The Meath – main house, Godalming
Visit to The Meath Epilepsy Charity
I visited Meath Epilepsy Charity in Godalming on 15th October 2019, to assess a grant application for funding to provide a new physiotherapy assistant which would result in more physiotherapy sessions including extra hydrotherapy sessions.
I met Lucy Miguda, Trusts Manager and was given a full tour of the charity’s facilities including the original house (above) and Bradbury House (below), the new high dependent unit that we gave a grant to help build in 2014.
I met a number of the residents, including Dominic who was having a stand-up physiotherapy session.
It seemed to me that every area of the charity’s facilities was well used by clients.
The tour I was given was one of the best I have had during my 8 years of carrying out charity assessments.
Bradbury House - high dependent unit
History of the charity
The charity began in 1868 with the marriage of Lord Brabazon, the Earl of Meath, to Lady Jane Maitland, who was the sole heir of Scottish peer and decorated navy admiral, Lord Lauderdale.
After spending the first five years of their marriage at the Foreign Office, the couple decided to devote their “prodigious enthusiasm and energies to the consideration of social problems and the relief of human suffering”. Lady Meath, founded the ‘Ministering Children’s League’, an organisation that went on to establish homes across the world caring for destitute children.
Their motto “No day without a deed to crown it” said a great deal about her clear cut philosophy of keeping active and industrious to overcome personal circumstances. In a similar vein, she initiated the Brabazon Employment Society, which helped women in the many workhouses of the day to occupy their time.
It was through this Society that she met and became interested in people living with epilepsy.
While Lady Meath had many other interests in which she invested both time and money, including the churches in the East End of London and the slums of Dublin, Lord and Lady Meath also took the time to research further into the growing numbers of people being diagnosed with epilepsy.
Lady Meath purchased ‘Westbrook House’ (main picture), the historic property which now forms the centre of the charity’s site in Godalming, Surrey, as a home for girls and young women living with epilepsy. Opened in 1892 by the Duchess of Albany, the event was well attended by the local community, many of whom contributed generously to the newly established project.
Lord Meath built Godalming Railway Station to support the work of the newly established charity.
Today, the aim of The Meath Epilepsy Charity is to enhance the lives of people who have complex epilepsy and related disabilities, by ensuring they receive the support, expert care and encouragement required to build confidence, acquire new skills and maximise independence in their daily lives.
The Charity has 122 residents with another 45 people on their waiting lists. Many clients are transferred from children’s epilepsy charities, such as Young Epilepsy, when they become young adults.
With the Hospital Saturday Fund’s shared history with the Meath Epilepsy Charity, I was delighted to be updated with the work the charity is carrying out.
To find out more about The Meath Epilepsy Charity, please visit their