Transformational is a term often used to describe the impact mindfulness can have. Although I am often wary of making claims that can often seem exaggerated, I would certainly apply it when talking about iBme UK’s residential mindfulness retreats. iBme UK is now in its third year and has its annual retreat in Kent from the 23 July to 2 August. The retreats are aimed at young people from all walks of life, aged 15 to 19, and brings them together in a compassionate community that allows them to flourish and grow in a supported environment. The fee structure of 1% of annual household income means that no-one is turned away due to lack of funds and if a young person cannot manage that we will find the funds to help them.
Here are some examples of the impact our retreats have had:
One young woman – a survivor or the Manchester Arena bombing – who came on our retreat last year is now training to become a mindfulness teacher and working with the Peace Foundation. This organisation helps people cope with the trauma of terrorist attacks. She has been leading mindfulness practices for traumatised veterans and victims.
The parent of a young transgender man said that coming on retreat was the first time ‘that he had felt comfortable in his skin with his peers.’ After being a school refuser, he is back in school and studying for his exams. He regularly meets online for our weekly practice session.
Another young woman said coming on retreat gave her added confidence and ‘When I came out I was able to confidently, and with pride and certainty, manage difficult situations with my family and friends, with a more successful and less stressful outcome.’