Belisama’s Retreat CIC
2175. JP Marriott
JP Marriott, from Lancashire, used his army pension to buy four acres of secluded woodland in Lancashire in 2017 to create a retreat for recovering veterans.
JP is a Royal Artillery Veteran and was a proud member of 19 Battery Special Defense Group (SDG). He is also a qualified Army Physical Training Instructor, as well as being an Army heavyweight boxing champion and Joint Services hammer thrower.
The four acres of secluded woodland that make up ‘Belisama’s Retreat’ had been left to run wild for 80 years, requiring extensive work to make it accessible, safe and productive, which JP is undertaking with the help of veterans, volunteers and guests.
The area is home to a diverse range of fauna and wildlife and JP is aiming for the retreat to be financially self-sufficient, working in partnership with the community to rejuvenate the woodland, making it an area for shared learning, skills development and recreation for a wide range of community groups as well as veterans.
Visited by over 600 veterans a year, JP’s ‘Belisama’s Retreat’ allows serving and ex-serving personnel space to engage with nature, taking part in woodland management and workshops in bushcraft and nature photography, as well as providing a safe space to reflect and share experiences around the focal point of the campfire.
“I am very happy that the Retreat has been recognised for the life saving and life changing work that it does. It gives great encouragement to carry on down our difficult path.”
Find out more about ‘Belisama’s retreat’