As part of our current community investment programme, we have funded the building of a 'GymCave' at Taranaki Retreat. The Retreat opened in 2017 to provide a community sanctuary for people who need some time out when times are tough. They support people who are going through a traumatic time or are at risk of suicide. Guests stay at their rural lodge at no cost and the focus of the stay is on wellness of body, mind and spirit.
The 2.5 acre property consists of a lodge building where guests stay, a chapel building for quiet reflection, and the family home of the people behind the facility, Jamie and Suzy Allen. Their home doubles as the dining room too, seeing all guests share a meal each night at their large wooden table.
With Taranaki weather holding quite a bit of rain and wind throughout the year, they found that when it rained, guests didn't have enough space to make the most of their stay. Jamie had plans for another multi-purpose building that would allow additional indoor activities and Tamarind supported the project, which meant they didn't need to do additional fundraising to make it happen.
The retreat received queries from more than 1000 people during the first 10 months of operation. They have created a model that is getting notice from other regions who are trying to tackle the difficult issue of suicide. In addition, Jamie was named as the Taranaki Daily News Person of the Year for 2017 due to his efforts with the Taranaki Retreat. The journey of the Retreat has been supported by the Taranaki community along the way and Jamie is the first to point out that the whole community deserves recognition for contributing so readily to the initiative.
The GymCave is complete with exercise equipment, space and supplies for creating art or building things. It allows the team at the Retreat to continue developing their facility so that they can keep doing the impactful work they do. Tamarind is pleased to be able to support their hard work. If you would like to help them in any way, check out their website for more information.