Whiteleys Retreat has launched a new welcome hub and reflection space for families.

During lockdown, the centre remained open as an essential service, but with reduced facilities. The team wanted to put their time to good use by creating the two new spaces.

They have been designed to help families connect with nature during their stay at Whiteleys, whilst creating memory days, as well as a range of other activities.

Whiteleys Retreat CEO, Maxine Allan, says the natural aspect of the buildings was something they were keen to bring to the space.

She said: “It’s more about bringing nature inside so you can actually see the forest from the inside which can make a huge difference to how a person is feeling. The welcome hub is quite a multi-functional space. For example, a paediatric nurse can take a child and their parent into the hub to take bloods or anything like that, and it means they don’t need to do it in their homes.”

The team at Whiteleys took advantage of their time during lockdown as they don’t like to close the centre for renovations. The plans for the hub and reflection space had been in the pipeline for a while and Maxine is thankful they could add to their already amazing services.

She added: “The spaces will be used when we do our workshops throughout the year with the likes of The Beatson or Teenage Cancer Trust, but in general they will be used by the families here to stay for respite.

“We had a lot of help from a lot of local companies to create the spaces, which was amazing, to keep it as local as we could as well.

“We got funding for most of the welcome hub and the companies that helped out offered their services for free, as well as us paying for parts of it, so it was a real team effort and I’m extremely proud of how it’s turned out.”