Fair Havens Hospice was the vision of three people; Daphne Hall, Reverend Ian Coffey and Dr Michael Stuart.

They first discussed their idea for a hospice in the Southend area at their church, Earls Hall Baptist, where they updated the congregation on their plans.

joan-mead

Fair Havens Hospice was the vision of three people; Daphne Hall, Reverend Ian Coffey and Dr Michael Stuart. They first discussed their idea for a hospice in the Southend area at their church, Earls Hall Baptist, where they updated the congregation on their plans.

One day, Daphne returned home to find a brown envelope on her doorstep with the words ‘for the hospice’ on the front and a £5 note inside. Daphne didn’t know who made the donation but she, Ian and Michael took it as a sign that their vision had support from the community, so that became the first donation for the Fair Havens fund.  

Years later Daphne was speaking at a meeting and telling the ‘brown envelope’ moment and that she would like to know who left it so she could say thank you. A lady came up afterwards and explained that she knew who it was – someone called Joan who was known to Daphne. Joan wished there had been a hospice locally when her husband died. He ended up passing away in a hospice in London which made it difficult to visit him.

As well as supporting the charity through donations, Joan (pictured above) fundraised for the charity, decorated bedrooms before the hospice opened and volunteered in the kitchen. 

On 2nd April 2015, aged 86, Joan died at Fair Havens Hospice. 

When she made that donation of just £5, Joan had no idea that it would mean she would be able to die peacefully surrounded by her friends and family.

Her kind donation went further than she could have ever imagined. It was the final sign the founders needed to pursue their vision of a hospice for Southend. Fair Havens has since cared for more than 25,000 people when they have needed it, and was also there for Joan when she was dying. 

One donation of £5 really can go a long way.