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Retreat for parents who are bereaved of an only child or all their children

Charney Manor, Charney Bassett, Wantage OX12 0EJ.
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29 July 2022, 17.00 – 31 July 2022, 14.00

Charney Manor, Wantage

You are warmly invited to join us for this unique weekend especially for parents who have lost their only child or all their children.

Whether your loss happened recently, or some time ago, here you will be with others who understand what it means to lose your only child or children. If you are newly bereaved, please do know there will be other parents who are recently bereaved and our team of bereaved parent volunteers will also be there to help and support you. Come and meet and talk with others in safe and supportive surroundings and find comfort, hope and reassurance that you are not alone.

Our weekend together is at Charney Manor, a 13th Century Conference and Retreat Centre owned by the Society of Friends (Quakers). It is an idyllic, peaceful and safe venue surrounded by beautiful gardens in a village setting. Charney Manor offers simple, comfortable accommodation of single and twin bedrooms - most bedrooms are en-suite, or with private bathrooms. (There are a few rooms with a shared bathroom (one bathroom between 2) and these are available at a slightly reduced cost).

Throughout the weekend, you can join in the suggested optional programme of discussion groups and activities, or simply relax in the hotel and wonderful gardens or talk with other parents.

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.

Feedback from previous retreat:

“(We) have just returned from Charney Manor. The TCF organisers were amazing and the parents we met with were all amazing too. A very unique and perfect location for a gathering such as this. I hope we will both take some comfort and hope from such a special weekend too and we both thank you so much for making it happen for us”.

“Thank you for the wonderful work who made the weekend successful… I felt anxious about going to the retreat but it helped me to travel with other parents. I was surprised to see so many childless parents who were also attending the retreat for the first time. I was able to talk, listen and share our experiences I found the workshops that I attended verbally useful, some of the thoughts, feeling and questions I had were answered and addressed. I realised I was normal, I am still trying to grieve for my only son and my heart is and will be broken forever. My son would want me to be happy and live”.

“It was mine and my husband’s first time with compassionate friends last weekend at Charney Manor. I was dreading the weekend and had really negative feelings about coming. I thought everyone would know each other already, or everyone would be really sad and cry all weekend. I didn't want to make a jam jar or show any photos of my son. To be honest I wanted to stay away from any sessions or activities and just go the pub! How wrong was I!! As soon as I arrived I felt as ease, calm and peaceful. I felt it was the first time in 18 months since my son died I could be myself. I heard people laugh and chatter and I felt comfortable with it. knowing they where all in the same situation as me and my husband and they could still laugh gave me hope. The volunteers were amazing. My husband and I have made some fantastic friends that we will always keep in touch with. I had such positive experience totally unexpected so much so I didn't want to leave. We both could of stayed all week!! I have learnt so much and have gained new ways on how to cope with life. Thank you all so much. I will definitely be back and recommend this weekend to other bereaved parents. I would also like to thank the staff at Chaney Manor for being so pleasant and thoughtful."


We will have the sole use of the hotel. The price per person in en-suite accommodation is £240 for donating members of TCF and £270 for non-donating members (including one year's membership of TCF). These costs include full bed and board from Friday afternoon, through to Sunday after lunch.

Please book early as places are limited since the venue can accommodate a maximum of 35 residential guests. There are also opportunities to attend on a non-residential basis e.g. for the day on Saturday, or the half day on Sunday - or both. Please call us on 0345 120 3785 or email for day rates.

Please let us know if you have a problem meeting the cost as we may be able to help with full or part bursaries for those on limited financial means. Call us or email for a copy of the bursary application form to complete.

The nearest train station is Didcot, which is approximately 12 miles from Charney Manor. The Manor has details of a taxi company that offers preferential rates to guests.

You can book online or call or email our National Office.


Should you need to cancel your booking please do so by 24th June 2022 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 unsure, or have any aspect you would like to talk over, please contact our National Office on 0345 120 3785 or by email to info@tcf.org.uk

Please note although Charney Manor is owned by the Quakers there is no religious content to the weekend.

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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.

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