A wonderful weekend of pampering and indulgence was enjoyed recently by Band of Sisters members, who travelled from the North East, North West and Ireland to Phoenix House Recovery Centre at Catterick.
The first of its kind to be held at the centre, the weekend immediately proved a hit with the nine Band of Sisters members, eight of which were wives of injured, wounded or sick heroes and one a mother.
Activities involved relaxing treatments, use of the gym, Pilates and Zumba classes as well as chatting with other Band of Sisters in a relaxed atmosphere.
There was also the chance to take part in jewellery making, a singing workshop and, of course, have an important lie in.
The women also enjoyed dressing up in their best evening wear to enjoy a three course evening meal on the Saturday night as well as a pub quiz.
But the best part was relaxing with other women in the same situation, making new friends and having a break from home.
Andrea Burns, who has only recently joined Band of Sisters, attended the weekend from her home in South Shields. Her husband, Jason, is a former Royal Marine, who served 26 years before an injury in Afghanistan forced him to give up his career. She said the pamper weekend really helped her to relax.
“The relief of meeting other women in the same situation and knowing that you are not alone just made a huge difference to me and I just felt like a different person,” she said.
“Meeting other women in the same situation and not feeling embarrassed to cry was a big thing for me. You didn’t have to explain yourself and everyone knew everyone was here for the same reason.”
Other comments from the women included: “I haven’t laughed so much in a long time” as well as “I was very nervous about coming but I was made to feel welcome and at ease.”
Another said: “If I was to choose a word to describe the weekend, it would be AMAZING.”
Lucy Wray, Phoenix House’s regional BOB/BOS Coordinator, said the weekend was a huge success for everyone involved.
“The small intimate number helped everyone bond quickly and it wasn’t intimidating for anyone.
“We loved getting to know all the girls and it really gave them a break and a chance to relax from those every day pressures and meet others in a similar situation.”
The Pamper weekend was so popular that more are planned for next year. The next one will be March 14-16 and everyone here is already looking forward to it.