David and Pippa Morgan
Retreat guest Lucy Cooper discovers how one couple came to providing holiday breaks , for ill or bereaved adults in memory of their son
YOUNG and gifted Bristolsixth-former Paul Morton was diagnosed with a brain tumour, at just 18, in 2007.
Following surgery, and during radiotherapy, he resumed his studies with determination, successfully passing his A levels.
Later, a routine scan was encouraging and Paul set off forLeedsUniversitywhere he threw himself into student life, developing his skills in photography and music and enjoying kayaking and the Christian Union.
It came as a huge blow when, one year later, a further scan showed the tumour was re-growing. “We couldn’t believe it,” said his father David. “He was doing so well and there were no symptoms at the time to forewarn us.”
Despite the second diagnosis he completed his first year atLeeds, but Paul’s condition gradually deteriorated through 2008.
“I was constantly trying to think of special things we could do together,” explained David. “We went ballooning and he had a gliding lesson only a month before he died in November.
“Throughout his illness, Paul demonstrated a quiet determination to get on with life, sustained by his faith.
“His sense of fun, unassuming nature and constant concern for others was one of the driving factors that made us want to do something in his memory, helping young people like Paul, and the people around them.”
Following his death, David and his wife Pippa set up a charitable trust called Paul’s Fund, but rather than simply give the money away, they wanted to be involved in how it was used.
When facing a life-threatening illness, caring for a relative or processing the loss of a loved one, a break from the pressures of life can be vital.
During research, the couple became and their family and friends, could have a much-needed break in a comfortable and caring environment.
In 2010, David was made redundant and the couple set about searching for somewhere suitable to set up their new venture.
“Our search on North Devon and we felt particularly drawn to Georgeham nearCroydeBaywhere Paul and I often went for the day to surf” continued David.
The old bakery was everything we were looking for, but the owners already had an offer and our house wasn’t even on the market. Somehow their deal fell through and we found ourselves making our vision a reality arriving in Januaary and opening Paul’s Place in April 2011.
Pippa shares: “We are passionate that Paul’s place is more than just accommodation for a holiday, but somewhere special that will be a source of strength, hope and positive memories for all who come.”
Visitors can lose themselves in peace and solitude, or enjoy the buzz of action along the stunning coast. Our experience included a bit of both.
My dad died last year from a brain tumour and just months before he passed away, my mum was diagnosed with secondary bone cancer.
During the visit we celebrated mum’s 56th birthday, one the doctors said she would not reach, and the day after was Father’s Day. It was a valuable opportunity for me to create positive memories in a relaxed place, together with my mother, sister and brother-in-law.
The courage and hope that the Mortons display is contagious. A break at Paul’s Place is so much more than just a holiday – it’s a lifeline.
* Find out more information at: http://www.paul-fund.co.uk
Paul’s Place has three bedrooms, self-catering facilities and a lounge and is also open for bookings from small groups wanting to have a retreat. www.georgehambandb.co.uk