• 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."


  • Creative cooking capers

    by User Not Found | Oct 21, 2016
    Ready, Steady, Cook!

    Our team of green apples tried to beat the red tomatoes to a pulp - but there were prizes all round after a fun afternoon creating these awesome displays - from a banana, potato, mushroom, white chocolate and a bit of cheese.

    Some great creativity from our children and the care team at Demelza Kent.
  • Wanted: trekkers or canoeists

    by User Not Found | Oct 17, 2016
    Looking for a new challenge? #TeamDemelza is looking for people to sign up to the latest Demelza 101 fundraiser but will it be a trek or a triathlon? Your choice!

    The venue is the Lake District in May 2017 with a choice of challenges: a triathlon featuring a two mile canoe, a six mile trek and a 25 mile cycle ride, or a trek up Scafell, offering views of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

    Registration costs £100 and each person must pledge to raise at least £1,000 which covers the cost of travel and accommodation as well as raising vital funds for Demelza’s hospice service. There are only 100 places available.

    Demelza 101 aims to raise £100,000 which could pay for two nurses and one care assistant for a year, a day’s care at our Eltham hospice Demelza SEL, a day’s care at our Sittingbourne hospice Demelza Kent and a day care’s in the homes of children living in East Sussex.

    It is our fourth Demelza 101 event and Demelza staff, volunteers and a group of mums are among those who have already signed up.

    Events co-ordinator Emma Austen said: “We are excited about offering something slightly different for our Demelza 101 challenge next year. We hope that having two different events will appeal to more of our supporters and maybe introduce a competitive element between colleagues or friends.”

    To sign up now, go to the event page or to find out more contact emma.austen@demelza.org.uk or 01795 845249.
  • Demelza draw winner is driven off!

    by User Not Found | Oct 04, 2016

    There were smiles all round for a mum and daughter who struck lucky in this year's Demelza prize draw.

    Barbara Bell from Bromley was thrilled to learn she had won the first prize of a shiny new Fiat 500 - but there was just one small problem.  Mrs Bell (74) doesn’t drive!

    Instead, Mrs Bell decided to give her prize to daughter Helen, an accountant with the NHS.

    The pair are regular attenders at the Demelza Christmas Carol Concert in Greenwich and always buy the Demelza Draw tickets when they drop through the door.

    Barbara said: “I didn’t believe that I had won at first. I've never won anything before. Then the garage called to arrange collection, so I knew it must be true.”

    Barbara and Helen collected the car from the Thames Motor Group in Tunbridge Wells, where showroom manager Paul Harrison was delighted to hand over the keys.

    He said: “We were pleased to support Demelza’s draw, which raised in the region of £20,000.”

    Mrs Bell and Helen have pledged to be among the crowds at this year’s Demelza Greenwich Carol Concert , which takes place in the Cutty Sark Gardens on December 18 from 5–6.30pm - especially now they have a shiny new set of wheels to get them there!

    The winning ticket was drawn out of the drum at Demelza Kent’s Community Fun Day on Sunday 25 September. Other prizes up for grabs included a second prize of £300, third prize of £100 and 16 runner-up prizes of £25.

    The winning numbers can be found here

  • A box of frogs

    by Tessa Paton | Oct 03, 2016
    It’s World Mental Health Day on 10 October. In one sense, well, yes, who cares, awareness days are a bit rubbish. But in another sense, actually I care because mental health is a big thing for me and it’s important so I’m going to use it as a hook for this blog.

    Everybody has mental health, and everybody has mental health problems once in a while. It’s like physical health - no-one’s in perfect shape all the time. But if protecting our mental health had the same status as looking after ourselves physically, then a lot of unnecessary suffering might be prevented. And if addressing crises in our mental health was as much a part of our way of being as when something goes really wrong physically, then maybe the UK wouldn’t have 6,000 fatalities from suicide every year.

    Lots of people have mental health problems – one in four people every year. It’s really very common. That’s more people than support Manchester United or answer their phones in the cinema. But unlike those two more shameful things, there is still an embarrassment and stigma to talking about mental illness.

    Given that all the time we’re surrounded by people who have had, and are having, mental health problems, World Mental Health Day could be a time when all those people shout out loud and proud about it. Then all the people who might not have spoken about their own mental health worries because they’re embarrassed or ashamed might also feel able to do so. And all the people who are currently struggling with mental illness might experience understanding and respect rather than discrimination and fear.

    I have depression, from time to time. I have no embarrassment about it, because it’s part of me and I think I’m generally an OK person. When I was younger I had some nasty episodes. Now I don’t, although I’m occasionally a little bit blue for no reason. Not everyone is that lucky, but it’s important that whether things are going well or badly, those of us with direct experience show that mental health problems are nothing to be ashamed of, and there is usually recovery, hope and happiness ahead.

    That’s important not least in the work we do at Demelza. If you think that living with a life-limiting condition might not affect your mental health then you’re mad (pun intended). That goes for being a child or young person with a serious health condition, or being a parent or sibling. It’s why we offer therapies and other support. In a mentally-friendly world it feels OK to talk about our own mental health with someone, and get help if needed. We can make little worlds like that where we are, in our workplaces, homes, families and friendship groups. And where we have the opportunity, we can do it in our blogs.
  • Heavenly sum raised in devil's kitchen

    by User Not Found | Oct 03, 2016
    The devilish hands of a dirty dozen cooks rustled up dinner for 200 – and more than £100,000 for Demelza.

    On one of the hottest days of the year, brothers Mel and Andrew Streek from Marden and 10 of their mates took over the kitchens of the Goudhurst Inn to create a Chinese feast fit for an Emperor.

    Mel and Andrew are long-term supporters of Demelza and wanted to do something extra-special to raise funds for the cause.

    Under the guidance of Alex Tang, from the Honeymoon Chinese Restaurant in Tenterden, they came up with a mouthwatering menu – and an auction backed by some of the biggest business names around.

    The Streek brothers, directors of Claygate Distribution in Pattenden Lane, Marden, were supported by celebrity journalist and TV quizmaster Ian Hislop, TV presenter and antiques expert Raj Bisram, West Indies cricket legend Gordon Greenidge and local auctioneer Clive Emson.

    Demelza’s Major Donor Manager Sarah Kemsley said: “We are so proud of everyone who helped make this such a successful event.

    “We have a lot of people to thank, particularly Richard Balfour-Lynn of Hush Heath Winery and the nearby Goudhurst Inn, for donating the venue and wine, Four J’s for the wonderful Marquee and Nortrade and Handcross Butchers, who donated the majority of the food.”

    All the printing and marketing supplies were donated by local companies and the auction and raffle prizes were donated by businesses and acquaintances.

    Sarah said: “Clive Emson, Ian Hislop and Raj Bisram were just brilliant and all the volunteers were wonderful, not forgetting the generous individuals who purchased tickets and bid for various lots.”

    The evening raised £101,000 for Demelza to support the work the charity does with some 500 children with life-limiting illness in the South East and their families.

  • Sun shines at South East London Community Fun Day

    by Tessa Paton | Oct 03, 2016
    The October sunshine shone brightly as people turned out to our South East London Community Fun Day.

    Dozens came along to Demelza SEL, our hospice in Eltham on Sunday 2 October, to find out more about their local children’s hospice and to have lots of fun at the stalls and games.

    Crowds were entertained by local band Decks and Quartz – made up of four talented 13-year-old friends from Eltham.

    Manager Brian Hughes, dad of guitarist Oliver Hughes, said: “It’s been a great experience for them being able to play at Demelza. We were told about the Community Fun Day by a mum associated with the charity and the boys wanted to give their time to help. It’s been really good for them to learn about the amazing work Demelza do.”

    Angel Beacroft, Miss Face of the Globe England, drew the raffle and lots of Demelza volunteers helped to run the stalls, including the tombola, jewellery, cakes, Christmas cards, bag a bag and hook a duck.

    Ryan Campbell, CEO at Demelza said: “I want to say thank you to everybody who came along to the Community Fun Day and to everyone who helped out at this great event. Sometimes people think of us mainly as a Kent charity, but we are just as much the local children’s hospice charity for South East London.

    “Building profile in London is one of the most important things for us to do right now, so more children and families in the capital can live their lives to the full.”
  • Katie and Jo - all set to go

    by User Not Found | Sep 29, 2016
    Two staff from our community nursing team are limbering up to take on the trek of their lives.

    The Eastbourne Beachy Head Marathon is one of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK and takes place this year on Saturday 29 October.

    Among those getting into shape for the 26.2 mile trek along a challenging route through the South Downs National Country Park are Katie Wilmshurst and Jo Taylor from Demelza's community nursing team in East Sussex.

    Katie from Hailsham has roped her mum Karen Wilmshurst into the mission, while Jo has persuaded husband Rob to share in her pain. The couple live in Maresfield, East Sussex. The girls have set themselves a target of £515.

    Jo said: “Katie and I are really excited to be walking the Beachy Head marathon. We are also aware of what a huge challenge this is and Rob and I definitely need to get in a few long practice walks beforehand!”

    Katie said: “I’ve done a few fun runs and a 10K for Demelza – but never anything as far as this. Hopefully, by walking and jogging, we can complete the course in about 7 hours – in daylight!”

    Thousands of people are expected to take part in the marathon, which includes over 300 steps and 14 gates, passing through Jevington, Alfriston, Litlington, Friston Forest, the Cuckmere Valley and Seven Sisters, including Birling Gap and Beachy Head.

    Julie Brett, Demelza’s  Community Fundraiser in East Sussex, said: “Jo and Katie already give so much of their time and love to our Demelza families, it’s just brilliant that they are willing to literally go the extra mile by training and taking part in this marathon feat – all in their own time.”

    The Eastbourne Beachy Head marathon is popular for its particularly scenic, if challenging, route along the coastal path. There is a 10K option for those who don’t think they can manage the full course.

    Both races start from St Bede’s School in Eastbourne.

    For further details, visit www.beachyheadmarathon.co.uk
    To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/demelzateam4
  • Tennis Club raises £650 for Demelza

    by User Not Found | Sep 28, 2016

    Grateful thanks go to the 29 members of Sevenoaks Lawn Tennis Club who held a fun tennis tournament to raise vital funds for Demelza.

    Organised by club administrator Melanie Eagle, the tournament consisted of four rounds of seven game doubles matches, with different partners for each round.  After some highly entertaining tennis and some very closely fought matches, Sally Rothman and Alan Burner emerged as the overall winners.

    They were presented with luxury Tea Time hampers from Fortnum and Mason, generously provided by Sevenoaks estate agents Hamptons International.

    After a great afternoon of tennis in the sunshine, players enjoyed afternoon tea and cakes at the club.

    Demelza trustee Rhiannedd Brooke, who is a member of Sevenoaks LTC, said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the participants in this wonderful tennis tournament.  Demelza is a really important local charity which helps children who may not live a long life to at least live a full life. 

    “This £650 donation enables Demelza to offer a range of support including therapies such as art and music and baby massage, all of which help families to cope with illness and bereavement.”