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Supportive Weekend Retreat for parents bereaved by suicide, addiction or substance use

Supportive Weekend Retreat for parents bereaved by suicide, addiction or substance use

Woodbrooke, 1046 Bristol Road, Birmingham B29 6LJ.
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6 July 2018, 16.00 – 8 July 2018, 14.00

Woodbrooke, Birmingham

6 July – 8 July 2018

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham

This Compassionate Friends retreat weekend is especially for those parents bereaved by addiction, substance use or whose child took their own life.

About the weekend

This is the third 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 the 2017 Retreat

"I was persuaded to go by my wife but was rather apprehensive and was not sure it would be for me. How wrong can you get! The experience was entirely positive and most worthwhile. The retreat leaders and volunteers were warm, compassionate and very understanding of the different needs of the delegates. They created a very safe environment in which we could explore the immense challenges of losing a child. We lost our son to suicide 5 years ago and this was the first time I could really explore the impact on myself and my family."

“It has certainly helped me on my journey of grief. It is so healing to meet with other bereaved parents. We can walk the walk together and be with others who truly understand and care”.

"I felt very uplifted and inspired. It was also so comforting to talk with people who truly understood our loss. A place where we could take off the mask and be ourselves."

"I left with a real feeling of comfort and lots of hope for me and my own family in the future."

“It was fantastic to be with so many parents all in the same boat, who, no matter what was said, were never shocked, embarrassed or judgmental. I felt able to talk about my son freely and indeed talked about him more in those three days than I have since he died, five years ago…. Thank you for a wonderful few days. I feel stronger and more hopeful.

“Amidst our shared deep sorrow, there were many illuminating thoughtful conversations, and many funny times, there were glimpses of life and hope…”

"I now don’t feel so isolated in my grief having found other parents who are going through the same. I know there is hope for the future and feel more positive about moving forward..."

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.

Find directions to Woodbrooke.

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.

Please also 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.

What does the retreat cost?

The cost is £260 per person and this includes full board from Friday afternoon tea-time through to Sunday lunch (plus one year's donating membership of The Compassionate Friends). Places are limited, so please book early.

If you are a donating (supporting) member of The Compassionate Friends the cost is £230 per person. (You can join The Compassionate Friends here).

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).

There are a few rooms available with a shared bathroom at a slightly reduced price. If you would like to book one of these rooms, please email or ring us on 0345 120 3785 for details.

Bursary Fund

There will be some bursaries available to fund part of the costs of the weekend for 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 8th June 2018.

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.

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 211172 or Susan Brooks on 07748986631 (if no answer please leave a message and Susan or Gina will get back to you).

The 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.


Should you need to cancel your booking please do so by 8th June 2018 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.

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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