Cancer survivor Lindsey McNeill, who lives in West Lothian but has family in Galashiels, visited a retreat in Manchester after her treatment and says it gave her “the support I didn’t even know I needed.”
Last year she set her sights on creating a charity aimed at providing similar chances for those in the Borders - believing it’s scenic location and multiple amenities made it an ideal spot.
Lindsey, founder of Borders Wellness Retreat charity, said: “My vision was to offer free places to those in need of this service; a practical support service which is not offered elsewhere.
“I believe there was a gap in the market, as having gone through 18 months of cancer treatment myself in West Lothian, I ended up going to an exercise retreat in Manchester to get the kind of support I didn’t even know I needed.
“I have set up a charity offering free wellness retreats in the Borders for those who have, or have had cancer previously.
“But I am struggling to reach out to all those who may benefit from the retreat.”
She has organised a two-night retreat based out of Peebles Hydro Hotel from Tuesday, April 23, available fully-funded for 10 people and including dinner, bed and breakfast and a host of activities.
“The programme includes walking with alpacas, a workshop on Nordic walking, an introduction to mountain biking, gentle movement and relaxation sessions as well as interactive demonstration on healthy and fun eating to counteract issues with taste buds and appetite,” she added.
“There is a questionnaire to complete in advance, but this is an amazing opportunity to come and try something new, make new friends and get a broader range of support if you want it.
“There will be other retreats offered as and when I can raise enough funds too.”
The charity hopes to offer free access to a practical support service for those with a cancer diagnosis, or who have finished active treatment.
Lindsey says future retreats, which will all be aimed at small groups and offering en suite accommodation, could offer restorative yoga; counselling; beauty treatments; craft classes; and cookery classes focusing on nutrition and healthy eating.
“These are all key practical elements which can assist in recovery from cancer treatment,“ Lindsey added. “Speaking from personal experience, this type of retreat promotes successful recovery through a holistic approach to healthy living.”
If people are interested, they can see more details at Borders Wellness Retreat Facebook page, or email: [email protected]