Lake District Calvert Trust saved by 'bounce back' appeal

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image copyrightFamily handout/PA Media
image captionThe centre enabled Oliver Voysey to canoe, abseil and rock climb

An outdoor activity centre at risk of closure will now be able to reopen, in part thanks to the fundraising efforts of a boy with a severe brain injury.

Oliver Voysey completed a series of challenges in the run-up to his 13th birthday in aid of the Lake District's Calvert Trust outdoor activity centre.

He has now raised almost £220,000, far exceeding an initial target of £25,000.

This, and a similar amount raised by the centre's "bounce back" appeal, has saved it from financial collapse.

Oliver, from Newcastle, 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,

He and his family would regularly visit the centre, which helps helps children and adults with disabilities, where he was able to take part in activities such as enjoy canoeing, abseiling and rock climbing.

When it announced in December that it was facing closure after losing more than £1m due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he set up his themed fundraising efforts.

image captionThe Calvert Trust offers outdoor adventures to children and adults with complex needs

Sean Day, centre manager said: "We've been absolutely blown away by Oliver's efforts, and the fantastic support we've had from the community.

"That's had the fantastic result that we are no longer facing closure in April."

The facility is now waiting for an announcement from the Department for Education on when outdoor education residential trips can re-start, but is hoping it will be from the 21 June.

Sarah Voysey, Oliver's mother, said: "For a long time we hadn't wanted to believe it would happen, that we'd get enough money, that they would reopen, but [this is] such good news."

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