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Charity of the year - Little Havens

The Meadows Shopping Centre has nominated Little Havens & The J’s as their charity partner.

Following a popular local ‘appeal’, The Meadows Shopping Centre has nominated Essex-based Little Havens and The J’s as their nominated charity partner. We look forward to providing a platform and location for the charity to help raise awareness of their deserving cause, and to planning challenges and fundraising events with them over the coming months.

Working together

Local representatives from Little Havens and The J’s will be visiting The Meadows Shopping Centre at various dates over the next year, talking to the public and getting involved in our fundraising initiatives, together with being involved in activities in and around the shopping centre and city. We will be visiting Little Havens too, volunteering with them and getting involved in some of their events.

Track our progress


The charity

Little Havens and the J's

Little Havens and The J’s care for children and young people across Essex and surrounding London boroughs. Little Havens cares for children and young people with a complex or incurable condition, supporting families throughout illness, death, and bereavement, in the comfort of their own home or at the hospice in Thundersley. The J’s provides palliative nursing and supportive care to young adults aged 16-40, living with complex or incurable conditions, in their own home and through support groups in the community, enabling them to retain their independence.

Like many charities, Little Havens and the J’s rely on donations and support. This charity appealed to the management and tenants at The Meadows Shopping Centre due to its local connections and the proactive nature of the team and volunteers involved. We hope that the support we can offer will, to coin their phrase be ‘making every day count’.

Future events

Jo and Nicola

  • 27th November - supporting The Big Sing at The Meadows, 11.30am
  • 1st to 24th December - Giving Tree at The Meadows 
  • 13th December - carol singing on the mall
  • 18th, 21st and 22nd December - gift wrapping service at The Meadows

A local 'story'

Milan

Milan was supported by Little Havens up to his 19th birthday, after which he received support from The J’s.

Summarising what Little Havens meant to Milan and the family

Through Milan’s journey - the good and difficult times - Little Havens was quite literally a "safe haven” for us.  A place we could call home and where we could be ourselves.  We will always hold a big place in our hearts for Little Havens, for the unconditional love, care and support given to us.  We were able to trust them wholeheartedly with Milan. It is at Little Havens we created some of our most treasured memories with Milan.

Memories of Little Havens

There are so many wonderful memories. Milan’s sister, Risha, remembers the warm fuzzy and happy feeling she always had in her tummy when packing her bags for the respite stay.  She felt as if going on a family holiday.

Arriving at the hospice, entering the big front doors, it immediately felt welcoming with the comforting smells of the delicious foods that were cooked for all!  Seeing the sheer joy on Milan’s face when he saw his favourite carer Judy.  His laughter, the silly noises, the dancing, the singing - Judy was an angel not just for Milan but for us too! The laughter can never be forgotten.

Milan’s condition affected Risha in many ways, and so Little Havens gave us the time to be with her.

Remembering Milan

After Milan died, we attended the yearly Little Havens Thanksgiving Remembrance Service. Of course, last year’s was very different.  We missed being able to visit the hospice and feel connected.

However, with the online service our children were not forgotten and we felt incredibly still connected with being part of a beautiful arrangement in one of the toughest times faced by so many.

Why the family still support Little Havens, 10 years on

Our family owe all gratitude and support to Little Havens.  It was one of Milan’s favourite places. He made some fantastic relationships with people there and they equally loved him, gave our family time, care, and support.

Through our safest and most difficult time when he passed away, Little Havens still helped us through the transition of a very vulnerable time. Navigating and carrying us through eye donation and the funeral arrangements. Without Little Havens we can’t imagine how we would have coped.

My family and I will be forever grateful for allowing the time we needed with Milan, the dignity they gave him right up to the final send off.

On 24th November 2020 it was 10 years since Milan died. My youngest sister Joy shaved her head to fundraise for Little Havens and The J’s, for it was a very special place not just for Milan but our entire family.

On their transition to The J’s

We were absolutely fearful of leaving Little Havens, but they had a great rapport with Douglas House for young people in Oxford.

Milan’s key staff at Little Havens were extremely understanding, patient and supportive and instilling confidence about transitioning our care to this hospice. One of the Care Team even came with us to visit.

Then in 2010, we faced a dire situation at home.  Milan was getting quite unwell and getting to Douglas House was proving difficult. When we eventually arrived for emergency care, he stabilised and we decided to bring him home again with a contact for The J’s in Essex.

They were an amazing source of knowledge and liaised with our local hospital, moving mountains to get Milan the comfort and symptoms management back in place.  Without The J’s, our family would have witnessed Milan suffer the pain, discomforts, and unnecessary anxieties.  We were extremely fortunate to have the support of The J’s and their staff supporting Milan to the very end of his life with dignity.