Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham B29 6LJ.
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19-21 June 2020
About the weekend
This is the fifth 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:
"A wonderful weekend Retreat at Woodbrooke meeting so many people who have all been so kind and supportive. A place where there is no need to explain, or justify one's existence. A place just to be, to speak a very familiar language and to be understood, to make new friends, to be loved and to love in return."
"A great men's group. Thank you all so much, my first retreat, and definitely not my last. Thank you to everyone at TCF making this such a special time of affirmation, love and celebration of our childrens' lives. We have been cared for so well."
"It was brilliant. So good to talk to people who really understand where you’re coming from. Everything was perfect - the place and gardens, workshops, food, being surrounded by lovely people such a change from “normal daily life “where we put on a mask!"
"A lovely warm, embracing weekend with people who speak our language “grief”."
"I have felt so safe and supported and I have found new ways of expression."
"My experience lived up to what I have heard when I first posted asking about this retreat. I have never cried so much in one weekend and equally I have never laughed so much!"
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 £240 per person. For non-donating members the cost is £270 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for bursary applications is 11th May 2020.
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 12th May 2020 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.
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.
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.