“Our charity was born of loss on the 23rd of August 2012 when by accident we launched our Facebook page and it was the first of many signs surrounding #23, Reuben’s special number. It litters his journey and we take it as confirmation that Reuben is watching over us all, you see we held him for 23 amazing and precious months, with us here on earth. So it’s no surprise really that he instigated the launch of the page on the 23rd day, just 2 days after he moved to heaven.
Reuben passed away in my arms on the 21st of August 2012. We had been enjoying a family holiday in Devon and were dealt the most devastating blow. After a little tumble Reuben became really ill and later that night he was airlifted to a neurological unit in Bristol with a suspected brain tumour.
His cancer was rare, aggressive, just weeks old and took him within a week of diagnosis. The bottom had fallen out of our world.
Unable to donate Reuben’s organs and desperate to ensure that his life wasn’t in vain, we launched ‘Reuben’s Retreat’.
We set ourselves an ambitious target to raise £1m in 23 months, and in less than that time we purchased our Retreat, the charity’s forever home in Glossop, Derbyshire. Hitting the target within 23 months was some small way to show him how much we loved and missed him desperately. We planned to renovate this beautiful old “cottage” hospital and to date with have completed 3 phases of our ambitious multi million pound 10 phase plan.
We now work from The Lodge at Reuben’s our bereavement, counselling and support centre and our operational hub in Ashton-under-lyne, Manchester. We walk side-by-side, offering emotional and practical support to families bereaved of a child or those that have a life limited/threatened child and may face an uncertain future. Enabling them to create memories cocooned in the sanctuary of Reuben’s Retreat underpinned by our army of love and compassionate hearts.
Every family deserves the opportunity to make special memories. We did and they are the magic moments we hang on to.
We receive no statutory, government nor NHS funding and rely on the generosity of kind hearts, from individuals to local businesses, corporate supporters and community groups. On behalf of our small team and the families that we support, we send heartfelt thanks to everyone who support Reuben’s journey.”
Reuben’s proud Mummy and Reuben’s Retreat Founder & Chief Executive