Military veterans' woodland retreat appeal for more land after success

Belisama's Retreat <i>(Image: Jonathan Marriott)</i>
Belisama's Retreat (Image: Jonathan Marriott)

A 'riverside woodland retreat' for military veterans' mental health and wellbeing in Lancashire is raising funds to extend their space.

Belisama's Retreat, located on the banks of the River Ribble near Preston, is a community interest company that helps military veterans with their mental health.

Jonathan Marriott, the founder of Belisama's Retreat, used his military pension eight years ago to purchase the woodland which is now the Retreat.

During that time, access for less abled veterans and parking was always an issue.

Now, the neighbouring land owner wishes to sell his woodland and meadow to Belisama's Retreat to help out with that access.

The owner has not advertised the land, and wishes to sell it at what he purchased it for 15 years ago.

Jonathan said: "This is extremely kind of the land owner, and an amazing opportunity for the Retreat to grow.

"The land would be a game changer for the Retreat.

"Not only would it improve access and safe parking greatly, we would be able to hold events for future fund raising and local community engagement.

"I do not have enough funds left in my pension to purchase the land for the retreat, so I am here asking for help.

"The Retreat has already saved and changed many of our veterans lives and continues to do so."

The Retreat has received The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Award for work with Veterans, and more recently, The Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister's Points of Light award recognises outstanding UK volunteers - those making a change in their community.

As of Friday, May 17, Belisama's Retreat have currently raised £1,585 from 26 donations out of their £35,000 target.

You can donate to Belisama's Retreat by searching 'Improve access and secure parking for Belisama’s Retreat CIC' on Go Fund Me.