Following the success of the first CBAV student retreat at the end of October 2009, a second retreat was organised to which all students funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (LLHW) were invited. The retreat took place 4-6 November 2010 at the Linden Hall Hotel in Northumberland.
The aim of the retreat was to introduce all LLHW-funded students to each other and to give them an opportunity to attend a scientific conference in a friendly and supportive environment to encourage participation and interaction. All students were given a specific role on the programme to ensure that everyone made a useful contribution to the meeting.
The meeting was a tremendous success with the students reporting that it had helped them to gain a greater understanding of the broad spectrum of ageing research and provided opportunities to discuss their research with other researchers at the same stage as themselves and also with more senior scientists.
At the end of the three days when they said their good-byes, the students had formed firm friendships and made some valuable contacts which it is hoped will result in future fruitful collaborations. They are already looking forward to next year's meeting!
One student wrote, "Thank you for organising the course - I gained a huge amount from it and will always remember how much I enjoyed my first conference!"
A subsequent retreat took place on Tuesday 15 November 2011 in Newcastle. This was followed in 2012 by the XCAR Conference - a meeting sponsored by the Research Councils for all early career researchers from LLHW and other ageing related initiatives.