54-year-old from Derbyshire enjoys first holiday of his entire life - thanks to housing trust

A 54-year-old man from Derbyshire has had his first ever holiday thanks to housing trust Derventio.

By Julia Rodgerson
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 1:21 pm

Wayne Rodgers was one of a group of eight who enjoyed a one-night stay at Mount Cook Adventure Centre in Matlock.

He was able to go on the trip through being a regular at Derventio’s Growing Lives project.

Based in Cotmanhay, the project helps people who are either residents in its housing or have been referred through alcohol and drug recovery schemes to gain confidence and valuable life skills by taking part in activities such as craft, gardening and furniture making.

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Wayne Rodgers sitting at a table he has made through attending Growing Lives

Wayne said: “I have three sisters and two brothers and my dad never worked, so we couldn’t afford holidays.

“The impact of this on me was amazing, and I mean amazing. It was absolutely fantastic. Sharing it with the guys at Growing Lives was like adopting a new family. There are not enough words. I enjoyed it that much I had to phone up and thank the organisers that night with tears of joy.”

Wayne, of Alvaston, has been benefiting from the services of Derventio for about 12 years, having come across the organisation when he was living on the streets.

A former scrap metal merchant, Wayne turned to drink at the time of losing his dad and his job.

To get to Growing Lives, Wayne is picked up from his home and transported in a minibus organised by Derventio.

So far, Derventio has taken two trips to Mount Cook using funding from a grant-making charity called Outdoors for All, which enables people to access leisure activities in the fresh air.

The Growing Lives group enjoyed a range of outdoor activities at the centre.

Sarah Ellis, funding and development manager for Derventio Housing Trust said: “Mount Cook provides an outdoor space where people can take part in physical activities that promote their teamwork and problem solving, which are important life skills.

“The centre ensures all activities are inclusive so no-one feels left out. Everyone who attends, including the tutors, always gives positive feedback about how much they thoroughly enjoy it.”