Upwards with Downs

We run various groups at different times and days so please visit our website www.upwardswithdowns.co.uk or email upwardswithdowns@hotmail.com
Contact:  Christina 07733 392064  Peggy 07834 320222

PACT for Autism

Contact:  info@packforautism.org.uk

Keeping Active Together

Meet:  Wednesday 10 am – 12.30 pm
Details:  This group offers people with dementia an opportunity to engage in a wide range of physical activities.  Regular exercise can improve general health, flexibility, and reduces the risk of falls.  It can slow down memory loss.  People will be offered the opportunity to participate in a range of fun activities including bowling, golf, exercises, dancing and many more.
Contact:  01279 418331 for more information.
Venue:  St Andrew’s Church Hall, The Stow, Harlow, CM20 3AF.

Al-Anon Family Groups

For friends and families of alcoholics.  Al-Anon Family Groups offer understanding and support to anyone whose life is, or has been deeply affected by someone else’s drinking whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not; whether you are living the alcoholic or not.  You need not be alone.  To speak to someone who understands and for details of an Al-Anon meeting near you, ring the confidential helpline on 020 7403 0888 (10am-10pm).
Email:  enquiries@al-anonuk.org.uk  Website:  www.al-anonuk.org.uk


Freshwaters Contact Centre

Meet: Saturdays
Contact:  01279 450220 (answerphone)
Venue:  The Meadows Children’s Centre, Harberts Road, CM19 4DL


Charity organizes canal boat experiences for people with disabilities including day trips, short breaks and holidays and actively encourages users to get involved in the skippering, changing locks and other aspects of a day out on the river.  Tel:  01279 42444 or visit: http://www.canalability.org.uk

St John Ambulance

Meet:  Tuesdays
Contact:  0870 765 7856 or email duty-officer@harlow.sja.org.uk or www.sja.org.uk/essex/harlow

Visual Impairment Club

Meet:  First Tuesday of every month from 10 am – midday.
Contact:  01279 414081
Details:  This is a group of people that gather with similar disabilities to share information about help that is available, and have a cuppa and chat as they catch up with day to day life and even the soaps !!
Venue:  GPCA, Abercrombie Way, Harlow, CM18 6YJ

Parkinsons UK Harlow Branch

Meet:  Wednesdays 11 am – 3 pm
Contact:  Corrine Hall  07982 094194
Venue:  David Livingstone Club, Potter Street, Harlow, CM17 9AE

Multiple Sclerosis Society (East Herts & West Essex branch)

Supporting the MS community of Epping, Harlow, Saffron Walden, Stansted, Dunmow and surrounding villages plus a similar rural area of East Hertfordshire.  The branch provides a number of services for people affected by MS including transport (enabling them to get to essential medical appointments etc).  welfare support (eg funding MS physiotherapy sessions not available under the NHS), a monthly social programme, and providing grants to enable affected people to access essential equipment and home adaptations.  The branch is a voluntary part of the society and welcomes offers of time or financial help.
Contact: helpline 07880 828858;
Website:  www.mssociety.org.uk/ehwe

Bereavement Support Service

No one can fully share your sorrow and loneliness. Only you know how it feels but sharing your grief with someone who understands and has time to listen may help.  Our trained volunteers work with clients as long as necessary, at a time and a place convenient to both the bereaved person and the volunteer.  To find out more without any obligation, contact Ongar & District Bereavement Support Service on 01277 366535.  Website:  www.odbss.co.uk.  Email:  info.odbss@gmail.com

Click here to find more Bereavement Support Services in Harlow 

Proactive (Prostate Cancer Self-help group)

Meet:  1st Friday of each month from 10.30am to 12.30pm
Details:  An informal group with professional support, which is open to men(and partners) who have had prostate cancer and who live within the West Essex PCT area.  The group has more than 30 members of whom half, with some partners, are able to attend meetings.  The group organises annual ‘information afternoons’ with health professional speakers and has set up a helpline.
Contact:  01279 418841 Website:   www.proactive.me.uk
Venue:  Conference Room, The Laurels, St Margaret’s Hospital, The Plain,  Epping CM16 6TN.

Harlow Stroke Support Group

We offer non-medical support, information and advice in a friendly environment to people who have survived a Stroke, their family and carers.

Our services include:
  • Information on strokes and how they affect people
  • Help in understanding the disabilities that may arise after Stroke
  • Help with referral to other agencies
  • Assistance with applications for pension credits or other benefits
  • Guidance in form filling and dealing with outside organisations
  • Support for families and carers
  • Regular social events and outings

We offer four groups for members and their families.  On Wednesday we run a chair-based exercise class from 2 pm to 4 pm.   Sessions for people with communications, including speech difficulties takes place between 10 am and 12.00 on Thursdays while a social group for all members is held between 10 am and 12.30 and 1 pm to 3 pm on Fridays.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Harlow Stroke Support Group’s committee meets once a month.

People can come to have a chat on a personal level whether this is just to talk to someone or if they need help in finding out where they need to go for advice, e.g. filling in of forms, getting help and who to contact etc.

At our social group, we play games do sewing, have quizzes etc as well as having chats and cups of tea & biscuits, and making new friends.

We also do trips out once a month such as a night at the Dogs (Roydon), Pub lunches, Garden centre’s, Craft shops, trips on canal boats, we have also been to Newmarket Races.

We also visit people who have had a stroke and who need support when they get back in their own homes, to let them know about our group and how it can help them.

If there is anything else you would like to know please call Jean or Emma 01279 308313


Harlow Stoma Group

Meet:  Second Tuesday of every month between 10.30am – 12noon
Contact:  Lin Hart 01279 505273  Email:  comeconnectwithus@gmail.com


Connect is a social network for Stoma Patients (Ostomates) living within Harlow and surrounding district areas of Essex.

Ostomates can meet informally to share experiences and offer each other both practical and emotional support.

No-one is forgotten and partners are welcome because this condition also affects family and friends.

New members currently pay a single annual fee of only £8 or a joint annual fee with partner or friend of 13.

Enjoy a coffee and a chat or listen to a presentation by a guest speaker at our regular informal meetings.

Come along to one of our social events, many of which are funded from membership fees and raffles.

Try us. Drop in at the next group meeting, and if you like us, JOIN US.

Venue:  The Link, Parsloe Road, Harlow CM19 4RT

Breathe Easy Harlow & Epping Forest

Meet:  Second Tuesday of the month from 2 pm to 4 pm
Contact:  Chris Carr 01992 573387 or Pauline Love on 01279 429195
Details:  Part of the local support network of the British Lung Foundation.
We are a support group for anyone affected by lung disease.  As well as offering mutual support we enjoy a good relationship with local health professionals.  We have been able to provide much needed additional equipment for the respiratory nursing teams in Epping and Harlow.  Group members also participate in promoting the work of the British Lung Foundation and in fundraising for research into lung disease.  Meetings are usually with a speaker or some entertainment, and time for refreshments and a chat.  Meetings are open to all without charge, but donations to cover expenses are welcome.  There is easy wheelchair access with free parking immediately outside.  A monthly newsletter circulated to all members enables the housebound to keep in touch.
Venue:  Purford Green Community Centre, Tumbler Road, Harlow.


Memory Café (Alzheimers Society)

Information Hub Harlow
Meet:  Every Monday 9.30 pm – 1 pm
  New Hall, Moot House, The Stow, CM20 3AG
Contact: Marion Howell 01279 418331

Who is it for?

  • Anyone affected by dementia including people with dementia, relatives, carers, professionals and members of the general public
  • Residents of Essex Country Council area.


Come and chat to people who have been affected by dementia in a friendly and relaxed social environment at our dementia café.

We often host regular talks by a variety of local services and organisations who promote safety and wellbeing.  Dementia cafés provide useful information in a structured and relaxed setting that gives the opportunity for people with dementia, families and carers to ask questions and learn from the experiences of people in similar situations. 

Singing for the Brain Harlow

Venue:  Moot House, The Stow, CM20 3AG
Contact:  01245 260911

Who is it for?

  • People with Dementia and their carers, family and friends.
  • Residents of Essex County Council area.


Come along to our singing group where you can meet new people in a friendly, fun and social environment.  These groups are based on the principles of music therapy, which include vocal warm-ups and singing a huge range of familiar old and new songs for everyone’s tastes. 

Active Minds Harlow

Meet:  Friday 10 am – 12.30 pm
Venue:  St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, The Stow, CM20 3AF
Contact:  01279 418331

Who is it for?

  • People with Dementia Only
  • Residents of Essex and Hertfordshire County Council areas


Our skill or interest-based activity group can give you the opportunity to take part in a fun structured activity.  Activities can include art and craft groups, drama workshops, cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) groups, maintaining skills groups, bowling groups, skittles groups, walking groups, yoga or tai chi classes, etc.  The groups are run by an expert facilitator with relevant skills and are open to anyone affected by dementia.

BipolaUK-logoBipolar UK – Harlow Support Group

Bipolar UK is the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar.

Our Support Groups are free to attend and are open to anyone affected by bipolar, including family friends and carers.  If you are over 18 you can just turn up!

Meets:  3rd Tuesday of every month
Time:  7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Venue:  Friends Meeting House, Church Leys, Tendering Road, Harlow, CM18 6BY

(The venue is wheelchair accessible.  Accessible toilets available).
Note:  The venue is difficult to find on a housing estate set back from the road.  Parking available at the back of the building.

Harlow Support Group Website

Find out what happens at our Support Groups

Abbeycare Foundation

Abbeycare Foundation provides private rehabilitation treatment for recovery from alcohol and/or substance misuse addictions. Fully residential setting, offering 12 step and therapeutic intervention to address the underlying issues, as well as physical detox.

Tel: 01603 513 091
Email:  info@abbeycare.co.uk
Website: https://www.abbeycarefoundation.com