Schoolgirl’s Hospice Story Secures Top Award

A young girl has won a county-wide writing competition with a story about the local children’s hospice which supports her family.

Mylie Holden, 11, secured the top spot for her age category in the ‘Essex Year of Reading’ campaign by Essex County Council. Her entry was called ‘A Wonderful Place in Essex.’ This refers to Little Havens, a children’s hospice based in Benfleet which supports Mylie’s brother, Bailey.

The family, from Chelmsford, first visited Little Havens in 2019. Bailey, 15, was recovering from an operation linked to his rare neurological genetic condition. A nurse suggested the family visit Little Havens to recuperate.

Mylie says, “I chose Little Havens as I wanted to write about somewhere that represents us as a family. I needed to share with others what a lovely place it is for families like ours.  Everyone at Little Havens is really kind and caring. They’re always making sure plenty of fun is had as well as looking after children who are poorly. Everyone there makes us all feel really special and it’s really a story about all the lovely things they do.

“I love to read and I have written stories in my spare time at home. I would really like to be a book author and illustrator when I’m older. I was so excited to hear I had been shortlisted and couldn’t believe it when I won! I’m so happy they liked my story.”

Mylie’s mum, Gemma Holden, says, “Mylie knew exactly what she wanted to write about. We are so proud of her, not only for winning but for writing about a place that’s so meaningful to us all.”

Mylie’s book is available to read on the ‘Essex Year of Reading’ app, under ‘Awesome Authors.’

The front cover of Mylie's book

Little Havens is the children’s hospice for Essex, supporting young people from across the county living with complex or incurable conditions. This care extends to families and siblings too through the charity’s Wellbeing Team, ensuring their emotional and psychological needs are considered. All of this care is free of charge because of donations made by the local community through events, legacies and fundraising events.

To find out more about Havens Hospices, its care and fundraising, please visit or follow the charity on social media @HavensHospices

Published 26th October 2022

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Bailey And Mylie Holden at Little Havens