Recovery and Renewal Days

The Recovery and Renewal Days grew out of the previous staff retreats, and were initially designed to help people respond to the COVID-19 crisis and keep well during self-isolation. They have developed into a staff resource for wellbeing, to provide a time for reflection and replenishment.

Recovery and Renewal days for Oxford Health Staff


For a number of years the Oxford Health Department of Spiritual & Pastoral Care ran a series of well-received staff retreats.  These retreats have been developed into Recovery and Renewal Days.

The days are FREE and are facilitated in such a way that staff groups are able to develop resources for self-compassion and self-awareness. The emphasis of each day is the development of psycho-social and psycho-spiritual wellbeing. The days are open to ALL staff whatever their faith, belief or philosophy of life.

Aim of each day

The aim is to create a gentle, nurturing environment in which participants can find the support needed in order to replenish themselves.  By the end of each day participants will:

  • Understand the importance of work/life balance for health and wellbeing;
  • Be introduced to strategies for caring for self (and why this matters);
  • Know how to find sources of support and how to make changes;
  • Develop understandings of the roles we play e.g. partner, sibling, parent, carer and how they relate to who we are;
  • Consider gender and race and the influence of historical and present-day understandings of power within the helping professions;
  • Discuss some possible psycho-spiritual tools for living e.g. meditation, mindfulness and understandings of the natural world;
  • Consider ways in which their learning will influence the care of patients

Criteria for attendance

Staff attending need:

  • The permission of their manager to attend;
  • Be able to attend in work time or whilst off sick;
  • Be the only person attending from their team;
  • Be prepared to attend for the whole time;
  • Be prepared to have an individual conversation with a facilitator beforehand;
  • Be sufficiently well to benefit from 2 days away;
  • Give a brief statement as to why they think they would benefit from a retreat; *
  • Be prepared to complete a short pre- and post-attendance questionnaire; **

In addition, where possible we try to represent all clinical, corporate and geographical areas with a mixture of banding.

*We request that applicants be as open as possible as to why they feel they would benefit from attending. 

** As part of the NHSE/I funded LiSHoRe project funds have been made available to evaluate the series of days with the hope of developing a model that can be used by others within health and social care.  Participant information, including feedback on the day will be anonymised and used to write up a detailed evaluation.


  1. Option 1: 24 hours. Overnight accommodation in single en-suite rooms (including the option of using 2 rooms that have been adapted for disabled users) with all meals and refreshments provided.
  2. Option 2: 10am – 4.30pm. Lunch and refreshments included


For dates and details of how to book please see the Recovery and Renewal Day booking form staff intranet OR contact The allocation of places will take place approximately 14 days before the date or each day is due to take place.


Facilitators include:

  • Guy Harrison
  • Sally Horner
  • Rainah Madzorera
  • Andrew Williams


Charney Manor Quaker retreat and conference centre, the centre piece of which is a stunning 13th century manor house in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside between Wantage and Oxford. Please see

Page last reviewed: 8 November, 2022