MET & The 'Wirral Swallows and Amazons Adventure Group' Charity

MET & The 'Wirral Swallows and Amazons Adventure Group' Charity In January 2003 Tom and Bev Bolton, Co Creators of FREEWAY-CER Meridian Energy Therapy, set up the childrens charity 'Wirral Swallows and Amazons Adventure Group' for disadvantaged and children with special needs. Four years down the line and having raised over Β£160,000 for the charity, here follows an update from the dynamic duo...


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Tom Bolton writes: In 1984 my life was in a mess I was just divorced, had lost my job, was suffering depression and bouts of anxiety, and everything in my life was going wrong I was at a stage when I was so fed up with life I almost gave in. luckily I met a person who taught me a technique from the Ageless Wisdom teachings and within a couple of days my whole life changed. I looked around me and saw others who looked as sad as I had. I felt sorry for them and decided that I would like to help people feel the inner peace that had so quickly come into my life. I spent many years then doing research and studying ageless wisdom teachings and holistic practices and in 1990 met my soulmate Bev. In 2000 we created FREEWAY-CER Meridian Energy Therapy which is now being taught worldwide.Today I am a practicing Therapist.

In 1994 Bev and I decided to take up respite fostering and to this day still enjoy helping children and their families through offering respite and running a children's charity.

One weekend in 1996 we had two very boisterous young children staying with us for a few days and on the Telly came a film called 'Swallows and Amazons' starring the lovely Virginia McKenna of 'Born Free' fame. The children stopped quibbling and arguing and sat quietly watching the movie for some time. Afterwards they wanted to play on the beach nearby pretending to be the children in the film. Their behaviour changed from naughty to being friendly with each other and wanting to help us carrying shopping etc.

We were amazed and bought a copy of the film from the Museum near Bowess in the lake district. We showed this film over the years to lots of other young people who we were fostering and it had the same magic effect on them. The film also had a magical effect on us so much so that in Sept 2002 we decided that we would start a charity to help disadvantaged and disabled children to have 'Adventure Holidays' that would help them to gain confidence, overcome fears and realise that they could achieve almost anything no matter how disadvanged or disabled they were.

We had no money and hadn't got a clue how to start a charity. However we tapped on all the things we thought impossible, our doubts, our fears, all negative things in us that said this is impossible. We imagined seeing hundreds of young people enjoying challenging and exciting adventures just like the kiddies in the movie. In our minds we saw them canoeing, climbing, playing on rafts, getting out of their wheelchairs and abseiling, swimming, some roller blading others ten pin bowling, playing games seeing sunlit lakes and huge mountains going up into blue skies. We took adventure training and passed our powerboat level two training.

We visited North Wales and Cumbria and soaked up the atmosphere. We drove around lake Windermere and Coniston water and imagined boats full of happy children. We discovered an adventure centre on the banks of Coniston about a mile from Peel Island the island in the film. We told the staff at that centre of our dream and they leant us a canoe to paddle out to the Island. We got on the Island it was a strange day overcast, but as we landed on the beach of the Island the sun peeped through the clouds and shone on us. We felt very emotional almost hearing the sound of children laughing as they ran around the Island all those years ago in 1929 when children could safely camp out at night and when Arthur Ransom the author and his peers camped on this very Island. We felt passionate and knew that we would succeed in our dream, and when we returned home we went full steam ahead.

Our local social services tried to stop us as they were very cautious about safety issues but our determination kept us going nothing could stop us now. We contacted Virginia McKenna the film star and she consented to be our Patron.

We contacted the Charities Commission, asked advice and also heard about a Grant called Awards for all applied and got the first Β£5000.

Anyway to cut a long story short we took 12 weeks only to become a registered charity 'Wirral Swallows and Amazons Adventure Group' became a reality on the 26th January 2003 and in March we 2003 took away our first 5 groups of young people to enjoy their adventure of a lifetime.

Its now January 2007 and already since we became a charity we have raised and spent directly on the children over Β£160.000 and used it to conduct 40 residentials serving over 1400 young people. This year we have already planned and paid for another 375 children to have these life changing adventures. We attract over 50 skilled volunteers each year to help and use the finest Outdoor Adventure Centres in Cumbria and North Wales with AALA trained and approved Adventure Instructors and have so far not had one accident.

We have had miracles happen for the children. One little girl who had been told she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life is now able to climb mountains and run and laugh and do all the things other children can do. Other children who had been very destructive in their neighbourhoods are now going youth clubs and one young lady who had no ambition in life at all is training to be a Veterinary Surgeon.

It just goes to show that anyone who has a passion and desire to help others can do the impossible if only they believe it will happen. First clear all the blockages and doubts, next visualise and imagine the very things you want are already happening and very soon nature will provide you with everything you need and it comes into your lives in the most unusual and most amazing ways. Nature is abundant and if you are working with the evolutionary force of nature you will attract events, circumstances and people to you to help you fulfil your dreams.

Bless you all

Tom and Bev Co Founders Wirral Swallows and Amazons Adventure Group and Co Creators FREEWAY-CER Meridian Energy Therapy

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