Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green launches support group for dads

Members of the dads' group. Picture: Haven House

Members of the dads' group. Picture: Haven House - Credit: Archant

Haven House Children’s Hospice has launched a support group for the dads of children and young people cared for by the hospice.

Dads' group founder Aasam Alim. Picture: Haven House

Dads' group founder Aasam Alim. Picture: Haven House - Credit: Archant

The dads meet at the hospice in High Road, Woodford Green once a month on a Saturday morning where they have the opportunity to share their experiences as well as have fun.

The group was set up to address the needs of dads who are caring for or who have supported life-limited children and forms part of Haven House’s Vision 2020 strategy to extend its holistic care services.

Judi Porter, family and community manager at Haven House, said: “For many years we have run a successful coffee morning group for parents where they have been able to share their experiences, develop friendships and enjoy spending time together.

“For children with life-limiting conditions, it’s often the case that the mum will find herself as the main carer for the child whilst the dad goes to work in the day.

“Our coffee mornings help tackle the isolation experienced by mums, but it can be just as isolating for dads who may feel unable to share their thoughts and feelings with their work colleagues, friends and family.

“Since launching our dads’ group, we have been delighted by the number of dads who have expressed an interest in being part of the group and several dads in the group have already formed friendships.”

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Aasam and Mariam Alim, from Ilford, have been using Haven House since 2006 for their daughter, Aiza, who requires constant care due to a very rare metabolic disorder. The family accesses a range of services for Aiza, such as music therapy and respite care which gives her parents vital short breaks.

Mariam has been an active part of Haven House’s coffee morning group for many years and Aasam is a founder of the dads’ group which he really enjoys.

Aasam said: “The dads’ group is really all about sharing experiences and trying to bring out our experiences while having fun. It’s a great way to meet other dads in similar situations.”

Since 2003, Haven House has provided palliative and holistic care for more than 900 babies, children and young people who have life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

To find out more about the fathers group visit havenhouse.org.uk/dads-group.

You can also email familyandcommunitysupport@havenhouse.org.uk or call the team on 020 8506 5523.