Diane Hesketh, CEO of Natural Breaks, would on behalf of everyone like to say ‘‘a HUGE THANK YOU to Michael Bennett for being a part of the Natural Breaks family for 25 years and it is with great sadness that he is moving on – but we wish him all of the very best and hope to see him often!  I’d like to thank my predecessor Jan for coming in for Mike’s last day which seems only fitting as she was there on his first day - to present Mike with a small token of our appreciation and thanks for all of the hard work and commitment he has shown to Natural Breaks over the years’’.

Jan said “I am so pleased to be here today to be able to wish you well and know that you are going on to do something that you love.  Thank you for all that you have done for Natural Breaks and all of the wonderful memories.”  

Mike said:  

“ What a journey my 25 years has been with Natural Breaks.  The 1st may 1994 was a very ordinary spring day, blue skies and a gentle breeze. It was my first day of supporting Sean Walsh, whom I have supported from that day in 1994 through to January 2019 which was a very ordinary winter’s day; yet it marks the end of a long journey as I finish my last shift with Sean and when I stop and think about my twenty-five year journey with Natural Breaks …. So many memories - the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the challenges.   ‘Care in the Community’ was the buzz word in 1994. We were on the edge of a new dawn. Adults with learning disabilities were no longer to be hidden, but integrated into their communities. These were exciting times.

A pioneering spirit marked Natural Breaks. In the early days, as is now, we believed that anything was possible. In my time I have supported many people sharing the laughs and tears. I supported Geoffrey Coppelstone for fifteen years until he was tragically taken by Cancer. This was my lowest point in Natural Breaks, yet the support of Natural Breaks saw me through.

 Sean and have been firm friends since day one! He is as close a friend as I will ever have. We have been there for each other through the rough and smooth times.

Why have I stayed so long? Quite simply, the ethos, mission and vision of Natural Breaks is special. It not only provides care in the community. Natural Breaks cares for the community. I will miss Natural Breaks. Long may it continue’’.