The Calvert Trust is a charity that ‘enables people with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities’. We were asked to adapt our linear low ropes course so that it would be wheelchair friendly. We worked closely with the Calvert managers and instructors to devise a system that was enjoyable for their clients and operational for their instructors.
We enlarged our platforms so they would accommodate wheelchairs, a helper and an instructor. All platforms had an access ramp that was connected to a parallel access route, in case of an emergency. Suitable elements had to be chosen to ensure that there was maximum interaction with the clients and the course. The elements chosen were multivine, postman’s walk, suspended platform (adapted for wheelchair users), rickety bridge (adapted for wheelchair users) and a mini zip wire. A Tyrolean traverse system was installed on all the elements for two reasons: firstly for traverse elements that wheelchair users could be hoisted up onto the system and either pull themselves across of be assisted by an instructor. Secondly for ‘chair riding’ elements we had to create a belay system to secure the clients if they should come off the element.
“It is rare that you can use words like ‘great experience’ when you are parting with money for a business reason. Normally great service or customer satisfaction would suffice. In this case I feel it would not do the guys from Vertigo justice. Brian and Rod were flexible, open minded and prepared to go the extra mile to give us what we required. Plans were changed and designs re-created to suit the needs of our centre and the complexities of our customers. Everything was better than expected and bang on budget, producing a very versatile Low Ropes course that is accessible to all. It was a pleasure working with Vertigo and I look forward to developing our activities with them in the future.”
Jon Cawley, Calvert Trust