When we heard this fantastic story form Live Active Strathearn, we had to bring out the #LiveActivePeople blog for another whirl! Meet Cara, songstress, swim instructor and one inspiring young woman!

Many of you will know our LAL Team Member, Cara Tavendale who is a Leisure Assistant with Live Active Strathearn.  As well as helping in the gym – she has just completed her Gym Instructor qualification and is currently going through her Personal Training course – she is a level two swimming instructor and is actively involved in athletics in the area.  

What you might not know, is that Cara has a secret hidden talent! She’s a bit of a musical maestro and plays piano as well as having a beautiful singing voice.  Hold onto that thought now, because we need to take you back a few years to when Cara was just a wee girl.  A burst appendix left her very sick and even now, she has serious issues with her stomach which means she can’t eat at all and needs to be fed via a tube. 

Six years ago, at the age of 16, Cara attended a fantastic camp for young people living with serious illness through Paul Newman’s Over The Wall charity.   The charity started in the States as ‘Hole In The Wall’ but has since then spread globally and now offers hundreds of children across the world a few days away, enjoying themselves in a series of exciting camps. (http://www.otw.org.uk/)

Cara remembers her first camp:

“I was 16 when I first went to an Over The Wall camp and since then I’ve done everything from horseriding through the countryside to climbing the wall in Ratho!  It’s all paid for by the charity and they fundraise tirelessly to make sure they have enough funds to make this happen.

I used to always sing when I was away at camp and I think that’s why I was invited to join in a group that they had at big fundraiser in new York a couple of years ago.   It was crazy – Jake Gyllenhall was on stage with us!”

Cara 5She obviously impressed the organisers because she was just invited back last week to sing solo, while playing piano, at their London event.  Cara wrote a letter explaining what the charity had done for her and you can imagine her excitement when this was read out by JUDE LAW (real life movie star people!) before he introduced her!  Cara sang ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and was accompanied by an orchestra for her moment in spotlight.

“I would never have imagined at that first camp that I’d be singing for famous people and helping to raise money for such a brilliant cause.   It was amazing!”

Here at Live Active Leisure, we think Cara is the one who’s AMAZING and we are extremely proud that a member of our team has accomplished so much in just a few years.  Eileen Laycock, Cara's line manager summed it up when she told Nicki,

"We all think she's an inspiration. She's totally amazing and we are all very proud of her."