An opportunity for members of the public to become part of a major £2m re-development in a Gower beauty spot is being launched this week.
The ‘Nicholaston 5000’ initiative will seek to draw 5,000 people to help to fund refurbishment work at Nicholaston House, a Christian retreat and conference centre in Penmaen.
The centre is a unique environment for people to find healing and restoration. People suffering from eating disorders can also check in to Nicholaston for specialist help.
Swansea City Council awarded the plans, which include self-contained eco-pods in the gardens, full planning permission. Trustees are aiming to start the development work, which is likely to take around six months to complete, in August 2019, with a view to re-opening in the springtime of 2020.
Geoff Thomas, chairman of Swansea City Mission and Educational Trust (SCM&ET), said that funding will come from a number of different funding streams. The SCM&ET is seeking to raise at least 25% of the £2m and this is where the Nicholaston 5000 project was born.
Taking inspiration from the story in the New Testament where Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, the aim is to persuade five thousand people to donate at least £100 towards the development.
He said: “Following the almost unprecedented step of gaining full planning consent for a development of this scale and scope in a designated area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’, we are now on the threshold of making this happen.
“We want to preserve and enhance this environment by making the most of its location and opening up the house to its greatest natural asset: its elevated position and panoramic views.
“Join with us to help bring once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fruition. If we can expand this beautiful building, we can help more people to find healing and solace on Gower. Will you be one of the Nicholaston 5000?”
The aim of the development is to be able to accommodate more people, yet have more private ‘breakout’ spaces, as well as bedrooms with balconies and self-contained eco-pods in the garden.
Nicholaston House, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, overlooks Oxwich Bay and the moorland of Cefn Bryn behind. It hosts many faith-building courses which vary in nature. There are ‘time-out’ courses and arts and crafts courses, along with others which are designed to look at relationship issues, including marriage preparation and enhancement.
There are also courses to help people suffering from eating disorders, led by internationally-renowned speaker, author and counsellor Helena Wilkinson.
If you would like to number in the Nicholaston 5000, or find out more about the retreat centre, you can visit the website at www.nicholastonhouse.org or contact Ian Ambrose (Operations Manager) on (01792) 371317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org