Mary Blewett, from South Weald, Essex, has been volunteering at Haven House since January 2001. She is one of our longest-serving volunteers and was among just a handful of people to help our founder, Sue Irwin, turn the vision of a children’s hospice for North East London and West Essex into a reality.

Mary first became aware of Sue’s vision via friends at All Saints Church in Woodford Green. Over the past 16 years Mary has held a variety of different volunteering roles and her unwavering commitment to Haven House has been incredible. She volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday for a full day all year round - without fail - except for holidays.

Mary says: “I feel so privileged to have been involved with Haven House almost from its conception with founder Sue Irwin. You couldn’t fail to be inspired by her passionate dream and ultimate fulfilment to create a happy and welcoming hospice for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions - a place which is just as important for their parents and siblings too.”

After joining Haven House Mary’s first role was processing gift aid - a task which she still performs with joy and enthusiasm to this day. In her early days of volunteering, Mary assisted with bucket collections, delivered newsletters, manned the reception desk, and even undertook fundraising runs. She was instrumental in developing our first links with supporters in our community and volunteered at countless Haven House events.

Mary’s professional background in financial administration has made her an exceptionally skilled and dependable volunteer. Mary is a stalwart part of Haven House’s finance team and with excellent attention to detail she is very adaptable and flexible. She is incredibly diligent in her work and is a role model for members of staff who often come to her for support and advice.

Mary cares deeply about Haven House because it’s long been a key part of her life. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to our history so much so that she collated the names of more than 100 notable public figures who have planted trees in our arboretum. She has also recently helped our marketing team with our Legacy Open Day sharing memories and photos of her long service at Haven House.

Mary says: “I have been blessed to have shared this journey with so many wonderful friends past and present who have helped to achieve Sue Irwin’s remarkable goal and I hope to continue to do so for many more years to come.”

If you have been inspired by Mary why not become a Haven House volunteer?