Fair Havens Hospice in Westcliff opened its doors on 13th June 1983 and has since cared for over 25,000 adults across Southend, Castle Point and Rochford, as well as their families. It is the only hospice in South East Essex which cares for adults with complex and incurable conditions; providing respite, symptom control and end of life care, both at the hospice and in the community.
Founded by three members of the community, Fair Havens was one converted house along Chalkwell Avenue when it opened in 1983. The adjacent building was later purchased and in 1990 the two buildings were joined. In 1988 Fair Havens’ Day Hospice was opened to provide support for people who are still living independently with their illness, followed in 1992 by the launch of Fair Havens Community Hospice service, caring for people in their own homes.
At the 10th anniversary of Fair Havens the need for a children’s hospice was discussed which lead to the launch of the Little Havens project. In 1995 the site in Thundersley was purchased and in 1998 Little Havens Hospice opened and began caring for children from across Essex and surrounding London boroughs with complex and incurable conditions.
The J’s Hospice was set up by Denise Whiffin in 2003 in memory of her son Jonathon who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of three. Denise realised that there was a need for specific hospice care for young people when she was caring for her son, it became clear there was a lack of age-appropriate care for older teenagers. Sadly, Jonathan died in Broomfield Hospital in 2002, just before his 19th birthday.
The J’s Hospice is named after Jonathan and was launched on 1st March 2004 which would have been his 21st birthday. The charity got CQC registration in 2010 and we began outreach working, becoming the first hospice service in the country to care for young adults aged 16-40 within the comfort of their own homes.
In 2017 The J’s Hospice was integrated with Havens Hospices to help secure their long- term future.