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HRH Countess of Wessex launches £76,000 project at Bendrigg Trust

L-R: Emily Berry (Bendrigg Volunteer), HRH Countess of Wessex (John Holmes, Bendrigg Chairman in background)

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex visited local outdoor disability charity Bendrigg Trust on Wednesday 6th February. HRH met with students visiting from Percy Hedley School from Newcastle upon Tyne and took a tour of Bendrigg’s state of the art facilities to enable people with disabilities to have outdoor opportunities.

L-R: Libby Thompson (Bendrigg Head Cook), Val Sykes (Bendrigg Cook), HRH Countess of Wessex

After meeting some of Bendrigg’s staff and volunteers, HRH launched a new £76,000 project ‘Adventure for All – Promoting, Sharing, Inspiring’ funded by the ScottishPower Foundation. This project supports the neediest people to experience life-changing opportunities, improving their mental and physical health and well-being. The funding provided by the ScottishPower Foundation will:

  • Offer Sponsorship to over 400 people who would otherwise be unable to afford a visit to Bendrigg Trust
  • Enable the creation of a Fundraising Pack to help individuals and groups to fund their visit
  • Create five motivational films to inspire other people with a disability to participate in outdoor adventure opportunities
  • Support an inclusive Activity Festival to celebrate inclusivity and raise awareness of the benefits of inclusive adventure.

Heather McDonald, Partnerships Manager at ScottishPower Foundation, said: “It is an honour to be supporting the Bendrigg Trust and its new project, Adventure for All, through the ScottishPower Foundation’s funding. The centre provides fantastic experiences for those who may not normally have the opportunity to take part in outdoor adventure activities.

“It was great for the students from Percy Hedley School to meet with HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and share their experiences with her. It’s clear that the charity is making a huge difference to the wellbeing of those who use the centre and we look forward to seeing what the project achieves this year.”

HRH Countess of Wessex and Percy Hedley school staff and pupils

Another group benefitting from this project is Elms Bank Specialist School from Bury. Leader Orienne said, “Our students have a wide range of SEND and life-limiting conditions. They also come from very disadvantaged families and may not have been outside of Bury. Our visit to Bendrigg has huge benefits – students experience success in various different ways that allows them to develop personally, emotionally and socially. We wouldn’t be able to visit Bendrigg without this support”.

Individuals or groups interested in the work of Bendrigg Trust are encouraged to visit their website: or call 01539 723 766.

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