Hello! My name is Kat Pulford, and I’m the Community Manager at St Elizabeth’s Centre.
For those readers who are not familiar with St Elizabeth’s, we are based on the outskirts of Much Hadham on South End road and cover 68 acres of beautiful parkland. Founded in 1903, St Elizabeth’s is a national charity supporting around 200 people of all ages with epilepsy and other complex medical conditions.
Over the past 117 years, St Elizabeth’s has grown and developed to comprise a non-maintained special School for both boarders and day students, a specialist Further Education College, domiciliary care for College learners, residential care with nursing for 102 Adults across 12 purpose built bungalows, a comprehensive Day Opportunities programme for residents and day clients and 24 hour health provision provided by specialist nurses and therapists. The charity was previously one of the charitable works of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross of Liège, however in 2018, St Elizabeth’s Centre became a charity in its own right.
St Elizabeth’s is a big part of the wider community, and continues to have a growing presence.
We currently employ over 650 staff, half of whom are living in Harlow and over 100 living in Bishop’s Stortford. A further 40 staff members live in Much Hadham and local villages, making us one of the largest employers in Hertfordshire!
As part of our growing community presence, we have 9 Charity shops across Essex & Hertfordshire, offering employment and volunteering opportunities, as well as regular community support delivered in part by our wonderful volunteers.
As part of our community engagement, a number of our Adult residents and day clients have been volunteering at the CanalAbility charity in Harlow, offering light gardening and maintaining services, as well as keeping their water edge gardens tidy. A number of our Adult residents also volunteer and help with similar tasks at the Lea Manning Centre gardens in Harlow Park.
Can we be part of your local Community group?
There are a number of ways in which we can continue to work closely with us.
During the summer months, we offer Community & Corporate Volunteering days whereby both local and further afield companies can come onto site and help with general maintenance and gardening tasks, acting as a fantastic team building opportunity, and work towards your CSR business goals. So far, we have had over 500 local business volunteer with us as part of our corporate engagement programme, and we are always looking for more!
We also host a number of community events throughout the year here at the Centre, with many volunteering opportunities. Don’t be a stranger- please do get in touch if you would like to get involved!
As you can imagine, like other charities the current circumstances have made our work more important than ever, and we are having to work even harder to ensure the safety, wellbeing and happiness of our service users, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Our staff are doing an incredible job to limit the impact that the virus and lockdown is having on them all, and I know they are so touched to see the support that is coming from so many people during this time.
As Community Manager, I would love to come and talk to you further about the fantastic work that goes on here at St Elizabeth’s Centre, and how you can support us. If you would like to get involved, Please email me at Kat.Pulford@stelizabeths.org.uk , or call me on 01279 844347.