Reuben's Retreat

Reuben's Retreat

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Counselling / advice

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - England


Reuben’s Retreat’s primary goal is to create a sanctuary that will be a home-from-home for families coping with the serious illness of a child, providing respite breaks and the chance to build happy memories. We also provide support and counselling for Mums, Dads and siblings who have a youngster with a Life Limiting or Life Threatening Illness (LL/LTI) or those who have lost their precious child, brother or sister.

MISSION - to relieve the distress of families who have suffered the bereavement of a child or have a child suffering from a life limiting/threatening illness

VISION - to renovate our countryside respite, bereavement support & counselling centre in Glossop, North West England

REUBEN’S LEGACY - ‘a place to Relax, Recharge, Remember, Rebuild, built on an army of love and compassion’

Our holistic support and well-being programmes meet an overwhelming need to support families as a unit, allowing them to access a range of support that uses a diverse menu of delivery methods and resources, dependent on the challenging times the family are facing. We support children and their families who have:

Life-limiting (or life shortening) conditions, which are defined as those for which there is no reasonable hope of cure and from which children or young people will die. Some of these conditions cause progressive deterioration rendering the child increasingly dependent on parents and carers.

Life-threatening conditions, for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail, such as cancer, liver disease, blood disorders or kidney failure.

The number of children currently living with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness is far higher than previously thought and is increasing year on year. A 2009/10 survey estimated that more than 40,000 children aged 0–19 years in England were living with a life-limiting condition - double the amount previously thought. The study also showed a steady increase in the number of children living with a life-limiting condition, particularly in the 16-19 age group, and the prevalence of life-limiting conditions was notably higher in some ethnic minority populations and areas of socio-economic deprivation.

Lost a child or sibling - Every year over 5,000 children – around 13 a day – die in the UK. In 2012 more than 3,000 babies died before their first birthday and over 2,000 children and young people died between the ages of 1 and 19. 60% of deaths occurred before the age of one year and 18% between the ages of 15 and 19 years. Mortality rates are lower in early childhood from one to four years, and are lowest for five to nine year olds and the early adolescents, 10 to 14 year olds. Over half of the deaths in childhood occur during the first year of a child’s life, and are strongly influenced by pre-term delivery and low birth weight; with risk factors including maternal age, smoking and disadvantaged circumstances. After the age of one, injury is the most frequent cause of death; over three quarters of deaths due to injury in the age bracket of 10-18 year olds are related to traffic incidents. Reuben’s Retreat provides tailored, individual and family based counselling and support for bereaved Mums, Dads, brothers and sisters. We also provide bereavement support resources and breaks for those coping with the loss of a child.


Reuben’s Retreat accepts referrals for help directly from families, minimising the real (and perceived) obstacles or barriers they face when trying to access support. We also accept referrals from a range of health, community and social care organisations and all referrals must be supported by written confirmation from a qualified health professional with the details and extent of the disability or illness, such as cancers including leukaemia, chromosomal disorders, liver disease, lung disease, cereal palsy and muscular dystrophy. We also support youngsters who are awaiting a confirmed diagnosis.

Our counselling activities are delivered predominantly through 1-1 counselling (weekly, bi-weekly, ad-hoc or drop in) with one of our BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited Counsellors, who compassionately understand the impact the health or loss of a child has on a family.

We will work with children to:

• Explore their feelings and verbalise thoughts

• Channel sadness, anger or frustration

• Understand it is ok to feel happy even when there is sadness around them

• Recognise and understand emotions – particularly how feelings can be reflected (consciously or subconsciously) in their behaviour

We will work with adults to:

• Give them the chance to talk freely to an impartial ally thus reducing feelings of isolation, apprehension and hopelessness

• Develop coping mechanisms and resilience to face their new everyday hurdles and giving each family member the belief that the light will return to their lives, albeit not as bright as before

• How to re-engage with their loved ones, knowing that there are different stages of accepting a child’s diagnosis and the impact it will have on all of their lives, or understanding and recognising that each of their bereavement journeys will be different

We also deliver a range of well-being and respite sessions and activities - in one-to-one and group based settings - such as our “Serene Sundays”, which are designed for Mums and Dads with a complexly poorly child to Relax, Recharge and Rebuild. The day includes holistic well–being activities such as reiki, reflexology or Indian massage as well as meditation techniques and a 1-1 “download” with a highly skilled and experienced Counsellor.

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