I went to the Ripple Retreat with my family for a day at the Retreat with other families. The way Lynne had spoken about it I had very high expectations for what I was going to see. We drove up to the Retreat and my family and I were so surprised about how modern it looked, it was a building unlike anything I had seen before. Positioned right next to the Loch you already felt calm when you got there. Apart from the chattering of the families it was quiet and calm setting.
We were given a tour of the Retreat and it honestly exceeded my high expectations. It was firstly extremely clean which is good as you know when you have cancer you have to avoid anything dirty due to risk of infection. It also seemed like they thought of all ranges of people. My favourite part was the patient bathroom which has a wooden shower seat with a wooden handle which doesn’t look like the horrible plastic you have in usual disabled showers. That for me made it feel homely and not like a hospital.
The small things that they have thought of as well amazed me. There’s a book shelf in the twin room to allow the children to read the books, there’s nice quotes on the wall and its decorated with beautiful art all over to make the place homely. It’s also the important things that people who aren’t in a wheelchair wouldn’t usually think of. In the kitchen there’s a worktop that moves up and down so you can move it to your wheelchair height, a mirror in the patient bathroom is at level of a wheelchair so that they are able to use the mirror as well. I am not a wheelchair user, but I am an amputee and all I can say is that it made me feel normal and not disabled.
Along the road from the Retreat there is a sailing club. They gave us the opportunity during the family day to do some activities. My family and I got to go on the speed boat and actually had the opportunity to drive it! They also allowed me to have an opportunity of sailing as I wanted to have a go. It was lovely to go there and have a shot of the boat and sailing which they club did voluntarily. What I loved about the Retreat’s location is that the places near are so helpful and want to do things for the families staying there.
After my day at the Retreat I could totally understand why Lynne speaks so highly of the Retreat and now I do too. You don’t understand what a special place this is until you go and see it for yourself. It is a great escape from hospital and made us feel like a normal family. Not a family with a child with cancer or a “disabled” child.
Trustee, It’s Good 2 Give
Thanks to Charity Ambassador Glenda Quinn for the fantastic photos taken on the day.