The three Welsh Marches cottages played host to a team away day for a fantastic social enterprise called IRIS which is a general practice-based domestic violence and abuse (DVA) training support and referral programme.

It is a relatively young, not for profit, organisation where the team work to promote and improve the health care response to women who are experiencing DVA from a current partner, ex-partner or adult family member. IRIS also provides information and signposting for male victims and for perpetrators.

The team are based across England and Wales and so chances for everyone to come together are rare and precious.

Medina, the Chief Executive, lives just down the road from Welsh Marches and thought that the cottages and beautiful rural environment would provide a good base for the organisation’s first team away day.

“We were able to work from the lovely open plan living space in Sugar Loaf over two days, focus and be productive.  The cottages are lovely, brilliantly appointed with everything we needed and more in terms of equipment and comfort.  As well as working together, at the end of the day, we had some refresh and relax time when we were joined by a team of therapists.  We enjoyed meditation and mindfulness under a lime tree in the middle of a field in the glorious September sunshine.  We did yoga outside looking over the hillside with fields of horses and cattle.  We cooked, ate, chatted and laughed together” said Medina.

“On what can sometimes feel like a hamster wheel of meetings, bus, train and tube travel, report writing and problem solving, taking time to come together in a quiet, different and healthy space is really important.”

It was a real pleasure to have them visit.

The therapists come from a local organisation called “Workplace Massage and Well-being” who would be happy to provide their services to other organisations looking to mix activity with tranquility.

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

Yoga in the September sun

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

Great place for a meeting