Beyond the Boundary -

In the Company of Women

A mid-week reflective and practical retreat for women who are navigating change in their lives.

Retreat will be held every Spring and Autumn.

The first retreat will be November 13-16th 2023

Are you at a transition point in your life and think you might benefit from some expertly facilitated, safe space to help imagine what your future could be?

Might you embrace the opportunity to take a few days away to consider and explore - in the company of other women - your options, choices, thoughts, and questions about possible futures?

This 4-day residential retreat is for you if you are facing some change and looking for support to navigate that change well.

You may be:

  • Coming to the end of your formal career and wondering how you can start to shape the rest of your life
  • At a point where you have fewer responsibilities for others and want some help to think about what that means for you and who you are
  • Returning to work after a break or seeking a new career/direction
  • In need of stimulation, fresh ideas and support
  • Interested and curious about engaging with other women to build mutual support.
  • In need of some time and space to just be.


Fair Oak Farm - Mayfield

You will stay at Fair Oak Farm - Mayfield with 11 other women and the facilitators. You will each have your own beautiful en-suite room and we will cook, eat, and work together.

We will have the whole place to ourselves so there is time and space to be with others - and time for you to be on your own.  The spaces we use help inspire creativity, energy, hard work and kindness to ourselves.

And we will also laugh. A lot.



12 women and 3 facilitators


November 13-16th 2023


The cost will be £3,500 per person, inclusive of all food and accommodation.

Our first session will be discounted to £2,000

The Team

The workshop is led by 3 women; all experienced facilitators who have navigated their own life transitions and have designed and developed this unique opportunity for women like you.  They have known and worked with each other for many years, having very different styles which bring richness to the sessions.

Whether you need provocations & energy, time for calm & reflective thinking, or fun & creative diversions, we will create safe spaces with lots of different energy to help stimulate your thinking and support your transitions.


Please get in touch if you would like to talk more and see if this might be for you.


07710 452823
[email protected]


[email protected]


[email protected]

philippa williams

Philippa Williams

Philippa Williams is a facilitator and coach and she was co-founder of Practive, a consultancy specialising in the practice of leadership. She has over 25 years’ experience of leadership development, including the design and delivery of whole programmes, individual workshops, action learning set facilitation, Executive team and Board development. She is a highly experienced coach, working with senior leaders across the public and private sector; she specialises in helping people to develop their influence and impact, working with them on how they communicate with others, to understand the impact they have, to build on their strengths and explore ways to extend their range in all situations. She often works with people at moments of transition, helping them to explore their leadership response to their evolving context. She has worked with a wide range of organisations across the public and private sector and has particular depth of experience in working with the NHS, with all professions, at organisation and system level.. Philippa is co-editor and author of ‘How to be a Nurse or Midwife Leader’, published by Wiley.

nichola jacob

Nichola Jacob

Nichola Jacob is a highly experienced facilitator, team and executive coach with over 35 years of experience working across both the public and private sectors. She has a business background in Logica, Coopers & Lybrand and PwC Nichola left organisational life to set up her own Leadership Development business in 2004 and since then has worked alongside a range of organisations including several Law Firms, Professional Services firms, Energy organisations, Banks and has also worked with the NHS for the last 17 years. She is known for creating environments, which enable individuals to think both differently and creatively about themselves. These individuals are often people who have some opportunities, challenges, or dilemmas within their lives, be transitioning in terms of their work or life roles and/or need some time to reflect and plan for their future. Nichola’s style is characterised by a warm, relaxed manner and a collaborative, pragmatic and realistic approach. She adds challenge and a different perspective to situations, enabling the discovery of different possibilities and choices.

karen lynas smiling

Karen Lynas

Karen Lynas worked at a national level in health services for over 25 years, leading large complex systems, and networks, creating new teams and organisations. She has worked with leading Academic partners including Harvard, Insead and Erasmus as well as very many small and bespoke consultancy services, all to provide exceptional and impactful leadership development to tens of thousands of leaders at every level. Her last employed role was as Managing Director of the NHS Leadership Academy, a large, national, geographically distributed organisation she created, working closely with Central Government, senior leaders in health and international partners. In 2016 she left full-time employment to set up her own business and works with teams, boards, and individuals. As an accomplished facilitator of small and large groups she works particularly with those who have challenging issues to face and where different behaviours might unlock progress with seemingly intransigent problems. Her style is supportive but direct – she works with positive intent in service of your aims not shying away from helping you confront the less helpful or productive ways of working you might have developed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our intention is to provide the space and time to think deeply about what is happening for you now, who you are, who you are becoming, how you might make the choices that please you, how you might make progress with those choices. You should feel very safe to explore those things, enjoy the company and stimulation of other women exploring similar issues and think about what might bring you joy.

We want you to leave feeling nourished, stimulated, refreshed, cared for and supported, and with some practical ideas on how to make progress and a new community to support you.

We want to look after you well and help you to clarify your own purpose in coming!

The retreat begins from 5pm on the 13th and ends at 4.00 pm on 16th.
You are welcome to stay overnight on the 16th as well and will need to check out by 9.30am 17th November.

All sorts of things!

Before the retreat starts you will have a one-to-one conversation with one of the us to find out what you are hoping, what will help you relax and get the most out of the time and to answer any questions you may have. We will then be able to finalise the shape of the days to meet everyone’s needs.

The flow of the programme will help you to make sense of your current situation and create possibilities for the future.

All days will include time for many different types of conversation, reflection, provocations, and structure to help you think differently, creative possibilities, time on your own, one-to-ones. You will spend time in the large group, in smaller groups, in pairs and on your own.

We will post an outline schedule nearer the time on the website.

Our intention is to create maximum flexibility to suit different needs. We have created a programme which gives you lots of choice about how you spend your time, about how active you want to be, and who you want to be with – but with enough structure so you don’t feel overwhelmed by choice or having to sort out anything yourself. As three facilitators we naturally make different choices about what makes us happy, so there will always be something very active, always be something that allows you to curl up in a chair, and plenty in between! Our hope is that you will want to take part in some different activities during the day, as part of the intention is to draw on other’s experience and offer your own. We will always include some individual time as well.

The intention is to eat together in the evenings and there will be other activities on offer, but there is no obligation to be part of that.

Please talk to us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

When we speak to you beforehand, we will ask if you are happy for us to let others know that you will be coming. Confidentiality is a hugely important part of this retreat, so it may be that you will meet your fellow participants for the first time on the day.

A one-to-one with one of the facilitators before the programme, and one a few weeks afterwards as well. These conversations are to make sure you have everything you need beforehand, and you have an opportunity to think about what it means for you afterwards.

All facilitation, accommodation, food and drink. We will provide tea, coffee and soft drinks on tap, pre-dinner drinks and some wine with your meals for those of you who would like that.

It’s therefore really important that we have your dietary needs and any food and drink preferences before the programme starts.

We hope we’ve thought of everything but don’t hesitate to drop us a line to check.

The event is fully catered, and we are happy to flex to suit individual needs/diets and preferences.

We will provide a breakfast buffet for you to help yourselves to, lunch will either be a similar buffet arrangement or one of the groups may make lunch for everyone. We have outside caterers providing evening meals, including vegetarian/vegan choices as appropriate. There will be snacks and treats available for any daytime (or night-time!) grazing needs.

We have taken great care to choose venues to ensure everyone will have a beautiful, high-quality bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Our November venue includes some quirky sleeping options as well as more traditional rooms. Once you have booked you will get a link to the venue site, where you will be able to look at and select the one you prefer. A definite advantage to booking early!

The whole week will be very informal so bring clothes you feel comfortable being in. The venue is surrounded by spaces to walk but it can get muddy underfoot and be ready for very seasonal weather!

The venue supplies towels, shampoo, soap and hairdryers in each room.

The venue has WIFI so you can be in contact, though of course we will encourage you to disconnect from work and any outside stressors that you can.

There are washing and drying facilities and irons and boards.

A deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking and full payment 4 weeks before the programme starts. Cancellations up to 2 weeks before the programme result in the loss of the deposit. Cancellations less than 2 weeks before the programme will be charged at full price.