Leading Cumbrian Charity calls for businesses to engage with Disability Awareness through new Training Days

Calvert Lakes, leaders in accessible outdoor adventure for all, have launched a series of new training days to encourage businesses of all sizes to actively engage with Disability Awareness in the workplace for the benefit of both employees and customers. The Disability Awareness Training (DAT) Days will initially run from November 2002 to February 2023 but the organisation hopes that interest will be such that they’ll become a regular occurrence year-round.

One in five working age adults (Scope UK 2022) identify as living with a disability in the UK. That means that in a workplace of 50 people, you could expect around 10 colleagues to be facing additional challenges. For customer facing businesses, the Calvert Team want to help organisations ensure that staff are up to speed with welcoming and accommodating customers and guests with disabilities.

With over 40 years’ experience of leading the way in accessible outdoor adventure, Calvert Lakes is a not-for-profit charity based in the Lake District. They help people of all ages with a range of disabilities overcome challenges and experience the benefit of the great outdoors. This stands them in good stead to share accumulated learning and best practice with like-minded businesses around the county and beyond.  In return, organisations who sign up will be supporting a key UK charity.

Centre Director, Sean Day commented:

“We want to help forward-thinking, inclusive organisations, build on how they embrace and cater for a diverse workforce and customer bases. It is so important that no matter what the area of industry, we’re all doing our best to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.”

Two of the first businesses to engage exemplify how these Disability Awareness Training Days have wide-reaching appeal. The Lake District Wildlife Park, a popular Bassenthwaite-based family attraction employing nine staff and leading Business Services provider David Allen. With over 150 staff David Allen specialise in Accountancy and Tax as well as  IT and Financial Services.

Sheryl Dobson, David Allen’s Training and Development Manager commented:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of this new initiative, launched by The Lake District Calvert Trust.  As Training and Development Manager I am always looking for ways to develop our people and this is one of those opportunities we could not miss out on.” 

A classroom-based morning exploring the definition of disability, terminology and language, models of disability, communication, disability and inclusion in the workplace – including an overview of the latest legislation and barriers to participation

A buffet-style lunch is followed by an inclusive activity that re-enforces the morning’s learning, putting theories into practice and bringing disability awareness to life. It may be canoeing on Bassenthwaite Lake, the exhilarating high ropes course or if the weather doesn’t play ball – climbing in the sports hall.

DAT days operate for a maximum of 12 people at a time – ensuring that people get the most out of it. Individuals and small groups can attend ‘open’ days with a group made up of a number of smaller organisations to keep it cost effective. Larger organisations sending multiple colleagues can expect dedicated days for staff, with content tailored to the organisation as appropriate.