Friends of Sawbridgeworth Neuro Centres

Our Friends Group reaches a major milestone - Charity number 167409

Our History:

Two highly specialised units which provide care for around 120 adults of all ages, who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, or long term neurological conditions. Often the centres’ residents experience complex physical, cognitive or and/or behavioural problems. The residents may stay with us for weeks, months or years, dependent on their needs and wishes.

There are very few places in the UK which provide long term, specialised 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitation for persons over 18 with such complex needs. Although privately owned by Ramsay, most residents in the Gardens and Jacobs Centres are funded by statutory services such as the NHS or Social Care.

Each Centre has a large team of Carers, Nurses, Therapists, Activities Coordinators and Supporting Staff, whose task it is to provide specialised nursing, care and therapy with the aim of maximising each individual’s functional potential and quality of life, within a homely environment. This is no easy task. For example young men in their 20s might have very different interests from men in their 50s. To take one person to a football match or to the opera is a major enterprise. To build wheelchair-accessible flower beds is costly but rewarding. Art and music are known to have a therapeutic effect on those with brain injuries but the NHS cannot provide pictures for everyone’s room or music therapy for all – but a Friends group might.

In 2013, a small group of residents’ family members and friends decided that it was time to increase awareness of the work of our centres and to raise funds which might be used to improve the lives of those resident in the centres. To achieve these aims, we first formed an Unincorporated Charitable Organisation (UCO) and began fund raising. Since that moment we have been incredibly successful raising in excess of £15,000. On reaching that target, it became necessary by law to become a fully registered charity. This was quite a long and arduous task but we have done it and we are now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with the Charity number – 1167409.

As the new Friends of Sawbridgeworth Neuro Centres (FSN) we have 8 enthusiastic Trustees, now raring to go with the real work of helping our residents. Our patron is Dr Roger Beeching, current Chairman of East Herts Council, former mayor of Sawbridgeworth and long term supporter of the local community. We have several volunteer helpers also from the local area but we always need more extra pairs of hands so if you have any skills or time to offer please get in touch with us.

Thanks to everyone involved

FSN is unique in that it could not exist without the support of the management and staff of the Gardens and Jacob centre. I would like to take this opportunity, therefore to thank Rita McCarthy and all of her staff for their unwavering support of what we do.

There is not space to list all of the individuals from families and friends who support FSN. All I can say is a big thank you to everyone!

Prof. Sheila E Henderson Chair of the Group & Helen Wheeler Media Officer of the Group

Get in touchFor further information about the group, contact Sheila Henderson, Chair, on 01480 382324 or 07754 603494. Email

or Helen Wheeler Media Officer on 07799 760994 or

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