• Children had a whale of a time under the sea

    by User Not Found | Jan 19, 2017

    There were mermaids in abundance when Demelza threw a New Year party for its families in South East London with the theme ‘under the sea.’

    Around 130 children and their families packed into the Holiday Inn, Bexley, for a party lunch and afternoon of entertainment.

    Presents donated to Heart FM’s Giving Tree in the run-up to Christmas by generous Bluewater shoppers and gifts purchased were given to the children.

    There was a raffle, tombola, party games and bingo, with entertainment provided by Sarah Blanc – also known as the ‘Tracey and Mavis Bingo Experience’, part of the Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre project. 

    Fantastic fish balloons, dolphins and octopus were kindly donated by Little Bananas, a local balloon and soft play business and Lisa of Taz Party Music provided a fabulous disco.

    Thanks to Albus Environmental who provided all the drinks for the party and to Northern Trust who built and donated two bicycles for our raffles and auction.

    The Eltham party was a chance for Demelza families to show off their creative talents, along with the members of staff and volunteers who turned out to make the day a rip-roaring success, with mermaids, pirates and a whole variety of fish and undersea creatures turning out.

    Ann Fagg, Care Services Lead for Demelza SEL, said: “We would like to thank the generosity of our supporters and the volunteers and staff who pulled out all the stops to make sure our children and their siblings had a great time. Part of our work is ensuring families have precious memories to look back on and so the annual party is an important event for us.”

  • Praise for Demelza from CQC

    by User Not Found | Jan 18, 2017

    The strengths of Demelza’s service in South East London have been highlighted in the latest CQC report, just released.

    Inspectors rated the charity in South East London “good” overall and “outstanding” in being responsive to the needs of the child, young person and their family. They found that staff often went beyond the scope of their duties to show that they cared.

    “Children, young people and their families were at the heart of the service and were fully involved in the planning and review of care, treatment and support. Individual needs were met and responded to in a way that may exceed people’s expectations,” says the report.

    Parents too gave Demelza  a resounding thumbs up when quizzed by inspectors from the health watchdog. One parent described Demelza’s hospice as "an amazing place."  Another said: "I can't praise it enough. I feel blessed to have this service."

    Demelza’s six-bed hospice in Eltham has been providing professional, specialist, one-to-one care and support and therapies for children and young people since 2009.

    Beth Ward, Demelza’s Director of Care, said: “We were rated good, with outstanding for responsiveness, because we strive to put children, young people and their families first, with a strong commitment to delivering the best quality care and support. This is an achievement across the whole of Demelza.”

    The CQC report found that children and young people who used Demelza South East London - and their families - received care that was compassionate and kind. People felt the practical and emotional help they were given had an impact on their lives, both during their child's illness and afterwards.

    Health and social care professionals likewise commented on the caring approach of Demelza South East London, with one saying: "We found Demelza to be a compassionate, open and transparent organisation to work with; they put the child and family at the heart of their work."

    You can view the full report by visiting:  http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-119107844

  • Kev is dribbling for Demelza!

    by User Not Found | Jan 11, 2017

    A South East London childminder is aiming to smash a world record when he takes part in the London Marathon to raise funds for Demelza.

    Kev Howarth, from Bromley, is a former basketball player who now runs marathons.

    He discovered an American had flown over to break the world record for dribbling two basketballs at the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2015 - and decided he was capable of claiming the title for Britain.

    For the past year, 45-year old Kev has been getting in training, taking part in half marathons both at home and abroad.
      He’s also been keeping his fans and followers informed of his progress on his training blog – kev2balls.blogspot.co.uk

    When he sets out on his 26.2 mile mission, on April 23, Kev will be raising funds for Demelza and the testicular cancer charity Orchid Cancer Care.

    He said: “I raised some money for Demelza a few years ago when I ran my first half marathon, but this is a much bigger challenge.”

    Kev’s wife Tara teaches at Charlton Park Academy, in South East London, which also supports Demelza.

    He said: “I stumbled across an article about the runner who broke the record for the fastest marathon dribbling two basketballs. He did it in 04:10:44.

    “As a former basketball player and current runner, I looked at his time and thought - 'I could do it faster than that!'.  I can't let an American come to my back yard and take all the glory. I intend claiming the record for Britain and sending him packing!”

    Petts Wood Runners have donated one of their marathon places to Kev, who hopes he can complete the marathon in at least 4 hours and five minutes – possibly faster.

    Another Petts Wood Runner Mike Reeves will also be raising money for Demelza in 2017, running in both the London and Brighton marathons with his mod scooter.

    Kev said: “I am very fortunate to be a member of probably the finest, friendliest running club in the world - Petts Wood Runners and am truly grateful and proud to represent the club.”

    “There is a mind-numbing array of very worthy causes to support so I looked at where I could make the most impact. Demelza does a lot of good work for children at my wife's special needs school and I’ve raised money for them once before.”

    Demelza’s Head of Events Emma Middleton said: “We are delighted Kev has chosen to support Demelza in the marathon and will be cheering him on in his bid to break the world record.”

    Read more about Kev and his marathon mission at www.kev2balls.blogspot.co.uk, or follow him on Twitter @Howarthkev or Instagram via #kev2balls.

    To sponsor him visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KevHowarth

  • Party fun for all the family

    by User Not Found | Jan 11, 2017

    A touch of Rio came to Kent when Demelza threw a New Year party for its families.

    More than 250 children and parents packed into the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone, for a party lunch and afternoon of entertainment.

    Presents donated to Heart FM’s Giving Tree in the run-up to Christmas by generous Bluewater shoppers and other gifts purchased were given to the children.

    Duncan Doughnut and Reg E. Mental led party games and entertainment, with music provided by the band Cymbolick Penalties.

    With a party theme of ‘Carnival,’ it was a chance for Demelza families to show off their creative talents, along with the members of staff and volunteers who turned out to make the day a rip-roaring success.


    Helen Rolls, Care Co-ordinator for Demelza Kent, said: “We would like to thank the generosity of our supporters and the volunteers and staff who pull all the stops out every year to make sure our children and their siblings have a great time.

    “Part of our work is ensuring families have precious memories to look back on and so the annual party is an important event for us.”


  • Chart success for the London Hospices Choir

    by User Not Found | Dec 24, 2016

    Twenty seven singers from Demelza along with 17 other hospices formed the London Hospices Choir to release a new version of The Living Years with Paul Carrack. There was stiff competition this year for the official number one spot from the likes of X Factor’s Matt Terry and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man as well as the usual Christmas classics from Wizzard and Mariah Carey. The number one went to Clean Bandit with the Choir reaching number 81 in the official chart, despite being the second highest entry in the charts this week.  

    However, the single did reach NUMBER 1 in the official physical singles chart!

    Money raised will be divided between the 18 hospices involved.

    Music therapist Victoria Swan said: “We have raised so much awareness, and the experience has been a wonderful one. Thank you to all choir members for your hard work, dedication and commitment. I hope you all agree that the early starts, long journeys and many hours out in the cold have been worthwhile for the awareness and funds we have raised, and what an amazing experience we all had.”

  • A celebration of Christmas at Canterbury Cathedral

    by User Not Found | Dec 22, 2016
    Hundreds of families, staff, supporters and volunteers joined VIPs at Canterbury Cathedral for a celebration of Christmas on Monday 20 December.

    The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral led a rousing Carol Concert to mark the start of the festive season along with West Malling Community Choir.

    A highlight of this year’s concert was one of Demelza’s younger children, Hallie, singing the favourite carol ‘Little Donkey,’ accompanied by the charity’s Therapy Services Manager Jane O’Neill on flute.

    Among those reading were The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor George Metcalfe, The Admiral of the Fleet, The Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, Demelza founder president Derek Phillips and Heart FM Drivetime presenter Neil Kefford. Canon Clare Edwards welcomed guests and lit the festive candle.

    Demelza’s Events Co-ordinator Lianne Lloyd said: “Thank you so much to everyone who came to Canterbury Cathedral for our celebration of Christmas. As well as being a great start to your Christmas celebrations you were supporting our work with life-limited and life-threatened children and their families.”
  • What Christmas is like at a children's hospice

    by User Not Found | Dec 22, 2016
    For most of us, Christmas is a time to be with family.

    But as the nation settles down for The Queen’s Speech, vital work continues at Demelza.

    At Demelza Kent nurses will be providing round-the-clock care to seriously babies, children, and young people and their families.

    Debbie McSwiney, Care Services Lead – Kent who is working on Christmas Day said: “Demelza Kent is in full operation Christmas mode the trees and decks are all up and looking stunning, the children’s stocking are hanging up ready for a visit from Santa.

    “Christmas is a very special time for my team and I as we have the pleasure of working and being alongside our families that are with us this Christmas – Demelza care team are ready to make it an extra special this year.”

  • Volunteers needed

    by User Not Found | Dec 19, 2016
    It’s the time of year when people start making New Year resolutions. So why not start the new year by donating some time for your local children’s hospice?

    If you have a few hours to spare in 2017 Demelza is always looking for volunteers to do everything from helping in our charity shops to fundraising to catering.

    Volunteers save Demelza over a £1m a year, giving over 150,000 hours.

    Lynne Clark, Demelza’s Head of Voluntary Services, said: “We are so grateful for our current team of volunteers, 1,000 people of all ages who give up their time to volunteer for Demelza and we are always looking for more people to help us out. Volunteering is a great way to meet others, develop new skills and have fun.”

    Cathy Gundry volunteers on reception at Demelza Kent, also helps out the catering team and at voluntary services and fundraising events. She will also be helping out the care team in the new year.

    She said: “I started volunteering for Demelza eight years ago, and it was the best thing I could have done as I have found myself a valued member of the hospice.

    “I had just retired, and wanted something constructive to do with my time. I found that Demelza could use the experience I had gained through my working life to both their and my advantage. I would recommend volunteering to anybody.”

    To find out more about local volunteering opportunities please email volunteering@demelza.org.uk or click here to see our current vacancies
  • Demelza in bid to become champion of champions

    by User Not Found | Dec 12, 2016
    Demelza scooped a digital award for its new website in the Summer and staff are now hoping for another award, with your help.

    Demelza was victorious at the Kent Digital Awards, winning a gold award in the Website: School, Education or Charity category back in June.

    Judges at the Kent Digital Awards said: "The positive work of this organisation is reflected in a striking tasteful way, by a website that educates and inspires in equal measure. The frequent and engaging blog updates, further add to a superb user experience."

    As a winner Demelza has automatically been put forward into the inaugural, public-voted Digital Awards Champions - a chance to pit the best against the best from all six of the Digital Awards schemes in 2016, in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Milton Keynes and Surrey.

    We are up against the following organisations in the public vote:
    Alzheimer's Research UK (Cambridgeshire)
    Havering College (Essex)
    Bishop’s Stortford College (Hertfordshire)
    Supershoes by Amasci Creative (Milton Keynes)
    Hemsley Fraser by Lab (Surrey)

    Demelza’s Interim Head of Marketing Gill Kirk-Burgess said: “Our aim was to produce a vibrant, eye catching site which captured what Demelza is all about – life. We were delighted that our site was recognised with a Kent Digital Award, please help Demelza become the champion of champions by voting for us in the Digital Awards Champions. “

    The closing date for votes is 20 January and the winners will be announced at BFI Southbank on 9 February.

    To vote for Demelza go to:  http://thedigitalawards.co/champions/school-education-charity

  • Opportunities for memory making as part of new partnership with theatre company

    by User Not Found | Dec 02, 2016
    Demelza children and families are set to benefit from a partnership with a theatre company

    Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) was awarded £30,000 over three years for a project with Demelza.

    Following the grant from Children and the Arts GLYPT will work with children and families of those supported by Demelza SEL in Eltham.

    A pilot day has already been held where families watched an immersive performance; took part in an interactive workshop involving puppets, storytelling and animation with an underwater theme. The artists and families all ate together and the day ended with everyone performing on stage together with the children using their own puppets that they made during the workshop.

    Demelza Family Support Social Worker Michele King said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership which will allow our children and families to take part in interactive theatre whatever their ability and build some great memories.”

    Music Therapist Victoria Swan said: “It was so wonderful to see the children and families enjoying a great day of arts and activities. The performance was fantastic, and every member of GLYPT were so sensitive to the children’s needs. They provided a full sensory experience and were so thoughtful.”

    Tony Casement, Associate Artistic Director at the theatre said: “It’s a chance for families to experience some fantastic arts activities and to share some quality time together. It’s all about having fun and making memories together.”
  • £12,000 for sensory garden project after shoppers' vote

    by User Not Found | Dec 02, 2016
    Staff and volunteers at Demelza are celebrating after gaining a £12,000 grant to create a sensory garden.

    The charity was successful in a bid for £8,000 as part of Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative but had a chance to up the money to £10,000 or £12,000 as part of a vote in store.

    Voting ran in three Tesco stores in Sittingbourne and the superstore in Faversham from 31 October to 13 November – with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check out.

    Demelza got the most number of votes so was successful in gaining the biggest award.
    Work on transforming the green area will now start in January 2017 and aims to be finished in July 2017.

    The sensory garden will see a pond, two bridges, themed plants and decorations to create a Chinese water garden. A pagoda already on site will be refurbished and a burner added with incense, linking to the sensory theme. The pond will link to an enchanted forest area where there will be a woodland house, swamp area, toadstools, sensory lighting as well as some seating areas.

    The £12,000 grant will see Demelza putting up a partition around the new sensory garden to help the children using the area feel more part of the surroundings, disguising neighbouring storage sheds and allotments. Larger plants could be purchased and the gardens used for music and art therapy. A range of additional musical instruments will also be bought.

    Demelza gardener Mark Blackman said: “The Gardening Team at Demelza are absolutely delighted to have been awarded £12,000 by the Groundwork and Tesco's Bags of Help scheme. The grant will allow us to refurbish a large area of the children’s garden that has been inaccessible to our wheelchair users. We can’t wait to create a multi-sensory area that will delight and stimulate the children, young people and families. We hope they are looking forward to spending time together in this new and exciting environment.”

    Gardening Assistant Alison Davies added: “Everyone at Demelza would like to thank the shoppers who voted in the stores, Groundwork and Tesco. Your support will enable us to undertake this project.”

    Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.

    “We been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and it’s been great to give people a say on how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
  • Demelza kicks off festivities with walk and fair

    by User Not Found | Nov 28, 2016
    More than 300 people attended Demelza's annual Candlelight Walk on Sunday (27 November),

    Thirteen singers from Demelza’s part of the London Hospices Choir sang their version of The Living Years (bidding for Christmas Number 1) and members of Chatham Seventh Adventist Church sang carols and did readings

    There was a festive market, arts and crafts and refreshments for sale and the Mayor of Sittingbourne, Councillor Lesley Ingham judged the best dressed elf competition.

    Father Christmas and his elves met walkers half way around the 2.5k route and there was also a chance to meet the big man himself afterwards in his grotto.

    Head of Events, Emma Middleton said: “Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Candlelight Walk and festive market – we hope it helped put you in the Christmas spirit! It was lovely to see so many people here enjoying the entertainment. See you next year!”
  • Jack's giant gesture for Demelza

    by User Not Found | Nov 24, 2016
    Sporting schoolboy Jack Hills has handed over almost £1,500 to the children’s charity which cared for his dying cousin.

    Jack, from Platts Heath, decided he would set himself a challenge – to raise £500 in a triathlon of swimming, cycling and running.

    The challenge was in memory of his cousin Jessica Humphrey, who was helped by Demelza Hospice Care for Children for three years prior to her death in 2013.

    Eight year old Jack, who visited his cousin several times at the Sittingbourne hospice, said: “That’s when I learnt what a wonderful place it is.”

    “I saw the lovely people who work there care for Jessica and all the other children and I think they are awesome! They have some cool toys and a great music room too. Jessica loved her music therapy.”

    “I have decided that I would like to raise some money for Demelza to say thank you.”

    Jack, who loves all kinds of sport, set about getting sponsors and completed the triathlon – a 200 metre swim, 6K cycle ride and 3.3K run – at Maidstone’s Mote Park and Leisure Centre on 19 November, netting £1,429.75 - almost three times his target!

    Jack set about training when he went back to Egerton Church of England Primary School in September and completed his self-imposed challenge, accompanied by dad Chris, in 1 hour 23 minutes and 27 seconds.

    Jessica’s sisters Amy and Emily held the red tape at the finishing line as Jack roared home.

    “I would have been quicker, but dad slowed me down!” said a mischievous Jack.
    Dad has a chance to redeem himself in 2017 however, when he takes part in Demelza’s 101 challenge - http://bit.ly/2fRvgAY , a triathlon challenge set in the picturesque Lakeland fells in May.

    Jack was presented with a trophy by staff at Demelza to mark his achievement when he visited with mum Sarah and proud grandparents Janet and David Humphrey from Lenham.

    Events co-ordinator Emma Cox said: “We were delighted to hear about Jack’s challenge. It was so thoughtful of him and he raised an incredible amount to help fund the work we do in caring for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.”

    More than 90 people supported Jack via his Just Giving page, including the school lollipop lady.

    His mum Sarah said: “We are very grateful to everyone who supported him in raising this great amount which we were delighted to hand over to Demelza.”
    To sponsor Jack, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jack-Hills1

    If Jack's story has inspired YOU to raise money for Demelza, contact our fundraising team on 01795 845249
  • Results of Supporter Survey announced

    by User Not Found | Nov 24, 2016

    Thank you to everyone who completed our Supporter Survey in the last edition of Demelza Life.

    The results of the survey can be viewed by clicking Supporter Survey 2016 results. The feedback we have received is invaluable and will help with planning in the future.

    Overall, the feedback has been very positive and it is wonderful our supporters feel we are providing a worthwhile service to an extremely high quality.
  • New director appointed at Demelza

    by User Not Found | Nov 17, 2016
    Demelza has appointed a new Director of Marketing and Fundraising.

    Tamsyn Clark, from Chislehurst, has almost 20 years’ experience of working in marketing and communications for nationally-recognised charities, including Marie Curie Cancer Care and Help the Aged and joins the charity this month (November).

    The mother-of-two joins Demelza with a wealth of third sector experience to help her lead the team to raise vital awareness of the children’s hospice charity and the £10.5million needed every year to be able to fund care for seriously ill youngsters and their families.

    Tamsyn was formerly Director of Fundraising & Marketing at Global Radio responsible for Capital Radio’s Help a London Child , Classic FM’s charity, as well as setting up a new national charity brand for Heart Radio.

    She also led on Capital Radio’s “Lights out London” campaign in June 2007.Londoners were asked to switch off their lights for one hour to show how carbon emissions can be reduced if we all take small steps. The campaign went on to win a coveted Radio Academy Award amongst others. More than 2 million light-bulbs were switched off for just one hour, with an estimated 250,000 people taking part.

    Tamsyn took up an appointment as Marketing Director for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust following the birth of her first child and since the birth of her second son, she has worked on a variety of projects, including copywriting and brand development, organising a major gala event for Waitrose and managing a community website. She is a Governor at her son’s school and a volunteer director for Chislehurst’s community website and business group, www.visitchislehurst.org.uk.

    Tamsyn, said: “I am delighted to be joining Demelza at a very exciting time in its development. The charity provides outstanding care and support for families in Kent, South East London and East Sussex but aims to do much, much more in the next five years.

    “I am thrilled to be part of the team which will be turning those ambitious aims into reality.”
  • Hospice singers aim for Christmas number 1

    by User Not Found | Nov 14, 2016
    An epic choir of 300 patients, families, staff and volunteers from 18 London hospices are taking on the might of X Factor and aiming for this year’s Christmas number 1 with a cover of “The Living Years,” lead by Paul Carrack, who was also lead vocalist on the original 1991 hit.

    Twenty seven singers from Demelza are part of the London Hospices Choir who recorded their new take on the classic track at the world famous Abbey Road Studios and shot the moving music video at Clapham’s Royal Trinity Hospice, under the direction of top Hollywood film director Annabel Jankel (Super Mario Bros, Live from Abbey Road).

    The choir was brought together to mark the 125th anniversary of Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham Common.

    Evelyne Brink has a very personal reason for taking part as her son Tuffell has been helped by Shooting Star Chase and then Demelza when they moved to Greenwich.

    The four-year-old has ultra short gut syndrome which means he cannot digest food and is fed overnight through a hickman line. It means his sleep is disturbed, he has as many as eight nappy changes a night and he is very vulnerable to infection.

    Evelyne who also has a younger daughter Momo said: “Hospices have saved my sanity. It’s the only place you can go when you have a child with complex needs to get some respite. The work that hospices do is invaluable. You need a sanctuary where you can go and breathe and that’s what hospices do.”

    Volunteer Maggie Allen explained why she wanted to take part: “I was so excited when Victoria our music therapist told us about the London Hospices Choir and so thrilled to be taking part in this wonderful project to promote the hospices movement, its achievements and of course to sing together with other hospices. I volunteer at Demelza Kent because I really feel I make a difference to families by offering them massage, reflexology and giving them time for themselves in a caring, safe space.”

    Gardening Assistant Alison Davies is also in the choir. She said: “This project with Paul Carrack and The London Hospice Choir is an amazing way of raising the profile of the wonderful work that is done by hospices every day of the year. If the record inspires listeners to support their local hospice by giving either time or money, then I will have the pleasure of knowing that families will receive the care they truly deserve.”

    Lead vocalist Paul Carrack said, “The Living Years has been an important song for me for many years, but this is the version that means the most. Recording it with this incredibly special group of people for such a worthwhile cause has created some kind of magic. It’s a powerful and inspiring track, and I hope that everyone gets behind it this Christmas.”

    Music producer James Hawkins said, “The idea of recording ‘The Living Years’ with this wonderful choir came to me as I was walking around the pond at Royal Trinity Hospice. The song’s message was reflected so strongly as I watched generations come together at a place of such serenity and life to share important conversations. It couldn’t be a better message for everyone to hear this Christmas.”

    All profits from the sale of the single will be divided between the 18 hospices involved, helping them to support those reaching the end of their lives, and their families. The hospices include; Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, Harlington Hosice, Haven House, Marie Curie (Hampstead), Noah’s Ark, North London Hospice, Pembridge Palliative Care Centre, Princess Alice Hospice, Richard House, Royal Trinity Hospice, Shooting Star Chase, St Christopher’s, Saint Francis Hospice (Romford), The Hospice of St Francis (Berkhamsted), St Joseph’s Hospice, St Luke’s Hospice and St Raphael’s Hospice.

    ‘The Living Years’ by The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack is being
    released on December 16th. It will be available to pre-order from November
    14th at these links:
    Amazon (Physical): http://smarturl.it/e872qp
    Amazon (Digital): http://smarturl.it/ad3krd
    iTunes: http://smarturl.it/4sk7sm

    Follow The London Hospices Choir at:
    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/londonhospiceschoir
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/choirlondon
    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/londonhospiceschoir/

  • Outstanding rating for Demelza's services

    by User Not Found | Nov 04, 2016
    Staff at Demelza are celebrating after gaining an “outstanding” rating from the Care Quality Commission for its service in Kent and East Sussex.

    Following an unannounced inspection in August Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne and Kent Community in East Sussex were rated Outstanding by the health watchdog.

    “There was an open and positive culture which focussed on children and how to enhance the quality of their life,” says the report. One family’s feedback said: "You have been a lifeline, a shining light in the darkness."

    Demelza Kent is a nine bedded hospice in Bobbing providing professional, specialist, one-to-one care and support and therapies for children and young people up to the age of 19.

    “There was an open and positive culture which focussed on children and how to enhance the quality of their life,” says the report.

    “All the relatives and healthcare professionals we spoke with told us how they positively appreciated the service that was provided and the manner in which it was delivered,” says the CQC. “All their comments were overwhelmingly positive.”

    Demelza offers a community hospice at home service for children and young people up to the age of 19, providing therapies, respite and end-of-life care in the comfort of a child’s own home across East Sussex. Families supported by Demelza Community have use of Demelza Kent and Demelza SEL in Eltham.

    The report describes the service as “outstandingly caring.”

    It says: “The staff approach towards children and young people was kind, patient and respectful. Staff often went beyond the scope of their duties to enhance children’s wellbeing.

    “Family support was recognised by staff as vital. The service provided emotional support for children's families including their siblings, that was continual and beyond the provision of care for children and young people.”

    Facilities at Demelza Kent, which opened in 1998, include a hydrotherapy pool, sensory and music rooms, an art room, and fully accessible pirate ship playground.

    Each bedroom has ensuite disabled facilities including Jacuzzi baths and toilet/bidet.

    The premises are described as well designed, welcoming and well maintained. Relatives described the building and décor as, "extraordinary" and, "amazing."

    Demelza CEO Ryan Campbell said: “We are absolutely delighted that our services in Kent and East Sussex have been given the highest rating from the CQC. We pride ourselves on our caring staff and our state of the art facilities so to have this acknowledged by the health watchdog is fantastic. It is equally important to hear how highly the families who use our services rate our service and that we are doing the best job for them.”

    View the full report.
  • Here come the ghouls.....

    by User Not Found | Oct 31, 2016
    Around 750 witches, ghosts, monsters and all manner of ghostly figures took over Mote Park in Maidstone on Friday 28 October.

    The Monster Dash and Running Scared saw adults and children run through spooky woods and get covered in gunge, foam and bubbles in aid of #TeamDemelza.

    The family friendly Monster Dash took place at 5pm with the more frightening Running Scared at 8pm.

    Participants walked, jogged or ran around the Pumpkin Path and Slime Time Alley as ghostly figures, menacing monsters and bloodcurdling vampires leapt out of the shadows.

    Running Scared got a real fright night experience as they ran around the course filled with UV paint, foam, bubbles and assorted slimy substances. At the finish line, runners were faced with a devilish decision - to follow the trick finish for a ghostly surprise or play it safe and opt for a treat….

    Personal trainer Susie Ward-Joyce got the ghouls and ghosts ready to go with a thriller –style warm up and each participant went home with a medal, headband and a goody bag.

    Events Co-ordinator Gemma Murray said: “It’s the first year we have done the Monster Dash and Running Scared so it’s been great to see so many people join us and go to so much effort with their spooky costumes. It was one of the most fun events to plan, choosing spooky music, lights and costumes so we hope everyone enjoyed being scared as much as we enjoyed scaring them!”

    "Thank you so much to everyone involved in this event including Portafina who supported our treat finish."

    For more photos check out our facebook page
  • Duo take on Lake District challenge

    by User Not Found | Oct 27, 2016
    A volunteer and an IT technician are among those taking on an epic challenge for Demelza.

    Julie Baker volunteers on reception at Demelza Kent where Ho Kyung works as an IT support technician.

    They have both signed up to take on the Demelza 101 challenge in May 2017 in the Lake District. The challenge sees participants either take on a triathlon or a trek to raise funds for the hospice service.

    Julie, who lives in Sittingbourne, is taking part in the triathlon which consists of a 2 mile canoe paddle, two cycle challenges and a trek.

    She explains why she has signed up: "I am a volunteer at Demelza and have decided to take part in the Demelza Lake District Triathlon.

    “For the past year I have been suffering from a chronic illness which led to me having to quit my job and becoming very unfit, sometimes not leaving the house for days on end.

    “As I began to recover I felt the need to help other people who were going through tough times and decided to volunteer at Demelza. The benefit I get from being there far outweighs the benefit Demelza get from me and so when this challenge came up I thought "I need to do that" to help with my own recovery and to help raise money and awareness for this wonderful charity.

    “I have always wanted to take part in a Triathlon but I am no longer able to run, so this adapted Triathlon was a great opportunity for me to fulfil my ambition whilst helping those wonderful children".

    To sponsor Julie go to: www.justgiving.com/Julie-Baker15

    Ho, from Canterbury, has worked at Demelza for a year and is doing the trek up Scafell Pike.

    He said: “I wanted to work for Demelza because there are very few things that get me worked up, but issues affecting children in general and child welfare specifically is definitely one of those. Having landed a job here, I am just aware that I rarely have a direct impact on the experience the children have while using our services so I figure volunteering in events, and in this case participating, is the next best thing – raising some money so we can keep on providing this amazing service to the children and their families.”

    You can sponsor him here: www.justgiving.com/Ho-Kyung-Demelza101

    Inspired by Julie and Ho? Find out more or sign up to the Demelza 101 here
  • Demelza families join the space race

    by User Not Found | Oct 26, 2016

    There was an alien invasion at Demelza Kent during half term when the care team arranged two whole days of activities based on the theme of ‘space.’

    Our children and visiting families had the chance to build rockets, create alien handprints and bake star biscuits as part of the activity days, organised by our astro-nomical team!

    It was also an opportunity for the families to make full use of the hospice sensory room, with space blankets, moon sand and parachutes brought in to complement the bubble tubes and sound and lighting effects.

    The care team - some dressed as astronauts - led the extra-terrestrial adventure, which included a space treasure hunt and music session. The children chuckled at Claire Freeman’s story ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ and watched the 2015 animated movie ‘Home’ in the hospice cinema room.

    They were able to bake – and eat – Mars and Milky Way cupcakes and let their imaginations run riot with a programme of activities which was ‘out of this world!’

    Care Services Lead for Kent, Debbie McSwiney said: “We are always thinking of different theme days which will enrich the lives of our children and young people."