ROOKHOW 

QUAKER MEETING HOUSE, BUNKBARN & WOODLAND

VISION

Our vision is that Rookhow will be a place of spiritual nourishment & growth, accessible to all member of the community, whilst retaining a strong Quaker ethos. Rookhow invites both young and old to live adventurously.


OUR PRIORITIES

  • Restore Rookhow's historic buildings
  • Increase accessibility, especially for those in need. We would especially like to make our facilities available to young people, refugees and people with mental health problems
  • Nurture a supportive community through regular Meetings for Worship, volunteering and holding all age Quaker and community events and workshops
  • Stewardship & protection of Quakers' Wood
  • By its 300 year anniversary in 2025, ensure that Rookhow is financially sustainable


VALUES

  • Simplicity
  • Nurture of individuals, groups and communities
  • Respect for Quaker heritage and vision for the future
  • Care for the natural environment
  • Sustainability


IMPACT 


voices from rookhow


"It is fantastic that Rookhow is still fulfilling its purpose of bringing together 'scattered communities' after nearly 300 years!"


"We felt the Meeting House was just a wonderful place and the attached woodland was simply magical. Overall a special environment which felt very much part of our Quaker roots and a perfect place for families with children and young people." (Quaker visitor from Shropshire)


"I would like it to be known that as one of the families who have attended some of the 'Rookhow Family Weekends', this place holds a special place in the hearts of people who have been fortunate enough to attend such special Quaker Family events." (local Quaker family)


"The pure simplicity of Rookhow was a delight, as was the no internet signal. In a climate of busy lives, technology, screen time, it was wonderful to be in the knowledge that our stay would be technology free. Family time was wonderful with no distractions and the children found nature was all they needed to keep themselves entertained. Rookhow is an opportunity to meet with friends and welcome first timers - the atmosphere was wonderful and a chance to talk and have some fun!" (bunkbarn guest)


"Rookhow has the ability to draw people together from all walks of life to share this wonderful part of the world that we live in and I feel that it should continue to be able to do so." (young Quaker)


"I have visited and stayed at the centre on training courses and just wanted to say that I loved its simplicity and open welcome atmosphere, and of course the fact that it was affordable making it accessible to many. The hall, bunkhouse and woodland are such an incredible asset and I hope that an arrangement can be found to ensure that it is kept much as it is and remains available to all." (Forest Schools participant)


"Working in schools, pastorally with young people as I do, it feels vital to me to keep these special places open, most educational experiences are different; Rookhow can offer an inner experience that can give spiritual nourishment, touching the natural world in a way that might transform a child's relationship to Life." (teacher)


"I have spent 3 separate residential stays at Rookhow in the last 3 years. Each time, I have come away enriched, calmed, energised and with a renewed sense of my place and purpose in the world. Whilst this is partly due to the outstanding training received there, Rookhow itself has had a significant impact on my development. Its simple provision reminds us how little we need of material and technological embellishments to our lives. And how a deep, connection with our natural world can be more deeply achieved with much, much less." (workshop participant)


"Rookhow is a very special place, something we all comment on during our weekend visits, the peace and simplicity of both the buildings, the woods and the wider Rusland valley create an experience which is very rare these days for busy families. We can step back and feel a connection with a simpler way of living, with each other, with the natural world and of course Quaker values. There is a feeling of real connection with Quakers of the past who came to meet at Rookhow, and present day Quakers and I love sharing this with my children. The children also benefit so much from the freedom to explore and loose themselves in the woods, and then return to a warm and supportive extended family like community for meals, epilogues, walks, relaxing and sleep. I see the teenagers taking on responsibilities, helping the younger children and sharing strong friendships and its great to know that our own children will grow within this special community. Personally I come away each time refreshed and renewed in body and mind, and always already looking forward to the next Rookhow event!" (local Quaker family)


"Rookhow is an oasis of calm. Simple, honest and truly magical. Quaker woods are an amazing resource and the site is surrounded by many glorious walks and views. My family have made new friends, found both calm and strength and had a lot of smiles and laughter there. My wish for this property would be that a way can be found to keep its fragile unique spirit and share it with many more people, as it has been generously shared with me and my family." (local family)


"When we discussed Rookhow's role in the provision for our children and young people at Area Meeting level, we felt that it was a brilliant way
for children to engage with the simplicity and equality at the heart of Quakerism and a place where they can forge memories that will leave in
them a lasting positive memory of Quakerism." (local Quaker)


"The place and the community have made a big impression on my 3 year old son and whilst people and community can be independent of place, I believe that there is something particular about Rookhow which facilitates this building of a Quaker community. The homeliness and simplicity of the current hostel provide a security in which a 3 year old can explore their surroundings with a sense of safety and wellbeing, playing with other children independently of parents to a greater degree than elsewhere. The woodland, which is integral to the experience, is incredibly special, and he feels a sense of ownership and belonging, and confidence to be himself and to explore and grow personally when he is there." (local Quaker mum)


"Interesting discussions with a very welcoming and sincere group of people. Whilst I am not a Quaker, I found the Epilogue and Monthly meetings very meaningful and thoughtful. The combination of meeting members of the Quaker community with locals from the Rusland Valley has been warmly appreciated." (local person who joined in the Zoom Covid events)


"The benefit for me has been connecting with people in a very unusual and difficult time. It helped provide me with emotional support and a reminder that that things were okay. I also founding myself laughing a lot in the socials, which was good for my mental health and sense of well-being." (local Quaker joining in the Covid Zoom events)


"I hope you will be able to expand on the platform you have created, disseminating Quaker values in a manner appropriate to the 21st century." (local Quaker)


"Appreciating the vibrancy of the community nurturing Rookhow." (Friend of Rookhow)


"What you have done has been so important for me. It's made me think more about Quakerism and its relevance to my life. Thank you." (local young Quaker)


"In spite of not attending the Zoom events, I have welcomed the invitations. It feels like a Friendly wave and smile from across the street!" (local person)


"Epilogue has been a quiet end to the day in good company and sensitively hosted." (local person)


“I’m very pleased to hear that you are intending to renovate the Rookhow yurt and of your plans to make it available to the Rusland community. When the pandemic is over, we will need places to meet for outdoor community events, picnics and woodland courses, and the Yurt will be lovely to use for indoor/outdoor activities.” (local parish councillor)


“It’s really good news that you are trying to renovate the Rookhow yurt as this facility would certainly be of great benefit for our Year 6 children when we visit Rookhow for Forest School activities each year. It would provide a cosy central hub for the children to join together throughout the day to share their experiences and achievements with each other.” (local primary school)


“We particularly value the private woodland space which we hope to be to use to run events for members, families and disadvantaged young people to allow them to access nature safely. This includes potential use as part of our partnership project with the University of Central Lancashire to work with young people to capture their response to nature and to the challenges of landscape conservation and climate change.” (Rusland Horizons)


“For the young people and their parents to have a space up in the woods to use as an educational workshop space or social space would be so helpful to us as a group. We hope very much that this will happen so we can have the privilege of being able to continue using Rookhow as a place for our children to learn, live and grow together.” (Home Schools Group)


“Having this alternative as a practitioner means more room to create experiences to support those with mental health sensitivities at all times, not dependent on weather.” (Forest Therapy leader)


“I’m really excited to hear about your plans to reanimate the yurt at Rookhow. It’s what such a special place needs and really fits with the ethos of the Forest school courses I deliver.” (Forest Schools Association)


"Every year Manna House takes up to 20 clients away for a short Christmas Get Away. These are our clients who have no family and for whom the season can be filled with bad memories and suicidal thoughts. Many of our volunteers would also otherwise be lonely and isolated over the “festive” period and so we manage to make a celebration of it by going away for a few days. It sounds like Rookhow would be a balm for them as they celebrate Christmas together! I understand you may be seeking funding for such an event and I wanted to say how much that would be appreciated by our service." (homeless charity, Kendal who have made a provisional booking for Christmas 2021)


"Rookhow with its magical woodlands and its rural charismatic feel to it, would be the ideal place for our young people’s minds to come to rest , to learn from the natural environment and to engage in meaningful ways with nature, peers, and educators . We would be delighted if you would be able to support us in either a weekend retreat or separate days at Rookhow next year spring/summertime." (Well Minds, new charity supporting young people with mental health problems in South Lakeland)


"Thank you for a super workshop. It’s the best run programme I have been to on zoom. Your very essence was a gift to us all, enabling us to meet each other at a deep heart level." (participant in Rookhow's 1st online Resilience workshop)


Other comments from the Resilience workshop: "One of the best workshops I have attended. Really glad that I joined."    "Sue's facilitation was sensitive and skilled."   "I enjoyed the camaraderie, warmth, respect, thoughtfulness."  "Lovely to meet with others and talk at a depth and to hear others experience and remember we all have stuff to deal with and ways to respond."   


"Just to say that yesterday's workshop will cheer me on my way for weeks to come. Thank you for leading us so clearly and for all your preparation. It was so good to be with the others and to share."


"We receive all your email “calls” and love the atmospheric pics. Come Spring we will come out to visit and see. We admire what you are achieving for Friends and the wider community." (local Quaker couple)