Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

The best time from start to finish at Meningitis Now's residential weekend

Andy Hopkinson | 31st March 2022

In March, while the country basked in spring sunshine, some of Meningitis Now’s Support team headed to the stunning Calvert Trust Lakes outdoors centre in Cumbria to lead our Believe & Achieve residential weekend for 11 to 18-year-olds

Young people attend Meningitis Now's Believe & Achieve 11-18 Weekend at Calvert Trust

Eleven young people and their parents and carers attended to join in many exciting activities – high ropes, zipwire, canoeing, bush craft and swimming, plus a lot of craft – it was a busy schedule. 

We were also visited by a ‘mobile zoo’ who brought along several little creatures for the group to encounter. We met giant snails, a gecko, a tortoise, mice and even a friendly ferret. 

Young people attend Meningitis Now's Believe & Achieve 11-18 Weekend at Calvert Trust

Much fun and laughter

The weekend went very well, with new friendships formed, much fun and laughter, many achievements, some well-earned time out of the everyday for parents, and loads of time to share meningitis experiences and to chat in the sunshine. 

Dawn, our Community Support Officer who organised the event, said: 

“It’s brilliant to see when young people overcome initial, understandable nerves to achieve something new on these events. You see them return home with a new-found confidence and belief in themselves. It’s amazing to witness! 

“Many conquered their fears of heights to do the high ropes (they are very high!) or anxiety about water to go canoeing.

New friendships forming

“It’s also lovely to see new friendships forming and the young people, truly rooting for each other and encouraging each other on.” 

Young people attend Meningitis Now's Believe & Achieve 11-18 Weekend at Calvert Trust

One the parents, Sarah T, told us: 

“I just wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for a fantastic weekend. We both loved meeting all the other families and hearing their stories and it was such a huge privilege to see people throw themselves into activities beyond their comfort zone. 

“As you would expect, we were slightly apprehensive about what to expect from the weekend, but we both feel that it was a very valuable experience.” 

One of the young people who attended said: “It’s great fun and you get to meet young people like you.” His mum added, “He’s had the best time from start to finish.”

And another said: ‘It’s so much fun – and it’s free!” 

Find out more about our Believe & Achieve programme and forthcoming Support events.

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