Sophie's retreat

Sophie’s Rainbow 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 – not 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 – 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, Sophie’s Appeal has purchased 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 a hospital if the need arises.

Our Goal

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

With your help, Sophie’s Appeal raised an initial ÂŁ100,000 in order to purchase, equip and run the respite break facility in the Wessex Region.

The facility:

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

Where are we?

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

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

Now there is just the small problem of running costs!

Without you, we couldn’t have dreamt of providing this facility.  Now we invite you to help keep the facility running to provide a home from home.

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