We hold a regular Dads’ Group where dads are able to share there experiences and challenges. Our dads meet at the hospice regularly; however, during the current Covid restrictions, they are holding video call sessions every second Sunday of the month. The online chats have been a useful way for dads to share their worries, thoughts and information.

Watch our film about Haven House and the care and support we give to families.

We are all working hard with our personal struggles and keeping a practical finger on our families, dad's need to talk too. Haven House recognises this and are working closely to talk to and help dads who could be struggling emotionally.

The group has helped to overcome obstacles by talking to others who are in, or have gone through similar circumstances and understand how things are for me as a parent. 

Here's how Aasam, Aiza's dad, feels about his time in lockdown caring for Aiza.

What has lockdown meant to Aiza so far.

Aiza, our 13-year-old daughter has been in isolation for just over three months now, and we have certainly felt and detected an air of confusion in her character. Due to her vulnerability, she has not been able to go to school, or out for social activities such as to the cinema or even just for a stroll around the shopping centre. She has not been able to visit her grandparents and cousins. These are just some of the things that have brought a significant change and disruption to her normal routine.

In the first weeks her sleep patterns were disturbed - she was awake for most of the night, and asleep for most of the day – some would say that is just how teenagers are, but not Aiza, she is usually sleeps though the night. This has been tough on us as parents and has also proved challenging in terms of her home schooling.

In early March, after 20 years, I went back to Pakistan for two weeks, and due to the pandemic had to remain there for an additional two and a half weeks. During this time Haven House stepped in to keep a constant check on Aiza and mum Mariam, ensuring that both were well and had all the essential supplies they needed.

Haven House has continued to support us during this distressing time offering virtual music therapy sessions and some much-needed respite care. We decided to book Aiza into Haven House for a few nights stay. We believe a change of scene and change of people will do her some good and give us as parents some rest.

Party time at Haven House Childrens HospiceHaven House has introduced a virtual Dad’s Group meeting during this period of lockdown. Even though we have low attendance I am finding it extremely useful for my wellbeing and I really do encourage others to join us. The group is very relaxed and informal.

I have noticed that we are both able to spend more time with Aiza since we are all at home more, however we are having to work much harder to get a smile out of her. We are also trying to do more with her to keep her entertained - but sometimes she just rolls her eyes and ignores us – I suppose that’s what you would expect from an early teenager. 

The strange thing is that, over this time, in some way I feel that I have got to know Aiza better.

If you're child uses Haven House services please consider joining our Dads' Group meetings please contact:

Community and Wellbeing Team 
020 3096 5815