Greenfingers Charity officially opens garden at Haven House

Company: Greenfingers

Greenfingers Charity is pleased to announce that the stunning new Reflective Garden at Haven House Children’s Hospice in Essex is now officially open.

The opening on Wednesday 19th April was officiated by the award-winning RHS garden designer, Tom Hoblyn – designer of the Reflective Garden - alongside parents Aasam and Mariam Ali. Aasam and Mariam were part of initial conversations with Tom regarding the plans for the space as their late child Aiza was cared for by Haven House. Aiza was diagnosed with a rare metabolic condition, and started using Haven House when she was a year old and continued to use the services provided for over 14 years.  The couple’s long-term involvement in this project made their role as ribbon cutters even more poignant.

Joining in on the day were also SBM Life Science, who has recently confirmed a new partnership with Greenfingers Charity, plus Adam Taylor from Taylors Bulbs, Toolbank, Bridgman and a host of Haven House staff and volunteers as well as Greenfingers staff, Trustees and supporters. During the day they heard from Haven House’s CEO, Siân Wicks, as well as Greenfingers Chairman, Sue Allen.

Once an unused woodland at the rear of the hospice, the new 300m2 space now includes a series of boardwalk-style pathways which lead to secluded and private refuges for children, families, and staff to spend quiet time together. The garden is a haven for wildlife, and the planting is such that each season of the year there will be something new for visitors to enjoy.

The Garden of Reflection was only made possible thanks to the passion and generosity of all those involved, including Clarins UK, The Postcode Lottery, Evergreen Garden Care, Taylors Bulbs, Toolbank, Bridgman, AMES UK, Scotscape Landscaping, Smart Garden, The Solar Centre as well as many others who together donated funds, bulbs, garden equipment, benches, compost, lighting and their own time to help the scheme reach completion.

About Haven House

Haven House is a nurse-led hospice that is home to babies, children and young people under 19, all of whom have life-threatening or life limiting conditions. Providing round-the-clock care to these children and their families 365-days of the year, meant that having a garden for quiet reflection or as a place to spend quality time together was more important than many of us can conceive. Thanks to the vision of award-winning RHS Chelsea designer, Tom Hoblyn and the team at Stewarts Landscapes, the new Reflective Garden has been brought to life in wonderful multi-colour.

Talking after the opening event, Linda Petrons, Greenfinger’s Director of Fundraising & Communications said: “Handing over any garden is always a really magical moment. Haven House’s Garden of Reflection is a truly stunning space, and you can see all the love and passion that has been poured into every element of the design. It is our honour to be able to officially hand over the garden, and we truly hope that it proves to be a long-lasting legacy for all those that spend time in it.”

Siân Wicks, CEO of Haven House, added: “Our new garden is just the most special place where the children and their families, as well as our staff, can be immersed in nature as well as entertained by all the incredible wildlife it attracts. Our hospice team can run therapy sessions out here where the children also enjoy playtimes, story times and picnics - all with the lovely light dappling through the trees. Importantly we also now have a beautiful place for peaceful reflection - for those who wish to come back to remember. Thank you so much to Greenfingers, to Tom and to the whole host of people involved in creating this garden for all of us at Haven House – we know it will be enjoyed for many generations to come.”

Finally, Aasam Ali added: ““It was such a privilege to have been part of the consultation forum for this improved and inclusive area. There is something special and enchanting about this new space that offers something for everyone.  For us, it will be a reminder of our little girl. Although Aiza is no longer with us, we know how much she liked nature and being outside. She would smile at the sound of a bird singing, flinch at the first drop of rain and then smile to herself.  She would have loved sitting in this space and getting a sensory overload.  This beautiful corner of the hospice offers a space to connect emotionally, spiritually and be at one with yourself, your family and friends. You can experience the benefits through just being silent.

“Being involved in this project was not only an opportunity for personal growth and development, but also a chance to make a positive impact on the community, and I hope Haven House continues to work with this wonderful team to deliver more.”


Find out more

You can also join in the conversation by following Greenfingers on social media -, @GreenfingersCha on Twitter, and @Greenfingerscharity on Instagram and LinkedIn. 

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