What is Bluesky Retreat?
Bluesky retreat is a start-up charity who can help provide a safe, tranquil retreat for families who have lost a child under the age of 18. We can offer counselling by a fully qualified counsellor including our trustees who have attended courses in bereavement and grief counselling.
We will have a memory garden where the families can visit to reflect and gather their own thoughts in the peaceful grounds of the retreat. They will be able to tie a ribbon on our memory tree for their child as well as a stargazing treehouse, allotments and a communal area for families to meet and talk about their experience.
We are unique in the fact we will be self-sustainable; our guests can do as little or as much as they feel they can manage. We will be offering holistic, complementary therapies to help heal hearts, minds and souls.
We would like to have raised planting areas they can plant bulbs/flowers in memory of their child so they can bloom in the spring/summertime. Gardening is very good for hearts and minds. We are set in the Wiltshire countryside offering many walking routes and plenty of sites to visit such as Stonehenge, Avebury circle and Salisbury Cathedral.
Why support us?
6000 children pass away in the UK every year, leaving 6000 families feeling lost with very few places to turn. Counselling waiting lists in the NHS can take up to 18 weeks in some areas of the country. This is where Bluesky retreat can help with mental health and well-being.
We are here to support those who struggle after losing a child under the age of 18. As you can imagine, it is a horrific, devastating experience and extremely traumatic. In the UK it is quite hard to find support for these struggles and we want to change that.
We want to be available to anyone who is finding it hard to process and come to terms with what has happened in their life. Losing a child is the most unnatural thing to happen in your life. No one is meant to plan their child’s funeral.
Grief doesn’t have a timeline, sometimes it can hit you straight away, others it can be days, weeks, months and even years for it to raise its head and we would like to be there to provide the support these families so desperately need.
Unfortunately, in 2016 our son William was one of those statistics. William was our everything, our little miracle we thought we would never have after being told at the age of 18 I would never be able to have children. Three days before Williams 8th birthday, he was diagnosed with an inoperable, incurable brain tumour, our whole world crashed down around us. After 6 weeks of daily visits to have radiotherapy, the tumour had shrunk, just enough to give us some time. We had a year from first diagnosis and William passed away in our arms 5 days after his 9th birthday.
It is the most devastating moment of any parents’ life to lose a child. After the funeral, friends and family must get on with their own lives which is absolutely fine but suddenly the house is extremely quiet, and realisation can hit.
In the quietness of the house and life I wanted to get away, go somewhere I could talk to people who understood but I couldn’t find anywhere. I didn't want to stay in the confines of four walls in a hotel. I stayed 'strong' for almost 2 years and then suddenly by brick wall came crashing down. It took me 6 weeks to receive any kind of counselling which was provided by another charity as the waiting list for the NHS was too long. The counselling helped tremendously and learning to talk about things gave me a new lease of life and the ability to think clearly and to see the Blue skies through the fog.
This is where my vision of Bluesky Retreat can come to life. You can help me help others.
The money raised for the charity will help fund the retreat. It will help towards our advertising and merchandise in order to receive funding. It will provide the tools we need to form bonds with many hospices and hospitals up and down the country.
If we raise beyond our target, we will be able to start looking for our land around the Salisbury area and hopefully generate some sponsorship for our cabins and start becoming self sufficient.
As soon as we have the land and the cabins, we can start to help and support so many families out there.
With hitting our £10,000 target we will be able to get the ball really rolling with marketing. It will enable us to start building the bonds necessary in order for us to start helping families sooner rather than later.
Bluesky Retreat is in memory of our son William. His love for the song Mr Bluesky by ELO gave him the nickname of Mr Bluesky. He had an energetic passion for life and laughter.
Thank you for your time and your support!