Sophie's retreat


The Need

Every year, around 100 new families with children from a day old to 16 years of age in the Wessex region receive the devastating news that their child has cancer.  With some children receiving cancer treatment for several years, there are hundreds of families who require support Рnot only in hospital but also in the community.

The Wessex region covers Brighton, Chichester, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

It is not only the children receiving treatment, but their parents and siblings who find themselves needing to get away from the hospital or home environment. ¬†Forgetting about the worries of everyday life even if for only a few short hours or days enables the families to spend quality time together and generate fun memories to last a lifetime ‚Äď even if that life may be cut tragically short.

All too often, families who find themselves in need of a break just cannot afford to get away.  The financial strain put on a family, particularly when one or both parents has to give up work to look after the poorly child, is often too much to allow for this little bit of respite.

Sophie’s Appeal, through its stated charitable aims, currently provides free respite days and respite breaks.  The latter is currently provided through another charity who has recently purchased a third facility to provide such breaks but is still struggling to meet demand from families desperate to get away.  Those families being referred by the hospitals treating them.

As such, it is proposed that Sophie’s Appeal purchase a facility to enable children and their families to get away from it all, safe in the knowledge that they are a short journey away from hospital if the need arises.

Our Goal

It would have been Sophie’s 21st Birthday on 3rd March 2019 and we can think of no more fitting a tribute to the inspiration that she has provided to us and so many of you than to open Sophie’s Rainbow Retreat.

With your help, Sophie’s Appeal is working hard to raise an initial ¬£100,000 in order to purchase, equip and run the respite break facility in the Wessex Region.

The facility will:

  • be big enough to house a family of up to six people and will have a minimum of two bedrooms;
  • be located within a short distance of one of the Wessex region’s shared care hospitals for peace of mind;
  • be located within easy travelling distance of attractions suitable for children of all ages;
  • have¬†ample¬†facilities¬†on¬†site¬†to¬†keep¬†the¬†whole¬†family¬†occupied;
  • be large and comfortable enough with enough entertainment within the facility should the child be too poorly to go out.

Where are we?

The Trustees have already visited 3 locations to look at the possibility of buying a facility and we think that we have found the ideal location in Rockley Park, Poole.

A combination of location, activities, attractions and price has put this park head and shoulders above the rest.

Now there is just the small problem of cost!  We are nearly there but the more we think about it, the more we find out!  Regardless of the purchase and running costs, there is equipping the facility.  Entertainment facilities, linen, crockery, etc etc.

Without you, we couldn’t have dreamt of providing this facility. ¬†Now we are within touching distance, you can help us turn it into a home from home.

For more information on how you can help, please get in touch.

Sophie's Rainbow Retreat Availability

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