In the true spirit of autumn and all things Halloween, Haven House hosted an extravaganza of pumpkin themed activities this October. 

Siblings of children cared for by Haven House visited Hatters Farm in Bishops Stortford for some fang-tastic pumpkin picking. They climbed the straw bale mountain, fired the pumpkin cannon and found their way through a very muddy maze. The group enjoyed looking at themselves in the magic mirrors in the Monster House and playing the piano - which magically played itself! 

Mum Vicky said: “My son has loved every sibling event he's been to. The fact he is happy to be there without one of his parents present is quite a big deal so he must feel comfortable. From our perspective he is usually always tagging along to appointments, the hospital, or therapies for his brother, this is something that makes him feel like the "special" one."

For our younger siblings we hosted a fun day in our beautiful grounds. Children enjoyed a pumpkin hunt through the trees, facepainting and sensory stories from a creative storyteller. We had several spooky craft activities set up for children to enjoy, which of course included decorating their own pumpkin using stickers, gems and feathers. Each child took home a Halloween party bag full of goodies and toys.

The aim of our Buddies events is that everyone has fun, makes friends and has the experience to try new opportunities. We certainly achieved this at Hatters Farm with the bonus of mud! We know from experience that engaging children in creative activities can allow them to express and process their thoughts, feelings and emotions in ways that go beyond words in a safe and supportive space. Our sibling activities are an opportunity to help children to see that they are not alone.

Paula Scott, our Buddies Event Coordinator.

Elsewhere at Haven House we held our Chasing Pumpkins run and Pumpkin Plod on Saturday 28 October. It was a brilliant day with more than 250 supporters on the hospice grounds celebrating the Halloween season raising £12,000 so far.

Thank you to everyone who either ran through the muddy forest or plodded through in their Halloween dress up to look for goodies! After the trail our plodders returned to the hospice to pick up their medal and enjoy cakes, treats and hot chocolate

We could not host these events without our fantastic volunteers and the support of so many people in our community.