Caritas Anchor House

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Abbotswick offers a ‘Breathing Space’ for homeless residents

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Abbotswick offers a ‘Breathing Space’ for homeless residents

27th May 2015
Caritas Anchor House residents enjoyed a three day break at the Abbotswick retreat this month.

Joined by two Lifestyle Architects, seven residents spent 20th – 22nd May taking part in the ‘Breathing Space’ programme.

The aim of the Abbotswick retreat is to provide our residents, many of whom have been marginalised by society because they are homeless or for a range of other reasons, with a safe space to reflect away from busy inner London, in an environment which is green, peaceful and quiet.

As part of this year’s ‘Breathing Space’ programme, the residents took part in many group activities which encouraged bonding among the group, including a successful laughter yoga session.

Through the group activities the residents were able to create a connection with each other which, at times, can be hard to establish in a busy environment like Caritas Anchor House. They also practised meditation and were shown the benefits of mindfulness – a technique which helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences.

“I had done some relaxation exercises before I went to Abbotswick which helped me when I was struggling,” said one resident. “I thought attending the ‘Breathing Space’ programme would be helpful, and it didn’t disappoint. Through the meditation and mindfulness sessions I learnt how to put things in perspective and set in coping techniques for when things get hard.”

Keith Fernett, CEO, said of the retreat “The group had a really great time at Abbotswick this year. The calm environment gives our residents the opportunity to take stock of where they are in life, be proud of how far they’ve come and be hopeful they can continue to succeed.

“Though some of the sessions could have been quite challenging for the residents, each one of them adapted well and we’re really impressed with the progress they have all made. Abbotswick helps our residents come together and find their inner strength so they can tackle any problems they may experience.”

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