Our History

The Haven was formed following the government’s strategic initiative to provide radically better services for people with the diagnosis of Personality Disorder (PD). This led to 11 pilot projects being launched. All except the Haven Project were developed as part of an NHS Trust. The Haven was co-produced with clients and as a consequence answered the needs of our PD clients very well. The project flourished for ten years and was hailed as an innovative service by NICE and recommended by government in its “Guidance to Commissioners of Community Mental Health Services.” July 2013.

Unfortunately the local commissioners (CCG) chose not to fund the project after 2014 when the Department of Health funding came to an end. The Haven Community then had to fight hard for alternative funding streams to be put in place. After brief closure in March and April 2015 the project re-opened with the services displayed on this website.

The community has always played a crucial role in the design, the governance, recruitment and development of the Haven Project and still does. We have been followed eagerly by the press and we are now becoming more involved within the Colchester Community as a whole. Thank you especially to the Gazette for their unstinting support !


Next Haven Client Advisory Meeting (HCAG) is Thursday 31st August  2017 starting 10 for 10.30. If you have items for the agenda let us know 01206 572215 or you can put your comment in the suggestions box in the lounge. We received a total of £7,500 from Essex Community Foundation and a further £7,500 from Tudor Trust. Thank you to both trusts.

We have been successful in getting a grant of just under £10,000 from the Lottery, Awards for All, for building self esteem and confidence through green path venture activities and key courses at the Haven. Well done Sue Gathercole for taking this marvelous initiative!!

We are planning lots of exciting activities for the summer : Tombolas, car boot sales. The Festival of Healthy Activities  took our collectively nearly 1000 miles and raised more than £1,000. We had two articles in the Gazette about it and clients decided to have a regular month event on the bike and the other equipment we have.

Join us soon and see what you can do to help.


Community at work. Picnic in Castle Park 1/7/16.

picnic picture