Anyone Can take disabled adventurers one step beyond their comfort zone, and then another step, and then another…
After helping to provide a taste of adventure to many disabled clients, Outdoor instructors and husband and wife team, Chris and Vicky Binks, where frustrated and embarrassed at the lack of accessible opportunities to recommend for further experiences. The pair decided there was something they could do to fill this gap.
There is a gap that forms between large charities providing for organised groups, small charities providing for only one sport or for specific disabilities, and the non-disabled adventure market without the equipment or skills to deliver to people with additional needs.
But what if you just want to phone up and book an adventure on a day of your choosing? What if you are a family but a member has an additional need? What if you are on holiday and want to book some canoeing? What if you want to arrange a birthday party on the water and one friend has a disability? And most importantly what if you want to take your adventures on the road with extended trips and additional challenges?
The answer to all of these questions is, it is possible but not easy. Until now…
Anyone Can is a small business with a lot of experience and flexibility, it has no charitable remit to stick to, no accommodation centre to fill and this freedom makes it possible to serve up a vast range of experiences across the North, Scotland and Abroad.
Chris and Vicky have both worked for large amounts of time in big adventure education charities but discovered that serving a community as a small business works amazingly well. They are free to follow demand, overheads are low and they spend their time developing amazing adventures not chasing running costs.
Anyone Can is based in the South Lake District, a UK travelling sweet spot, accessible from Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester in 2 hours. Also with the North West Mainline station running through Oxenholme direct from London, and the Carlisle City airport bringing travellers from Dublin and Belfast, Anyone Can is easily accessed from all over the country.
One of the key issues we had to look at is how individuals can access us. Our situation in the South Lakes is a real boon. A key service we are developing, is removing the need for a car. One train, one flight or one bus from almost any city gets you to us.
The final miles are currently delivered by taxi companies while the organisation develops the licences required to transport their own customers.
So what constitutes the missing disability adventure services Anyone Can provides? We are founded on the idea that if the organisation can provide the right opportunities for progression and exploration, clients will return year on year.
If you take the example of canoeing: Anyone Can take you canoeing for the day or the weekend, in itself this is nothing controversial. Where Anyone Can branch away from the norm, is they host the next level also with the same team, the same boats and with access to the exact same adaption resources. They know you, your needs and have developed support systems alongside each individual. When you sign up to whatever your next challenge is; perhaps a first river trip, or a multi-day expedition you know everything is in place to have a great adventure?
Sailing, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Walking and Caving all follow this similar jump-in-jump-out progression. Days or weekends in the lakes, followed by activities further afield with more challenges and longer experiences.
Why the name Anyone Can?
We wanted the name to reflect a welcoming stance. We want people to know that when they make contact, we are expecting additional needs as the default. We wanted to take away the stress many feel in asking for additional needs to be met by a non-specialist inclusive adventure provide.
So can Anyone Can do anything?
The name is definitely aspirational – We think it is literally true that anyone can do anything, with the right mindset, physical or sensory aids, skills, funding and support. We have a huge range of mobility aids, sensory aids and skills at our disposal but it is true, some environments are better suited to different abilities. We would encourage people towards the most compatible activities but start from the basis: anyone can do anything, and work from there.
Anyone Can is a new business, fleshing out as we go. We officially launch on October 19 with a series of try-a-sport sessions in the Lakes and have a busy winter ahead putting together all of the trips and events for 2020.
How to get on an Anyone Can adventure?
To make it easy we have a few options. For those who just want the convenience of AirBnB, we are hosting many of our activities directly on their Adapted Experiences listings, this is great for quickly booking a simple activity.
On top of this, we offer two types of experience: open experiences and private bookings.
Open experiences are great for meeting like-minded adventurers and potentially friends for life. We list many open experiences on our website for people to book onto. We also add open opportunities on request. If you have a week off and really fancy sailing but don’t have enough people to make a private booking affordable ask for an open opportunity to be set up.
Private bookings are just as they sound. Pick an experience or package and date, then drop us a line and we’ll set it up.
So if you are looking to get out there in 2020, Check out the Anyone Can website and see where they can take you. It might be the first step in a new direction.
Anyone Can is an LLP operated by Chris and Vicky Binks
Anyone Can LLP has an official public launch on the 19th October 2019 at Fell Foot in the Lake District
Anyone Can’s website is www.anyonecan.uk