Local family ‘Pay for a Day’ at Little Havens in memory of their son.

A local family has paid for a day of specialist care at Little Havens children's hospice in Benfleet after raising over £10,000 in memory of their son.

Steve and Emily Webster raised an incredible £10,800 for Little Havens, the children’s hospice which cared for their son, Kieran, through their fundraiser ‘Kieran’s Kickabout’.

To honour Keiran, the money raised from the event paid for a day of specialist care on Monday 11th March 2024, the second anniversary of Kieran’s death.

Kieran was a healthy, happy toddler but, when he was away on holiday, his parents, started to notice some changes in how he walked.  When they got home, they went to their GP and were referred to the hospital for scans and tests to rule things out; they weren’t expecting anything serious. This was when their world came crashing down, and Kieran was diagnosed with a bilateral Optic Giloma brain tumour.

Despite undergoing multiple surgeries and treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Kieran lived with a brain tumour for eight years. However, in 2019, his health began to decline and he was referred to Little Havens by his Community Nurse.

The family was supported with respite in their own home from the Little Havens Community Team. Emily explained, “This was so valuable. It took the pressure off for a moment and allowed us to have a break from Kieran’s care.”

Music therapy from Little Havens was another service his family enjoyed, enabling Kieran to interact with the world even when he could no longer talk.

In March 2022, Kieran, age 13, was in Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street following a cardiac arrest, and the family made the difficult decision to remove his life support.  After Kieran died, he spent a week at Little Havens in the ‘Woodland Suite’ –  a supportive space for families to stay when their child has died. Little Havens helped Steve and Emily to navigate what was next.

Emily said “They held our hands, wiped our tears and guided us through what we needed to do, something we would have struggled to have done by ourselves.”

“Little Havens’ motto is ‘Making every day count’, and that’s what they did for Kieran and our family. Even after he died, they made the days we stayed at Little Havens in the Woodland Suite count for us, too.”

In memory of Kieran, the family took on their own fundraising challenge, Kieran’s Kickabout, which was hosted last year on the first anniversary of his death. The event raised an incredible £10,800, which is enough to pay for more than one day of care at Little Havens.

Emily said, “The fundraiser was one year on from when Kieran died. We didn’t want it to be a sad day; we wanted to do something in his memory. Kieran always had a knack for bringing people together, which he continues to do. By the end of the night, we knew we’d passed our target, which made us smile as we went to bed. It was a really positive weekend in honour of our special Kieran.”

Emily and Steve were welcomed to Little Havens on Monday by Chanelle Wilson, Director of Clinical Services and thanked for their fantastic fundraising efforts.

‘Pay for a Day’ is a way of supporting 24 hours of care at either Little Havens in Benfleet or Fair Havens in Southend–On–Sea. It costs around £7,217 per day per hospice to provide care for all the patients using the charity’s specialist services free of charge.

This includes the cost of nurses, carers and support staff like cooks and housekeepers. It also takes into consideration the cost of running the building, like utility bills, as well as medical and personal care supplies. By sponsoring a specific date, the charity can ensure that the donation pays for the care that is given within the chosen hospice during those 24 hours.

To find out more, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/payforaday

Published 11th March 2024

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Kieran at Little Havens with his family.