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The VIX Retreat

By Chelsea Shaw

We’ve had an intense few months at VIX, working on a variety of new projects from Public Health England’s new Digital Workspace to the redesign of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG’s website. It’s been an honour working on these projects and they've been worth the copious amount of effort and resources we have used as a team to deliver them. We managed to wrap up most of these projects around the same time and thought it was only right that we have a break, re-group and think about the next steps for VIX.

Everyone in our team enjoys the outdoors in one way or another so we thought the Lake District would have something to offer everyone. In between activities we planned round tables, internal projects and critiques of our own work.

Monday

We arrived at the lodge around 10am and used the first half of the day to finish tying up loose ends on some of our client projects. Later in the day we’d got our bearings, taken the drone out for a quick spin over Lake Windermere and started to crack open the beers. Our lodge came with a hot tub so it goes without saying that the team we pretty eager to make use of it.

It had been a while since we had a chance to relax as a team and just generally have a bit of fun. We held a round table for everyone to talk about what they’d like to improve on as a team and individuals along with things they’d learn over the past few months.

After quite a few beers & bottles of wine, the team were in full karaoke mode and the party continued into the night.

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Tuesday

We weren't very lucky with the weather over the week but we had committed to doing at least one outdoor activity a day. So Tuesday morning we set off with the mission to get out on the water. Originally this had been via canoes but not many people were willing to let 7 inexperienced designers/developers take out canoes given the bad weather, so we settled on an island boat ride. We then went onto explore Bowness on Windermere and headed back to the lodge for the evening to make a start on some internal projects we had been thinking about.

The team worked hard into the evening and were even cooked a delicious chilli by our frontend dev, Kieran.

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Wednesday

We started the morning with bacon butties courtesy of Tony and finished up some of the things we working on the evening before. Some of the team were keen to head out exploring and Rydal Caves were recommended to us. This ended up being a really nice walk/hike. About 1-2 hours round with some very creepy caves to explore.

Feeling refreshed we headed out for the night, ready to paint the town red. We’re not sure the town was ready for us but we managed to hit a few bars and sample the local nightlife.

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Thursday

We made the decision to have a full day of activities and head home that night. With that in mind some of the team wanted to head out mountain biking, so we picked a route, geared up and off we went.

Some of us thought we completely over estimated how fit we all were but safe to say all of those beers consumed in the week had very much been burnt off. Caked in the mud, cuts and bruises we got back to the lodge just before dusk and headed back to Warrington.

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As a team we came back from the retreat re-energised and ready to take on the next challenge. We’d used the time to highlight objectives we need to work towards both as individuals and a unit giving us focus for the next 6 months. It was really refreshing to spend some time together away from the 9-5 cycle and we’d highly recommend it to any team.

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