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Making time in your busy life to go on a retreat is one of the best gifts you can give yourself

NEWS RELEASE Major makeover for Claridge House

Major refurbishment and improvements are on the way for Claridge House, the Quaker retreat centre in Dormansland, Surrey. The work includes making all bedrooms en suite, and enhancing facilities for people with disabilities. The centre will be closed for the first half of 2016, to enable all the work to be completed. Two generous legacies and a sum from the sale of Lattendales, a similar Quaker centre in the north of England, have provided the funds needed for the work. Although some improvements had already been made, these have involved closing the centre for two months each year, which is not cost effective. The funding now in place means that all the major works can be completed within a single, continuous six-month period. This refurbishment programme will bring Claridge House in line with other Quaker residential centres. As well as providing en suite bedrooms and better facilities for people with disabilities, it includes modernising the kitchen, redecoration, and new furniture and soft furnishings. ‘Claridge House is a wonderful retreat centre, much loved by those who spend time here,’ said the Clerk of Trustees, Anne Simpson. ’Our aim is to make the centre more accessible for current users and to encourage more new visitors.’ The trustees acknowledge that there have been difficult decisions to make, in terms of staffing and postponing courses already planned for 2016. ‘We have a responsibility to ensure that the legacies are well spent, so that this important retreat centre can thrive and continue to be there for future generations,’ says Anne Simpson ‘We know that it is now or never, as we cannot guarantee that there will be more legacies. However, we look forward to opening again in September 2016 and to welcoming everyone back for courses, retreats - and also to stay for a break from normal life.’ For more information please contact: Anne Simpson at simpsonanne54@gmail.com

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