News & stories Stories Team blogs Time for Summer Having recently held an Open Gardens Launch event to enable the public to experience the hidden joys of Haven House Children's Hospice, Mike Palfreman, chief executive of the Woodford Green charity, is now inviting residents to open up their own gardens in June to help raise funds for the hospice. Haven House Children's Hospice is set within 18 acres of protected woodland next to Epping Forest, making it a perfect backdrop to enjoy a glorious summer's day. Our beautiful location is one of the reasons that Haven House is such a magical place for our children, families and staff. Having the opportunity to experience an outdoor environment is important for our children as it can help make for an inclusive childhood and improve quality of life. Our sensory garden, located behind the Holistic Care Centre, is a haven for wildlife, with plants and flowers designed to attract insects for wildlife hunts and games. It also has a water feature, loungers and sensory equipment designed to make music. Everything in the garden is designed to appeal to the five senses and we encourage our children to touch and feel the natural world around them. This area is also used by families staying with us in our family flat as it is tranquil, peaceful and private. Our playground, situated on the main lawn, has a wheelchair-accessible pirate ship, a wheelchair swing, a sunken trampoline, a basket swing and lawn games. The surrounding area is fully accessible with an all-weather surface, which ensures children can have the benefits of fresh air and fun throughout the year. Maintaining our grounds and gardens is a very big job and requires a continuous army of volunteers. Their commendable time and energy meant that last year we were lucky enough to receive a gold medal in the small garden category of the London Hospices Garden Awards. During our Open Gardens Launch, we were able to showcase to the public more of what makes Haven House so special to our community. And now that we have proudly presented our own gardens, we are handing the mantle over to you, as we invite green-fingered members of the local community to open up their own gardens and show them off to the public on 25 June. Do you have a floral display you are particularly proud? Why not share the view with others and help support the work of your local children's hospice? Has your vegetable patch produced a surplus of carrots? Why not sell a few of those and help us continue to help local life-limited children? We know there are plenty of amazing gardeners out there and we hope they will enjoy sharing the fruits of their labour for a good cause. Local residents are invited to open their gardens to the public on 25 June in support of Haven House Children's Hospice. Guests will have the opportunity to buy a £5 day ticket to all open gardens or to pay at the entrance to each. For more information call 020 8506 3637.