It will be 15 years this June that I began my journey at Haven House. In fact it was July 2003. Just before the doors were opened to our very first families. I joined the care team as a support worker as there was no social worker role at Haven House at that time so I applied for the job which I thought suited my skills.

I knew about The White House when it was owned by the Mallinson family. Every summer they would invite local people to enjoy the grounds and I took my children along to their annual garden party. We never set foot in the house but I fell in love with the beautiful environment. As you walk in to the hospice, it is breathtakingly beautiful, particularly early Spring with the bluebells. It had a lovely feel about it.

Once I joined I was keen to create a support service for the brothers and the sisters of the children who use the hospice. I was fortunate that the team supported me and we all knew the need was there. Brothers and sisters with a life-limited or life-threatened sibling really need the support and that’s where Buddies began, it was 2005 and it is still going very strong today. Last year we supported 353 children and young people across our hospice and these included activities for 54 of our Buddies.

As we’ve evolved I have found that I concentrate on a more therapeutic role, working one to one with children and supporting their families. I also provide training and emotional support for colleagues and other professionals as sometimes there are challenging times. It can even be challenging for me, but l still find it immensely rewarding. I have learned so much from the children and families, I still am learning, and I have met many inspirational people.

In the early days I ran the Buddies group with amazing volunteers and we were limited in resources which restricted how much we could help. But we have since grown into who we are today, an established children’s hospice. We are now able to expand our services and reach more children with a very wide variety of holistic care and therapies. It makes me really happy to see who we are today and I hope we continue to grow.

Read more of our team blogs and find out how to get involved with Haven House in our 15th birthday year by visiting our 'We are 15!' page.