Ten-year-old Callum has been accessing the support of Haven House since 2009 and is a lovely little boy with a big smile and a close and loving family around him.

But life is far from easy for Callum and his family, as he is living with a number of devastating health issues, including Cerebral Palsy, severe Epilepsy, developmental global delay and visual impairment.

Callum uses a wheelchair and needs 24-hour care, experiencing seizures and spasms as a result of his condition.

Mum Patricia and dad Justin, look after Callum at their home in Woodford Green, Essex. Looking after Callum is intensive, given that his health needs are so complex and the family use the additional support of Haven House when they need to.

Patricia explains:

When the word hospice was first mentioned to me, I panicked, I thought they were telling me that this was the end. It was Callum’s dad, Justin, who encouraged me to visit the hospice and immediately my fears started to disappear. It’s a bright, happy place and Callum loves it there, particularly the music therapy sessions. In fact he really misses it when he comes home. It’s also a place that I can go to when I need help.

Getting advice and support from the wonderful staff and nurses also really helps, particularly the epilepsy expert parent training sessions. But it’s not just the practical support that helps – the coffee mornings are a real lifeline. I can talk to other mums who are in the same boat as me, knowing that Callum is having a lovely time. Having a break from looking after Callum also allows me to concentrate on my daughters. They are much older than Callum, but they still need their mum and that’s what Haven House offers me – the chance to be a normal mum.