‘The best training I’ve ever had’ ‘That was awesome.’ ‘I feel that I am now able to face my problems’ ‘Every member of staff should go on one of these retreats’ • ‘As a manager for a number of years, I felt more valued as a member of staff by this than anything the Trust had provided before.’ The retreat has totally focussed me, stopped me feeling inadequate and I am passionate about making a difference to the quality of life for people with a learning disability Sickness episodes have halved in the year since I went on the retreat compared to the same period in the previous year, which I am especially pleased about considering I have a chronic physical problem The retreat benefited me as it made me think more about what I wanted from life both at home and at work. I hadn’t been sleeping much at all only two to three hours a night which did affect my work. But after the retreat and up to now (18 months later) I have had a full night’s sleep 95% of the time. I don’t know why??” The Retreat put work life balance into perspective and to work in the moment and not dwell on what might happen. I have a good sick record as a result of the time off on the retreat” I am happy to endorse the retreat any time – words cannot say or quantify the benefits The retreat had a beneficial impact on my work and ultimately for service users” The retreat has reduced my stress levels and given me a more positive outlook on life Overall I am more relaxed and have not had time off sick due to stress/anxiety since the retreat” I learnt a lot from the retreat. It set me off on a path to become more grounded” It is fair to state that I learnt a lot from the retreat. It set me off on a path to become more grounded. I began to know what I wanted from life. I began to deal with the losses that I had experienced. Questionably, you may wonder how a 2 day experience can do this. In my case it provided me with the opportunity to spend some quality time focusing upon me (something which many of us do not do due to the demands of everyday life, work commitments and so forth). Those who attend the retreat will not leave a different person, yet they will have had the opportunity to think and to spend time on themselves: they will have a ‘tool-kit’ of techniques. In order to receive long-term gains from the retreat participants need to continue to practice the techniques taught (this was made clear during the programme). Although it is difficult to state what effects the experience has had on others, I can fairly state that I became more relaxed and more focused (professionally and personally). Although it has been difficult trying to apply the techniques on a daily basis, I often try to engage in these when possible. Of course this has also had an effect on my working life and relationship with colleagues as I am more relaxed! Thank you all so much for the work you do, I just wish everyone had the chance to go to a retreat and benefit as I have done. The ironing still piles up and the grass needs cutting, all the usual things but they really don’t matter as much as they did. The retreat allowed me to think about me and space to think about where I was at the time. It allowed me to recognise how I could deal with things. The opportunity to do this in a safe and supportive environment was invaluable and along with the use of relaxation, laughter and reflection, I cam away from the event feeling more calm, relaxed, in control and like my old self than I had for several months.