The past

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 supports local children and families, from birth, who are seriously ill and 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.

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 White House A brief history of The White House & Mallinson Family (PDF 4.2mb).

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

The present

Today, Haven House has supported hundreds of families, looking after children and young people, from birth, who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

In- house and outreach services extend across North and North East London, West Essex 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, 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 tranquil sensory garden surrounded by many acres of beautiful woodland.