Charity offers free holiday park breaks to families with seriously ill Children


An Eastleigh based charity that offers free respite breaks to families who have a child with a life-limiting illness is currently looking for more local families who could benefit from their help.

The Charity runs ‘Sophie’s Rainbow Retreat’ a luxury holiday home at Rockley Park, which can sleep up to six people and is situated next to a beautiful nature reserve. As well as woodland trails to explore there are a host of fun activities on site that will suit families with children of all ages.

The retreat is funded by donations to ‘Sophie’s Appeal’, the fund-raising arm of the Sophie Barringer Trust a registered charity set up by the parents of Sophie Barringer, a local girl who died in 2004 from a rare form of Cancer aged just six.

Since then, generous local folk and unpaid volunteers, have helped the Charity raise over £500k to help young patients and their families cope with the stresses and strains of dealing with serious illnesses.

The Charity recognised there is great need for vulnerable children and their families to take respite breaks so they can “make memories, have fun but more importantly to get a break from hospital life while undergoing treatment.”

The retreat is also open to the recently bereaved as spending time away together can help to rebuild shattered families who have suffered the loss of a child or sibling.

Since Sophie’s Rainbow Retreat was launched by former Southampton FC striker James Beattie – who is a Patron of the Charity along with his wife Sarah – hundreds of guests from all over the South of England have been able to enjoy quality time together away from their usual environment.

For many of those on lower incomes this would not have been possible without the help of the Charity.

Currently, Sophie’s Retreat has availability and is inviting families who have youngsters receiving treatment and are in need of respite to get in touch by emailing them at or by ringing 0787 4212901.

Kelly Griffiths, Rainbow Retreat Manager said:

“No child and no family deserve to go through what our guests have to. Please help us to support them.”

You can donate to Sophies Appeal through their Just Giving Page: 



Laura Slominski

I am a Community Reporter for Eastleigh News and a Creative Writing BA Hons graduate of the University of Winchester. My interests are music, culture and the arts. 

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