WELLBEING RETREAT IN NORFOLK
During Mental Health Awareness Week, residents enjoyed a peaceful retreat in a beautiful village, for a few days of relaxation.
Each year, we arrange a three-day residential trip in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, famous for its religious shrines and medieval ruins.
46% of our current resident group have reported mental health issues that impact on their daily lives, and so trips such as these are crucial in supporting residents to enjoy a break away from their often hectic lives and the fast pace of London.
According to a recent survey, 59% of people working in London said that the capital is stressful and causes anxiety. However, some of our residents have not previously had the opportunity to leave the city and visit more secluded and tranquil spots in the country.
During Mental Health Awareness Week in May, eight residents packed their bags to escape from city-life for four days. It was a great opportunity for residents to take some time out for reflection and to focus on their hopes and aspirations.
They were able to take part in a number of activities including walks in the Shirehall grounds and Museum, a trip to the harbour town of Wells-next-the-Sea, fish and chips at the beach, movie nights and pizza. They were also able to freely relax and explore the area, and many took the opportunity to spend time with and nurture friendships with their peers.
Naomi Mullings, a Keyworker at Caritas Anchor House, said, “It’s important to offer an opportunity for residents to take a step back from their day-to-day lives, which can sometimes be quite chaotic. Many are juggling moving on from homelessness while focussing on areas such as improving skills and securing employment.
“The trip was a great chance for residents to focus on their wellbeing, in a place as tranquil as Norfolk. It was encouraging to witness positive changes in our residents throughout the trip in terms of seeing take stock and feel more confident about their personal situations and futures.”
Tanya*, who became homeless and moved in to Caritas Anchor House last year, shared that she really enjoyed the trip and feeling able to take a break from things she often worries about. Tanya said, “I had a really lovely time in Norfolk. The town was beautiful and it was a great opportunity to just relax and feel tranquil.”
We hope to do another residential trip again later this year, and help more people in their journeys away from homelessness.
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*Name has been changed to protect resident’s privacy