The therapeutic impact of HiVitality retreats

King, H. P. (2022). The therapeutic impact of HiVitality retreats. The Open University.


HiVitality is the only peer-run organisation in the UK providing regular multi-day wellbeing retreats to people living with HIV. The charity’s ‘group of friends’ approach runs through the entire organisation- from peer support to strategic decision making. Outside people conceal their medical condition whilst retreats enable authenticity and openness with healing consequences. Over the last year HiVitality have been working with the Open University on a coproduced retreat programme, and research to explore how retreats serve members’ needs. This report details findings from this programme, and gives insights into the contexts, core features, and healing processes which ultimately benefit people living with HIV.

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