50 for Free - 2019

Feedback from 2019 recipients

2019 was the sixth year of the 50 For Free scheme - thanks to several generous private donors. Once again the feedback we received from benefiting organisations has been amazing. The power of a restorative break for all seems to have been life-affirming and a chance for many to recuperate and re-bond away from daily life.

Groups took part in many activities during their stays, from walking, playing games, archery, fossil hunting, aromatherapy massage, visiting other local landmarks, taking time to reflect, comforting others, self-healing - it never ceases to amaze us how much can be packed into a Landmark stay.

Below are just a few extracts and images of the time enjoyed by different 2019 groups.

Mummy's Star

Beamsley Hospital, North Yorkshire

Mummy's Star supports families when a woman is diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy or within 12 months of birth.

'I was diagnosed with pregnancy-associated breast cancer in July 2017. I’ve had two major operations and six rounds of chemotherapy and I have been in and out of the hospital a lot over the last couple of years. It was amazing to be able to forget all about that and enjoy ourselves'. - Colette Rankin

Dover Carers

The Grange, Kent

Carers' Support - Dover, Canterbury and Thanet supports those who care for a relative or friend aged 16 and over across Canterbury, Dover and Thanet.

‘Many of our young adult carers are juggling school, college or work with caring for a loved one or in some cases, up to three people within their families. For the young adult carers who stayed at The Grange, this was a real chance to have a much-needed break and recharge their batteries.

‘This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our young adult carers which simply would not have been possible with Landmarks support.’ - Helen Merrick 

Cherry Tree Nursery

The Old Parsonage, Oxford

Cherry Tree Nursery (Sheltered Work Opportunity Project) provides support and community for adults with severe and enduring mental health illnesses through the medium of therapeutic horticulture.

'This stay helped some of the participants with their anxiety as it was a challenge for them to be out of their comfort zone. They now feel more confident to try new things. We learnt how to support each other as a group and plan our daily activities'.

One of the participants had a birthday during this trip and said how nice it was to be staying in such a remarkable place on his birthday'. - Nigel Short (staff), Rob, Daniel, Justin and Nick

Escape Support Group

Crownhill Fort, Plymouth

Escape Support Group provides recreational activities, day trips and short breaks for families that have a child with a disability or additional needs.

'Would just like to thank everyone involved with giving us the weekend at Crownhill Fort. We had the most fabulous time, lots of fun and laughter. Words cannot describe what an amazing place this was to stay. I have had so many people ask me where it was and want the details for themselves to go. Thanks again for such a wonderful experience.'  - Tracy and family.

Action for Asperger's

Goddards, Surrey

Action for Asperger's counsels lives affected by autism, ages 3+.

'Several exclamations of ‘awesome’ were heard as we opened the front door and stepped inside'.

'Your properties are soothing when there are autistic meltdowns going on! We experienced two of them but the environment helped no-end!'

'We’d like to express our thanks to the donors for allowing our autistic adults to take a break, and to mix and mingle with confidence and safety with similar like-minded folk – the experience is liberating for them and really helps self-esteem'. - Elaine Nicholson, MBE

Brighter Futures

Dolbelydr, Denbighshire

Brighter Futures is a community interest company run by and for people with mental health issues to support the development of friendship networks.

'We used the building to discuss the preferred structure of the Youth Support Group and agreed on a timescale for its further development and implementation. We also used the time to relax, away from the daily pressures and to concentrate on our own recoveries and to consider how the youth group will fit with these ongoing recoveries.”

'50 for Free stays are so important. They allow small organisations like Brighter Futures and their members’ opportunities to step back from daily pressures to take time either to support their own wellbeing and to invest in the development of the organisation, therefore, enhancing the wellbeing of other participants yet to join the group. We know of nothing else like this opportunity and so would like to thank everyone involved in making them happen'. - Robert Bennett

Children's Hospice SW

Elton House, Bath

Children's Hospice South West provides the only hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, across the whole of the South West.

'Bath was a city we used to take our son, who sadly passed away six years ago – the stay helped us remember memories and make new ones with our other two children'. - The Coogan Family

New Roots Housing

New Inn, Suffolk

New Roots Housing offers accommodation with support to homeless and vulnerably-housed young people.

'Yet another example of the fantastic opportunities we’re able to offer our young people because of 50 for Free. As a way of escaping the pressures of their day-to-day lives, the valuable respite offered by a residential trip provides them with a chance to reflect. The property was fantastic and everyone in the group was really taken with it'. - Matthew Pickering

Young Women's Outreach Project

Morpeth, Northumberland

Young Women's Outreach Project empowers, educates and nurtures young women including young mothers aged 11-19.

'It gave me a break from my normal life'.

'We’ve been working with some of the young women for a considerable amount of time, and they’ve never eaten with us, so doing this was massive for them. They did lots of day to day activities that a lot of people would take for granted, and they would not have done if they were with their parents'. - Julie Stott, Project Manager

KRAN (Kent Refugee Action Network)

Sackville House, West Sussex

KRAN relieves the hardship of refugees, asylum seekers and their dependents in Kent, providing advice, information, education and support.

‘KRAN works with young unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers and Landmark provided a unique opportunity for the members of the KRAN Youth Forum to come together, plan, receive training, bond as a team and have a weekend away from the realities of life'.

‘We used the house to hold a residential retreat for the KRAN Youth Forum. Here we provided training, made plans for the coming year, and did teambuilding work. All of us felt more connected with one another – KRAN colleagues and our young people'.  - Fawzia Worsley

Brent Carers

Goddards, Surrey

Brent Carers provides support, advice, guidance and respite to unpaid family carers in Brent, London.

'There are so few opportunities available for vulnerable young adults (aged 18-25) who are not in school. You gave us the change to give some of the most vulnerable of these individuals (young carers) a break. I had two girls on the trip that I have never seen smile before and who rarely open up. I saw them laughing, joking and talking about their difficulties. The difference this weekend made to our young adults is huge!'

Norfolk Family Carers

Cavendish Hall, Suffolk

Norfolk Family Carers provide support, information and advice for carers of all ages to reduce the impact of caring. 

‘We usually arrange activity breaks for a larger group of young carers but one of our young carers noted that she was really enjoying the chance to relax and have time to herself. This was much better for her mental health as she had no time schedule and could relax as she often finds it difficult to be doing things all the time.

We used the opportunity to look after the young carers own wellbeing – they had an aromatherapy massage and lots of chilled out time. They enjoyed home cooked meals and sitting around the big table in the dining room. As they were leaving they said how much better they felt having had a break and better able to return to their caring roles'.  -Bev Townsend

Emmaus, South Lambeth Community

The Grange, Kent

Emmaus South Lambeth provides housing, support and work to homeless people in a supportive community environment.

'This was an unforgettable experience that I will never forget and we thank you for us allowing us as a team, to build more of a connection on this trip away'. - Joshua Weir

Southside Family Project

Woodsford Castle, Dorset

Southside Family Project aims to ensure that children, young people and adults with multiple and complex difficulties in Bath and North-East Somerset access the care and support they need, so that their families enjoy the safety, experience and opportunities they deserve.

"The best part about our stay was not only the beautiful premises but the chance to really get to know and bond with my fellow volunteers."

"I liked best being able to get to know the other Family Champions better and having some time alone away from the everyday norm of being mum. It was also nice to feel supported when I felt so on edge and upset to start with."

Borders Carers

Castle of Park, Glenluce

Borders Carers Centre are the independent expert charity supporting adult carers in the Scottish Borders. Via the Adult Carers Support Plan, carers are recognised, enabled and sustained in their caring role, as well as supported to have a life outside of caring.

'We took a group of unpaid carers, who find it really difficult to find time for themselves. Budgets are tight, so it was such a treat to be able to stay in such plush surroundings and feel really 'cut off' from the real world... Everyone said that they felt a huge benefit from being away from the daily routine, and spending time with other carers who really understood the challenges faced every day.’ - Debbie Rutherford, Borders Carers


Campbeltown Grammar School

Saddell House, Kintyre, Argyll & Bute

Campbeltown Grammar School: a small department in a mainstream school supporting young people with a large range of additional support needs.

"As usual the kids feedback makes lovely reading and the comments show what a truly wonderful and beneficial experience you are giving groups like ours with your 50 for free giveaway." - Agnes Stewart, Support for Learning Assistant  

"The stay helped me learn to help with cooking." - student

"I felt more grown up, independent and confident after the stay" - student

Shine Cancer Support

New Inn, Peasenhall

Shine Cancer Support is the only UK charity that exists exclusively to support adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis.

"It felt like we were stepping in to a magical wonderland  the medieval hall was so evocative and beautiful. There were sharp intakes of breath all round!"

"Thank you so so much for enabling me and other young adults with cancer to escape our lives of fear, hospitals, trauma and worry to have the most wonderful weekend in the most beautiful of surroundings". - Jessica Murphy