Calvert Trust celebrates success of ‘Big Give’ fundraising week

A Cumbrian charity is celebrating after a key fundraising week proved a huge success. For the first time ever, The Lake District Calvert Trust took part in the ‘Big Give Christmas Challenge’ week where every donation made was match funded meaning that when individuals and businesses gave once, their donation had twice the impact.

The team set themselves the ambitious target of £32,000 to help fund a specialist outdoor instructor for one year. These instructors are at the heart of delivering the charity’s objective: providing outdoor adventure breaks to people living with even the most profound disabilities.

And they made – and exceeded – that total in just four days!  The final sum raised was £33,508 from 254 donations. It was a true team effort with staff, guests, local families and businesses all playing their part – highlights included:

  • A 24-hour swimathon where 70 swimmers made up of Calvert Trust staff, volunteers, guests, trustees, family and friends swam in pairs (some even in fancy dress!) for an hour each in the Trust’s hydrotherapy pool

  • Local businesses including Edwin Thompson, Pioneer Foodservices and Air Products all gave incredibly generously

  • One local family promised to make and give away 100 Portuguese custard tarts in an effort to galvanise friends and family to donate during the week. In the end Sibella (8) and her dad, Ciso Barbosa made 250 Pasteis de Nata over four nights and raised an astonishing £2400 (once doubled)!

  • Calvert fundraising hero, Oliver Voysey who raised £250,000 for Calvert during Covid got in on the action as well. Fifteen-year old Oliver completed the equivalent of his iron man triathlon as part of the Big Give week with people across the UK donating in support. It has taken him 3 years and his sister, Elizabeth, has been with him every step of the way. Oliver swam the equivalent of 2.4 miles in the pool, pedalled 112 miles on his trike and completed a marathon on foot. Despite being a wheelchair user, Oliver was absolutely determined to finish his ‘Iron Man’ on his own two feet and the moment was capture and shared on social.

Head of Income Generation, Helen Archibald commented:

“What an incredible debut we’ve had to ‘The Big Give Christmas Challenge’. We’re all overwhelmed at the response from our community. These vital funds will help us help more guests find out just what they ‘can do’ and I’d like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to each and every individual and business who supported us. What a brilliant bunch!’

The Calvert team are already planning for 2024’s Big Give week. To get involved or discuss a fundraising idea, please call the Fundraising team on 017687 72255 or email To find out more about the work of the Lake District Calvert Trust, please visit