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Project information

Making Every Day Count for life-limited children

The project will provide respite break for life-limited children and families, adding quality to their lives during their time at Little Havens Children's Hospice. The hospice specialist nurses will care for their medical requirements, as well as spiritual, emotional, educational and social need

January 2012 - December 2012

Charity information: Little Havens Hospice

Little Havens Hospice logo
  • Need


    Families with a life-limited child need support. If there is no cure the focus switches from curative to palliative care-an area which is already heavily under resourced in the healthcare sector. Families don’t know where to turn once they have been given the devastating news that their child will die whether that’s in a matter of months or years. Often they are already under a huge emotional, physical and financial burden which can detract from spending quality time with their child.


    Little Havens is the only place in Essex that can offer specialist palliative care-for free-to make a child comfortable throughout their illness, and care for the whole family from the point of diagnosis to a child’s death and beyond. We will provide an environment that is caring, supportive and welcoming to ensure they are making the most of every moment with their child. We will focus on enhancing the child’s quality of life, relieving pain and creating special memories for the family.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Ensure the child and family receives continuity of care from the point of referral to Little Havens


    » Multi-disciplinary team supported by doctors assess child’s holistic needs before admission and create individualised Care Plan
    » Regular team meetings and Annual Reviews to reassess child’s needs
    » Family Support and Chaplaincy Team will offer necessary support as requested
    » Family assigned Key Worker for continuity of communication

    What success will look like

    Success will be that a family/child has been able to achieve their place of care and/or death

    Aim 2

    Make the respite breaks as fun and fulfilling for the child and family, helping them make every day


    » Providing access to our facilities and environment that can fulfil for the child's spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical and educational needs
    » STEMS (Support, Therapy, Education, Music, Specialist Play) arrange activities to stimulate child’s senses and ability
    » Arrange “experiences” such as outings, visits and activities that the child may not otherwise get to participate in

    What success will look like

    Success will be received from anecdotal feedback from families and children about their respite stays

    Aim 3

    Meet and exceed the child’s spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical and educational needs


    » STEMS (Support, Therapy, Education, Music, Specialist Play) arrange activities to stimulate child’s senses and ability
    » Access to play areas, hydrotherapy pool, spa, hoists, water aids, sensory garden, multi-sensory room and music therapy
    » Onsite teacher and teaching assistant ensure a child is still continuing their education, following national curriculum guidelines

    What success will look like

    Success will be that a child’s education has continued during their respite stay

    Aim 4

    Provide “home from home” respite break for the child’s family


    » Regular contact with our Family support and Chaplaincy Team to discuss emotional, social and practical matters
    » Dedicated kitchen staff and volunteers to create nutritional meals
    » Chores such as cleaning their accommodation and washing will be taken care of

    What success will look like

    Success will be received from anecdotal feedback from families and children about their respite stays

  • Impact


    The ongoing support from Little Havens helps families with the bereavement process later on in life, coming to terms with their loss and knowing that their child and family was cared for in the best possible place at their worst time.

    Those cared for are encouraged to contribute their views. We are committed to quality in our services and utilise The Children's Hospices UK Quality Assurance 'Are We Getting it Right' toolkit, enabling us to shape the future of children’s hospice care.


    Failure to raise sufficient funds to meet the cost of our services may result in us being unable to provide the number of nights respite breaks that the child and rest of the family could really benefit from. A sustainable funding strategy reviews the organisation’s needs and the opportunity to generate the income that is required is identified with our aim of achieving a good funding mix.


    We will provide an e-mail to donors reporting on the impact this project has had on those we care for and inviting them to visit the hospice during our scheduled Open Day

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,750

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £48,750 Staff costs including Employer's National Insurance and Pension
  • Background


    Our project is situated at Little Havens Children's Hospice which is based in Thundersley near Rayleigh, Essex. The hospice resides in a quiet nature reserve with plenty of beautiful meadowland for the families to explore.

    Essex is located in the South East of England and has a population of circa 1.4 million people of whom there are a quarter of a million children.


    Five children, aged 0-19, newly referred to Little Havens Children’s Hospice that have been diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition will benefit from this project.

    Parents, siblings and extended family of these children will benefit immeasurably from the home-from-home environment, in which they can take a break from the strain of constant care and concentrate on being a family. The benefit will extend into bereavement through specialist support, counselling and groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Little Havens is the only hospice in Essex that can provide this kind of specialist, unique, personalised and free care. We opened in 1998 and since then have cared for over 1,000 children and countless family members.

    Our multi-disciplinary team and specialist children’s nurses, in conjunction with GP’s and pediatricians, work to provide the highest standard of care, ensuring the medical, physical, emotional and social needs of each child and family are taken into consideration.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Wendy Dodds. RGN, DMS, B.Sc. (Hons)

    Wendy is Director of Care and Executive Nurse taking overall responsibility for Little Havens Children’s Hospice

    Lauren Summers

    Head of Clinical Services is in charge of operational “day to day” activities within the Care Team

    Lindsay Stone

    Lead Nurse for Children’s Services is essentially the “ward sister,” booking stays, arranging rotas and ensuring vital equipment is regularly serviced

    Donna Ginbey

    Lead Nurse for Practice Development heads up training requirements, inducting new members of staff and ensuring carers achieve their competencies


provides 65 hours of respite care

““Little Havens has pieced my family back together again. The care, and support they offer is invaluable. We wouldn’t be able to cope without them.”"

Liz is mum to Ava, 3, who visits Little Havens