How we are supporting our families during this crisis Olivia, 12, was born with a very rare genetic condition causing complex learning and physical disabilities. On March 10 she underwent bilateral knee surgery to help prevent the further deterioration of her joints. This was just before all non-essential services were stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of this, all of Olivia’s post-operation hospital appointments and her community physiotherapy sessions were cancelled. Mum Natasha said: This was an extremely worrying time for our family and it was at this point that we called upon Haven House for their help and support. Haven House has been essential in providing us with emergency physiotherapy and they have also given us online support to care for Olivia’s wounds. This help has been unbelievable to us as a family and we don’t know what we would do without it. Olivia has been using Haven House for the past six years and has been supported by a number of hospice therapies including music, yoga and physio. The family have also benefitted from respite care. Five-year-old Isma was born with Ventriculomegaly, a condition resulting in the brain failing to develop and caused by a lack of oxygen. She is unable to walk, talk and has a visual impairment. Isma has three siblings and her family have found the past weeks particularly challenging as they have moved home whilst also being in quarantine. Haven House has been there to provide respite care. Isma spent several days at the hospice so her parents could get their new home ready for her. Mum Menaz said: For us moving home was supposed to be an exciting time, especially for Isma as we finally have the space adapted for her needs. However, moving homes with a child who has such complex needs has proven to be quite a challenging task, especially as we have moved boroughs. It was never going to be a seamless transition but with the current global pandemic we found ourselves completely at a loss. Her care package has not been reinstated. Referrals have been delayed. Equipment has been put on hold. Appointments have been cancelled. Haven House could not have come at a better time to save the day. They are working so hard and professionally to help families through this crisis. They have put tight measures in place for our childrens’ safety and at a worrying time like this it is so reassuring to know that Isma is in a safe place. Thanks to the respite that they have offered I could finally concentrate and work towards ensuring that things were in place for Isma to be comfortable in her new home.