A new kind of kid's club!
A wonderful world of well-being... for kids!
The Retreat is different to regular clubs organised for children. Our club is not a sports club, nor is it a performing arts group. There will be no worries about competing or showing off skills outside the group.
We want to help children to develop their confidence, learn emotional self-care skills and experience a new sense of connectedness, all whilst having fun and making new friends!
We typically cater for children aged 7 - 11, and offer a range of fun activities to help kids build their self-esteem, social skills, make new friends and explore ways to manage their emotions. We know all children are different and will endeavour to cater to the individual needs of each child.
The club meets weekly and is run by experienced primary teachers with a passion for nurturing well-being. Plus, your first session is free!
We can't wait to welcome you to The Retreat!
Find out more about our activities.
Daytime and after-school
We offer two different sessions, although the sessions and the range of activities on offer will be the same:
A daytime session for home-educated children
An after-school session open to all
For parents and carers
During our daytime sessions for home-educated children we will also have a dedicated space for parents and carers to relax, make friends and get support from other parents over a hot drink whilst your kids are having fun.
The Retreat offers a range of fun and engaging activities, from arts and crafts, drama games, fun investigations, team building games, stories, singing and more! There really is something for every child to enjoy.
We believe in the power of play, and use it to positive effect. Click this link to read more about the mental health benefits of play.
All our activities are carefully selected to nurture children's self-esteem, confidence and well-being. Scroll through the slide show below to explore how.
The expressive power of art
Art is a particularly powerful tool for children who may struggle to express complex feelings through words alone.
About our sessions
What are we doing today?
We always offer a range of up to 6 focused activities in each session and, because we like to take the time to really get to know the children, our sessions are tailored to reflect their interests as much as possible. We do understand that some children may not feel comfortable participating in all of the activities, so there are always other things for them to do independently if they don't feel quite ready. We want to create an environment where there is no pressure and children have the freedom to be themselves, relax, and have opportunities to socialise and have fun!
A quiet space
We understand that our fun, tailored activities may, on occasion, be overwhelming for the children visiting the club. That's why we will always have a calm corner away from the main activities where children can take some time out with no pressure to rejoin the main activities until they feel ready.
Glimpses of brilliance
To build confidence we'll be helping positive moments stick by recording and celebrating the children's 'glimpses of brilliance' in every session.
Adapted with permission from Steve Head.
The most amazing place doing wonderful things for children.
A place where he can just be, no expectations, no pressure, just him having the very best time.
When and where
Weekly on Fridays during term-time
10:00am - 12:00pm
Weekly on Fridays during term-time
4:30pm - 6:00pm
All our sessions take place at:
The Ark, Jack Andrew's Drive, Colchester, CO4 9FF
Pricing, booking and T&C's
Our prices for daytime and after-school sessions are laid out below. We offer discounts for siblings, plus your first session is free, so come and give us a try!
£15.00 per child per week
£12.50 per child per week
Sessions are offered in half-termly blocks, and must normally be booked a block at a time in advance, in line with our terms and conditions. We don't offer individual sessions.
Don't worry if a block of sessions has already started - you can still join us partway through! You'll still get a free taster session and we'll adjust your first invoice based on the number of sessions remaining in the block. Please let us know once you've booked if this applies to you.
Spaces are limited to 20 children, so book your place now!
Note: there is nothing to pay now - we won't take payment online.
We ask you to book for the block of sessions just so we can confirm numbers of children. Your free introductory session comes with no obligation to continue - if you would like to cancel after this session we will remove the booking, otherwise you will receive an invoice for the remaining sessions.
After you book we'll ask you to fill in a registration form. You can get a head start by downloading it here!
Who runs The Retreat?
The Retreat is coordinated by Kahlia Bament and Romea Cafasso. Both are highly trained, experienced primary teachers with a passion for nurturing well-being.
Find out more about Kahlia and Romea (including their qualifications) in our Meet the team section.
Frequently asked questions
What will happen in the sessions?
At the beginning of each session the children will have the chance to explore the focused activities on offer and ask questions about what is available. They can choose from the independent activities while we wait for all of the children to arrive before we begin the more focused group activities. They can choose to join as many of these activities as they wish, or continue with independent play, or spend time in the calm corner.
Do parents and carers have to stay for the sessions?
No, parents and carers are not required to stay for the sessions. For our home-educated group we do offer a separate room for parents and carers so that they can develop their own support network as we do understand that home educators may find opportunities to do so more difficult.
How many adults will be overseeing the club?
There will be two adults overseeing the club who, between them, have almost 25 years of experience teaching in primary schools, hold mental health qualifications and are passionate about nurturing emotional well-being.
My child doesn't fall into your typical age range but could really benefit from The Retreat. Can they take part?
Our age range is a guide rather than a fixed cut-off. We appreciate that all children are different and they don't necessarily fit into a specific box - we are happy to consider children outside the quoted age range on an individual basis. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the needs of your child before booking.
My child can be very shy at first, what happens if they're too anxious to take part?
We will always do our best to gently encourage children to participate but we do understand that this may take longer for some than others. If a child really feels unable to participate in a particular activity, we will always have quiet independent activities available (such as colouring, puzzles or Lego), as well as our 'calm corner' (where they can take some time out if they need to) until they feel ready to join in with any group games or activities. We will always take the time to sensitively discuss how they are feeling, as well as talking to their parent or carer in order to find the best way to build their confidence going forward.
My child has a special educational need and/or disability (SEND). Will they be able to attend?
Yes! All children are welcome at The Retreat and, whatever your child's needs, our club coordinators will adapt their activities and support your child so that they feel included and part of our community. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the needs of your child before booking.
Will there be any competitive aspect to the games?
Our games are not about competition but about working together, developing communication skills and building confidence. The focus will always be on these aspects and feeling a sense of connection with others.
Can you help me if I have any further questions about my child's well-being?
If you have any concerns then we will be happy to listen and do our best to advise you, or we can put you in touch with Kathy, our Nurture Room therapist. Kathy will also offer drop-in advice sessions from time to time so there will be lots of opportunities for you to explore ways to improve your child’s well-being at home too!
The Retreat takes place in a church, is it a religious club?
The Nurture Room simply hires the hall space from The Ark Methodist Church – we are not affiliated to any religion and 'The Retreat' club will not include any religious content. Everybody is welcome!