Sue Irwin (1937-2008) was a woman of passion and vision. She realised a dream on behalf of many hundreds of families of children with life-limiting conditions when she founded Haven House Children's Hospice.

Sue had a wide range of experience working with children; she was a registered general nurse, a registered midwife and a health visitor. It was while she was working as a health visitor in Dagenham in the early 1990s that she became aware of the need for a local children's hospice.

In particular she worked closely with a young boy, Gary, who had severe disabilities. Sue recognised that he and his mother needed respite from the rigorous demands of care that were placed on them. There was nowhere close to home that could offer this kind of support.

Sue, a committed Christian and a woman of faith, prayed about her concerns. The more she prayed, the more she realised that God was calling her to set up a provision to care for sick children and their families in our local area.

With passion and commitment, Sue pursued a dream to provide an environment that could offer dignity and care to both children and young people and their families.

She realised the isolation that resulted from caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and sought to provide a place of beauty and tranquillity that could offer professional support for all the family.

In January 1999, Sue suffered two severe strokes which made the fulfilment of her vision even more challenging but she was not deterred. Sue was able to see Haven House emerge as a place of excellence serving children in North and North East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire.

Haven House remains indebted to her and immensely grateful for the love and care that she showed right up until her final days.

Sue's husband, John, her three sons, Matthew, Marc and Ben and their families remain stalwart supporters of all that the hospice continues to do.

Read more about the Haven House story.