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Green Issues

The Retreat recognises sustainability as one of its key priorities and is committed to doing all it can to protect and enhance the environment for today and into the future.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by our unique and historic grounds with their healing potential for people at The Retreat, and others who use our grounds. The grounds have been used by community groups for many years and we look forward to finding creative ways of further sharing our beautiful natural resource with the wider community.

To support our commitment the Green Group was formed in December 2007 and an Environmental Policy was written.  Members of the group include two Retreat Members, the Chief Executive, Head of Facilities Management, a Clinical Team Manager, the Quaker Chaplain and others with a passion for green issues.  The group meets two or three times a year to set objectives and targets against this policy.

We are keen to involve people using our services in the work of the group and have welcomed their ideas and insights, for example the use of switch off stickers and encouragement to compost. We have also rewarded staff who have made creative suggestions about reducing our organisation’s carbon footprint.

Some projects undertaken:

  • Collection of co-mingled waste allows paper, plastic bottles, cans, cardboard to be collected in one bag and sent for recycling.
  • Planting of a 40-tree orchard between 2011 and 2013 and establishing a vegetable growing project in 2013 along with a small scale composting pilot.
  • Switch off campaigns and cycle or walk to work campaigns (ongoing).
  • Constant monitoring of our energy use and investment into the infrastructure to make it more energy efficient.
  • The installation of a 10,000 litre rainwater tank and harvesting system in 2007.  This allows rainwater to be filtered and reused to wash laundry and is thought to be the first of its kind within a patient setting.  This project was part funded by the Social Responsibility Fund.
  • Our lawn mown labyrinth created in 2013 encourages people to appreciate and interact with our natural environment in a new and creative way.