Aspects at the National Memorial Arboretum: Events that Matter in a Place that Matters
Aspects at the National Memorial Arboretum offers a completely unique conferencing proposition. Our award-winning building, opened in 2018, is home to seven flexible spaces, suitable for 10 – 300 guests.
Our location feels like an idyllic escape but is easily accessible just five minutes from the A38 with links to the M6 (Toll), M42 and M1. 30 minutes from Derby and Birmingham, it is perfectly placed for homeworking teams.
More importantly, Aspects is situated within the spectacular backdrop of the National Memorial Arboretum, the Nation’s centre of Remembrance. A 150-acre green, open landscape, home to over 25,000 trees and punctuated with 400 memorials. It is the perfect escape for meetings, conferences and teambuilding this summer.
Our memorials recognise the service and sacrifice of both military and civilian personnel. From the WAS(B) women supplying tea and sandwiches on the front lines of Burma, to the 16,000 Armed Forces Personnel who have given their lives since the end of the Second World War, and some of the key workers who have done so much to support the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Arboretum is home to hundreds of stories, tales of camaraderie, inspirational leadership, heroism in extraordinary circumstances and accounts of strength and resilience.
While many of these stories herald from difficult times, they offer your delegates the opportunity to shift perspective and think differently about the challenges we face in all elements of business, offering a positive inspiration and space for reflection, reconnection, and reinvigoration.
One of the many stories told at the Arboretum is that of the Bevin Boys. The Bevin Boys showed extraordinary resilience in the most despairing of times. During the Second World War, many coal miners had been called up to the front lines leaving a shortage of skilled labour. Subsequently coal production slowed and led to a shortage of coal stock.
Faced with a potential energy crisis, Ernest Bevin, then Minister for Labour, entered new conscripts aged 18 – 25 into a ballot and instead of the service they may have imagined they were sent to work in the coal mines to enable more experienced miners to work at the coal face. The work was unfamiliar and the dangerous conditions led to accidents and lost lives.
Often miles from home, the seconded conscripts were frequently treated with hostility by the communities around them who believed they were cowards, conscientious objectors or feared that they would take the jobs of their loved ones who had been sent to the front lines. Those who refused to work were punished by either a large fine or imprisonment.
After the war and for the subsequent fifty years The Bevin Boys were not formally recognised for their contribution in the war. They received no medals, uniforms, or war pension; to all intents and purposes their service was forgotten.
In 1998, for the first time, The Bevin Boys Association was granted the honour of parading in the Remembrance Day Parade at the Cenotaph and in 2008 they were finally awarded with a commemorative lapel badge, produced to give them some recognition for their toil and service.
After a year spent at home, perhaps in roles we didn’t sign up for, in circumstances we never dreamed of, what could be more powerful than training teams in a place that recognises, the service and sacrifice ordinary people make and continue to make, every single day.
To hear more of the stories that can enrich and transform your next away day, visit www.thenma.org.uk or call 01283 245 100 to find out more.