Hello from the new interim Working Retreats Co-ordinator
It was thrilling earlier in the year to hear that Hannah Brock Womack, QVA’s permanent Working Retreats Co-ordinator, was expecting a very happy event this summer – in fact for QVA and I’m sure many others, this is the best news of the year.
Hannah will very shortly be commencing her maternity leave and it’s my huge privilege and pleasure to step temporarily into her shoes. I’ve been a retreat facilitator with QVA since 2018 and enjoyed each occasion immensely, finding the companionable walk through a week of work and reflection to be an experience of growth and sanctuary.
QVA’s ethos of spirit-led volunteering is one which engages heart, head and hands in a practical expression of Quaker spirituality. This idea leads both organisation and participants into places where work carries transformative meaning – such as creating new accommodation for people in need, practising ecological gardening, supporting communities challenged by repressive circumstances. This year however, as with all social activities, our plans have necessarily been put on hold in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and its fall-out.
No time like the present
The challenge which faces QVA now is to find spaces within the changed landscape of pandemic travel-restrictions and social distancing in which it can offer opportunities to come together safely, creatively and productively. Most significantly, we’ll be focussing on rescheduling postponed retreats and planning for the time when working together in person becomes feasible again. But I also see my interim role as finding other ways to maintain a continuity of service during this time in one form or another, and I’m looking forward to developing resources and ideas to enable that to happen.
Meanwhile our doors are ‘open’, electronically at least. As a newcomer I’d be very happy to hear from past participants about your experiences on QVA retreats – stories, reflections, photos… Do keep in touch and watch this space for news of what’s coming up!
Interim Working Retreats Co-ordinator