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.

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

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.

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.

In partnership with our staff, trustees and service users we have refreshed our core values and behaviours over the past year. This forms the framework for how we deliver our services.

By making a personal commitment to live by these values every day, as an organisation we can ensure our service continues to meet and exceed the expectations of all our service users.

Recognising that everyone is an individual and treating others as would expect to be treated

Creating a positive learning environment and doing everything to ensure our services and environment are as safe as possible

Showing warmth and empathy in the most difficult of circumstances by creating an environment where our children and families can create lasting memories

Acting with integrity and honestly, striving for excellence and being accountable for our actions

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 good 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.