I came to learn about Haven House while reading about various hospice care facilities available to children in London. Haven House offers a wide range of services to families of children with life limiting conditions, including respite care, music therapy, physiotherapy, a toy loan service, to name just a few. Their Community Fundraiser, Matt Charlton, was kind enough to show me around the hospice last month.
The facility is based in The White House, a manor house with expansive grounds. The White House has a rich history prior to being leased to the Haven House Foundation. There are even trees planted by Sir Winston Churchill and Mrs Margaret Thatcher. Since refurbishment, there are five beds, a craft room, a sensory room, a special outdoor play area, etc to cater to children and their families. They have a clubhouse specifically for siblings, a wheelchair swing, as well as a trampoline that is built into the ground (which I was very much tempted to have a wee jump on!).
I was happy to get involved with Haven House Children's Hospice to make a plush of their mascot, Henry the Hound. They have a fur suit version you can see below the images of the plush I made out of mohair and ultrasuede. In the end, it turned out to be more of an artist bear project rather than a plush. It's fully jointed with cotter pins and filled with woodwool excelsior and polyester toy filling. The eyes were kindly provided by irideEyes, which offers a wide selection of eyes and noses for teddy bears and soft toys . The t-shirt is made out of wool felt.
I was a bit too keen to try using the traditional way of making teddy bears on Henry, which distracted me from keeping aesthetically in line with the original. I think regular polyester plush fabric would have turned out more similar to the fur suit.
If you want to find out more about Haven House or want to get involved, click here!