The Harpenden Town Council Mission Statement - To promote the area as a place to live, a place to work, a place to invest and a place to visit
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Town Events Mayor's Diary

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Town Mayor's Charities

The Mayor has chosen two charities to support this year.  The first is The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity’s appeals to raise funds for The Children’s Ward and The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & Accommodation for Parents at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital.  The second is The Harpenden Trust, which the Mayor has chosen in recognition of its immense support of the vaccination programme and the support it has provided to individuals over the last year.  

Children’s Ward and NICU at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital

The Children’s Ward at the L&D Hospital cares for around 10,000 babies, children and teenagers every year.  The Ward is made up of three special wards - Squirrel Ward, Rabbit Ward and Hedgehog Ward, treating around 60 inpatients every day. 

The Ward has its own dedicated playroom, the Treehouse, which has lots of fantastic toys and equipment to keep children of all ages and abilities interested and distracted and to give them time on their own to simply enjoy playing.  A dedicated team also supports children who would normally be in school by organising activities and working through the school curriculum to make sure they are not missing out.

The team relies on generous donations to buy extra medical equipment, toys and other comfort items to make the children’s stay more fun, less distressing and as homely an environment as possible, to support their recovery.

1 in 7 babies born at the L&D Hospital will need specialist care and in the last year, 1,016 premature and sick babies were treated by the L&D Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Team.  The Unit is one of only three high-level neonatal units in the East of England and demand for its specialist services has significantly outstripped resources.

The Mayor will be helping to raise funds to help buy extra equipment and enhance a new Unit which is bigger and will provide more cots and better facilities to help treat even more babies at the L&D site and to ensure that all the babies are treated in the best possible environment.

The L&D Hospital has three separate nurseries, one for intensive care and high dependency, one high dependency and one for predominantly special care babies. There are 37 cots in the Unit in total; 11 are intensive care cots, 8 are for high dependency and 18 are special care cots.  It is hoped to eventually expand the Unit to provide up to 46 cots to enable the Unit to treat, with its specialist equipment, around 300 more babies each year and save even more precious lives.

As the numbers in the Hospital’s NICU increase, so does the need for accommodation for new parents who need to be with their new-born babies whilst they are receiving lifesaving treatment.

In 2019, the Hospital was able to expand the numbers of rooms it was able to offer to NICU parents’ accommodation by purchasing and transforming a 3 bedroom house into a 5 bedroom accommodation as part of the NICU Big Build Project.

The Unit can now offer up to 11 rooms for parents to stay in but still needs ongoing support to keep them running and a free provision to NICU parents.  The funds raised will allow the Hospital to continue providing a free 'home from home' facility which enables some parents, who live far away from the hospital, to sleep and rest whilst being as close as possible to their baby.

The Harpenden Trust 

The aim of the Harpenden Trust – to help Harpenden people in need, individually and collectively – remains the same as when it was founded in 1948 by local people, with Dr Charles Hill (later Lord Hill) the first President and Dr Agnes Kelynack the first Chairman.

In 1950 the Trust’s role was described by the Daily Sketch newspaper as, "a social experiment without parallel in this country” - the better-off helping the less well-off.

Even though Harpenden is regarded as a wealthy community, there are still residents suffering hardship - financial or otherwise - and people in need of the support of a good neighbour.  The Harpenden Trust aims to be that good neighbour with the active support of the Town’s residents.

The role of the Trust and the work of its volunteers was recognised in 2008 (its 60th birthday) with the bestowing of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour given to voluntary groups in the UK.

The Trust’s support for individuals, families and community organisations in the Harpenden area, the AL5 postal district, continues today, more than 70 years on from the Trust’s founding.

In more recent times, the Trust has provided invaluable support to the national vaccination programme.  It has just received a joint Purple Star Strategy Certificate from Hertfordshire NHS, awarded to surgeries for their outstanding dedication and commitment to vaccinating their patients on the learning disability register.  All three of the Harpenden Surgeries were recognised, along with the Trust for its support of these surgeries.

Over the last year the Harpenden Trust Home Visit Team has completed over 500 virtual visits and the Utilities Team has provided over 80 seniors with a cheque towards their winter energy bills.  In December, the Christmas Parcel Team successfully delivered 120 seasonal parcels and during the year the Befriending Team has grown and now makes regular calls to over 60 residents.

Last updated about 2 months ago