Discovery Breaks are always a highlight of the CAP calendar, and last week saw the annual Northern Ireland break rocking and rolling in Castlewellan. A beautiful castle overlooking the Mourne Mountains, Castlewellan has for several years offered the perfect setting for a stunning few days.
Discovery Breaks offer our clients a chance to step back from their everyday lives, which are often especially stressful. They’re an opportunity for them to spend quality time with their families and reconnect, as well as overcome severe isolation, meeting other clients in similar situations and building new friendships.
For many of these families, it’s the first break they’ve had in years, if ever.
That’s one of the reasons it’s such a privilege to be able to offer that escape. Over the course of the break, the clients are treated to fun activities, pampering sessions, great food and a chance to learn more about the Christian faith, the foundations behind why we do what we do at CAP.
The Castlewellan break is run solely by CAP Northern Ireland frontline workers. This time it was headed up by Alison Flanagan (Northern Ireland Area Manager), alongside David Kelly (Causeway Coast Centre Manager) and Jacqui Robb (Carrickfergus Centre Manager). When the break kicked off on 18 April, 73 guests arrived – an amazing turn out!
For David, this break was particularly special, coming just before he steps down from his role as a CAP Centre Manager. David’s role on the break was all about praying and connecting with clients, preparing and delivering talks, and inspiring the staff team. ‘It left me exhausted and buzzing inside!’ he says. ‘The best thing was seeing people’s faces physically change from when they arrived to when they left; they just looked brighter, less like the weight of the world was on their shoulders. Obviously their situations at home may still be complex and stressful, but it’s brilliant to think they were leaving with a renewed attitude and perspective. It’s amazing what a difference a few days can make!’
Most importantly, our clients always seem to have a great time. Terry’s life was just one transformed by the Castlewellan break. ‘The CAP Debt Centre told me about a weekend away they do,’ he explains. ‘I went and it was brilliant. We went for walks around Castlewellan, which was beautiful. It was good to meet others in the same situation, to know you're not alone.’
Read more about our Discovery Breaks and how you can give a family fighting to get out of debt the chance to relax, rebuild relationships and be transformed!