2023 marks our 20th anniversary. Throughout the year we will be reflecting on our history, looking to our future, and thanking you all for your support that makes our care possible.

Read our special edition 20th birthday newsletter (1,738 KB)

Throughout the last two decades, Haven House has been dedicated to caring for thousands of babies, children, and young people in our community with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness and extending this support to the people close to them.

A brief history

Haven House was first conceived in the early 1990s, as the brainchild of Sue Irwin, a registered nurse and health visitor, who with friends and colleagues founded the charity to provide care to seriously ill children and their families at no cost to them. Read more about the history of Haven House. 

Like many community hospices at that time, the initial plan had been to raise enough funds locally to create a purpose-built children's hospice. However, after several years of fundraising, Sue was alerted to the Mallinson Estate, on the borders of Essex and Northeast London. Through the support and dedication of Sue's friends and early Haven House supporters in 2000 the hospice acquired a 99-year lease on The White House, a locally listed former family home set in four acres of protected woodland.

From first supporting families with our Toy Home Loan service, to opening the inhouse bedrooms and then holistic care centre, we remain dedicated to our mission of providing the highest quality palliative and holistic care services to babies, children and young people and their families where and when they choose.

Residential and community services extend across Northeast London, West Essex and Northeast Hertfordshire including respite and end-of-life care. In the hospice children benefit from play activities as well as day and overnight stays. Children can access a range of therapies, including music, physiotherapy and therapeutic yoga and there are support groups for mums, dads and siblings. The hospice team also care for families in the comfort of their homes.

Long standing support from our community

Sian Wicks, Chief Executive at Haven House, said: “As we celebrate Haven House’s 20th year, it is impossible to mark such a milestone without recognising the support from our local community. I am forever grateful for the magnificent support we receive – without you, our supporters, we simply would not exist. Thank you.

"2023 will be a real milestone in our history, a time of reflection but also an opportunity to look towards our future and continue with our ambitious strategy - to continue to develop outstanding care for the whole of our community and to be at the forefront of innovative specialist palliative care. Together we can continue to make extraordinary memories to be cherished for the next 20 years and beyond."

The team at Haven House will be sharing key moments and memories from the past 20 years and inviting the community to get involved throughout the year to celebrate.

The next three years - Extraordinary in an ordinary day

Delivering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary Day,  will be our road map for the next three years, setting out how we will achieve more for children and families at Haven House.

The strategic plan will support the hospice to deliver our vision of the best quality care for extraordinary children and their families when and where they choose. The plan is underpinned by a series of objectives around enabling choice, expanding collaboration, and increasing our reach.

How we celebrated:

  • A special 20th Big Birthday Ball ball in London
  • Our special edition 20th anniversary newsletter
  • Planting a time capsule for the future
  • Open Gardens at Haven House
  • A summer party in our beautiful grounds
  • Special tea party celebrations and fundraising
  • New graphics to mark 20 years in our Café