We know the huge pressures members of our fire services community face every day.

Perhaps you’re a firefighter or a member of support staff dealing with difficult shouts? Or you’re a family member of someone working in the service and you can see the impact it’s having on your loved one? Or maybe you’re facing a difficult time in your life due to unforeseen circumstances and feel in need of a break, whether working or retired?

We’re now offering anyone in need of some time out, whether on their own or with their family members, a chance to recharge.

It’s difficult to know when you may be in need of a break, but recognising that need early on is so important – and a stay at Harcombe House, our centre in Devon, could prove incredibly beneficial to you and those close to you.

These stays provide you with the space and opportunity to unwind, relax and reflect on your wellbeing and yourself. Our tranquil and peaceful surroundings provide the perfect setting for recovery, building resilience and finding those initial steps to help you move forward.

There is no structured programme for these breaks, but there is access to the gym and pool at set times, as well as our recreational facilities.

At Harcombe House there is also the opportunity to combine this period of rest with low level activities such as Tai Chi, gentle walks or social activities such as quizzes and seasonal arts and crafts, allowing you the opportunity to meet up with other members of the fire family. These activities are optional as we recognise that for some, a period of complete rest is what’s needed.

At Harcombe House we have a dedicated family space, with activities, toys, and games, to suit every age group, where families can connect with others or simply relax

We wouldn’t be able to offer vital services like this without your donations, so thank you to all of you who regularly donate to us.

Please note, we also offer these breaks at Jubilee House and Marine Court, without the scheduled activities.

Find out more by calling our Support Line on 0800 3898820 or through the Access Support tab on MyFFC.

Melanie’s story

“We’ve been able to spend quality time together for the first time all year”

Melanie Burgess, who works in Control for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, visited Harcombe House with her mum and sister in October 2022 for a chance to rest and recharge, after both her and her sister were diagnosed with cancer around the same time.

“We’ve had a brilliant week at Harcombe House, it’s been so relaxing. It’s so quiet,” Melanie said, when we caught up with her at Harcombe House near the end of the week.

“We’re able to use all the facilities, we can do nice walks, and the accommodation is second to none. But the highlight has been that we’ve been able to spend some quality time together, the three of us, that we’ve not managed to do all year because of treatment and circumstances.”

And Fiona adds: “Unfortunately I had breast cancer most of this year… I’ve been in isolation so this break has been an absolute blessing.

“Not only for your physical wellbeing, but your mental health as well – particularly being able to spend time with my sister and mum.”

Fiona is now at the end of chemo and radiotherapy and will be continuing other treatment into early next year. Melanie, meanwhile, is in a five year follow-up period, with scans and consultations every three months.

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