50 for Free feedback

Read how previous 50 for Free groups got on with their stays.

African Caribbean Community Initiative

Elton House, Bath - 2022

The African Caribbean Community Initiative (ACCI) is a holistic and comprehensive support service for the African Caribbeans affected by mental ill health.


'Elton House, though in the centre of the city, provided a calming atmosphere for members. The house seemed to have enveloped the group in a cloud of tranquillity. Entering the building for the first time there were gasps of amazement as members explored the surroundings.

Members were to share experiences, knowledge, stories, explore the area, drank, cooked, ate, laughed and enjoyed the beautiful accommodation. The best outcome was to see how time together helped to build friendships and path ways to future peer support. It was a privilege to have been offered this opportunity.'

YMCA East Surrey

The Grange, Kent - 2022

YMCA East Surrey is a vibrant charity that has been actively supporting the local community for over 150 years, offering a wide range of services to support community needs.

'AT YMCA East Surrey we provide homes for young homeless people, the majority had never had a holiday or a get-a-way so this was an opportunity to give them a chance to dream and an opportunity to have an amazing time in a beautiful location. The building was beyond beautiful, providing a fantastic platform and location for our young people to partake in an action packed health and wellbeing challenge whereby they completed 15 mile trek along the famous ‘Viking Coastal Trail’ taking in dramatic coastal scenery.

Thank you to the wonderful donors of '50 for Free' for this amazing opportunity to provide our young valuable residents a platform for such a memorable holiday!'

Action for Asperger's

Howthwaite, Grasmere - 2022

Action for Asperger’s counsels lives that have become adversely impacted by the experience of living with or alongside autism/Asperger’s syndrome


'The clients we took with us seemed immediately calm and relaxed and that made me feel like they would be happy there and we would have a good weekend.
The building was homely. The kitchen/diner allowed for us to sit everyone together to meals which is important socially - especially with autistic people - so nobody is left sat on their own or feeling left out of things. The snug was lovely and cosy and calming and the separate living spaces allowed for people to go off and take time out if they needed to.

The most enjoyable things about the stay was actually to see our clients looking so content and expressing what a lovely environment it was. To see them getting so much from the experience was just wonderful.'

Apna Haq

Alton Station, Staffordshire - 2022

Our name, Apna Haq, means ‘Our Right’ in Urdu. We support black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls in Rotherham, South Yorkshire who are experiencing any form of violence, including domestic violence.

'I enjoyed sitting with everyone and having dinner, I enjoyed talking with others, preparing food, playing games organised by Apna Haq staff. I am usually alone at home, it felt like a family with the others. We enjoyed walking around the Alton station, the whole experience staying overnight was good. I feel better, less stressed, would like to go again. Respite from 24/7 care of child. A nice break from daily life, stress free and relaxed. More sociable, easy to make friends, socialising with others.'

Building Self-Belief CIO

Morpeth Castle, Northumberland - 2022

Building Self-Belief is a charity based in the North East of England, focused on improving the wellbeing of young people in need and supporting them to build their self-belief. You can read a blog regarding the stay here.

'It was a fabulous weekend – and we greatly appreciate the donation of such an amazing location from the Landmark Trust. It was useful to be able to get the young people our of their usual environment and show then what is possible with some imagination and a drive for success. We would also like to thank Karbon Homes for their ongoing support of the panel and for our future pop-up events in the town.'

‘I had a great weekend; it was good to be out altogether and being in the castle made us all feel very special’

‘We loved the castle, standing at the turrets, looking over the town, walking in the grounds; and being so near to the town and the beach made it even better.'

Giroscope

New Inn, Suffolk - 2022

Giroscope is a housing charity based in west Hull - we have been here since the mid-1980s, and are pioneers in a movement within UK housing providers called Self-Help Housing. This movement has gained momentum and grown significantly in recent years, providing a model that has inspired many others.

'Our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds including the long term unemployed, people with mental health problems or learning difficulties and other isolated or hard to reach people. Often they have multiple barriers to work, and volunteer to try and improve their prospects for securing work. Our group were absolutely blown away by the property. We felt transported to a different era far away from the worries and stresses of daily life. They loved the medieval feel and the large communal area. It couldn't have felt further away from the small terraced houses in Hull that Giroscope helps renovate.  

We loved having such a magnificent place to come home to after our days out exploring. Eating all together around the large table was a real highlight. Many of our volunteers don't have a routine of cooking hot meals, or live alone and never get the opportunity to sit round as a group to eat.'

Helen Bamber Foundation

Cavendish Hall, Suffolk - 2022

Helen Bamber give survivors of trafficking and torture the strength to move on. With an all encompassing care for the whole journey, survivors have the dignity, strength and freedom to live their lives to the fullest.

'It was incredible! Cavendish Hall surpassed all of our expectations. The survivors who stayed at Cavendish were absolutely amazed, and couldn't believe the stately property they were able to stay in. It was so grand and everyone found it indescribable having such a spacious property to ourselves. It was a huge privilege for the whole group.

Our favourite thing was the range of vast and elegant spaces to relax in and slow down. One of the best things was being able to enjoy so many luscious green views out of the stately windows and to explore the grounds, which was a big contrast to the enclosed urban life in London. Having the freedom to explore and unwind at Cavendish Hall really contributed to the team's morale which supported their planning activities.

Being able to pause in such a unique space allowed the Ambassadors need to reflect on their experiences and devise meaningful solutions for the challenges that their community faces in London. Due to multiple disadvantages, most survivors we work with have never had the opportunity to participate in residential training of this sort in such a special environment, so it was truly a one of a kind experience for the team.'

 

HOPE for Paediatric Epilepsy

Wilmington Priory, East Sussex - 2022

HOPE for Paediatric Epilepsy are dedicated to providing support and respite to families with children and young people affected by epilepsy.

'Having a child with complex medical needs can be challenging for the family and a chance for a break from day to day life challenges with this was much appreciated. Our daughter who is a young carer really deserved a break away and had an incredible time. She was particularly happy as she is studying landmarks at school so loved telling all her friends.

You've given us a weekend we will never forget - thank you!'

 

Hull and East Yorkshire Children's University

Wortham Manor, Devon - 2022

Hull & East Yorkshire Children's University are a local children’s charity that has been running for 25 years.  Their mission is to raise the aspirations of young people in Hull and East Yorkshire by building their confidence with our unique learning experiences.

'I was part of a team that brought 8 children to Wortham Manor and to be able to bring them somewhere like this was just great. The opportunity you and your donors have given these children is actually life changing for them all.'

'The stay has provided a wonderful opportunity for some children in the care system to experience something they may not otherwise get the chance to do. Every day of the weekend has given me a great memory, not just the Manor but its location and the things we did around the area. Special mention to the Screech Owl Sanctuary for giving the children a great day, and within driving distance.'

 

Kit Tarka Foundation

Dolbelydr, Denbighshire - 2022

Kit Tarka Foundation works to prevent newborn baby deaths primarily through raising awareness of neonatal herpes, funding research and providing advice for healthcare professionals and the general public.

'I run a small charity which is extremely hard work in itself but, on top of that, the charity is built on the legacy of my son Kit who died when he was a baby. I am passionate about saving other babies but it is very tough being immersed in this world all day long. We will always carry Kit with us and the grief and heartache that comes with that but running a charity in his name feels like it can make the journey more difficult. There is very rarely a chance to switch off but the 50 for Free stay provided an opportunity to do just that.
Huge grins spread across our faces when we arrived; we knew straight away we had come to a very special place and couldn't wait to explore. My little boy Red (3) thought we had come to stay in a castle it was so huge!

I feel a bit emotional writing this! It has helped us enormously. Just having the space and time to rewind and recharge in such a special location meant the world to us. I have honestly not felt that happy for a long time. It was so good for Red too to have the time in so much space and nature. We also found moments to include his big brother Kit who he sadly never met. We collected stones and shells for him which will form part of our memories of this special time.'

 

Project MAMA

Silverton Park Stables, Devon - 2022

Project MAMA provide birth support for displaced women in Bristol.

'Since the beginning of Covid, the demand for our support has dramatically increased. This is partly due to higher levels of need but also the fact that there are now more than twice as many asylum-seekers in Bristol than before. Our staff and volunteers have been incredible throughout this time, providing support to 44 mamas and their babies per year through our 1-2-1 project Mother Companions. Additionally, it has been very difficult to meet up in the same space. Although we work very closely together, not being able to meet in person does make it more difficult to feel connected to the whole team and create the relationships that are so necessary in this line of work.
I don’t work a lot with volunteers as part of my job role and often only see them briefly when they come to the office to pick something up. It was really great to spend a few days together, getting to know them as well as getting a better understanding of the day-to-day issues and successes in their roles. I definitely feel more connected to the rest of the team and realised how important it is to do something like this more regularly.'

 

Rainbow Trust Children's Charity

New Inn, Suffolk - 2022

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports families who have a child aged 0-18 years with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

'I am a full time carer to my daughter who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. We struggle to find the money to take the family away. We are always in and out of hospital and she has another operation coming up soon so we were so great full to have this break and something happy to remember whilst we go through the next few months.

 We didn’t know if we’d be able to forget the worries and relax but the New Inn was so amazing that we immediately all got so excited!

Thank you so so much, you can’t imagine the difference you have made to our family. We so needed this break and you gave us the chance to spend some happy time together as a family away from all of our worries. We will remember our break all year and it will help with everything we will face in the coming months.'

Smell the Roses

Morpeth Castle, Northumberland - 2022

Smell the Roses provide ReTreat Days for women who have caring responsibility for child/children with any form of additional need. 

'Amazing experience! A lovely time spent in the company of other women experiencing similar situations able to support, share and advise. Lovely activities with inspirational women which provided much needed distraction and enrichment to my life. This service is so needed and I hope it can be offered to as many women as possible.'

'The peer support we witnessed last week from a group of mums/female carers who had never me before really was incredibly touching. Thank you again Landmark Trust!'

The Big League CIC

Beamsley Hospital, North Yorkshire - 2022

The Big League provide support to those that need it through aid and training provision, regenerating the local economy and helping Hartlepool businesses grow and sustain.

'Beamsley was used as a get-away-from-it-all reset and recharge by three people in recovery from addiction. I feel full of gratitude for the life I have now compared to how it was three years ago when I started my recovery journey. Thank you so much. You made three middle-aged men very happy!'

The Stroke Association

Silverton Park Stables, Devon - 2022

The Stroke Association exist to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke. We believe everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke. 

'We had a lovely time at Silverton Stables at the weekend, although several families were affected by Covid and couldn’t come so there were only six of us. 

It was spotlessly clean and very cosy and comfortable and felt like a safe place to get together and share experiences and news which is very important for stroke survivors.'

The Grange Centre for People with Disabilities

Winsford Cottage Hospital, Devon - 2022

The Grange wants to lead the way as provider of choice for people with learning disabilities, inspiring our local and wider communities.

'I was a guest with my sister Mandy Hilsdon who works tirelessly for the charity alongside looking after our Father. Thank you so much for allowing my sister the opportunity to stay at Winsford and therefore me too! My sister works with vulnerable adults and I work in the NHS so it was so appreciated and needed ...Thank you so very much!'

'Many thanks for providing the opportunity for us to take some time out of the rat race and enjoy the company of friends in a tranquil environment.'

Street Talk

Llwyn Celyn, Wales - 2022

Street Talk was founded to discover whether it were possible to engage extremely vulnerable women in therapy. It started humbly, at a drop-in centre, the Maze Marigold, in Hackney where we began to learn from the women how they wanted to use therapy.

'We used the stay as a thank you to the team who undertake work which is harrowing with the victims of trafficking and to give them a little tranquility and beauty. Thank you all for giving the team from Street Talk an unforgettable few days. The house was the most beautiful place I have ever stayed in and I don't believe I will ever stay in such surroundings again. Everything was perfect and the house was beautifully prepared.

We all felt uplifted; we work with rough sleepers as well as women who have been trafficked in tough parts of London so it was a privilege to discover such a beautiful corner of this earth, so far from Brixton Hill! We will never forget your generosity to Street Talk. With heartfelt thanks!'

'

Citywise Mentoring

Auchinleck House, Scotland - 2022

Citywise Mentoring has a vision to transform young lives through the power of character mentoring. We work with schools and families to help young people unlock their potential, flourish in all areas of their lives, and contribute positively to their communities.

'We applied for the stay because it was a great opportunity to take some of our children for a weekend away. Most of our children had never been away from home for the night, and we wanted them to experience a weekend in a ‘mansion’ and in nature.

The first feeling was unbelievable - it was even before we opened the door and stepped in. As we were driving the minibus towards the property, crossing the little bridge, and the house appeared, all the children and us, staff, were stunned by the size and appearance of the house - we’d only seen something like that before in movies - and now we were going to live here for the weekend!

The children, many of whom had never left Glasgow, felt very important staying there - it really expanded their horizons. We want to say a huge thank you! This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids from inner-city Glasgow, and we all loved our stay!'

Headway Leicester

Dolbelydr, Wales - 2022

Headway Leicester works with adults between the ages of 18-65 living in Leicestershire and Rutland with an acquired or traumatic brain injury, and their families.

'The stay has left me feeling refreshed and pleasantly tired. We had a lovely weekend at Dolbelydr, experiencing total quiet, isolation and no light pollution so clear we could hear the owls calling as we were going to sleep, whilst seeing the stars in the sky, so unusual for us town dwellers.

My heartfelt thanks for allowing me to share in this structure.'

The Ripple

Auchinleck House, Ayrshire - 2022

The Ripple delivers a wide range of projects designed to help local people in Restalrig, Lochend and Craigentinny to help themselves.

Its Healthy Hub Walking Groups provide two weekly 30 minute walks that are led by trained volunteers and follow pre-planned local routes. The earlier walk is aimed at people who like to walk briskly and the later walk offers beginners a more gentle pace.

'I would never be able to afford anything like this, and life has been rough recently. My physical and mental health has been terrible the last three years, and I’ve never got any money to do anything really good. Its good that the people who own the buildings offer them to people who cant afford them.'

'Just getting away from the city made a massive difference to my head. I always thought I was a city person, and I never realised how different it is being surrounded by countryside.'

'I am always struggling for money and sometimes have to use the foodbank, and I would never be able to do something like this.'

'I’m so thankful that I could be here, thanks so much, I cant put into words what this has meant to me.'

 

Norwood

Old Parsonage, Oxford

Norwood is the UK's largest Jewish charity supporting children, families and people with learning disabilities and autism.


'My son is severely disabled and went to Norwood’s assisted living facility – I have looked after him for 19 years and felt like I needed a break. The trip helped me relax and breathe the lovely air.'

The River House Trust

Woodsford Castle, Dorset

The River House Trust is a community based centre for people who live with HIV. They provide a large and diverse range of services such as nursing advice, counselling, therapies and courses.

'Thank you so very much for accepting our group, we had an absolutely wonderful stay. The group wanted to stay longer. The castle was immaculately clean and very comfortable, and with all the wonderful shoreline of the English coast to explore, it really was a case of recharging ones soul. One of the highlights for me, on our last morning one of the sheep came by with a pair of lambs and also seeing Cloud Hill, Lawrence of Arabia’s humble home. What an amazing man. So thank you again Landmark, we love you and support you.

The River House'

The Lodge Trust

Alton Station, Staffordshire

The Lodge Trust exists to make a Christian provision for adults with learning disabilities and is registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care (but does not provide nursing care).

'Wow this is like stepping back in time! It's possible to have fun without a TV or the internet. We were really grateful for the gift of this holiday.

Thank you!'

Jump Space

Morpeth Castle, Northumberland

Jump Space is a specialist centre offering Rebound Therapy, Trampolining and Sensory play. Their primary client group is people with disability and their families.

'I am sole carer to my three children, two of whom has disabilities and I am also battling cancer at present. Just to say a massive THANK YOU for our stay at Morpeth Castle. You just don’t know how much I needed that break and how much good it has done me.
The break gave me the chance to totally chill, not worry about treatment and think of me.
I feel stronger mentally and am ready to fight my next step in my battle against cancer.'

Break

Cavendish Hall, Suffolk

Break support vulnerable young people. They believe every child and young person needs a home where they feel safe and loved.

'This experience allowed people to have a safe space to just experience living together, singing at the top of their voices, dance around the kitchen while cooking but also relax in the lounge doing embroidery. They all enjoyed a spacious and bright room, most of them with an amazing double bed and lots of bubbly bath! This was an opportunity for them to explore things that they never did before and they all got a lot out of it! and coffee drinking, legacy and evaluation of the project. The best outcome was to see how providing a safe space for this group of young people allowed them to have a great experience. At the end of the week, everyone felt safe enough to express what they get out of this experience as well as ways to improve the implement of such a project.'

 

 

Dochas Carers

Saddell House, Argyll and Bute

Dochas Carers centre offers hope not only to people living with GBS or MND but also to others who have sought our support and guidance living with other medical conditions. They offer emotional and practical support by providing information, guidance and training for unpaid carers through the maze of services.

'The carers told me they need the break because they were exhausted and needed a break from caring. Most of them said they were experiencing emotional and mental problems due to the pressures of caring. Some also stated that it was brilliant having someone to go on holiday with as their lives had got smaller and they had no one to go away for a break with.  Some said it was a chance to meet new friends – one quote was "I came away with a group of strangers but I’m going home with a whole bunch of new friends".

One carer who was accompanied by her husband who has Alzheimer’s (they are in their 50s) became so emotional and burst into tears when she was offered a place on the break.'

KeyRing

Langley Gatehouse, Shropshire

KeyRing helps people to build their independent living skills. Independence is about seeing beyond services.

'Our members suffer with mental health problems and learning disabilities; this trip has given them so much more than just a holiday. While staying at the Gatehouse we worked together making all of our meals. We laughed and joked as we played board games and cards. We sang along to the radio together and we built new lasting friendships. Our members feel more able after the trip and recognise better their own skills and abilities.'

Mummy's Star

Lengthsman's Cottage, Warwickshire

Mummy's Star is the only charity in the UK and Ireland dedicated to women and their families when the mother is diagnosed cancer during pregnancy shortly or after a birth. Our aim is to support pregnancy through cancer and beyond.

'I was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a bone cancer during pregnancy, from that point my life changed. A break away meant I could forget and enjoy a nice time with my family.

“Thank you so much for giving us the chance to have a relaxing weekend. It isn’t something I would have been able to fund myself as I don’t have the finances available. You have allowed us to forget reality for a few days.'

Oasis

The Grange, Kent

Oasis supports people who have been affected by domestic abuse.

'We used the building to recharge our batteries and we felt very well rested after our stay. We’d just like to say "Thank you!" Being able to have a weekend out of the refuge environment meant a huge amount to us.'

 

 

North Argyll Carers

Saddell House, Argyll and Bute

North Argyll Carers aims to provide a person centred support service to all carers in Oban, Lorn & the Isles. Making a positive difference to the lives of carers.'

'We took a group of unpaid carers away on a well-earned break, the whole group literally gasped as we walked through the door! During our stay each carer worked on a piece for an anthology ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ which is due to be published this year.

You have made a group of people who have daily struggles very happy by providing this escape to a place of peace and tranquility, especially during these troubled times. Thank you!'

Oasis Waterloo

Wilmington Priory, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Oasis Hub Waterloo aims to help to create a local community where people of all ages and situations feel included, knowing that they can contribute and realise a deep sense of belonging.

'Being in London and in a small 1 bedroom flat with 6 of us means no chance for any member of the family to have his/her own space. We don't often have a chance to leave London. it felt like stepping into the past with everything, having the feel of legacy and smell of heritage. An amazing feeling that overwhelmed all of our senses.

The stay helped our family to re-connect and get closer.  Getting into the rural and countryside life allowed us to have that fun, quiet and peaceful time together. My family and I are really grateful for this amazing gift which has made a big difference to the way we see things and shed the light on the most important thing .. and that is our family connections and ties. So from the bottom of our heart THANK YOU.'