Haven House Children's Hospice was first conceived in the early 1990s, as the brainchild of Sue Irwin, a registered nurse and health visitor, who with friends and colleagues founded the charity to provide care to life-limited children and their families at no cost to them.

Haven House has supported over 900 families, looking after children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. 

Like many community hospices at that time, the initial plan had been to raise enough funds locally to create a purpose-built children's hospice. However after several years of fundraising, Sue was alerted to the Mallinson Estate, on the borders of Essex and North East London. Through the support and dedication of Sue's friends and early Haven House supporters in 2000 we acquired a 99-year lease on The White House, a locally-listed former family home set in four acres of protected woodland.

We are incredibly grateful to our Life Presidents for their support during this time. 

The first service for children, our Toy Home Loan service, began in 2001 while the committee continued to fundraise to enable the building to be transformed into premises suitable for children with complex health needs.

The first child stayed with us in 2003.

Learn more about the history of the estate by reading A brief history of The White House & Mallinson Family (PDF 4.2mb).

The present

Today, Haven House has supported over 900 families, looking after children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Residential and community services extend across North and North East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire, including respite and end-of-life care.

In the hospice children benefit from play activities as well as day and overnight stays. Through the Holistic Care Centre, opened in September 2014, children can access a range of therapies, including music therapy, physiotherapy and therapeutic yoga.

Families can also take advantage of support groups for mums and dads and siblings (Buddies) as well as complementary therapies designed to reduce stress and anxiety.

In our grounds there is a fully accessible specialist play area and tranquil sensory garden surrounded by many acres of beautiful woodland.


Vision, Mission, Values

Vision

The best possible life for every baby, child and young person with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and their families, who live in our local communities.

Mission

To provide the highest quality palliative and holistic care services to babies, children and young people and their families in our local communities. Working in partnership we will deliver these services whenever and wherever our families need them.

Values

  • A Happy and safe place for all
  • Advocates of quality and excellence across all our services
  • Valuing our people
  • Engaging with, and respecting the diversity of, all our communities
  • The Needs of our children and families always come first

Read about our families' experiences of using Haven House services.


Our services

Referrals to our services are accepted based on ACT (now Together for Short Lives) 1-4 criteria and we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

To support families we rely on a number of good relationships with our statutory partners including the NHS and local authority commissioners; and in recent years, effort has been focused on developing awareness of the hospice in the local area to increase voluntary donations.

Through the generosity and support of individuals and businesses in the area, we are now in as strong a financial position as we have ever been. This allows us to be optimistic about the future and aspire to, and implement, significant investment in our services to provide more services for more life-limited and life-threatened children in our local communities.


Vision 2020

In October 2015 we launched our Vision 2020 - a better life setting out our goals for the next five years to support more children and families.