QEF was officially opened on the 27th June 1935, with the support of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (then Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York). Originally a college to provide employment training for people with disabilities, over the years, QEF has evolved to provide innovative, expert services to disabled individuals of all ages, enabling each person to maximise their independence and live the life they choose.
Now, 85 years on, QEF are developing the Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CRC), the first new build in QEF's history and a centre of neuro rehabilitation expertise in Surrey. The CRC has been specifically designed to reflect the needs of people rebuilding their lives after an acquired brain injury, stroke or other neurological condition. Alongside advanced therapeutic areas and modern, comfortable facilities, the building supports a holistic approach to therapy and care. This enables the multi-disciplinary team to focus on each person's physical and mental rehabilitation, as well as supporting the families for whom the event has also been life changing. This holistic, person-centred approach is a signature element of QEF’s service.
Through this landmark building, QEF will be at the forefront of neuro rehabilitation and care, using accessible technology to support our clients through what can be a very difficult journey. The Edward Guinness Appeal is committed to raising the remaining £2.7 million needed to fully fund this incredible new centre, so QEF can grow and expand our services. Funds will also support exciting developments that directly support clients every day, such as:
- adding additional lifts
- making the grounds more accessible so clients can easily enjoy the beautiful surroundings
- funding the provision of accessible technology in every bedroom so clients have greater control over their personal space
- funding increased client activities such as music, art and gardening, to support clients’ mental and physical progress.
Edward Guinness CVO, Appeal President: "As a former trustee I’ve supported the vital work of QEF for almost 4 decades and I’m immensely proud to continue to do so. At this hugely exciting time in the history of QEF we are committed to supporting the development of the incredible Care & Rehabilitation Centre. A centre that will enable QEF to transform the care they can provide for those with often devastating acquired brain injuries. Please support generously, thank you."
We are delighted to have the support of TV star, Tamzin Outhwaite as patron of this major appeal.
Tamzin says “I’ve been aware of the financial strains that have been put on smaller charities like QEF since the pandemic hit and wanted to give my support so they can continue to make a real difference to the lives of people going through what can be a very difficult journey.
One of my close friends works at the charity on the frontline supporting people with learning disabilities, so I often hear from him how hard everyone is working to ensure that they can continue with this vital support, which is needed now more than ever. I am proud to be patron of this appeal.”
In July 2020 we moved our neuro rehabilitation service into this new bespoke centre so we had increased capacity to support the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Financially this was very challenging, especially as many fundraising activities had been cancelled due to the pandemic. The funds raised through the Edward Guinness Appeal are essential to helping QEF meet the needs of individuals, many as a result of our commitment to supporting the NHS.
The building has significantly expanded QEF's capacity and we are now working closely with eight NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Group’s, taking patients directly from hospitals across the South East; playing a vital role in easing pressure on the NHS and enabling patients to start their neuro rehabilitation during the pandemic.
Karen Deacon, QEF's Chief Executive:
“ Our Care and Rehabilitation Centre is a state-of-the-art building staffed with a dedicated team of skilled and caring people. Although we have found it financially very challenging, we are focused on supporting the NHS and becoming an extension of hospital services. We are accepting more patients directly from hospital quicker than before and providing life-changing expertise for people when they really need us.
I would like to thank Tamzin Outhwaite for helping us to raise awareness of our work with the NHS and the importance of supporting The Edward Guinness Appeal. Fully funding the CRC is a vital part of QEF’s financial future and will enable us to continue to expand our life-changing work for people with acquired brain injuries, stroke or other neurological conditions. Everyone who contributes to our appeal will play an important part in developing these services, so we can continue to help people rebuild their lives after life-changing injuries or illnesses.”