Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

Charity marks 10 years of its ‘forever home’ – Reuben’s Retreat

CHARITY Reuben’s Retreat is celebrating a very special anniversary on 23rd April 2024. The date marks 10 years since it bought its ‘forever home’, which was formally Glossop’s Woods Hospital.

Reuben’s Retreat was founded in 2012, following the tragic passing of 23-month-old Reuben Michael Graham, from an extremely rare brain tumour. Despite crippling grief, his mum, Nicola Graham, wanted to help other families facing tough situations, offering them a place where they could relax, recharge, remember and rebuild.

Charity marks 10 years of its 'forever home' - Reuben's Retreat

In the last 10 years, what was the hospital has been transformed into Reuben’s Retreat – a place of hope, support and love. To celebrate this special anniversary, here are 10 top facts about the building:

1.  Reuben’s Retreat was originally a hospital that was built by Mr Daniel Wood, co-owner of Howard Town Mill on land that was donated by Lord Howard of Glossop. Daniel Wood gifted the building to the townsfolk of Glossop after becoming ill himself with bronchitis.  Construction started in 1886 but sadly he passed away before the project was finished and he never got to see the building completed. Reuben’s Retreat carries with it the compassion that created the building, supporting beneficiaries from across the UK.

2.  You can find an original Foundation Stone at the Retreat which was laid on 30 July 1887 with a grand celebration in Howard Park led by the Glossop’s Mayor, James Sidebottom. Wood’s Hospital was officially opened, without ceremony on 21st January 1889.

3.  In February 1976, world-renowned Salford artist, L. S. Lowry, was admitted to Woods Hospital and sadly passed away soon after while suffering from pneumonia.

4.  In its latter years the hospital was predominantly used for re-cooperation and convalescence with mainly elderly patients. It closed its doors for the last time as a hospital in 2009 and was placed ‘For Sale’ by the NHS shortly after.

5.  A key date in the building’s history is the 23rd of April 2014 when Reuben’s Retreat purchased Woods Hospital from the NHS as their Forever Home.

6.  In 2015, Reuben’s Retreat completed the first of many building renovations and ‘The Lodge’, its bereavement support, wellbeing & counselling centre was opened. There is a 10kg crystal buried within the function room of the lodge and also within the foundations of the main building. These crystals were lovingly placed within the Retreat to nurture positive energy and to ground the building with its healing properties.

7. The roof of the main building was completely overhauled in 2016, a huge project which was made more impactful as it used the original slate tiles to renovate the majority of the roof. Supporters of Reuben’s Retreat were invited to purchase a slate and send messages which were written onto the tiles before being placed on the roof. These hugely personal messages are scattered across the building and include messages from beneficiaries, volunteers and local businesses.

8.  In September 2021 the charity hosted its first swim in the newly installed Hydrotherapy Suite which heralded the launch of the new ‘Activity Wing’ at Reuben’s Retreat. The hydrotherapy suite has many crystals sensitively placed within it and the wing also houses a sensory room with a cinema area, playroom, parents’ kitchen, welcoming reception, family team offices and a stunning glazed link. There’s a beautiful piece of artwork hung in the entrance to the Retreat with some special ‘nods’ to those the team wished to thank and the heritage of the building.

9. Reuben’s Retreat has now embarked on its final phases. Phases 7-10 will see the remaining wing renovated into two ground-floor, fully accessible suites with an interconnecting studio all accessed by a matching glazed link and two upper-floor suites for families to holiday together. The expansive grounds will be landscaped and additional parking finalised.

10. Even though the building is as yet unfinished, Reuben’s Retreat has supported over 1800 beneficiaries since being founded in 2012. Fundraising continues to support both the ongoing renovations and beneficiary support, allowing this local landmark to continue to be a huge part of history, echoing the care and kindness demonstrated by Daniel Wood so many years ago.

Charity marks 10 years of its 'forever home' - Reuben's RetreatUp-to-date news and information about vacancies and support are available by following @reubensretreat and #reubensjourney on social media or by visiting:


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