Caravan Victims Retreat
We opened up our much-needed victims retreat in 2022 to families affected by knife crime to use as a place
of escape, peace, and to make sense of the trauma, they have dealt with.
This retreat was one of our first visions, and we couldn't have done it without the ongoing support and kindness of family, friends, the public, and various organisations.
Following a successful application with Northumbria's PCC Kim
McGuinness’s Supporting Victims Fund, we gained support with our yearly site fees and now welcome holidaying guests. Described as a ‘home from home in a remote, comfortable setting, the caravan based at Swarland, Morpeth, includes families helping them recover from their experience.
Samantha was just 18 when she was stabbed to death in Wallsend. Since the tragedy in 2007, we have worked tirelessly to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives and have also offered their support to those who have found themselves in similar circumstances.
Quote from Alison Madgin: “I know what the pain felt like, and I don’t want any mother, father, or family, to have to experience that but sadly, from time to time, they do. So, to be able to offer them quality time away from it all, to escape the reality and shock; it’s something I’m
proud of. Birthdays, anniversaries - it can all be tough, so I want this caravan to be used when needed. We’ve helped offer breaks for people struggling before. Mental health, anger, grief, and even media attention. The benefits a break away can bring are huge and now we are able to offer it to the people who need it most.”
Carly Barrett Said: ‘Since establishing Samantha's Legacy victims of knife crime have been at the forefront of our visions. With ongoing support from friends, family, the general public and the commissioners supporting victims fund I could not be, more proud to see this victims
retreat launched. From my own experience I know all to well the benefits this will bring to many at such a tragic time in their lives.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “People need somewhere like this to help them get through bad times, but not everyone has the option. Whether it's quality time to process what’s happened or a change of scene, there are so many benefits to simply being able to get away from it all. We, of course need to continue focusing our efforts on preventing crimes like what happened to Samantha from happening again. Still, on the devastating occasion that they do – we need to be offering the best support we can to help them cope and recover. Ongoing support - mental, practical, and financial – can all makes a difference. This retreat helps with it all, and full credit goes to Samantha’s Legacy for making this happen.”
We want to thank both Kim Mcguiness (PCC) & Rachel Snaith (Director of Commissioning and Policy, Improving Lives) not only for their support in this project but also for listening to what we believe needs changed to better support victims of serious violent crime. Through our own life experiences of losing Samantha so tragically, we have been able to discuss where we believe needs improved, and we are already seeing this happen. I feel the passion of the VRU , and we can see the change and improvement for prevention of serious violent crime and support happening already.
Well done, and thankyou to all involved.
If you would like to nominate an individual or family affected by knife crime to use Samantha's Retreat, please contact us to discuss further details.