January 2017 – our forever home… past and future

January 2017 – our forever home… past and future

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Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Reuben’s Retreat will be built on an army of compassionate hearts and souls. So for our first update of 2017, we’d like to share the words of 4 very special young girls Halle, Laurie, Erin and Abigail on why they chose to raise money for our cause:

“We wanted to raise money for a local charity to help children and their families spend time together and make special memories. We decided to do a charity Christmas disco for Reuben’s Retreat and lots of local shops and restaurants were very generous and donated gifts for our raffle. It was a great experience to be able to raise the amount of money that we did and have lots of fun on the night. And wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us on the evening”.

We’re very blessed with the way children react to our cause and this is just one example. Thank you girls (and to your families) for choosing Reuben’s Retreat and working so hard to put together such a spectacular event.

On New Year’s Day we launched a new video on our YouTube channel. It’s entitled Iona’s Reubow and many gorgeous hearts made it possible as it was written by our fabulous Patron Julie Hesmondhalgh and the music gifted to us by the incredibly talented Carol Donaldson. The beautiful words are timed perfectly to super special imagery and live footage by our wonderful friend and supporter Ben Cambridge. Reuben’s Mummy Nicola said “It is probably one of the most incredible gifts I have ever received in my life and I urge you to take a look. For me, it also firms up that sometimes our paths are forged out for us and those we love and miss greatly are close by, we just cannot see them. Films like Iona’s Reubow don’t just happen and the stories that sit behind the scenes prove every day that Reuben is very much a part of his continued journey.” Please click here to watch.

Much of our January was spent prepping for the year ahead, particularly for our events. This year we have increased both our activities for families in need as well as our awareness- and fund- raising, so please visit our Facebook page or website for more information as there really is something for everyone.

Early in the month we met a new friend to our cause, the lovely Kate. She is an Archivist from Glossop Heritage who is looking into the history of “Woods Hospital” which is now our Retreat! Kate shared lots of knowledge about the Woods family and the origins of our incredible facility which was built back in 1889. It’s also where the famed artist LS Lowry passed away on 23 February 1976, aged 88. Given the site’s age we are eager to learn more about its history so that we can celebrate and preserve the heritage of such an important landmark for the Town. So if there is anyone out there who has memories of Woods Hospital we’d love for you to share your stories with us.

We will also be commemorating the anniversary eve of Lowry’s passing with a memorial talk by Michael Howard, author of Lowry: A Visionary Artist on the 22nd February 2017. Tickets cost just £5 and can be purchased by calling our office on 01457 680 023 (please don’t delay as there is limited availability).

2017 will be another big year for Reuben’s Retreat as we edge closer to offering a range of incredible new facilities for our families. Thank you to the Team at Strategic Group – who will commence the strip out of the main building’s “West Wing” late February – for joining us for the day recently and generously using your voluntary hours to prep the aforementioned area. We are hoping to gain some more support soon from a potentially new QS and an Architect too, both who will be integral to the renovations.

Talking of renovations… At the minimum we will plan, design, build and execute Phase 4 of our 10 Phase plan, our Hydrotherapy Pool and Changing Suite. Subject to funds, we would also love to move on to Phase 5, our Day-care Activity zone. And if we’re reaching for the stars, we’d dearly love to be able to complete Phase 6 (Reception area for families plus an office for staff/volunteers) too. But we must raise more funds to achieve this so we are keeping our feet on the ground and our heads down, working tirelessly to keep operating costs low, to secure services and resources free or at discounted rates and basically making every penny count, powered by the drive and determination to create a genuine sanctuary for children and families for decades to come.

There are many ways you can help us in our quest to progress, lots of which won’t cost you a penny. “Every raindrop raises the sea”, so even if you do just one of these it will help us in our quest:

  • Volunteer at a one-off event or if you have time, help us to manage regular tasks – call our office to find out about the different roles we have (01457 680 023)
  • Nominate Reuben’s Retreat as your company’s (or social club/sports group) Charity of Choice or Charity of the Year
  • Are you an online shopper? Join and shop via www.easyfundraising.org.uk and we’ll benefit from your purchases at zero cost to you & with complete price parity
  • Do you buy goods like stationary etc. for your company? Or arrange rail or hotel accommodation, personally or professionally? Again if you purchase through easyfundraising we will benefit
  • Book your cottage, lodge, park or waterways break via; www.chooseacottage.co.uk/REU and we receive a kickback for your booking. They cover the UK and Europe
  • Share our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and posts so we can reach new audiences
  • Book an advert in our quarterly magazine – prices start from £60. View online atwww.reubensretreat.org/whats-happening/our-magazine/
  • Tell a friend or neighbour about our charity, someone who has never heard of us If you know a family in need of our support, put them in touch with usIf your company offers staff volunteer days or hours please get in touch, we can often use a helping hand or 2!
  • Wear a Reuben’s Retreat wristband, hoodie or gorgeous run leggings with pride! We have a range of charity merchandise available from our offices or website plus some exciting new apparel coming very soon!

We’re only a small Team but Nicola and Sally Anne were out and about quite a bit in January, first off attending NHS England North’s Palliative and End of Life Care Roadshow in Preston. The majority of the day was based on adult palliative care and ways in which the various teams can improve this, plus the steps the NHS are taking to collect data and provide better solutions. It was surprising even to us just how far down the list palliative care is for children and young people – they are sad and shocking statistics. At Reuben’s Retreat we not only support families, we also champion change too and can be a voice for those in need. They also visited a fantastic group of supportive Mums and carers in Denton that facilitate sensory activities and get-togethers for families of children with complex and additional needs. It was also an opportunity to see the group’s Changing Places toilet (the benchmark of facilities for people with additional physical needs), as we very much want to ensure that the Retreat has the best for our families. It was a wonderful meeting and great for information gathering to steer our vision.

We resumed our ‘Coffee Connect’ morning in January, a fantastic opportunity for parents and carers of poorly children to come together and connect, support, chat and share hints and ideas. These monthly sessions take  place in the gorgeous function room at The Lodge and combined with a good cuppa & cake they are fast becoming a valuable opportunity for our families to know they are not alone…

If you know of anyone that may need our help, please ask them to get in touch on 01457 680 023, support@reubensretreat.org or share with them our website details, Facebook page, local news columns or postal address.

Upcoming events:

Saturday 27th

Great Manchester Run for children – the “Mini Run” is 1.5k long (suitable for ages 3-8 years) and the “Junior Run” is aimed at 9-15 year olds and covers a 2.3k course (at Sportcity, Manchester)

Sunday 28th May

Great Manchester Run for adults – choose either the traditional 10k course or try the new for 2017 Half Marathon distance (starts from Manchester City Centre)

Thursday 6th July

Vintage Swing Tea Dance – a gorgeous 1940s themed afternoon tea and dancing (at the Village Hotel, Ashton-under-lyne)

Thank you to all of our incredible volunteers and supporters, including: Grandma Gladys, Norfox, St James School in memory of Cameron, Gill Forshaw in memory of Keith, The Queens Arms Glossop, Tracy Ratcliffe, Baptist and St Marks Slimming World, Maxine, Nita, Celia and our friend Pritesh, to Stalybridge Celtic and our friends who collected on Boxing Day and to Lymefield Garden Centre, the Brownies for their tree and to everyone (including the 470+ children!) who visited our grotto. Also to 2 departments at Tameside College, the Wagon & Horses on Mottram Rd and for all the kind businesses who raise vital pennies and pounds through Reuben’s Retreat charity pots. Thank you to the gorgeous Heidi and her school Greave in Woodley, everyone who has donated through the Co-op stores, Diane Galvin, Doris Wallwork and her lovely daughter Linda, to 21st Warrington Scout Group, Hope United Reformed Church in Denton, June in memory of Agnes Salthouse, Mallender Lodge Freemasons, Joe’s Smoke House and Heather Lee, Mr Leigh Wright, Mr Stephen Corrigan, CTM Electrical, Mrs Angela Rushton, Mr John Appleyard, Chris and David Smallwood, Mark Chundley, Panaderia by Dowds, Linda Jones, Disabled Holidays Dukinfield, Little Stars Nursery – Hadfield, United Church Hyde, One Great Day and Middleton Shopping Centre, Children Most – Hyde, Elaine in memory of Peter, Helen’s Cakery, Mottram Parish Church Youth Group, Spindle Point School, Aspinall Wright Solicitors – Glossop, Gas Care – Hadfield, The Giovannini family, all senders and donators of our Christmas cards, Anna H and Heidi, to Slimming World Denton who have been incredibly supportive, our friends at Advantage Travel centres in London, St Paul’s Stalybridge, Bluebell Fitted Furniture (your donation made us giggle), Bradleys Bakery, Roe Cross Green, our wonderful Lydia for her hampers and knitted dollies (she has raised lots yet again for us), Lisa Blain & colleagues, Glossop Baths, Butterflies florist Amie, Romiley U3A, Donna Kennedy, the Sagar family, Central Methodist Church, Christine and Kimberley, the family of Rev Roberts, Ava and Sadie, Jane and Alan Ryder, Mr and Mrs Keogh, S Keogh, Layla for loom bands, her gorgeous letter and super fundraising plans. Also to Gez from John Lewis for delivering Buster and friends, Mark from the Sharples Group, Wizard from Swift Taxis, Bridgetots, Mercian Travel, Stretford, with Trafford lodge, Haughton Green Flower Club, Alford County Primary, One Stop Plumbing, Surrey Arms, vaccine evaluation unit at PHE Manchester, the Reuben Foundation and Newmarket Holidays.

We would also like to thank our volunteers who bag packed at Marks and Spencer recently. As Willow Wood are their charity, 25 per cent of your collected monies was donated back from us to them, so you did a doubly good deed that day, thank you!

And finally, we are looking for a stamp collector or enthusiast to help us with a great donation, please call our office on 01457 680 023 for more information.

Each life no matter how brief forever changes the world

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