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Supportive Retreat for Parents Bereaved by Suicide or Substance Use

This weekend is for parents bereaved by drug or alcohol use or whose child died by suicide

Supportive Retreat for Parents Bereaved by Suicide or Substance Use

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham B29 6LJ.
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23 August 2019 – 25 August 2019

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham



About the weekend

This is the fourth year of this retreat, and a unique opportunity to come and meet with others who understand the pain of the loss of a beloved son or daughter. Here you can immerse yourself in the comfort and warmth of a dedicated team of bereaved parent supporters.

The weekend will be a mixture of discussions and activities which you are free to participate in as much, or as little, as you wish. Most of all, this is an opportunity to spend a few days away with people who truly understand what it means to be a parent bereaved in these particularly difficult ways.


What others said about last year's retreat:

Thank you all, for an inspirational and comforting weekend at Woodbrooke. It is a great help to meet others in the same sad boat and have a chance to share our stories - which seldom happens in the ‘outside world’.”

“I was so alone at home and so I came to Woodbrooke. And I have been back every year. I feel sure that the friendship of the amazing people I have met has saved me.”

“I gained strength from being immersed in the company of those who genuinely understand, and I left safe in the knowledge that the shared understanding and compassion of you and your team of volunteers, as well as the friendship of those I met, will help to carry me through my everyday…”

“I genuinely feel better after spending time with others who are on the same journey as me - some new to this travail - others further along the road - all of us supporting each other.”

“From the bottom of my broken heart, "where the light got in" thank you all so much for your energies and everything in making the weekend possible.”


About the venue

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, the Grade II listed former family home of the chocolate maker, George Cadbury, is located within easy reach of Birmingham city centre.

Set in 10 acres of organically managed gardens and woodlands, including a lake and a walled garden, this unique and historic house offers a relaxed and welcoming environment, with a wonderful sense of peace and tranquillity.

With comfortable bedrooms, a bright and airy modern lounge and terrace overlooking the garden, plus freshly prepared organic meals, the venue offers a delightful space in which to relax in the company of others who truly understand.

You can find directions to Woodbrooke here: http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/pages/directions.html

Although this retreat will be held in a Quaker centre, please note that it is not a religious event. The Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation, and we welcome parents from all faith backgrounds and none.


How can you book?

If you are a donating (supporting) member of The Compassionate Friends the cost is £235 per person. For non-donating members the cost is £265 per person and this includes full board from Friday afternoon tea through to Sunday lunch.

Full payment is required at time of booking. (If this causes you a problem, please get in touch and we will try hard to be flexible).

Places are limited, so please book early.

Bursary Fund

There will be some bursaries available to fund part of the costs of the weekend to those experiencing financial hardship. If you would be interested in applying for one of these, please ask us for a bursary application form on 0345 120 3785 or info@tcf.org.uk. Closing date for bursary applications is 19th July 2019.

Also, if you feel able to contribute towards our bursary fund, thereby enabling others with limited financial means to attend the retreat, please add your contribution to the Fund to your payment. Our warmest thanks for enabling our charity to support others.

Should you need to cancel your booking please do so by 23rd July 2019 and we will refund your payment, less a £25 admin fee. After this date, we are sorry but our charity is unable to offer any refunds.

Feeling unsure?

If you are wondering whether this retreat is for you, are feeling unsure about any aspect, or would like to talk through anything about the retreat, please do feel free to contact Gina Claye on 07873 211 172 or Susan Brooks on 07748 986 631 (if no answer please leave a message and Susan or Gina will get back to you).

This weekend is primarily for bereaved parents. However, adult siblings would be welcome to attend if accompanying a parent (and willing to share a room) but please note there will not be a separate sibling programme.

Please note Woodbrooke is an alcohol-free building. Alcohol is not permitted in any of the public areas. Smoking is permitted in the allocated smoking area in the grounds.

Please note that our weekend retreats are run by bereaved parent volunteers. Our volunteers are not professionals and so what we offer is a uniquely warm, comforting and supportive two days organised and facilitated by parents who have also experienced the loss of a child, and have found understanding and hope themselves through The Compassionate Friends.

Support our work

Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

Make a donation

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