50 fror Free

A rounds up the feedback from this year’s 50 free stays for charities

In March 2018, for the fifth year running, the Landmark Trust gave away 50 short breaks in some of our most treasured Landmarks to charities, educational institutions and non-profit organisations. The 50 for Free scheme reaches out to those who might especially benefit from the experience of staying in a Landmark but might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Over the past few days feedback from the benefitting organisations has been pouring in. It is amazing to see what a true difference these stays have made. The power of a restorative break seems to have been life affirming, offering a chance to break away from the struggles of daily life. Groups took the chance to do many different things during their stays: walking, surfing, playing board games, star-gazing, visiting local sites, cooking together, or simply taking time to reflect or comfort others. Just like any other Landmark stay, there is no limit to how much can be packed into one of our breaks.  

Below is a small selection of the heart-warming feedback we’ve received so far.

Balloons stayed at Silverton Park Stables running a bereavement memory weekend for a group of boys aged 9 to 12 whose fathers have died.

“It was a deeply meaningful experience for the children, volunteers and parents.  We feel that the children will take home with them a greater sense of their thoughts, feelings and actions, which has been informed by spending time with others who have also lost a parent.  It’s a great thing that you have enabled us to do.” - Joanne Overton-Pitts


Action for Asperger’s stayed at Cavendish Hall with a group of their Asperger and Autistic clients.

“Shy, socially awkward autistic adults managed to make friends with each other, chat, play and do all the regular things that neurotypical people find so easy to do. The confidence of our clients soared to dizzy heights for the first time in their lives” - Elaine Nicholson, MBE


Cancer Support UK stayed at Morpeth Castle giving a family whose son was diagnosed with leukaemia and is undergoing chemotherapy the chance for a break.

“It was our first time away as a family since his leukaemia diagnosis in May 2017. Benny had been staying in hospital numerous times over the past ten months. In December 2017, he was admitted to hospital six times. We felt like a fractured family of four…Our past weekend at Morpeth Castle was so good for recharging our batteries and doing family activities. We built puzzles, we kept the fire going as it was snowing outside, we drove to some awesome local attractions, we shared meals and we read. Benny enjoyed making and maintaining the fire. He attended to it and fed it all weekend. It was so he first time he had any freedom (since diagnosis) as we have instinctively wrapped in Benny in cotton-wool due to his immune-compromised health system from the on-going chemotherapy which runs for 3.5 years from diagnosis.” - Clare Jefferson


Surf Action stayed at Crownhill Fort taking military veterans affected by PTSD, physical injuries or those struggling to re-adjust to civilian life for a break.

“Everyone learned a lot about one another and the challenges they all faced in their day to day lives… by the fact there was no TV or broadband etc, everyone was able to participate in the discussions with a remarkable degree of concentration and honesty. This allowed much showing of emotion which would have otherwise been suppressed. This was humbling for all concerned” - Mark Wesson


CLIC Sargent stayed at Woodsford Castle giving a family whose daughter has been diagnosed with bone cancer the chance for a break.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this gift of a weekend – your donation has made such a difference and has sparked more of an interest in the children’s understanding of historical periods that they study at school’ - Victoria Hatch

50 for Free 2018 was funded by a generous private donation.