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Rising stars lend a hand at Reuben's Retreat

Seven of last year’s Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders spent a day helping out at Reuben’s Retreat. Edward Robertson lent a hand and checked on the Retreat’s progress

Reubens Retreat
Reubens Retreat

Reuben’s Retreat has made significant progress with the opening of a bereavement counselling support centre, The Lodge. But the charity, which has many supporters in the travel industry, faces a further five years of work before the Glossop site is fully completed.


Reuben’s Retreat was born out of immense personal tragedy for the Graham family. Their son Reuben died of a brain tumour aged just 23 months. Parents Nicola and Michael set up a charity in his name, a retreat in the Peak District for children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses, with a bereavement and counselling centre for families who have lost children.


The Graham family purchased the new home for Reuben’s Retreat on April 23, 2014, a former cottage hospital with more than 21 bedrooms set in parkland. Nicola Graham says the opening of The Lodge is a considerable milestone for the charity and means it now has a permanent base.


“We’ve offered bereavement services since our inception, but now we have somewhere to call home and it will grow as we expand into the main building.”


Work has begun on landscaping the grounds at a cost of £20,000. At least £200,000 will be needed for the next phase – a new roof for the main building.


The plan also includes the creation of apartments for client families and a new cafe to provide a regular source of income. With another five years of work at an estimated cost of £3 million, Graham says there is much to do and hopes the industry will continue its support.


She says: “I would encourage as many people as possible to come to our open days every Sunday in October to see how far we’ve come and how much further there is to go. It has been a busy time as always at Reuben’s Retreat and we’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support, which has helped us reach many great milestones.”

Pitching in

Pitching in

On September 10, members of the 30 Under 30 spent the day sorting donated clothes and assessing what could be sold to raise cash. They also helped with furniture removals and cleaning, and ended the day with a barbecue and prize draw – the group has been selling raffle tickets to raise funds for the retreat. It was a poignant day for the Graham family as it would have been Reuben’s fifth birthday

Luke Smith, partnership manager, Carnival Cruise Lines:

Luke Smith, partnership manager, Carnival Cruise Lines:

“It gives us the opportunity to take ownership of something that we believe in and can work together on as a group and really drive it forward. We always planned on having a travel-based charity, being in the travel industry, and this has been a perfect fit.


I would like to see more people do things with Reuben’s Retreat and I would say to the next 30 Under 30 group that if they’re looking for a worthwhile charity to support, they’re not going to find one much better.”

Danielle Dudley, UK sales manager, Star Clippers:

Danielle Dudley, UK sales manager, Star Clippers:

“I feel very lucky. I was here six months ago and to see the progress that’s been made since then is amazing as it was a complete and utter building site.


It gives you an idea of what it will be and it gives you the motivation to keep fundraising. I don’t think people appreciate just how big this place will be. I wanted to do more than we have done on the visit today, but I know what we have done has been appreciated and I will definitely come back.”

Bart Quinton Smith, general manager web experience, Tui Group:

Bart Quinton Smith, general manager web experience, Tui Group:

“By coming up here, we’ve seen what a huge project they have on their hands now. While bits of this place are looking really good, there is still a lot of work to be done. My father is in the garden centre industry and is involved with the Greenfingers charity, which creates gardens for children’s hospices, so I’m trying to get them to build a garden for the retreat. We have to keep building awareness to ensure the momentum and support isn’t lost on Reuben’s Retreat.”

Raffle winners

Raffle winners

Bed and breakfast for two in The Z Hotel Piccadilly:
Rosanna King


Two tickets to a Friday Night Film Club at Charlotte Street Hotel followed by a three-course meal in Oscar Restaurant:

Matthew Clift


Fort break for two people at No Man’s Fort:

Claire Cannon


Australian goody bag including Australian wine and a new Australia guide book:

Julie Hesmondhalgh


One week cruise on board the Thomson Dream for two people from Palma, Majorca including flights
Sarah Gregory


Flights for two people from any London airport to the Canaries for up to two weeks:

Diane Lander


Pre-departure package for two people including airport parking, a night at an airport hotel and entry to an airport lounge:

Veryan Nield


Two tickets for the TTG Travel Awards:

James Allen


Cabin for two people on a Star Clippers mini Med cruise in 2016:

Eileen Nixon



Joanne Cave


Hot air balloon ride over the Cotswolds for two people in the A&K Balloon:

Olein Webster


Afternoon tea for two at the Dorchester:

Rachel Bond


Two nights in a Deluxe Room at Conrad Algarve including breakfast for two people

Anne Graham


Weekend break to Iceland, including flights and accommodation for two people:

Steve Kershaw


Case of South America wine:

Sandy Ogler


£500 Virgin Experience day voucher:

Ollie Gill


Bottle of Cristal:

Helen Worthington


Laurent Perrier Champagne:

Karen Pratt


Private hire of Thamesjet – high speed thrill ride on the Thames followed by a three-course meal on the Hispaniola for 12 people:

Fay McCormack


Health club pamper day for two including treatments:

Holly Carter


Red Letter Days Voucher for £299:

Sarah Graham


One-week stay for 2-4 people at a Lagrange Prestige ski or summer self-catering property in France:

Gavin Pereira


Champagne afternoon tea for two at The Ritz in London:

Derek Spear


Voucher for two people to see The View from The Shard (with champagne) and a three-course lunch for two at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill (including champagne):

Aislinn Tilsley


Choice of: Meet & Greet parking at MAG; Escape Lounge entry; security FastTrack passes; Concorde Experience vouchers or Tristar Worldwide return airport transfer:
Isis Fernandez

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