Annabelle Thomas joined a line-up of stars on the green carpet at The Grand Connaught Rooms, Holborn, on Thursday evening for the Haven House Garden Gala.

It was a particularly special evening for Annabelle and her parents Michelle and Chris, who were there to represent the children and families of the hospice and who feature in the hospice’s new appeal film.

Three-year-old Annabelle has a rare genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1, a condition that affects her movement, eating and breathing. Haven House has been crucial in supporting her with physiotherapy, music therapy, yoga and care at home.

More than 350 guests attended the black-tie fundraiser, which raised an incredible £90,000 and were the first to view the moving film. The film highlights the vital role of hospice care and the support Haven House gives to families when they have no-where else to turn.

The glamourous fundraising event attracted a bevy of celebrities including the charity’s ambassadors and reality TV stars Billie and Greg Shepherd. Also, among the line-up were Gemma Collins, Susie Wells, Liam Gatsby and former West Ham footballer Marlon Harewood.
Hosting the event this year was TV presenter and Doctor Ranj Singh along with professional dancer and Strictly Come Dancing’s Jannette Manrara.

Doctor Ranj said:

I am proud and delighted to have been involved with Haven House’s Garden Gala this year. Haven House is a wonderful, cause and a lifeline to so many families. The amazing generosity by all the guests will go a long way to providing care for more children and families who need the hospice’s support.

This year’s Gala Evening was a celebration of the beautiful and historic grounds at Haven House. The hospice has a stunning arboretum and each table at the event was named after a tree found on site. Table decorations also featured flowers, foliage, bark and stones found in the hospice gardens and surrounding woodland.

We are so grateful to our wonderful guests at this year’s Garden Gala for their overwhelming support and generosity.

£90,000 is an incredible sum. This year our theme was Haven House’s gardens. This is because our beautiful grounds are therapeutic and provide another vital resource with their multiple play areas, and an overriding feeling of peace and calm. We are now turning our attention to replacing our accessible playground, creating a woodland walk and creating a Garden of Reflection.”
Mr Palfreman added: “There are so many people who have been involved in the organisation of this evening. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to each one of them on behalf of all of us at Haven House – their support is absolutely amazing and very much appreciated.

Mike Palfreman, CEO of Haven House 

A special mention and thank you to our sponsors Galliard Homes, Orbian Management and the Health Lottery. 

Watch our film about how we have helped mum, Michelle and Dad, Chris cope with Annabelle's condition.

Annabelle is three years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA Type 1). When Annabelle was only six months, mum Michelle, noticed that she stopped reaching and kicking her legs. After multiple trips to the doctors, Annabelle became severely ill and was admitted to hospital.