Like many people I never thought I could or would work in a children’s hospice, wrongly assuming it would be too depressing and scary, but when the position came up for Director of HR at Haven House, I made the leap from working in the City to the charity sector and never looked back. My role is about making sure every person who works, volunteers and uses our hospice feels supported and that as an organisation we have everything that we need to function safely and effectively.  

One of our biggest issues we face is challenging the public’s perception of children’s hospices. A survey last year by Together for Short Lives found negatives words associated with children’s hospices include “pain”, “suffering”, “tragic and “distressing”. Negative perceptions mean families who could benefit from our services may be too afraid to ask for help - and members of the public who either would like to work, volunteer or even fundraise for us might just feel a children’s hospice isn’t for them.  

Until I started working at Haven House, I too had reservations about working in a hospice, but one of the things I quickly realised is that a children’s hospice isn’t the place that you think it is. Haven House is such a happy and fun place to work. Our charity is set in magnificent grounds in Woodford Green, on the border between London and Essex, but conveniently close to the Central Line and key road routes. Giving families whose children have life-limiting conditions short breaks through respite care is the main service we provide.

As part of Vision 2020, our five-year organisational strategy, we want to increase the number of children we support to 500 per year by 2020, but this can only happen if we continue to recruit into expanding areas of the charity such as Fundraising and also Care where we have ongoing recruitment needs for Band 5 nurses.

I am so proud to work for an organisation where each year we are significantly above the charity index for staff satisfaction. This year we have been recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the best not-for-profit employers in the UK. If you want to find out more about why Haven House is such a fantastic and rewarding place to work, please do visit the Team Blogs section of our website. Here you can read blogs from staff such as our Volunteer Development Manager, Andrea Thorogood, who “absolutely loves” her role of looking after all of our incredible volunteers, and also nurse Aisling Kilbane who says:

Once I took a deep breath and walked through the door at Haven House, I have never turned back. Working here has made me a better nurse.

Please visit our vacancies page to view our current opportunities and find out more about our staff benefits.