The Wellbeing for Changemakers’ Creative Retreat runs from Monday, 8th to Wednesday 10th July at Eden Rise, our haven for wellbeing in the Devon countryside. Led by Melissa Noble from the Academy of Wide-hearted Living, it promises to be a chance to restore, connect and create. NOW’s Director, Roger Higman, will be present throughout to share his knowledge of the surrounding countryside. Here, Melissa explores what’s on offer.


It’s the height of summer, just a few weeks after the Summer Solstice. The days are warm and the grass is high. The first blackberries are ripening along the Devon lanes and the birds have gone quiet as they sit on their eggs. What better time to spend some creative time in the Devon countryside?


We’re offering up an incredibly mixed programme. 

There will be invitations spread around the communal space, plus materials, prompts and inspirations. You can fill your time dabbling, join in with the group sessions, or mix and match as the fancy takes you.

We’ll make the most of the outside space and do lots of nature-themed activities. Expect playful and profound! There will be opportunities to explore our inner world alongside plenty of time to experiment with different types of creativity. 

You could leave with some finished pieces, or the foundations of your dream project. It’s incredible how much creativity can happen when we give it the space it needs.


We spend so much time rushing from pillar to post,  intent upon getting jobs done or tending to the whirl of thoughts in our minds that we miss out on connecting with the natural world and the people around us.

This retreat will offer you the chance to stop a while and fill your cup. The invitation is to take what you need, whether that be quiet space to reflect and plan or full immersion in communion with others.

Joyful Relaxation

Stepping away from the to-do list and immersing ourselves in a different world offers the possibility of so much joy. 

While we take care of you, you can relax and open up to the beautiful world that is Eden Rise. We’ll do some simple practices to help you connect with your joy. 

Imagine laying back in the long grass, watching the clouds scuttle above; full-bellied, care-free and complete. Paddle in the river and watch light play on the water’s edge. Snuggle down into a good book and feel the sun on your back. Day-dream. Watch the insects busying about and let yourself just be. There’s so much delight to be had in the in-between moments. We can help you make the most of them.


There are walks to be had in every direction. Trees to be climbed. Creatures to marvel at. Owl hoots to hear. Nestled in the Devon hills, we are perfectly placed for nature immersion. 

There’s so much evidence now of the health benefits of spending time in nature. Whenever I feel less-than ok,  I go to the woods. It doesn’t take long for the magic to work. We’ll share some simple activities to help you leave the busy world behind and sink into the gorgeousness.

Eden Rise

I was lucky enough to attend a writing retreat here earlier this year. It is such a special place. 

The buildings hold a wonderful energy. There’s something very spiritual about the main hall. We all felt very held there. The giant kitchen table lends itself perfectly to quiet working or bustling mealtimes. And my favourite spot – up high in the hay loft, watching the trees dance through the sky light. Peppered throughout the place are plenty of spots to sit, be, relax, write, read. Lots of possibilities for carving out some time alone, should you so desire. 

The surrounding land is equally magical. Wide views, old trees, a little river, an old bridge. It is the land of fairy tales and peacefulness and we can’t wait to share it with you.

As with any gathering, food plays an important role.

July is a fabulous month for fruit and veg and we’ll be making the most of it. Wherever possible, the supplies will be locally sourced so you can be sure of super-fresh, flavour-packed loveliness. 

I’ll be doing most of the cooking myself while Roger does the washing up! I spent many years as a relief chef so I’m used to catering for big numbers! Expect delicious, nutritious meals with big flavours and tasty surprises.

The final menu has yet to be decided upon but you are guaranteed a treat.

Wellbeing for Changemakers Creative Retreat

A two-night/three day retreat to restore, connect and create. 

Eden Rise, Devon. Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th July

£250 – £450 sliding scale – pay what you are able. 

£250 covers costs. £350 supports our bursary place. If you’re in a comfortable place, £450 helps us guarantee the future of these offerings and open up more bursary places in the future.

For further information and to book your place:

Hurry! Five places have gone already.