Oliver Voysey: Boy, 12, with brain injury raises thousands to save outdoor activity centre

A 12-year old boy who suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury has raised more than £17,000 to help save the outdoor activity centre that taught him “nothing is impossible”. 

Oliver Voysey is undertaking a series of 13-themed challenges in the run-up to his birthday this month to help out Calvert Lakes, which is facing permanent closure.

His challenges include walking on a treadmill for 13 minutes, standing independently for 13 seconds, and completing a 13-minute walk.

Oliver needs specialist care every day due to his brain injury

Oliver needs specialist care every day after suffering a brain injury when he was two days old that left him with sight loss, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties.

He had been regularly visiting Calvert Lakes, in the Lake District, which is geared up for people with disabilities and their families to help them rehabilitate.

But since the pandemic, the centre has lost more than £1m in income and may be forced to close for good.

Oliver’s mother, Sarah, said the family would be “devastated” if the centre had to shut.

“Oliver’s biggest birthday wish is for the Lake District Calvert Trust to survive. Forget cards or presents, he just wants to return to his favourite place in the world,” she said.

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Ms Voysey said the centre has given Oliver “experiences we didn’t think were achievable” and his “confidence has soared doing canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, cycling, ghyll scrambling, sailing, assault courses, horse riding and fell climbing”.

The family visit the centre together and take part in outdoor sports
The family visit the centre together and take part in outdoor sports

“Nothing is impossible at Calvert,” she added.

Since launching an online appeal, Oliver has managed to raise more than £14,000.

The family also appeared on This Morning, raising an additional £3,000.

Oliver's confidence has 'soared' since he began visiting the centre
Oliver’s confidence has ‘soared’ since he began visiting the centre

Jennifer Scott, fundraising manager at the Lake District Calvert Trust, said they were “absolutely blown away” by the response although the centre still has a “mountain to climb”.

“Oliver is an inspirational young man and we are so thankful to him and his family for their support,” she said.

“We are urging everyone to join Oliver’s Calvert Army through supporting Oliver or by taking on their own fundraising challenge.”

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