Waltham Forest Mayor, Councillor Chris Robbins CBE, visited Haven House Children’s Hospice to learn more about the important work being delivered to families living in the borough.

The hospice’s specialist care team supports families, both in the hospice, and in the community, when they are caring for a seriously ill child.

The Mayor was taken around the hospice by CEO, Mike Palfreman, and saw a play session in action and was able to meet parents in a relaxed atmosphere where they were able to share how Haven House supports their child and family and how vital the care and hospice services are.

Anna, mum to 13 -year-old Samuel said: “I’d be totally lost without the support of Haven House. They help in so many ways, not only with the care they give, but also peace of mind that your child is in a safe environment. I am struggling with Samuel, as he is growing bigger, and he doesn’t sleep through the night, it’s so difficult for me to be mobile during the day."

Another mum spoke to Councillor Robbins about the support Haven House gave to her family when she was having adaptions made at home for her son. The family were able to stay in the hospice’s family flat for eight weeks while the work was being done. She described Haven House as ‘her everything.’

The parents took the opportunity to speak to Councillor Robbins about the challenges they are faced with when looking after a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

Parents highlighted areas where they wish to see improvements, specifically to playground facilities and parking. Although many parks in Waltham Forest contain inclusive play equipment, they expressed concern that they may not all be easily wheelchair accessible, and that Haven House was one of the only places they could bring their children to enjoy a wheelchair swing and the outdoors.

Councillor Robbins said:

I was deeply moved by what I saw and heard today. The care and commitment of staff and volunteers here is frankly astounding and I know how vital the service is to parents whose children use Haven House. It has been a privilege to share time with everyone here this afternoon.
The time Councillor Robbins spent with families was particularly key and, though it became very passionate towards the end, I know they and we really appreciated his clear desire to listen. We would like to thank councillor Robbins for visiting Haven House and showing such an interest in our work.

Mike Palfreman, Haven House CEO