Our day shift staff arrive ready to start the day at 7.45am. They have a handover meeting with the night staff to review the children who have stayed at Haven House overnight and then plan the care of the children for the day ahead. 

Some children like to have a lie-in, and others have to be up and ready to go to school - no two days are the same!

For the children going to school, we make sure they are up, washed and dressed, have had their breakfast and their school bags are packed and ready for the school bus that arrives to collect them between 8.00am and 8.30am. 

The children who do not go to school get to wake up when they usually do at home, and can spend a bit more time having a wash, getting dressed and having their breakfast. Some children can feed themselves, others need help or may be fed via a tube. We always ensure that each child is fed in the way that is safest for them under the guidance of their family and medical team.

Then we tidy up all the bedrooms, change the children’s bedding and freshen up their room ready for them to use later on in the evening.

Play time 

Between 9.00am and 11.00am we welcome children who will be with us for day care. If it’s the child’s first day with us, we spend time with their parents finding out more about their likes and dislikes so we can give them the best possible experience. We also learn about the child’s medical needs in detail so that we will be able to give the child the specialist care they will need.

We have a huge range of play equipment and facilities at Haven House, so that every child, irrespective of their condition, can have a brilliant stay with us.

Outside we have our large garden with play equipment, trampolines and a wheelchair-friendly pirate ship. Indoors, we have an amazing multi-sensory room, an arts and crafts room and a playroom full of toys that are designed for children of different abilities.

Lunchtime is at about 12.30pm. We prepare a meal suitable for each child and if we can, gather everyone in our bright spacious conservatory to have their lunch.

Each afternoon we have planned activities for the children, which could be story time, a music therapy session or the children might paint a picture or do some baking – cupcakes are always a favourite! If the weather’s fine we’ll go out for a walk – maybe just to the library or to the park to feed the ducks.

During the school holidays there is always a big timetable of activities planned based around the multi-faith festival calendar and the KS1 curriculum.

Mid afternoon activities

Between 2.00pm and 4.00pm in the afternoon we welcome the children who will be staying with us that night. All their prescriptions will have been organised in advance so we know we should have all the medicines the children will need during their stay. We ensure their rooms are ready for them and if the children want to they can bring their own duvet and pillow with them so they feel more at home. They can also bring their favourite toy, posters and music in as well if they wish – whatever they want to make their stay happy and comfortable.

At about 4.00pm the children who went to school in the morning arrive back to Haven House on the school bus. Like all children, they may want to have a snack and a drink after school and relax in the interactive sensory room or in front of a film in the lounge. 

Dinner time in the evening is at about 6.00pm after which everyone goes upstairs for bath time.

Bath time is a favourite time for many of the children who come to us. We have a wonderful spa bathroom and bath time can be themed to suit the child, anything from lively music and lighting inside the bath, to a calm relaxing time with the lights dimmed and soft classical music playing.

Night time

The children and young people who stay with us can be aged from just a few days old right up to 19 years old. So, we don’t have fixed bedtimes or no ‘lights out’. The children go to bed in their own private rooms whenever is right for them. If they wish to, parents can stay in our fully equipped family flat as well. 

Whilst the children sleep, the nursing continues. Each child is monitored every 15 minutes to make sure they’re comfortable and safe. Nights can be as busy as days at Haven House, with many children requiring assistance with feeding, breathing or managing their seizures.

For the parents, this can often be the biggest benefit as they can get a good night’s sleep knowing that their child is being properly looked after.

And then, as the sun comes up, another day at Haven House begins.


To discuss a referral to the hospice please contact:

Abi Warren
Clinical Nurse Manager

Debbie Dawes
Clinical Nurse Manager

020 8505 5524 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm)
07872 198285 (out-of-hours mobile)