Health & Wellbeing




Coronavirus Information


For information about case number nationaly and localy click here.

If you would like information, advise or support concerning Coronavirus then we recommend that you visit the Harlow Council website.

If you want to vounteer to help support those who are self-isolating or to offer help in any way as an individual then we recommend that you sing up here.

To volunteer support as a business then sign up here.


The Health and Wellbeing Core Group meets to consider how we can best help the Church to be informed and involved in Health and Wellbeing withing Harlow.

Princess Alexandra Hospital - A New Hospital Fit for the Future

PAH is preparing plans for a new hospital to serve the residents of Harlow and surrounding areas.  VIsit their dedicated microsite for more information.

At the virtual consultation event held on the 21st January, we received the following updates:-

* The prefered site is north of Harlow, but the final decision is still to be made.

* The intention is that the site will welcome in the wider community, not just when they need treatment.  Members of the public will be encouraged to use the grounds and things like a 'sky farm' are being considered.

* The team are working towards a potential building start date in 2023 with completion in 2026.

* The team are seeking to lead the way in the use of new technology to treat patients inside and outside the hospital, some of these inovations will begin well before the hospital is built.

* The team is aiming to build a carbon neutral site.

* To see ansers to frequentely asked questions click here.

* In a subsequent answer PAH confirmed  we are working closely with EPUT on the co-location of mental health services with the new hospital.

To see the latest newsletter click here.(Mar 21).

Mental Health 

We have recentely promoted a Mental Health First Aid course which over 10 people from local Churches attended along with others from the Community.  It was an excelant way of raising awareness about mental health issues and encouraging all of us to talk about mental helath and wellbeing.

Harlow Frontline

Harlow Frontline is an excelant source of local informaiton about health and wellbeing services offered accross the town.  People can be referred by professional or can self refer.  We are encouraging churches throughout the town to register with Harlow Frontline, both in terms of the 'spirtitual health' they cpontribute to as a church, but also the additional services that many of them provide, e.g. in running toddler groups, support for the elderley and other regular activities.  Take a look for yourself.

Permitted Development Rights (PDR) Properties

Harlow has over a thousand properties which have been devloped unde the 'Permitted Development Rights' legislation.  We are working with voluntary and statutory organisations in the town to see how we can contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents in these blocks and help them integrate into the local community.  For more infromation about PDR in Harlow email .

Health and Wellbeing Parnership Board

As well as the direct work of the Core Group, we have been represented at the Harlow Health & Wellbeing Partnership Board which includes a number of parners engaged in health & wellbeing in and around Harlow.  

In our meeti9ng in February 21 we had an update concerning about the following:-

Digital Inclusion Project - which starts in April and will match donation of IT equipment with recipients, ensuring the eqipment is refurbished and cleaned of existing data before being passed on.  There is an aspiration to develp a data bank, to help those excluded becasue of the cost of data.  'Digital Buddies' will also assist those who need to devlop IT skills to access the online world.  There is a more limited service already avaialable from Rainbow, which includes loans of tablets, Digital Buddies and a small amount of data gifting.

Changing Lives Project - The Changing Lives Hub is a single facility for working with Key Workers's and disadvantaged children.  By week 4 100 children were registered on the sessions provided at the hub.  A larger venue is the main need for the future, as there is already a waitring list for places at the existing hub, which can only accomdate 6 in the classroom and 6 in the play area, in a Covid safe way.

Mind in West Essex - Very busy during the pandemic.  The West Essex Sactuary provides face to face support for those experiencing a mental health crisis, from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.  The NHS Crisis line provides telephone support.  The Crisis Line can be accessed by anyone by dialing 111 and choosing option 2, the crisis line can make referals to the Sanctuary.  The Befriending Service has grown, providing conversations with those who live alone.  Fudning has been aproved from April to improve Suicide Awareness, Harlow has the 4th highest level of suicides in the UK.  Free workshops are avaialable to improve awareness and help people support those they encouter who may be considering suiocide.

One Health & Care Partnership VCSE Group

We are represented on this important partnership group which includes Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust; Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust; NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and Essex County Council who are meeting with Volantary and Community Organisations and Social Partnership (VCSE) to explore areas of collaboration.

Click here for an introduction to the One Health and Care Partnership.

Click here for the last update (Mar 21)

Voluntary Sector Forum

Rainbow Services facilitates the Harlow Voluntary Sector Forum which provides regular newsletters and meetings for discussion of relevant topics and networking.  

Hope 4 Harlow

Hope 4 Harlow brings together churches with a range of other partners to provide shelter for the homeless every night of the week throughout January and February.  If you would like to know more about volunteering then take a look at this information.  To offer your help please contact MartinHarris.


Jan 21

For the Department of Health and Social Care's January Voluntary Sector Newsletter click here.

For the January One Health and Care Newsletter click here.

Following an encouraging Dementia Awareness session on 28th January, we have now set up a page with information and support for those churches wanting to become more dementia friendly, check it out here.

We are also in the process of launching a virtual Dementia Friendly Coffee Morning, details to follow.

Having attended the PAH new hospital consultation event on 21st January, it was good to have a number of things confirmed, click here for more information.

Dec 20

For the Department of Health and Social Care's latest Voluntary Sector Newsletter click here.

For the latest information about the One Health & Care Partnership please click here.

For the result of the New Hospital Poll, click here.

Nov 20

Heart 4 Harlow has been invited to join the Dementia Action Alliance.  We will be working with key members of the DAA over the coming weeks to orginise an intial awareness session, hopefuly leading to one or more Dementia Friendly Coffee Mornings and assistance in individual churches gaining Dementia Friendly status.  Please contact me if you would like to know more.

Doctors surgeries in Harlow have come together under two Primary Care Networks, to find out more, including which suregeries are included in each, click here. (September 2019)

The Michael Roberts Charitable Trust has appointed Andy Thornton as it's new CEO - find out more here.

Health & Wellbeing Core Group Update

Update from meeting 15th February 2021

St Claires Hospice Update

Ann Kosla provided an update on St Claire's Hospice, after a short period where demand was lower the hospice is now full and there is a waiting list.  What is unusual is the number of younger patients being cared for, perhaps a reflection of treatment delays due to COVID.

Funding continue to be strong which is a great encouragement during these times and the hospice is actualy continuing to expand the services it offers.

They are very pleased that all of their staff have been opffered and most have received the vaccine.  They also have access to lateral flow tests with all staff being tested twice a week.

The Bereavement Helpline continuew to provide vital support and has seven volunbteers staffing the helpline.  They are about to advertise for a new post to manage and further develop the support line.

St Claires is also [providing a 'listening ear' service and specific support to Care Homes.

Ann also mentioned the Namaste Care service for those with Dementia that St Claire offers.

Princess Alexandra Hospital Update

Christian Okeke provided an update on PAH.  After an extremely busy period associated with the pandemic, things are beginning to calm down.

Christian is part of a team that has been set up to provide support for critical care staff on-site, 24/7, with the intention of letting staff know 'We are here for you'.

Some volunteers are beginning to return to work.

Christian is pleased with the devlopment of the chaplaincy place including a new sanctuary area, which is being well used.  There is also seperate space for muslim worship and extra office space.  There is due to be a commissioning of tyhe new space in March.

Christian also confirmed that there would be some sort of memorial service taking place sometime in March, details to follow.

Michael Roberts Charitable Trust Update

David Evans from MRCT wasn't able to join us for the meeting but will send us an update which will be added here shortely.

Dementia Friendly Churches

Ron provided a short update on the progress Heart 4 Harlow is making with Harlow Dementia Action Alliance.  An awareness session took place in January with around 9 people from churches attending.  A weekly coffee morning  for those with Dementia and their carers is staring on Monday 22nd February and two Dementia Friedns sessions are planned for the 19th and 23rd February.  Click here for more details.

New Hospital Update

Ron gave an overview from his attendance at the recent PAH zoom copnsultation regarding the develeopment of the new hospital - further details can be found here.

Chrsitian encouraged those of us who felt that spiritual care should be an important part of provision in the new hospital, to make this clear in any consulation event we attend, or surveys we complete.

Mental Health

Ron is exploring options to run another Mental Health First Aid Course.

Keep in touch

If you would like to keep in touch with the things the health & Wellbeing Group is associated with, then please subscribe to the Health and Wellbeing Mailing List.  Please would you also consider becoming a Community Link for your church.