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Calvert Reconnections unveils winter activity programme

Pioneering neuro-rehab centre announces wide-ranging opportunities to maximise rehabilitation



Specialist neuro-rehab centre Calvert Reconnections has announced its new winter activity programme for 2023/2024.

Since opening its doors three years ago, the Keswick centre has achieved life-changing outcomes for participants by delivering cognitive and physical rehabilitation strategies alongside daily living and vocational skills within the local community.

Participants, their families and Reconnections’ clinical therapy team work together to establish goals which address a range of areas including physical rehabilitation, mental wellbeing, cognitive rehabilitation and communication; all with the aim of maximising function. The process then feeds into the development of a personalised rehabilitation plan.

As part of its winter programme, a range of weather resilient activities have been developed by the centre’s interdisciplinary team which includes neuro occupational therapists, neuro physiotherapists, neuro speech and language therapists, neuro psychologists, clinical psychologists, positive behaviour support practitioners and rehabilitation coaches.

“We have put a huge amount of research and planning into our expanded winter programme,” said Claire Appleton, head of service at Calvert Reconnections.

“The winter months are no barrier to rehab success for our participants. All the skills developed through these exciting and engaging programmes transition through into an integrated rehabilitation plan for daily living skills, greater life skills and, when appropriate, independent living trials.”

Calvert Reconnections utilises the Lake District Calvert Trust’s extensive range of facilities including its swimming pool and aquatic therapy centre, fully accessible riding school and sports hall.

At the swimming pool, participants are benefitting from Reconnections’ aquatic therapy programme, with individual and group sessions running throughout the week.

“Our specialist pool, with its fully adjustable floor, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art aquatic therapy facility with an underwater treadmill,” explained Femke van Schelven, specialist neurological physiotherapist at Calvert Reconnections.

“While underwater treadmills are widely used in sports rehabilitation, there are few neuro-rehabilitation centres with these facilities.

“Despite extensive clinical research supporting the benefits of aquatic treadmill therapy, it is extremely difficult for individuals with brain injury to access such therapy.

“It allows participants to challenge their balance more within the safety of the water and allow people to push themselves harder without the high impact of the dry land treadmill.”

Participants can also access the Lake District Calvert Trust Riding Centre, a British Horse Society approved riding school which offers riding and carriage driving for people of all abilities. The stables are purpose-built with indoor and outdoor arenas, viewing gallery, state of the art lifts and electronic hoists.

The benefits of equine activities in brain injury rehabilitation are well recognised through independent research.

Calvert Reconnections’ equine activities are tailored to the participant’s individual rehabilitation programme and delivered by qualified instructors working closely with the centre’s clinicians.

In other initiatives, the centre’s sports hall is delivering a full programme of goal-focused rehab sessions including football, badminton, basketball, curling and rope work.

Activities such as photography, film making, fishing, bird watching, nature walks and bushcraft are also being integrated into rehab plans where appropriate while the centre is providing vocational opportunities and life skills classes.

Claire Appleton added: “It will be inspiring to work with our participants during the winter months.  As a service we are constantly striving to expand the horizons of what is possible with brain injury rehabilitation.”