Reaching out

Liz Holmes is Minsteracres’ outreach coordinator.

“Providing an outreach programme was one of the three key aims of Minsteracres Retreat Centre when it became a charity in 2012, and has always been an important part of what we do here. We have been pleased to see that work grow,” explained Minsteracres’ rector, Fr Jeroen Hoogland.

“With nearly 30 years’ experience as a social worker specialising in childcare and children with disabilities, Liz is well placed to run the programme,  and she has had considerable success in engaging organisations, bringing in new ones drawn by her reputation and the experience of working with her in the past,” he added.

“I used my knowledge of the voluntary and social sectors to explore possible new users,” said Liz. “So far we have had carers’ groups, families and friends of people in recovery from substance misuse, people with HIV and their families, disabled children and, of course, our long standing partner Freedom from Torture.

“Typically groups come for a day, mostly for respite and time out. The programme offers a balance of rest and activity according to each group’s needs, with massage, relaxation exercises and therapeutic activities for the adults, and outdoor activities like pond dipping, den building and woodland walks for the children.

“I’m really excited about what we’re doing,” said Liz. “What we have now is the tip of the iceberg and we’ll carry on developing it as much as capacity allows, fitting in around other events and bookings.”

Managing all this is a tall order for one person, but Liz is not alone. She is supported with a small dedicated team a volunteers, including a former social worker and a mental health nurse. You can read about what they’ve been getting up to here on our website.

If you would like to know more about our outreach programme, email Liz