Our men’s hillwalking group has been meeting regularly since spring. The men love going away for the day, out of the city, to take in the sights and sounds of our beautiful country. These trips help build relationships and let our guests experience the great outdoors.

So there was great excitement at the end of May when a special trip to the island of Tiree was arranged. Our project worker Derek lived and worked on Tiree with his family for many years so with his contacts we were able to afford to take the group onto the island for three nights.

This fabulous trip, in brilliant sunshine, would not have been possible without the practical and financial support of Tiree Baptist Church (https://www.facebook.com/tireebaptistchurch/) who blessed our group with hospitality and regularly ate with them. We would also like to thank Derek’s friends Will and Aisling. Will supplied bikes for us at no charge from his bike hire business (https://www.tireefitness.co.uk/) and Aisling arranged our accommodation and provided our food (https://www.facebook.com/AislingKitchen/) which was delicious.

Derek was joined on the trip by our colleague Adam and volunteer Chris. Chris helped with transport by bringing his car and enjoyed getting alongside our guests. Chris said. “It was an opportunity to go deeper with our guests. My relationships with Adam and Derek also got stronger. It was a great trip.”

The theme of the trip was the parable Jesus told of the Prodigal Son: see Luke 15:11-32. We explored the story; which characters in the parable we identified with and its relevance to the group.

We used Will’s bikes to explore the island and reach some beautiful beaches where we played games and relaxed. We also walked to Happy Valley at the south of the island where we came out at a beautiful stony beach and saw Skerryvore Lighthouse glittering on the horizon. Then on the last night our guest, Amir, prepared and cooked a fantastic BBQ for us.

Eshan said, “I had a fantastic time with the guys, I loved Tiree and the people we met there.”

We leave the final word to Amir, who had the following powerful take on the time away, “I was aware I’d not felt that way for months. As my friend told me, time is a funny healer. Just to feel simply ok has taken years. And in some ways I don’t think anything I could have done would have speeded that. So a moment to appreciate the view when it is fine and an openness to walk onto fresh sands. Time heals the sharpest of pain. And this too shall pass. Thank you Tiree for this day.😎🏖️Thanks God.”