Havens help us
PUBLISHED: 12:54 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 February 2013
Inspired by a shared passion to help, Havens Hospices has blossomed into a much-loved Essex charity, which this month celebrates its 25th anniversary
HAVENS HOSPICES is famed throughout the county for the care and comfort it brings to Essex families and this year marks 25 years of this fantastic charity.
Incorporating Fair Havens Hospice and Little Havens Children's Hospice, this vision for hospice care in south Essex first became reality in 1983 when Fair Havens started providing specialist care to adults throughout the communities of Southend, Castle Point and Rochford living with life-threatening illnesses. In 1998, this service was expanded through Little Havens Children's Hospice.
In 25 years Fair Havens has cared for more than 18,000 patients and their families while Little Havens has cared for more than 1,000 children in the last ten years.
A passion for caring
Fair Havens was born out of an idea at Earls Hall Baptist Church in Westcliff. Founders Dr Mike Stuart, Rev Ian Coffey and Daphne Hall MBE all came from different backgrounds but all shared a passion for providing hospice care. Daphne explains: 'There were many hospices around at the time and there were plans in the pipeline for ones in Essex, so our idea was nothing new. But after visiting other hospices, we wanted to create a location that was professional, but informal with a sense of homeliness.
'We started a public fund and called it the Southend Christian Hospice Fund. When we saw 126 Chalkwell Avenue in Westcliff we just fell in love with it. It was just 18 months from the inception of the idea to when we took in the first patient.'
Today it costs the charity nearly £5 million each year to continue its unique and vital services with limited funding from the Government. All the love and care that Havens Hospices provides is free of charge.
To celebrate these two important landmarks, Fair Havens' 25th anniversary and Little Havens' 10th anniversary, this month sees a spectacular Gala Anniversary Ball at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on Saturday, June 14.
With its committed band of staff and invaluable support from local celebrities, the ball promises to also mark the beginning of a fruitful further 25 years.