With just weeks to go until the return of our fabulous Sparkle Walk, we meet some of the incredible people taking on the 10km route in support of Haven House. 

Participants include supporters from the local community; families cared for by Haven House; businesses; our staff and volunteers.

#TeamLiv will be stepping out in pink to walk for Olivia Little, one of the 400 children cared for by Haven House. The team made up of Olivia’s mum, her nannies, aunties, cousins, and friends are regular participants of the walk, and will be donning their trainers and glitter for a third year.  

Olivia, 14, was born with a very rare genetic condition causing complex learning and physical disabilities and has been using Haven House for the past six years. She has been supported by several hospice therapies including music, yoga and physio.

Mum Natasha, of Woodford Green, said: “I love how the Sparkle Walk brings the community together to raise vital funds for Haven House, whilst having a good time with your friends and family.

“I'm walking because we appreciate everything that Haven House does for us so much. This is our way of raising money for the hospice and to say a BIG THANK YOU for all they do for Olivia and us as a family. 

“We look forward to it each year…especially the Prosecco in the Cuckfield at the end! We've really missed it the past couple of years and are so happy the event is back on the fundraising calendar. Good luck to everyone taking part.” 

Harvey’s Angels will be walking in memory of Harvey Howe who died when he was 16 years old. The Sparkle Walk will mark a special milestone for this group of friends as Harvey would have been 21 this September. Harvey was born with a very rare genetic disorder (Glycogen storage disease type 4). It affected his liver and muscles causing weakness, fatigue and muscle loss. Slowly over the years Harvey deteriorated but still had a normal as possible life. In 2018, sadly it became too much for his heart.

Mum Lorraine, 55, explained: “Harvey’s wish was to be at home for his end-of-life care. This choice was made possible because of Haven House. I can’t thank Haven House enough for helping us to have Harvey at home for the last remaining five weeks of his life where we were able to have special times together. The outreach team were amazing and gave me the courage and confidence at such a devastating time to nurse my son. I’m forever grateful.

“For me, signing up to the sparkle walk is hoping other families can have the same choice as Harvey did. Haven House is such an invaluable cause. Until you need a hospice yourself you won’t realise just how important it is.”

The Red Hot Chilli Steppers (we love the name!) are one of our largest groups to take on the Sparkle Walk. The 16 pink-clad participants are all friends from the local area and are walking to support and raise money for their local children’s hospice. Speaking on behalf of the group Anita Thraves said: “We are a large group of friends, mothers and daughters, who all want to raise money for this wonderful charity. I regularly donate clothes to the Haven House shop in Loughton, a great store full of friendly people. Our group name is a bit of fun.”

The Haven House team made up of staff from around the hospice, including our nurses, human resources team, and chief executive, will be walking together for the hundreds of families in our care. Hospice Nurse Lisa, who has worked at Haven House for four years, said: “We only walk alongside our children, young people and families for part of their journey. I want to complete the Sparkle walk in admiration for the strength, love and resilience they show every day!”

And finally…..our wonderful ambassadors and reality TV stars Billie and Greg Shepherd. The couple completed the walk back in 2019 shortly after their wedding. Greg made a surprise entrance by dressing up as the dashing bride ‘Billie’. The couple’s support always comes with such warmth and empathy and is appreciated by everyone at Haven House. Billie and Greg will once again be seeing walkers off at the start line and will be supporting walkers along route. We can’t wait to see what Greg has up his sleeve this year!

There is still time to register for the Sparkle Walk on Friday 2 September. Whether you walk with family, friends or alone your support will make a vital difference to the hundreds of children and families we care for. The walk starts at 6.30pm in Wanstead and is a 10km route around the local area, finishing at the Cuckfield Pub.

Register now

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