exclusive residential retreats designed to help you work creatively with your grief.

Manifold Farm, Nr Belper, Derbyshire

21st – 23rd May 2021

Holly Bush Farm, Nr Matlock, Derbyshire

17th – 19th September 2021

We have developed  a number of workshops, courses and weekend retreats all designed to help you to manage and express your grief in ways that are both active and true to you.

We have now had four very successful weekend retreats – in May and November 2018 we were at Charney Manor in Oxfordshire (a beautiful country house set in magnificent gardens) and in March 2019 we went to Manifold Farm in Derbyshire where participants enjoyed a remote rural setting, gorgeous accomodation and delicious home cooked food.   Due to Covid restrictions we had to cancel our retreat in May 2020 but were able to go ahead with the one in September 2020.


SIGN UP to our next ACTIVE GRIEF WEEKENDS:   exclusive residential retreats designed to help you work creatively with your grief.

21st – 23rd May 2021 at Manifold Farm, Nr Belper, Derbyshire

17th- 19th September at Holly Bush Farm, Nr Matlock, Derbyshire

“Grief is about doing.  It’s not just feeling dreadful in a dark room. If you do stuff, you express stuff and it’s active, that’s when you move forward in grief; and no one can tell you what you need to do because it is about love and it’s about your unique relationship with that person who’s died and only you can possibly find the right symbols or metaphors or things that express that.  No-one can lecture you, you can’t read a book that tells you.  It comes from within that stuff”.   Rachel Clay, bereaved sibling in SAY THEIR NAME the promotional film we made for  The Compassionate Friends.    

What we now want to do is to help you to find that stuff that comes from within; to do the things that will help you to find new meaning in your life.  We want to help you discover new ways of remembering your child and your lives together.  This work is based on ideas that flow from the concept of ‘continuing the bond’ with your child – of not wanting to cut off from them but of building a new kind of relationship with them.

We don’t pretend that this is easy, but our courses are designed to guide you gently as you struggle to find the symbols and metaphors that will give meaning to your life without your child.  And we want to show you some new practical and creative skills that will help you as you begin to integrate your loss into your life.


You are warmly invited to join us on our next creative and activity based weekend.   Our retreats are especially designed by the bereaved and for the bereaved.  You will find a truly supportive environment in which we will  help you discover new ways of expressing your grief, of sharing the story of your loss and reconnecting with your much loved son or daughter.

To find out more and to register for the retreat at Manifold Farm CLICK on the button below…



We are offering three different workshops for you to take part in.   None of these are compulsory and none require any previous experience.   But we do hope you enjoy them and pick up some useful tips as you find new ways of expressing your grief.

Exploring Grief with Photography


in which Jimmy and Jane  invite you to find new ways of expressing your grief with the use of photographs.  Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds are Josh’s parents.   Jane is a full qualified psychotherapist and Jimmy an experienced film and tv editor with a passion for photography.  His book RELEASED was published soon after Josh died.

“One of the weird things about photographs is that like memory the meaning they have for us, can evolve with time, sometimes radically and overnight. Think of any photo you have of your child and you know what we’re talking about. Innocent snapshots that now become overloaded with longing and painful fantasies of what might have been. Our task when we make new photographs with our child could be shift those meanings once again – from the raw pain of loss to a new sense of a continuing relationship with him or her.  The very process of creating the images will force you to spend time reflecting on your emotions and to feel closer to your child.”   – Jimmy


Active Grief


in which Joe will lead as you explore physical exercise as a means of helping you process grief. Joe Edmonds is Josh’s brother and a fully qualified personal trainer with additional qualifications in nutrition for weight management and sports performance.

“Alongside all the positive physical outcomes that regular exercise can offer, being active also has huge emotional benefits that go far beyond improved self esteem. Endorphins released during and after being active can really impact on our mood and current state of mind. So exercise is a valuable and important coping tool for grief and loss. When we run for instance, we get into a rhythm that gives us a unique opportunity to reflect and to process our hurt and our pain. This can be hard work but exercise helps us to ‘sweat it all out’ which in turn, helps us to find what I call “golden moments” – moments of release where we can catch that special connection we have with our loved one” – Joe

All these activities are tailored to meet the wide range of ability and fitness levels and will include some or all of the following: Group fitness sessions, Running, Jogging, Walking, Non-Contact Boxing and some (slightly competitive) Fun Games.

Creative Writing


Theatre director Jo Bousfield will be leading these sessions to help you get that inner voice out and onto paper (or computer screen).

Jo  has  worked in theatre for over 40 years, notably Dr Foster’s a small scale touring company, and more recently, Flies on the Wall and Barnstorm two youth theatres in the West Country.  Jo’s daughter Harry died early in 2012 having been diagnosed with spinal cancer four years earlier.

“My workshops” she says, “provide an opportunity to work alongside other bereaved parents.  By giving ‘airspace’ to your perceptions I hope to help you to allow your loss to be alive, not buried.”



All the sessions will have a mindful element to them in which Jane will help you discover the benefits of some simple mindful exercises and how they can be applied to your grieving. Jane Harris is Josh’s mum and along with her psychotherapy practice she is mindfulness facilitator with over 25 years of clinical practice.

There has been a surge of interest in mindfulness over the past few years but we should recognise is that mindfulness is not a quick fix – it’s not going to make you better and it’s not a prescription for happiness.  Central to mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention to what is happening right here, right now and acknowledging your feelings as they arise, moment by moment, be they pain or joy, peace or torment but importantly without judgement.  Mindfulness helps you accept the truth of the moment you’re in, even, or especially, when that moment hurts. Rather than some kind of escape from grief, it can be a tool for helping you to accept your grief as real.”  – Jane


  • “Unique in the approach to grief …. I want to come again and would recommend it in a heartbeat.”
  • “It could have gone two ways – wishy washy or deep – and it went beautifully, delicately deep.”
  • “What you have created for us has been beyond expectations … I don’t want to go back into the ‘real’ world.”
  • “Completely blown away – I feel safe, normal, comforted, warm and ‘fun’. Very therapeutic – thanks from the bottom of my heart.


Grief is often seen as a temporary phase following the death of a loved one and that after a while life will return to normal, that after a while we will find a way to move on from the death of a loved one, to find closure in order to get on with the rest of our lives.   This doesn’t ring true for us.  In fact rather than closures we think that  grief can offer up a number of openings.  But this does mean that we rethink how we can now relate to the world, to our friends and family, but especially how we now relate to our child who while here in spirit is no longer physically present.    Renewing and maintaining these relationships is a necessarily an active and creative process.

Click on the galleries to see work made by participants of previous weekends

AGW MAY Photo thumbs
AGW MAY Photo thumbs
AGW MAY Photo thumbs

SIGN UP to our next ACTIVE GRIEF WEEKEND:  an exclusive residential retreat designed to help you work creatively with your grief.

25th – 27th September 2020 or 21st – 23rd May 2021 Manifold Farm, Nr Belper, Derbyshire


We have received a small  grant from the National Lottery that enables us to offer a discount to those with limited finances. If this applies to you make sure you fill in the relevant part of the form.

DO YOU WORK IN THE BUILDING TRADE or in associated DIY industries and on a low salary? You and a partner may be eligible for a FULL GRANT from the  THE RAINY DAY TRUST to attend the retreat. We are proud to partner with this wonderful charity that exists solely to help people who have worked in the UK’s home improvement trade including  housewares (eg pottery and glass, cookware and bakeware) DIY, builders merchants and garden centres and nurseries staff.   This is a fantastic offer of support.  To find out more click below.