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Lake District neuro-rehabilitation centre reaches key milestone

Bill Braithwaite QC Jill Beswick Paul Stafford Sean Day Giles Mounsey-Heysham Christine Sheldon Fiona Nixon Jennifer Scott receive the keys to Calvert Reconnections from John Stobbart

On Friday 20 September, the UK’s first intensive acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre to combine traditional multi-disciplinary clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors, reached a new milestone. ‘Calvert Reconnections’ Centre Director, Sean Day received the keys to the refurbished Grade II listed building from John Stobbart, Managing Director of Stobbarts.

The event marked 12 months of careful restoration following years of meticulous planning by the Lake District Calvert Trust (LDCT) and moves the building one-step closer to being ready to receive acquired brain injury survivors in 2020.

Located on the outskirts of the bustling market town of Keswick in the Lake District, Calvert Reconnections is a brand new neuro-rehabilitation, residential centre that will offer ground-breaking rehabilitation programmes for those who have suffered an acquired brain injury (ABI). The focus will be on delivering clinical therapies alongside experienced activity instructors utilising challenging outdoor activities to support individuals and their recovery from brain injury. This will be combined with making strong connections with the local community to seek out experiential and vocational opportunities to enable ABI survivors to achieve their true potential.

The centre, now fully refurbished, and due to open in early 2020, will be the UK’s first intensive ABI rehab centre underpinned by combining traditional multi-disciplinary clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors.

Sean Day commented: “It is a pleasure to be handed the keys and to finally see the building in its full glory. The old historic tithe barn has really been brought back to life with many of the original features retained; it is a truly impressive building and we are really delighted with what Stobbarts have achieved. We are now looking forward to getting our first visitors in to stay and are focusing on achieving the necessary registrations before we start welcoming people in early 2020. I would like to thank all our supporters and fundraisers who have made this project possible.”

Every year in the UK, over 300,000 people suffer life-changing brain injuries. They face a long and difficult road to recovery, often with limited support.

Working with leading clinicians and academics, the new rehab centre, will provide a ground-breaking, world-class rehabilitation programme tailored to support individuals in their recovery using the Lake District Calvert Trust’s (LDCT) unique programme of challenging outdoor activities.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham, Chairman of the LDCT Trustees remarked: “As soon as you enter the building it has a real ‘Wow!’ factor, with exposed beams and the old stonework in the walls. This is going to be such a lovely place to stay as the ‘home from home’ feel is a very important part of our rehabilitation programme.“

John Stobbart added: “My team have loved working on this property. Being a grade II listed building it has so many traditional features and where possible, we have used the same materials and techniques that would have been used when the building was first built. We now feel like we have been a part of the history of Old Windebrowe and I am delighted with the end result.”

Fundraising began back in 2016 with the hugely popular ‘Go Herdwick’ sheep sculpture trail that delighted tens of thousands of locals and visitors over that Summer. The resulting charity auction kick-started the fundraising process to the tune of £225,000.  Additional funding has since been secured from 21 organisations plus significant personal donations from supporters and members of the public, approaching another £940,000.

Calvert Reconnections is due to open to survivors of acquired brain injury in early 2020 and will be able to accommodate 13 guests for up to 6-months. To find out more visit www.calvertreconnections.org.uk or call 017687 85381.

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