Sponsor a Stay Review by Kate Stanforth

This September, a project I’d been organising for several months finally took place.  Sponsor a Stay was set up to enable disabled adults and their carers a residential respite break at the picturesque Calvert Kielder, an outdoor retreat in Hexham.  I was incredibly lucky that Allied Mobility came on board to sponsor one of ten places for those who currently couldn’t get funding for respite.  With applications only open for one week, I was shocked that 100 people applied, proving the desperate need for a break for both carers and the disabled person themselves.

“Respite is somewhere you can meet new people, try new things and have a great experience.”

Choosing Calvert Kielder

I opted for Calvert Kielder because I have come on respite here myself in the past.  Calvert doesn’t just offer an accessible space to take a relaxing break; it also allows people to take part in exciting activities they’ve never done before.  From the ZipCoaster to sailing and crafts to karaoke, the guests were never short of things to try! 

One of the guests chosen was 19 year old Chloe Hammond from Durham; a wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy.  An aspiring actress and fabulous character, she kindly put herself forward to help me out with this months blog!

Chloe’s Review 

K. So Chloe, tell us about your experience at the respite week.

C. It was brilliant!  I took part in group activities including accessible sailing on Kielder Water where I had the opportunity to steer the boat with help from my peers.  I also tried archery and axe throwing, which were new experiences for me.

Chloe’s Best Bits

K. Did you have a favourite moment?

C. I feel that the best bits of my respite experience were overcoming my fear of swimming on my stomach whilst in the hydrotherapy pool with my auntie/carer.  I also made lots of lovely new friends and memories.

Chloe’s Final Thoughts 

K. What does respite mean to you?

C. I think it has such a big and positive impact .  Funding for respite opportunities is so important because despite having lots of friends I don’t get out with people my age as much I would like to.  Respite is somewhere you can meet new people, try new things and have a great experience.

I also know that respite gives people like parents of disabled people a break from looking after them on a 24/7 basis.  My overall opinion on funding is that it should not have to be fought over for anyone.

My Personal Thoughts

I’m honestly thrilled as to how the week went and hearing such positive feedback is really heartwarming.  I hope that Sponsor a Stay not only paves the way for more respite funded projects, but also proves that respite should be part of a care plan for the health and well being of both the carer and the person with the disability.  We need a break too!

Got a view? Let us know what you think