News & stories News Driving through a Winter Wonderland The seriously ill children and families we support had a festive boost on Saturday at a drive-through Christmas grotto. Christmas is such a special time for Haven House but the pandemic this year meant that we had to put a slight twist on the annual family party and Santa’s grotto. Families were welcomed to a COVID-safe wonderland drive-through at our hospice– where they were greeted in the safety of their cars by the man himself, his elf helpers and of course snow! And for an added bit of sparkle – the children and their siblings were all treated to a gift which had kindly been bought by England captain Harry Kane. Harry grew up near to the hospice and knows well the vital lifeline the hospice provides to local families. Director of Care at Haven House Eileen White said: “Time spent as a family is precious, more so at Christmas, and even more so when a child, is seriously ill or has a life-threatening condition. We knew Christmas wouldn't be the same this year due to the pandemic, and as so many of the children we support are vulnerable, they wouldn't be able to see Santa in person. As a team we wanted to go above and beyond to still offer something special to our families and to give them the greatest gift of all - time together and happy memories. We were pleased we were able to offer this alternative during this time and still bring the spirit of Christmas to families. Eileen, Director of CareLike many charities - the pandemic has had a significant impact on fundraising for services at Haven House. But, with the help of community volunteers, gift donations and a bit of creativity the hospice was able to keep up its Christmas tradition. Mum Michelle, whose 4-year-old daughter Annabelle, receives support from the hospice, said: “Annabelle had a wonderful surprise today as we took her to the Haven House drive through Santa. So many children may miss out this year and we couldn’t thank them more for doing amazing things like this…she loves her cuddly toy too…thank you.” Mum-of-four Menaz added: “Thank you to all the wonderful staff at Haven House for putting a smile on all my children’s faces. They were thrilled with their Santa presents. You did so well choosing for Isma. She loves her rattles. They are the perfect size and weight for her motor skills. Thank you for adding the spark to our Christmas.” Haven House would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Harry and the Kane family for donating all the toys that really brought a smile to our children and to our corporate partners Galliard Homes, who helped transform our grounds into a safe wonderland for our families to enjoy. We'd also like to thank our generous community for their donations of toys, gifts and cakes. We couldn't do what we do without you. Send a star and a Christmas message to the families and children we care for and let them know you are thinking of them.