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ECC Week at Kench Hill

Kench Hill Centre, Tenterden Kent

Fri 24th to Fri 31st May 2024


A week in the beautiful High Weald countryside of Kent

We are returning to the much-loved Kench Hill Centre in May 2024, but this time for an entire week. We have exclusive use of this characterful venue - an intimate and comfortable house set in a rural location, only a short journey from London.

The garden at Kench Hill

We warmly invite you to join a diverse group of 30 other men and to bring your ideas, skills and talents.  But more than this, we would like you to come with an openness to be part of a supportive community, in whatever way suits you - to take a lead, offer a workshop, take part in activities or just relax and, most importantly, make friends.  

As always, the success of our gatherings depends on the enthusiasm and initiative of the participants. A ‘workshop’ at an ECC event can be just about anything, from fun and games to profound discussions, massage, meditation, learning a skill, going on a walk, or visiting a nearby attraction.

At Kench Hill, there will be all the usual features of an ECC event. These ensure that everyone is included, that each man is heard and honoured, and help generate that feeling of welcome, unconditional acceptance and sense of community that characterise our gatherings. 

Buddies
We will be offering an optional buddy system where newcomers who may need some support or guidance whilst at Kench Hill will be able to talk to a more experienced member of ECC on navigating the experience and feel supported in doing so.  If you are interested in being a buddy and helping a newcomer to ECC, you can express your interest during the booking stage.

If there are enough men who want to make it happen, there is space to put on a ‘soiree’ towards the end of the week - if you’d like to perform, or stage manage or just be an audience member, this much loved part of the week provides further opportunity for being yourself in a highly supportive atmosphere.

The venue is in a secluded area away from roads with about a hectare of garden, lawns, picnic tables and a couple of ponds (home to some very vocal Marsh Frogs). There’s a fire-pit, which we’ll be using late nights.  We will have a bell tent in the garden, which will be bookable for small workshops.

The house has a homely feel spread over 3 floors and bathroom facilities are good, if slightly eccentric. While the venue sleeps 50+, there will be only 30 of us, so we will have plenty of space in the shared rooms. You are likely to find yourself sharing with between 1 and 5 other men.

Catering

We will be wholly self-catering and we will have two professional cooks signed up to provide us with vegetarian or vegan meals.   Participants on the gathering will need to do their bit helping out on a rota basis: this usually involves helping set up the dining room, serving food and clearing up after meals.  The kitchen is modern and well-equipped.  Breakfast will be self-service, and lunches kept simple, to allow everyone to enjoy the day out-and-about.  Please let us know on your booking forms of any ‘free from’ or other dietary requirements.

Nearby places to visit

There are lots! Groups often have a trip or two out while at Kench Hill, though some prefer to stay on site the whole time. Places of interest include two contrasting gardens with LGBT connections: the famous gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, created by Vita Sackville-West, lover of Virginia Woolf, and Prospect Cottage on the bleak promontory at Dungeness, created by gay activist, artist and film-maker Derek Jarman. The fabulous Great Dixter House and Gardens near Rye is another nearby attraction, as well as lovely little coastal towns, beaches and heritage railways. Fairlight Glen beach – a lovely secluded naturist beach, just by Hastings, is also not far.  We have the use of Kench Hill’s mini-bus and driver to help with excursions, though we will need to pay expenses to the Kench Hill caretaker.

Doorway at Sissinghurst garden

Sissinghurst

Derek Jarman's cottage at Dungeness

Prospect Cottage

Cobbled street in Rye

Rye

The beach at Fairlight Glen

Fairlight Glen beach

Organisers

Your organising team comprises Shaun Kent, Shaun Waller and Zad Kensett.

Shaun Kent
Shaun Kent
Shaun Waller
Shaun Waller
Zad Kensett
Zad Kensett

For further information please contact us:
Shaun Kent for enquiries about bookings, sleeping accommodation, catering tneks [at] hotmail.com
Zad Kensett for enquiries about buddying spiritsoulcoaching [at] hotmail.com
Shaun Waller for enquiries about anything else shaunwaller [at] gmail.com

Essential Information

Booking: Places on the event can fill up very quickly, though we will hold a quarter of the places until a month before the event starts for first-timers to ECC events. Make sure you are signed up to the ECC Newsletter so you are notified when bookings open.

Venue: Kench Hill Centre, Appledore Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 7DG www.kenchhill.co.uk

Dates: Friday 24 May - Friday 31 May 2024.  Suggested arrival times will be confirmed in the joining instructions but registration is likely to be around 5pm.

Nearest shops: In Tenterden, a small local town 2 miles away, about a 10 minute drive. Lots of little shops, cafes, pubs - and a Waitrose!

Alcohol: There is no bar at the venue but participants are welcome to bring their own.

Public transport: Nearest rail stations are Ashford (high speed trains from London St Pancras can get you there in around 40  minutes – probably most convenient for people from the Midlands and North) or Headcorn (about an hour from London Bridge / Charing Cross stations). From Ashford, there are buses to Tenterden, and then a 2-mile walk, taxi or we may be able to pick you up. A bookable taxi service from Headcorn is available.  More transport details will be circulated in advance of the event to those who book.

Accessibility: The venue has a ground floor bedroom, which can accommodate one or two wheelchair users or men with mobility difficulties. There is a bathroom close by with shower, basin and toilet equipped with aids for people with disabilities.
All the rooms we will be using for our activities will be accessible to wheelchair users, including the big outbuilding, accessed by a wide, low gradient ramp. The patio tables and sunbathing lawns are also entirely accessible, though if you wander into some areas of the gardens you may encounter some challenges. Please ask Shaun Kent if unsure. The venue has a comprehensive accessibility statement. www.kenchhill.co.uk/what-we-offer/facilities.
 

COVID-19: Our events are open to men of all backgrounds, some of whom may be medically vulnerable. To help keep everyone safe, we have adopted a set of covid guidelines which we ask all participants to read and adhere to.
Covid Guidelines.

How to book

This event has a waiting list, but a few places are still reserved for newcomers until 21 Apr.
If you've attended before, you can book onto the waiting list. We still require a returnable deposit, and will contact you when a place becomes available.

You don't have to be an existing ECC member to book. Payments for ECC events are on a sliding scale according to your income, and you're invited to pay as much or as little as you can afford. You'll be asked to state how much you're going to pay for your place, and how much you'll pay as a deposit when you book. The breakeven cost for this event is £490.00 and the rates for different income levels are shown below.

You can make your payment by bank transfer, and you should send it to us straight away to secure your place.

Bursaries
We maintain a generous bursary fund to help men on very low incomes to ensure no-one is excluded for lack of funds. If you don't feel you can afford the concessionary rate, we may be able to help. Simply choose the option to apply for a bursary when you book.

Sliding scale of charges

Concessionary rate (for people living at benefit levels) £245.00
Low income (£10k to £20k) £490.00
Average income (£20k to £30k) £585.00
High income (£30k or more) £660.00
Breakeven cost£490.00
 
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