Celebrity gardener to visit Catholic-run centre for people with epilepsy

Christine Walkden

Christine Walkden

Christine Walkden, resident gardening expert on BBC1 TV’s The One Show,  will be visiting St Elizabeth's Centre in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire next Wednesday, during National Epilepsy Week (13-19 June).

Run by the Daughters of the Cross of Liège, St Elizabeth’s is one of only two national centres in the UK for people with severe epilepsy, autism and other complex medical conditions.  It includes a boarding school, vocational training and range of treatments, activities and therapies. People are admitted according to need, regardless of their faith, culture or ethnic background.

During her visit Christine will visit the centre's  horticultural project and open St Elizabeth’s new Lottery-funded greenhouse.

Christine said:  "Ash Vale is a wonderful example of how people with complex needs can enjoy horticulture tasks, develop their confidence and ultimately live life to the full.  I am delighted to lend my support to St Elizabeth’s Centre during National Epilepsy Week."

Other activities scheduled for the week include the opening of St Elizabeth’s latest charity shop at Staple Tye Harlow.  Anne Wafula Strike, Harlow’s paralympic athlete will open the shop at 10am on Monday 14 June. 

On Thursday 17 June a group of 60 volunteers from Tesco’s Market Research Department, Cheshunt will put into action their ‘make a difference in a day’ plan refreshing paintwork, digging and planting around the Centre.  And on Friday, 18 June, St Elizabeth’s will hold a tea party to thank its volunteers.

Marilyn Osborne, Head of Fundraising said:  "I do hope that local people will take this opportunity to visit St Elizabeth’s and learn more about the care and support that our charity provides for people of all ages with epilepsy and other complex needs.  And for those that would like to become involved and help St Elizabeth’s by volunteering, attending one of our many fundraising events  or making a donation, they can be confident that their support will make a direct contribution to St Elizabeth’s work."

Around 456,000 people in the UK have epilepsy. Every year in the UK 1,000 people die of epilepsy related causes in the UK every
year.  400 of these deaths are avoidable.  370 of those deaths are young adults or children.

10% of the UK population is affected by the social implications of Epilepsy, eg having epilepsy themselves, as a family member or carer, as an employer or as an educationalist involved in epilepsy treatments.

St Elizabeth’s will be open to visitors next Wednesday and Thursday  (16-17 June), from 10am until 4pm.

For more information see: www.stelizabeths.org.uk

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