructors were all excellent – interactive and supportive, reacting well to the group needs. Communication with our team was good – regular meetings with the team leaders and responsive to our requests and problems. We felt overall your organisation was excellent.
Housekeeping was excellent – the accommodation was well cleaned and up to hotel standards - please thank the staff! Liaison and communication from your office staff before the trip was good – we felt our needs were accommodated well."
The Echo Centre, January 2012
"Thank you for very well organised activities. I brought my wheelchair bound son here so that he can have new experiences, feel fresh air on his cheeks. It was so great to see him shouting "can I go first?!?" when it came to participating in activities. The instructors were great at communicating with the kids, very patient. The site itself is very welcoming for wheelchair users, my son was very happy to get about by himself without any help. We had a really enjoyable holiday and will recommend Calvert Trust Exmoor to everybody wholeheartedly."
Korovina Family, December 2011
"I just wanted to thank you for your tremendous care, support encouragement and assistance for our great young carers weekend. It is always daunting taking away a large group of other people's children and it was great to know that we were in such safe hands. Thank you.
We had an amazing weekend and I certainly think that even over our short stay there were major transformations in the attitude and confidence of many of our young people. Something that our usual activities would not be as effective in achieving as a Young Carers weekend at the Calvert Trust Exmoor."
Westbank Young Carers, November 2011
"Thank you so much to everyone for a fabulous weekend. I have never met so many cheerful, helpful & friendly people in one place. I can't find any more words to express the way I feel about your centre. I can't wait to come back again, it gave us a well needed boost. To be accepted for what we are and not to be worried about what people are thinking about the problems we have. Thanks again."
Carole Fineren, October 2011
"When I got here I had my reservations of what Paul could do in a wheelchair, but everything exceeded my expectations by far, the instructors had a way to get round every obstacle, we both had such a brilliant time, I wish we weren't leaving. A massive thank you for giving us such a great experience"
Megan & Paul, Scope, September 2011
"We were very impressed with the caring attitude shown by the staff on our arrival, making sure we had everything we needed. The accommodation was good, with an excellent specialist bed & hoist & en-suite bathroom, which made meeting my client's needs much easier. The activities were fabulous!! The instructors were highly trained and had appropriate equipment ready to hand to ensure that she was fully part of all the activities.
We always knew she was immensely brave, but she was fearless and put the rest of us to shame!! She went up the highest on the Crate Stack, grinned all the way down the abseiling & squealed with excitement all the way down the zip wire! The swimming pool was accessible to all the family, and it was lovely to see her swimming with her older sister & mum, such a rare opportunity for them! The holiday allowed my client to have precious time enjoying herself with her mum & sister and they have some lovely photos of her beaming smile to treasure! Thank you again for a fantastic holiday."
Annalise Ayre. August 2011
"Nothing is too difficult and the amazing staff here have helped our children do things that other places would not. Seeing smiles on the children's faces everyday was the best part of the Holiday. I would come back every week to experience that over and over, seeing our children take part in activities they have never done before, NO MATTER WHAT the disability."
Teresa King, Footprints, July 2011
"It was a wonderful place that exceeded my expectations. I managed to overcome my fear of heights and abseil, which was a great boost to my self-confidence. It was great to try different activities that I would not normally be able to access or afford. Excellent facilities set in a fantastic location with very friendly & enthusiastic staff, not to mention brilliant food, ensured my family & I had a wonderful weekend!"
Briana & William Breeze, June 2011
"Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, They listened and took into account each child's needs, and were always on hand to help the group. Seeing how the staff used equipment to make the activities accessible to even the most profoundly physically challenged youngsters was enlightening."
Mayfield School, Torquay, May 2011
“We ended up having one of the best, certainly the most entertaining, and without doubt, the most exhausting holiday in years! Where Calvert Trust comes into its own is through its activities which are, almost without exception, accessible to everyone, meaning it was possible for entire families, ourselves included, to do everything together. I can not recommend the Calvert Trust highly enough. If you are disabled or know someone who is, you really should go and experience it yourself.”
Geoff Holt - Disability Sports Ambassador, April 2011
"Now I know I'll be OK for the rest of my life. I thought I would have to live at home for ever, now I know I won't.".
Sam - Wiltshire Physical Impairment Service, March 2011
"Calvert enabled us as a family to enjoy quality family time together, without juggling to meet the needs of our individual children. It was wonderful to see our children enjoying shared activities together, challenging not just our child with disability but her sibling too."
Gill Trace - Time Out for All, Plymouth, February 2011