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A well-being retreat that will leave you feeling on top of the world!

“Visit St Michael’s Lodge for a well-being retreat that will leave you feeling on top of the world!”

These are the wise words of Ben Fund member, Lillie Abbott. Lillie is the Diversity and Inclusion Co-ordinator for West Midlands Police and joined the Benevolent Fund back in December 2012.

Lillie suffers with Fibromyalgia, a disorder where changes in the body and brain result in pain messages being constantly fired. Lillie also suffers from Spondylolisthesis, which causes back pain from vertebrae moving and pushing against each other resulting in high levels of pain around the whole of her body.

As part of Lillie’s membership benefits with the Benevolent Fund, she recently spent five days at the holistic treatment centre with husband, Richard. Set in picturesque Ribble Valley in Lancashire, it provided a much-needed boost to her physical health and mental well-being.  

“Having previously stayed at St Michael’s I knew the value of a visit to this facility; my health conditions are a life-long battle and having the opportunity to rest and recuperate with treatments tailored to my needs gives me a much-needed boost.

Being able to spend a week at this wonderful facility helps me to focus my attention on what I can do rather than what I can no longer do and how to improve my fitness, health and general well-being.

During my stay I was shown new exercises and treatment techniques that I can build into my daily routine at home. The practical advice and exercises are helping me to manage my conditions.

Whilst some of this treatment is available through the NHS, the long waiting times and limited time you have with a health professional, means it can be hard to keep up with treatment whilst you wait for your next appointment.

Therefore, having the opportunity to spend a whole week with the amazing team at St Michael’s, takes away the protracted wait and enables me to find ways to increase my fitness and well-being so that I can feel well and ready to take on the world. “

What treatment and complementary therapies did you received whilst you were there?

“I received daily holistic treatments during my stay which included; mindfulness, massage, meditation, access to hydrotherapy, yoga, sauna and most of all, I enjoyed the peace and quiet at the treatment centre and the beautiful surroundings of the Ribble Valley.

This really helped me to find my inner peace and take time out to focus on myself and my physical and mental well-being. My husband Richard, accompanied me for the five days. It was nice to have his support and enjoy his company.”

What were the staff and facilities like?

“The team at St Michael’s Lodge are truly amazing! The rooms are beautifully designed. Special consideration has been made to ensure the rooms are fully accessible as well as providing a quiet and relaxing environment where you can truly recoup and re-charge.

The staff are second to none, nothing is too much trouble, they are friendly and caring and really want to do everything they can to make your stay as comfortable and beneficial as possible.

The kitchen staff are fantastic too. They provide beautiful home cooked food three times a day.

The treatment staff, physiotherapists, reception, night guard, kitchen staff and back-end staff are all great. You really do feel like you are being looked after. They make sure all treatment is person centred and that your stay is akin to a five-star hotel!”

How did your stay help with your rehabilitation and recovery?

“I started the week feeling exhausted, pain levels were through the roof and honestly, I felt lost having worked so hard for so long without a real break. I was desperately in need of some help to get myself back on track. Like so many of us, my visit was even more important after the pressures and challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I have returned from my week feeling revitalised, with a plan of action to regain my fitness and mental wellness. I feel ready to take on the world again!”


Why you would recommend police staff and serving officers to join the Fund?

“To anyone who is not already a member of this amazing fund, don’t think twice! For just £2 a month West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund can offer you so much help and support. There are so many membership benefits that have been carefully chosen to provide you with the best welfare support, not least of all you can apply to visit St Michaels Lodge for a well-being retreat, convalescence break or specialist treatment.

I’m sure anyone who visits St Michael’s will leave feeling on top of the world!”

Lillie Abbott, serving police staff.

 If you’re a member of West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund you can apply for a convalescence, rehabilitation or well-being break at the state-of-the-art holistic treatment centre, St Michael’s Lodge. 

The Ben Fund will pay for your four-night stay, all your meals and whatever treatment you require. It’s the perfect place for our members to visit if they need time away to recover from injury or illness.

Ben Fund Chairman, John Williams added: “The centre offers a diverse programme, completely tailored to meet the individual needs of each guest and with a wide range of treatments on offer including; physiotherapy, holistic therapy and hydrotherapy it’s a great benefit for your £2.00 per month membership subscription to the Benevolent Fund.”

For more details about applying to stay at St Michael’s or joining the Benevolent Fund click here


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Charity Number: 1186628

Company Number: 03179216

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