This time last year Beam had five employees. Now, there are an incredible eleven of us! πŸ™Œ Β 

To give our growing team a chance to get to know each other, we decided to escape London and head to the countryside for our annual retreat. Beamfest, as it's known around the office, is the perfect opportunity for us to unwind, bond and get creative.

Back row, l-r: Matt, Seb, Jack, Alex, Julian, Chloe and Anna; front row, l-r: Kathi, Jie, Sophie and Sabina

To make it feel like a real getaway, our wonderful Member Manager Chloe booked us a gorgeous AirBnb in Norfolk. Surrounded by sprawling fields and lots of greenery, it was the perfect spot for some relaxation and outside-the-box thinking 🏑🌿🌸

Getting ready to do some yoga... preserve everyone's dignity, we stopped taking photos right after the warm up πŸ˜‚

We kicked Beamfest 2019 off with some standup paddle boarding and yoga 🧘 After a long hour of perfecting our tree and warrior poses - read: trying not to fall flat on our faces - it was time for lunch.

A delicious bowl of chilli, with the surprise addition of miso paste. Trust us - it's delicious.
Our Head of Operations Jie and Member Manager Sophie were spotted having seconds!

We all took turns cooking for the group and it turns out that the Beam team is full of talented chefs! πŸ‘¨β€πŸ³ From a hearty chilli and a rich aubergine curry to a tangy couscous salad with pomegranate, the whole experience felt like a stress-free version of Masterchef πŸ₯˜

The Beam team deep in thought during a mastermind session.

In case you're wondering - yes, we did some work as well! We had some great creative sessions, from a very fun pitching workshop to a group brainstorm about our core values πŸ”Ž

Our team is still fairly small (we're hiring!) but when we put our heads together, we can truly move mountains. See that window covered in post-its? That's just one session's worth πŸ˜…

Veggie skewers straight from the BBQ. 
The whole Beam team is ready to party!

By the time the final night came around, we were all ready for a proper celebration πŸŽ‰ Β We dusted off the BBQ, put on some banging tunes and gave our minds a rest from work 🎡

Delicious fish and chips by the seaside in Wells-next-the-Sea.
Many thanks to the residents of Wells-next-the-Sea for painting their beach huts with Beam colours!

On our drive back down to London, we made a short pit stop in Wells-next-the-Sea. This coastal town is the quintessential English seaside resort, complete with colourful beach huts, forest walks and quaint chip shops πŸ–

We came back to work this Monday feeling fully recharged and ready to tackle major challenges πŸ’ͺ The Beam team couldn't be more excited about the year to come - we're full of ideas and eager to turn them into reality.

We're really proud of how far we've come over the past year. There were five people on our first Beamfest, eleven of us this year... at this rate, we might need to rent a small hotel for Beamfest 2020!

Thank you for supporting Beam on our mission to empower London's homeless men and women. We couldn't do what we do without you πŸ₯°