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.

*The prefered site is now confirmed as east of Harlow

* 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.

*PAH  are working closely with EPUT on the co-location of mental health services with the new hospital.

To see the latest newsletter click here.(May21).

Mental Health 

Following an excelant presentationm by Rachel Newham at the Heart 4 Harlow Forum on the 7th July 2021, Ian Becket is leading a team to consider setting up a pilot Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Group in Harlow, for more infroamtion contact 

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.

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.


July 21

Ian Becket to lead a group hoping to pilot Kinsugi Hope Wellbeing Groups in Harlow.  Contact Ian 

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 24th May 2021

St Claire's Hospice Update

Ann Kosla provided an update on St Claire's Hospice, it is great to see that things are beginning to open up and that more visitors are now able to see inpatients with the support of lateral flow testing.

Over the coming months there are plans to start a number of support groups, including support for the bereaved and help for children.  Overall there will be more opportunities to facilitate peer support and this will be a major part of the new Wellbeing Hub to be launched shortly.

Ann will be working on making convversations about illness and death more 'normal', which she hopes will be helped by the fact that we have all talked about this much more during the pandemic.  In particular there are plans to work with Schools to bring this conversation to the children.

There have been no Covid patients since July last year.

Over the coming months Ann will be helping to recruit 'spiritual supporters', further details to be provided shortly. 

Princess Alexandra Hospital Update

Things are beginning to return to something more like normal. More visitors are being allowed, although they still need to make arrangements with the ward managers.

There was only one Covid patient as at this morning.

Staff are still recovering, many of whom have not had holidays or significant rest for many months.

On the 4th May there was a memorial service for colleagues lost during the pandemic, both from Covid and other reasons.  This was well attended and a recording is available to view.

Christian particularly requested prayer for staff from India who have lost loved ones, or have concerns about the care they are receiving, but are unable to travel home to help.

The challenging CQC report concerning Accident and Emergency has inevitably had an impact on staff morale, again prayer for senior managers who need to respond would be appreciated.

The new sanctuary has been re-dedicated and is working well.  The Chaplaincy Team will be moving into their new office by the end of the week, which will make a massive difference.

The New Hospital is being redesigned to embrace the concept of modules built off-site, 

Michael Roberts Charitable Trust Update

David Evans from MRCT joined us and provided the following update.

Overall MRCT is doing well, and Andy Thornton has now settled in to the role of Chief Executive.

Foodbank referrals have plateaued, after massive increases during lockdown - this trend is appearing across the country.  However, modelling appears to show that there will be a bump further down the line, as foodbank demand closely tracks the real value of benefits, which is due to reduce over the coming year.

David has a real conviction that God has had his hand on things and he has particularly been impressed by those in the community who have stepped up to support in different ways.  There definitely appears to have been a positive shift in attitude towards Foodbank.

David asked for prayer as they analyse the lessons from the last 18 months so that they carry into the future the positive adjustments that have been made.

Bump to Five is a new MRCT initiative, Finander has been appointed to research and develop the project to support pregnant mums, babies and toddlers.

Maybury Open Door has been running Covod Support Groups for the last four or five weeks.  Initialy people were very nervous about coming, but this has now begun to change with more and more people joining.  They are at about 50% of their capacity before Covid.

Dementia Friendly Churches

Ron provided an update, confirming that Heart 4 Harlow is now running weekly Dementia Friendly Virtual Coffee Mornings on a Friday, with the plan of opening Face to Face in the second week in July.  Recently we have been joined by 3 Care Homes, if they continue to connect with us then the possibility of running both virtual and face to face will be considered.

Heart 4 Harlow Awards

It is great to see the nominations coming in.  It was agreed that the Health & Wellbeing Core Group would invite someone from the wider community to join them in making the decision about who will win our category.  Jemma Mindham from Rainbow Services was mentioned as a possibility.

Mental Health

Kintsugi Hope is invited to the next Heart 4 Harow Forum on the 7th July, where they will explain there work in facilitating groups which provide peer support for mental health issues, with a view to exploring if this could be established in Harlow.

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.