Our parents tell us that respite care at Haven House has saved their life. By your child staying with us during the day or overnight, not only will you get a break from caring 24 hours a day, your child will also have lots of fun with us. 

A typical day at Haven House

7.45am
The day begins. Our day shift staff arrive and have a handover meeting with the night staff. They review the children who have stayed overnight and plan the care for the day ahead.

8.15am
Breakfast. All the children who have stayed with us come down for breakfast, along with any family members who have also been with us. Some children can feed themselves, others need help or may even be fed via a tube. But, we will always gather everyone together to share the morning meal.

8.30am
Some of the children we care for attend school and so we’ll get them ready, make sure they’ve got everything they need for the day and see them safely off on the school bus. Then, we go round the bedrooms, change the children’s bedding and freshen up their room – just like in a hotel.

10.00am
This is when we welcome the children who will be with us for day care. If it’s the child’s first day with us we’ll spend time with their parents finding out their likes and dislikes so we can give them the best possible experience. We’ll also learn about the child’s medical needs in detail so that we’ll be able to give the child the specialist care they’ll need. We’ll take the family on a tour so they can know where everything is and can find their own way about.

10:30am
Playtime. We have a huge range of play equipment and facilities at Haven House so that every child, irrespective of their condition, can have a brilliant stay with us. Outside we have our large garden with play equipment, trampolines and a wheelchair-friendly pirate ship. Indoors, we have an amazing multi-sensory room, an arts and crafts room and a playroom full of toys that are designed for children of different abilities.

Some children need frequent medication, as many as 10 different medicines each day, either orally or by a tube. But, because our staff are fully trained paediatric nurses, the children can carry on playing and enjoying themselves while their medicines are being administered – at Haven House they don’t have to stop being a child and become a patient. This is the unique benefit that Haven House brings to the children we care for.

12.30pm
Lunchtime. We’ll prepare a meal suitable for each child and gather everyone in our bright spacious conservatory.

1.30pm
Afternoon activities. Each day there is a timetable of activities planned (based around a multi-faith festival calendar and the KS1 curriculum). This could be a music therapy session or the children might paint a picture or do some baking – cupcakes are always a favourite! If the weather’s fine we’ll go out for a walk – maybe just to the library or to the park to feed the ducks. Being able to go out can often be a rare treat for the children we see, so these trips are always really popular.

2.00 - 4.00pm
During the afternoon we welcome the children who will be staying with us that night. We’ll have organised their prescriptions in advance so we know we’ll have all the medicines they’ll need during their stay. We’ll get their room ready; most often the child will bring their own duvet and pillow with them so they feel more at home. They can also bring their favourite toys or posters in as well if they wish – whatever they want to make their stay happy and comfortable.

4.00pm
The children return back from school on the school bus. Like all children, they want to get changed out of their uniform, have a snack and a drink and or relax in the interactive sensory room. 

6.00pm
Dinnertime.

6.30pm
Bathtime! This is a favourite time for many of the children who come to us. We have a wonderful spa bathroom and bathtime can be themed to suit the child, anything from lively music and lighting inside the bath, to a calm relaxing time with the lights dimmed and soft classical music playing. Often, children cannot have a ‘proper’ bath at home because the bath or bathroom is not suitable, so this is a really something to look forward to.

7.00pm
Bedtime. The children and young people who stay with us can be aged from just a few days right up to 19 years old. So, we don’t have fixed bedtimes, no ‘lights out’: the children just go to bed in their own private rooms whenever is right for them. Their parents can stay as well, in our fully equipped family flat.

Night time
While the children sleep, the nursing continues. Each child is monitored every 15 minutes to make sure they’re comfortable and safe. Nights can be as busy as days at Haven House, with many children requiring assistance with feeding, breathing or managing their seizures. For the parents, this can often be the biggest benefit – being able to get a good night’s sleep knowing that their child is being properly looked after. And then, as the sun comes up, another day at Haven House begins.


To discuss a referral to The White House services please contact:

Abi Warren
Clinical Nurse Manager

Debbie Dawes
Clinical Nurse Manager

020 8506 5524 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm)
07872 198285 (out-of-hours mobile)

For more information about our referral criteria please visit our Refer a Child section.