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A beachside retreat for carers

Nov 04 2019

Through the combined effort of Carers Queensland’s Brisbane South and Ipswich regional offices, 18 local carers were offered a three-day break from their caring roles.

Along with five Carers Queensland staff members, 11 carers from the Brisbane South Region and seven from the Ipswich region, attended the retreat.

The retreat was held at Ballina Beach Village from 21-23 June 2019 under the theme ‘Renew. Replenish. Nourish’ providing a relaxed environment for all participants.

A two- hour bus trip allowed carers to get to know each other, start telling their story and building trust prior to the formal commencement of the retreat.

These connections were further supported through the shared cabins on the beach side, creating opportunity for deeper conversation, sharing and relationship  building.

The event featured a wide range of activities including art therapy activities designed to encourage carers to move through ‘Where am I Now?’ to a ‘vision’ for the future.

Supporting the art therapy was a Drumming Circle. An hour under the trees with Gareth Jones, a plethora of drums and some amazing rhythms, was the most
popular session of the weekend.

A breakfast hamper was a prepared by Carers Queensland’s staff member, Nola Tully and her husband, and carers were able to relax, have a quiet morning, and get ready for the agenda of the day to start at 9:00am.

On Friday evening, carers were treated to a wonderful Bush Poetry session by Ray Essery, around some camp fires.

On Saturday night, carers went to the Cherry Street Sports Club in Ballina for a roast dinner and some live entertainment.

Carers Queensland Carer Services Area Manager, Sarah Bone said events like this one are mainly focused on the carers’ needs and wellbeing.

“Many carers state that they often feel isolated in their caring role and that family and friends often don’t understand what their experience is,” she said.

“This is a great space for them to develop new friendships, create new connections and hear different stories and journeys in a safe environment,”she added.

Overall, carers were extremely satisfied with the opportunity to take some time out of their caring roles and share their stories with likeminded people.