April has zipped by and we are almost at the end of May and so much has happened! Where to start with all that has been going on?!
As far as the grounds are concerned, I am delighted to say that A1 Homes have continued to be fantastic and the lodge was finished and ready for show on our opening day. Despite the heavy rainfall we had a wonderful turn out and were lucky enough to have Mike King cut our ceremonial ribbon and spoke about how communities taking action is the way forward. It was a great day - see photos below.
Work has continued on site and we now have 2 wonderful bridges thanks to Steve & Ann from Kaponga and some fabulous Spark volunteers. Plus, the Chapel inside has been finished. We are just working on the painting side of things.... Very soon we will start with the Kind hands painting - something we are particularly excited about. Please get in touch now if you would like to donate for a hand! A donation of $37 (or more!) gets you a handprinted painted on the chapel in your choice of colour with your choice of 2 words. Either email us or donate via our Give a Little page in the general donations and put your choices in the comments.
Since we opened we have been flooded with enquiries from concerned family members, individuals aware they need a break and local organisations. If we ever feared we might not be busy we now know for sure there is a huge amount of need out there. We cannot thank enough all those who have and those continuing to support us in lots of different ways. This Retreat could not be open and offering time out to people in our community without the support of local people and local businesses. The lodge has been full most of the time since we opened - there is lots of administration involved with meeting potential guests and working out a time frame that suits them and sorting out who will stay where! We have a wonderful team of volunteer support workers who give their time to work with our guests as well as trained counsellors who offer us all supervision and guidance. We have been privileged to meet some wonderful people who have stayed with us, each guest brings their own special something and we all blessed. Check the photos of some of the crafty creations that they have made.
It is an amazing experience running the Retreat. So many highs and lows, calm times and frantic times. One of the best times of day is often our evening meal which we share communally around the huge table Jamie made. It is a good time to get together, "break bread" together and more often than not, laugh together. Again we have been blessed by kind supporters donating supplies of meat or veggies and even rocking up with a full meal. It is truly a special place we live in!
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