My lovely Mum-in-Law, Sue, was working as a Health visitor in the early 90s when she saw a desperate need in her local area to provide care to life-limited children and their families at no cost to them.

Haven House began life from her spare bedroom at home, and from those small beginnings they have now supported hundreds of families, looking after babies, children and young people. Residential and community services now extend across North and North East London, West Essex including respite and end-of-life care.

In the hospice children benefit from play activities as well as day and overnight stays. Through the Holistic Care Centre, children can access a range of therapies, including music therapy, physiotherapy and therapeutic yoga. Families can also take advantage of support groups for mums and dads and siblings (Buddies) as well as complementary therapies designed to reduce stress and anxiety.

Haven House needs to raise £4.4 million each year to be able to continue to care for children and families. Of this only around 19% is funded by the NHS or local authorities. Many of their usual fundraising activities have been affected by the pandemic, so this money is needed more than ever.

I ran the Virtual London Marathon for Haven House last year and training through the heat of the summer, to running through floods on the day made it a real challenge. I'm more nervous this year as I know there will be blood, sweat, and tears (loads of tears!) to get to that finish line, but I'm doing this for such an amazing cause and that keeps me going!

I am so grateful for anything you can afford to donate. It really does all make such a difference. Donating is easy, quick and secure and by donating below, 100% of your money goes directly to Haven House.

Ellie Irwin