Ian Sparks OBE, who stood down as Chair of Haven House Children's Hospice last year, died peacefully at the weekend aged 70.

Ian, a Woodford Green resident for many years, had spent much of his professional life, working to improve the lives of children and families; with a long career in children’s services, which included roles at Barnardo’s and 16 years at the helm of The Children’s Society. He also used his vast expertise to help to build children’s services in Eastern Europe after he retired in 2002.

Following his retirement, Ian was also keen to bring his years of professional experience to a local charity. He became a trustee of Haven House and in 2005 he was made Chair, he even had a spell as a trouble-shooting Chief Executive for the charity.

Mike Palfreman, current Chief Executive of Haven House said of Ian; ‘An extraordinarily wise and good man who has taught me so much, I will be one of many who will miss him hugely.’

Mike continues; ‘Ian did so much to improve the lives of children and families both nationally and internationally and in the latter years of his career, right here in Woodford Green, we were very lucky to have him on board.  On behalf of everyone at Haven House, we would like to offer our condolences to his family.’

Ian, who died from pancreatic cancer, stood down from his position at the hospice before his diagnosis. He is survived by wife Eunice, a daughter and two grandchildren.