For more than 35 years St Helena has been helping local people with incurable illness, supporting them and their families, friends and carers. 

Over that time we have brought comfort and relief to tens of thousands of people. Throughout our history we have relied heavily on the help and generosity of our fundraisers, donors and volunteers. Without them we wouldn’t exist and without them we wouldn’t still be here for the people of North Essex. On behalf of all the staff and trustees at St Helena, a massive thank you to everyone who has so generously supported us over the years.

“When St Helena was planned, there were few hospices in the UK. At that time people were not always open about diagnoses and prognoses, pain and symptom control was poor. There was little bereavement care and the needs of the children in a family were ignored.”

Dr Elizabeth Hall MBE, co-founder of St Helena Hospice

1979 - A public meeting was held in Colchester Town Hall in July bringing together a Steering Committee of health and social care people with the finance and legal expertise needed to get the project off the ground. By December an appeal was launched for £250,000 to fund The Hospice.

1983 - Myland Hall was acquired in February and in November the Duchess of Norfolk visited for the ground-breaking ceremony as work began to develop the site, while the Steering Committee instigated the work of specialist nurses in the community.

1985 - The Hospice opened! We were proud to be able to support our first patients in our 15 beds.

1986 - The Hospice was officially opened in May by The Queen Mother.

1988 - Diana, Princess of Wales, officially opened The Joan Tomkins Centre in April - built to host our day therapies services, thanks to a generous donation from local businessman Robin Tomkins, in memory of his wife.

1993 – The innovative STARS programme (Supporting Talking Adjusting and Remembering Someone Special) began providing intensive bereavement support for young families.

1995 – The Education Centre was opened to share our expert knowledge and promote our philosophy of total support among health and social care professionals across North Essex.

2002 – The Tendring Centre opened in the centre of Clacton-on-Sea providing a wide range of day therapies and bereavement support services.

2007 – The Hospice was extended and refurbished.

2010 – The Joan Tomkins Centre was extended and modernised.

2011 – The Learning and Development Centre was extended and modernised.

2015 - St Helena celebrated 30 years of supporting our community; radio and television presenter Dermot O’Leary became patron; SinglePoint, a 24/7 telephone advice line and care coordination centre, was introduced, along with the My Care Choices Register which empowers people to plan ahead and share their choices.

2018 – With your continuing support we look to the future with a bold new identity and ambitions to extend our circle of care to achieve our goal of being here every step of the way for everyone who needs us, helping life go in the face of dying, death and bereavement.

Heritage stories: Early days
Anticipating the arrival of our first patient, after six years of planning, fundraising and building
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Heritage stories: Dr Elizabeth Hall
Dr E chaired the 1979 steering group was the first Medical Director
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Heritage stories: Mary Fairhead
Mary found the site for the new hospice and was part of the appeal committee
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Heritage stories: Allan Crabtree
Allan promoted the new St Helena Hospice in the community
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Heritage stories: Dr Peter Kennedy
Peter spoke at the 1979 public meeting alongside sister Deidre Allen
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Heritage stories: Lisa Brenchley
Lisa was the first patient to be admitted to St Helena Hospice - she was…
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Heritage stories: Sue O'Neill
Sue worked as a nurse on the day The Hospice opened and is currently matron
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Heritage stories: John Garbett
John worked as a nurse on the day The Hospice opened
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Heritage stories: Doreen Hill
Doreen worked as assistant cook on the day The Hospice opened
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Contact Information

To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.


To contact the St Helena Retail team, for enquiries about our shops, donation centre and house clearance service please telephone 01206 890 165.


24 hour advice: SinglePoint 01206 890 360

SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate an individual’s care with the hospice. SinglePoint also works alongside other healthcare services such as GPs, Community Nurses or Specialists.

The Hospice

To contact a patient at The Hospice please find the address and telephone number below. Phone calls can be made to patients at any time of the day or week. You can contact Inpatient Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, C04 9JU

Telephone: 01206 845 566

Hospice in the Home

You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

Colchester/Halstead team
Telephone: 01206 845 566

Tendring community team
Telephone: 01255 221 222

Day Therapies

You can contact the Joan Tomkins Centre (Colchester) Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

Telephone: 01206 848 163

Fax: 01206 752 245

You can contact the St Helena Tendring Centre (Clacton) Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01255 221 222

Tendring Centre Postcode for Sat Navs: CO15 1EU

Human Resources

The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Finance Team

To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Volunteer Services Team

The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, please phone the Marketing and Communications team directly on 01206 931 464

Patient Referrals

If you, or a member of your family has a life-limiting illness and would like to discuss whether St Helena care services can help, you can contact the SinglePoint telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01206 890 360

Bereavement Support

To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Learning and Development Centre

The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560

Service User Group

For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397

Facilities Hire Enquiries

01206 851560


To contact the Lottery team please call 0800 285 1390 or visit the website here, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

If you would like to write to or visit the Lottery team, the address is: Your Hospice Lottery Office Unit 6 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester CO4 9AS.

Comment, compliment or complaint

Feedback, comments and complaints about St Helena care and support services may be made verbally or in writing to: Director of Care, St Helena, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. To speak to a member of our team, call 01206 845 566