Oliver Voysey raises £35,000 for Lake District Calvert Trust

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image copyrightFamily handout/PA Wire
image captionThe Calvert Trust has shown Oliver Voysey "nothing is impossible"

A 12-year-old boy with a severe brain injury has raised more than £35,000 to help save the charity that changed his life.

Oliver Voysey is undertaking a series of challenges in the run-up to his 13th birthday next week in aid of the Lake District's Calvert Trust.

The outdoor activity centre helps children and adults with disabilities and their families.

It is facing closure after losing more than £1m due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oliver requires specialist care having suffered a brain injury when he was two days old which left him with sight loss, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties.

However, visits to the Lake District have allowed him to take part in activities such as canoeing, abseiling and rock climbing and showed him "nothing is impossible", according to his mother, Sarah.

She said the family would be "devastated" if the centre was forced to shut permanently, so they launched Oliver's Calvert Army appeal on Go Fund Me.

image copyrightFamily handout/PA Wire
image captionOliver has also enjoyed ghyll scrambling, assault courses and horse riding on visits to the Lakes

"They've made the Lake District accessible to us all and Oliver absolutely loves it there," Mrs Voysey told the BBC's Breakfast programme.

"It's probably the only place we do everything together. It's really helped to build memories.

"They mean so much to us so we wanted to give back. They've launched their own emergency appeal, but we spoke to them and said maybe we could show Oliver's story and what it means to us as a family to make it more personal."

Oliver's themed fundraising challenges include walking on a treadmill for 13 minutes, standing independently for 13 seconds, and completing a 13-minute walk.

Before the pandemic, Oliver, who turns 13 next Saturday, regularly travelled from his home in Newcastle where he is member of Newcastle United children's frame football team.

His fundraising efforts were described as an "incredible achievement" by former England and Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer.

He said: "What an inspirational young man you are. You're doing an amazing job. Keep up that great work."

Trust fundraising manager Jennifer Scott said the charity was "so thankful" to Oliver and his family and had been "absolutely blown away" by the response to fundraising efforts.

image copyrightFamily handout/PA Wire
image captionOliver plays for Newcastle United's frame football team and his fundraising was praised by Alan Shearer

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