• Demelza shopping outlet now officially open!

    by Paul Lawrence | Oct 27, 2017
    Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Malcolm Greer officially opened Demelza’s Shopping Outlet and Distribution Centre last week.
     
    Saturday 21st September got off to a vibrant start in Sandling Road, Maidstone with the grand opening of the new Demelza Shopping Outlet.  Local crowds turned out to see Mayor Malcolm Greer and Demelza service user Jamie cut the ribbon on the new retail venue.  Keen shoppers were able to explore the sizeable shop for fantastic bargains whilst enjoying the party vibes supplied by the Old School Samba Band.
     
    In August, Demelza moved its main Distribution Centre to the larger, more centrally located warehouse at the former Royal Mail site in Maidstone.  The new property provides Demelza with generous stock sorting space and storage as well as offering dedicated parking to those dropping off donations.  The size of the premises allows Demelza to upcycle furniture, create a recycling and ragging area, sort donations to ensure that goods are allocated to the best suited outlets, and store seasonal stock, ensuring it is distributed to all shops in good time.  It also provides space for a very large Shopping Outlet where bargains come in all shapes and sizes – from sofas, dining tables and dressers, to books, vintage clothing and memorabilia.  
     
    Ashley Henson, Demelza’s Head of Retail said: “I am so grateful to all who came along to the grand opening of our Shopping Outlet.  There was a fantastic atmosphere and we were so pleased to see so many customers picking up some brilliant bargains, safe in the knowledge that their spending will help provide the very best care and support for our Demelza families.  I’d like to thank everyone that supported the event, including Mayor Malcolm Greer and Jamie for cutting the ribbon.”  

    Demelza has 24 retail outlets across Kent, South East London and East Sussex, all run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.  Every pound spent in our shops helps fund vital care for seriously ill babies, children and young people and their families.  
     
    Our shops are always in need of donations for stock. You can offer up almost anything from children’s toys, to furniture, to wedding dresses to shoes! For more information on how to donate please visit our shop with us page.
  • Demelza Space to Grow

    by Paul Lawrence | Oct 26, 2017
    Our hospice in Eltham, South East London will be undergoing an exciting transformation as of next week, in the form of a new two-storey extension.  This impressive building project is the most incredible gift to Demelza from Osborne, one of the UK’s leading construction businesses, and their wonderful colleagues and suppliers.

    This project will focus on ensuring that we have the right room and space to deliver our outstanding care, starting from the moment families arrive in our new child-friendly, spacious reception area. 

    The emotional well-being of everyone at the hospice is central to the compassionate care and support we provide. Due to the nature of our work, staff and volunteers often need quiet, personal space available to reflect on their day. At the moment this is not possible. This new extension will provide space to allow us the opportunity to further look after the well-being of our staff and volunteers, so that they are better equipped and able to care for our children and families. 

    Demelza’s Director of Resources, Lavinia Jarrett says: “We are so grateful to the team at Osborne and all their colleagues and suppliers for giving us such a phenomenal gift. The work that is taking place at our Eltham hospice will make such a big difference - not just to our children and families, but also our staff and volunteers too, who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care.”

    Andy Steele, Chief Executive at Osborne says: “It is beyond my comprehension to think what both the children and their parents are going through when they are at the point of needing Demelza’s care. I am delighted we found the “Demelza Space to Grow Project” to mark our 50 years in business, but most importantly to achieve an outcome that will positively impact on the lives of vulnerable children in our society for the next 50 years.”

    The team undertaking the build will take every available opportunity and measure to ensure that disturbances are kept to a minimum, but, with the nature of this fast build, this will not always be possible. And for that, we apologise. 

    Please do bear with us during this time, but if for any reason you need to get in touch with Demelza, please call Lavinia Jarrett, Director of Resources on 07825 362110.
     
  • Penny Lancaster and Sean Stewart join the PHAT Dads to complete iconic Hever Castle Triathlon for Demelza

    by Paul Lawrence | Oct 02, 2017
    Last weekend Lady Penny Lancaster-Stewart, Sean Stewart and the PHAT Dads Club took on the 9th edition of the iconic Hever Castle Triathlon to raise funds for Demelza Children’s Hospice.  The team, who have raised over £70,000 for Demelza during their years of supporting the charity, swam cycled and ran to inspire others to give their support and to raise much needed funds.

    Demelza Hospice Care for Children, a charity based in the south east of the UK, with hospices based in South East London, Kent and East Sussex, has seen an increase in the number of children needing their help in recent years.  Thanks to PHAT Dads, the South East London site in Eltham has recently renovated it’s dated sensory and music room.  PHAT Dads are now fundraising to update the family bedrooms which will mean that while the Demelza team provides compassionate and expert care for seriously ill babies, children and young people, they can make sure the whole family’s stay is as comfortable as possible.

    Fundraiser Nicola Irvine said: “This incredible support from PHAT Dads Club, Lady Penny Lancaster-Stewart and Sean Stewart means that the team have achieved their goal of funding two of the three family bedrooms at our Eltham site ensuring that families can stay together. We’re so proud of all of them, especially the children who trained so hard for such a tough challenge!”

    Founder member of PHAT Dads, Olly Lancaster said: “We are truly honoured and proud to support Demelza and are continuingly inspired by the work of the care teams and the incredible strength that the children and families of Demelza show.  We understand more and more the charity’s saying ‘’adding life to days, when days can’t be added to life” and the commitment needed to help achieve this.  We’re already looking forward to the next sponsored development at Demelza and of course next year’s sporting fundraiser.  Thank you to Demelza, and to all the support from our friends and family’’.
  • Sky Garden Ball

    by Paul Lawrence | Sep 20, 2017

    The Sky Garden was the venue for this year’s flagship ball-the most magnificent view looking right across the South East London boroughs we serve. Our thanks go to all our guests and generous donors who gave fabulous auction prizes including a £5,000 shopping voucher at Boodles, being a star for a day with a walk on part in a film being shot in the East End of London and private cinema experience for 275 guests!

    Our special thanks go to GKR Scaffolding and the Rowswell family for hosting the evening on our behalf.

  • Adam Phillips raises over £3000 for Demelza with epic Dart10K Swim

    by Paul Lawrence | Sep 19, 2017
    On Saturday 9 September, Adam Phillips completed the Dart 10K Swim in Devon, and raised over £3000 for Demelza.  Adam took on the epic swim to raise money for the charity, that carries the name of his late sister, Demelza Phillips.

    Adam completed the grueling swim that follows the River Dart course from the town of Totnes to the estuary at Dittisham, in 2 hours 26 minutes.  

    At the finish line, Adam said: "Wow! It's been an amazing journey and I've loved every bit.  I'm just overwhelmed to have finally completed this swim. Whether you’re taking on a challenge or event, big or small, physical or not, I'd just encourage anyone to commit their time to making a difference to someone or something.  The feeling is simply fantastic and I just want to share it with everyone!"

    Adam has admitted that as a pub landlord of The Duke of Edinburgh in Maidstone, he’s much more at home swimming in beer than in open water.  He has been following a strict training regime in the 10 week lead up to the swim, and explains his driving force:

    “The families that use Demelza swim their own marathon every day, there are no rest days. But their personal challenge is met by an unrelenting commitment from the most dedicated team of carers I have ever had the privilege to meet. Demelza offers outstanding facilities with a team there 24/7 to support and provide care, not only for the children, but for the family as a whole.”

    Adam has been documenting his training through vlogs and blogs on his Facebook page, Swimming with Demelza, and hopes to inspire more people to take part in fundraising events for Demelza: 
    “Demelza is a fantastic, inspiring place that provides a simply incredible service but needs over £10.5 million a year to run these services, so anything I can do to help I will”.

    “Demelza was my sister, and I am immensely proud that the hospice not only carries her name, but continues to thrive on the very simplest of family values: care, support and love.”

    Adam’s fantastic fundraising efforts will be going directly to help care for the seriously ill babies, children, young people and their families that we support in Kent, South East London and East Sussex.  

    There’s still time to support Adam’s fundraising attempts, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swimmingwithdemelza2017
  • Kent FA and Kent Schools FA bring new soft play to Demelza Kent

    by Paul Lawrence | Sep 15, 2017
    On Thursday 7 September 2017, Demelza Hospice Care for Children proudly reopened their soft play room.  The invaluable play area was opened by Demelza’s CEO, Ryan Campbell, and was a culmination of a three year charity partnership with the Kent Football Association and Kent Schools Football Association. 

    The opening welcomed guests from across Kent grass root football clubs and leagues, as well as leading members from the Kent FA, Kent Schools FA, and Kent Reliance who kindly sponsored the event and all of the Kent FA Football Cups. 

    Kent FA and Kent Schools FA raised an incredible £25,000 in order to bring new life to the soft play room at the Kent hospice.  Demelza’s original soft play room opened its doors in 2005 and had been enjoyed by hundreds of families over the years.  Due to the room’s popularity, the play space was in need of renovation. The generous fundraising efforts have enabled the room to be kitted out in brand new soft play equipment, an interactive “magic carpet” projector and redecorated in beautiful, vibrant colours.

    Demelza provides compassionate and expert care for seriously ill babies, children, young people and their families in Kent, South East London and East Sussex.  Alongside clinical support, Demelza offers a range of therapy services for both the child and their family, to enable them to express themselves in new ways, explore their emotions and to play in a safe environment.  Demelza’s soft play room is one of these very special therapy spaces.

    Ryan Campbell, Demelza CEO said, 
    “We wanted to say a huge thank you to those who have been involved in this incredible project. It has been a real pleasure working with all of the clubs, leagues and people who have got behind our partnership with the Kent FA and Kent Schools FA, making new community links and bringing everyone together for one aim – improving the soft play room at Demelza Kent in order to improve the lives of those children and families that we care for.”  

    Paul Dolan, Kent FA Chief Executive and Director said, 
    “When we started the partnership with Demelza in 2014, we never would have imagined that we would have come as far as we have. Our aims in the beginning were to promote grassroots football, encourage participation across ages, sexes and abilities and build community links for both the charity and football. Over the course of the last couple of years, we not only have achieved this, but have made good friends along the way and supported the refurbishment of an amazing cause in the process.”

    Children and families under Demelza’s care will now be able to benefit fully from this amazing project.
     
  • Demelza families fun day at Margate

    by Paul Lawrence | Sep 04, 2017
    During the summer holidays, Demelza families were invited for a family Fun Day at Margate Sands. 

    Making the most of the sunny weather, the children and their families grabbed their buckets and spades and headed to the seaside.  A phenomenal day of sun filled fun was had by all, with all the families making the most of  free golf sessions, courtesy of Strokes Adventure Golf, and a Beach Safari arranged by Thanet Coast. Families were able to make use of the community beach hut, bring picnics, participate in fun games and enjoy the delights of the sandy shores.  At the end of the day they were invited to Dreamland to experience a VIP tour and free unlimited rides.   
    One Demelza mum said: “What a fabulous day!  The adventure golf was brilliant and the first time we have ever had the chance to play it as a family. From being in the water and playing in the sand, to the Dreamland rides, my boys loved every minute of the day!”

    The Family Fun Day was all about bringing Demelza families together from the wider community for a wonderful shared experience.
  • Demelza's frothy, foamy, family fun draws over 700 runners to Dartford

    by Paul Lawrence | Aug 11, 2017
    Demelza’s hugely popular Bubble Rush made it’s return to Dartford’s Central Park last weekend with over 700 runners taking on the 4ft walls of colourful bubbles along the 4km course.

    The event, in its third fantastic, frothy, fabulous year, raised over a phenomenal £10,000 for Demelza, with more sponsorship still coming in.  

    The sun shone down on the families and friends of Demelza on Sunday 6 August,  while local Clubbercise instructors warmed up the ‘Bubblers’, preparing them for the foamiest run of a life time.  

    Taking part in the race were four children - Nicole (11), Charlie (8), Elliot (9) and Ally (8) - who completed their fifth and sixth Bubble Rushes on Sunday, meaning that between them they have now run over 100km through the bubbles. Over the years they have raised over £400 for Demelza. They could quite possibly be the most brilliant Bubblers in the country!

    Bubble Rush epitomizes what Demelza is all about – fun, laughter and making memories.  It is fantastic fun for all the family but it does have a serious purpose - all the money raised goes to providing vital care and support for our Demelza children and their families.  

    A big Demelza thank you to everyone who supported the event including Dartford Borough Council, Dartford Harriers Athletic Club, McDonalds Dartford, Practical Car & Van Rental, Dartford and Places for People.

    If you missed Bubble Rush in Dartford, then there is still time to sign up to the fun run taking place in Deal on Saturday 26 August.

    For more details on Bubble Rush at Betteshanger Park visit the event page here - Bubble Rush Deal

  • Demelza supporters raise over £10,000 as they take on UK’s highest freefall abseil

    by Paul Lawrence | Jul 27, 2017
    On Sunday 23 July a group of 44 brave fundraisers took on the epic challenge of abseiling 80m off the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park in London to raise over £10,000 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

    Standing at 114m high, the ArcelorMittal Orbit designed by Turner-Prize winning artist Sir Anish Kapoor, is a truly spectacular, unique and iconic venue set within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.  It stands higher than the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben and is twice as high as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

    The majority of the group had never abseiled before.  Abrar Ahmed from AXIS Europe Plc, one of the charity’s corporate partners said: “We are delighted to have raised almost £3,000 for the Children’s Hospice. I have no doubt it will be put to great use.  It was an incredible experience and I would certainly do it all over again! Sign me up for the skydive next!”

    Other companies taking part in the challenge included Inner Circle Consulting, based in London Bridge and SMC Ford.  

    Tamsyn Clark, Demelza’s Director of Marketing and Communications, who also braved the challenge on Sunday with three other members of the Demelza care team said “It was an incredible experience and I’m so delighted to have been part of this fantastic group raising money for Demelza. We rely so heavily on the generosity and commitment of people taking part in challenges like this to raise the £10.5m we need annually, we just couldn’t exist as a charity without them!”

    Money raised from the challenge will go towards supporting the 650 families supported by the hospice in SE London, Kent and East Sussex. 
     
  • Baby Sean's Legacy for Demelza

    by Paul Lawrence | Jul 20, 2017

    Baby Sean’s Legacy for Demelza


    Newborn babies using Demelza’s hospice in Eltham, South East London are to benefit from brand new, state-of-the-art neonatal equipment, thanks to a generous donation from Sean’s House Hospice.

    Representatives of Sean’s House, including founder Pamela Cabannes-Barrall, presented a cheque for £6,202 to nurses at Demelza South East London.  The funds have been used to buy specialist neonatal equipment including a modified bassinet with a heated mattress and neonatal scales.

    Demelza Hospice Care for Children, a charity based in the south east of the UK with hospices based in both Eltham and Sittingbourne, has seen an increase in the number of premature and newborn babies needing their help in recent years.  Thanks to Sean’s House Demelza can now provide improved specialist care to neonatal babies and their families.

    The donation from Sean’s House was able to provide:
    • Specialist heated mattresses for bassinets
    • Neonatal weighing scales
    • Neonatal syringe drivers
    • Supersoft bedding
    • Memory making boxes including hand and footprint moulds.

    Neonatal babies who arrive at Demelza South East London are allocated a highly trained nurse to look after them and their families for the duration of their stay. The Demelza team provide compassionate and expert care for seriously ill babies, children and young people and their families, and will make their stay as comfortable as possible, whether that stay is for ‘step down care’ when helping a family transition from hospital to home, or for specialist end of life care.

    Fundraiser Nicola Irvine said: “This donation from Sean’s House means that we can give new born babies with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions the best possible care in an environment that feels more like home than a hospital, while still having the support of an experienced team of nursing practitioners”.

    Grandmother of Sean and founder of Sean’s House, Pamela Cabannes-Barrall said “There is no foot so small that it cannot leave a footprint on the world, I started Sean’s House in my Grandson’s memory to relieve the suffering and distress the whole family faces when caring for a baby with a life limited or life threatening condition”.



     

  • Demelza ball raises a fantastic £35,000

    by Paul Lawrence | Jun 23, 2017
    An incredible £35,000 was raised for Demelza last weekend at a ball hosted by Demelza President Richard Oldfield, his wife Alicia, and Demelza supporters and sponsors, Paul and Patsy Barrett.

    The sizzling summer weather added authentic atmosphere to the Indian themed ball, held at Donnington House on Saturday 17th June.  Guests enjoyed an Indian feast followed by dancing and acrobatics from Guvinder Sandher and his group.

    The evening featured a very successful auction, and included a prize from Googlebox’s Mary Killen to have lunch with her and husband, Giles Wood, at the Ritz in London.

    Major Donor Manager Sarah Kemsley said: “We are very grateful to all those that supported the ball and everyone who generously donated to the auction. .  Children’s hospices such as Demelza only exist because of charitable support. Fantastic donations like this really do make a difference to our children and families.”
  • Lottery Sales Advisors

    by Paul Lawrence | Jun 22, 2017

    Are you looking for part/full time flexible work with a children's hospice charity to promote our lottery membership to friends and family and locally door to door?

    No cash collection is involved however you would need to have some experience in face to face contact.

    Promoting lottery membership is a very soft sell. The member pays their £1/£2 weekly membership by monthly direct debit. You will be self-employed working flexible hours and paid a high weekly commission for each new member.

    We're looking for door-to-door Lottery Sales Advisors in the following regional areas:

    SE London/Kent border
    East Sussex/West Kent
    East Kent

    To find out more details, please contact Paul Booth on (01795) 845224 or 07795 527847 
  • Demelza pays tribute to Countess Mountbatten

    by Stuart Hubbard | Jun 15, 2017

    We are very sad to hear that the Patron of Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Countess Mountbatten passed away at her home in Kent on 13th June.

    Countess Mountbatten had been the Patron of Demelza Hospice Care for Children since the very beginning, having been invited to be part of charity by our founder, Derek Philips.  She opened our first hospice in Kent today (15th June) in 1998.

    The Countess was a tireless supporter and ambassador for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.  The Countess showed enormous empathy for our work and as a survivor of an IRA bomb that killed her father and her twin son, her strength of character always shone through. 

    Derek Philips, our founder said “It is one of my life’s greatest privileges to have worked with Countess Mountbatten and I became to know her as a dear friend. She became involved at a very early stage and when she heard of what we are trying to achieve at Demelza, she agreed to support us immediately. She had a true understanding of bereavement.  She was humble, gracious and a simply lovely Lady.”

    In 2003 The Countess wrote:

    To know that you are to lose someone you love at a young age is terrible and the death of your child is possibly the most intensely shocking and overwhelming experience you can ever endure.  However, those caring for the children and families during this time, often over several years, can give a very welcome source of strength and support.  Families who come to Demelza know that their care and wellbeing is just as important following the death of a child and bereavement care is available for as long as members of the family need it.

    On a personal level, although it is now 12 years since my small granddaughter died after a brave year’s battle with a kidney tumour and much suffering, I am still deeply touched if someone tells me how sorry they are, or if they acknowledge my loss in some way.  It may seem like a small gesture – but to me it means the world because it means that my granddaughter has not been forgotten. 

    Despite the suffering, the atmosphere at Demelza is nevertheless one of happiness and loving care thanks to the very remarkable team of nurses, staff and volunteers who work there.”

    Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Countess Mountbatten at this very sad time.



  • To mark the start of Volunteers Week Demelza staff have been saying ‘Thank You’ to our volunteers

    by User Not Found | Jun 01, 2017

    To mark the start of Volunteers Week Demelza staff have been saying ‘Thank You’ to their volunteers. 

    With almost 1000 registered volunteers, Demelza could not provide the services they do without such a dedicated team – from trading, gardening, catering and care, volunteers are integral to all departments. 

    Last year alone, Demelza volunteers racked up over an incredible 159,000 hours of work between them.  That’s the equivalent to 83 members of full time, permanent staff or nearly £1.15 million worth of staffing costs.

    Lynne Clark, Demelza’s Head of Voluntary Services, said: “We cannot thank our volunteers enough for all they do and the time and skills they give makes such a huge difference to our children and families.”

    Kirstie Goodger who has been a volunteer at Demelza Kent for 4 years says: “I enjoy helping others and having the opportunity to work with people you may not otherwise meet.  There is the opportunity to develop a range of skills, and volunteering has greatly improved my confidence and communication skills’”

    Richard King volunteers for our hospice in Eltham, South East London says: “Life has been fair to me so when I retired from the fire brigade I wanted to use my skills to help others.  Demelza is my local charity and I help with maintenance which I really enjoy.”

    No matter what role they undertake, all our volunteers are helping us to continue the vital work we do.

    We are always looking for more volunteers to join our team. Volunteering at Demelza can be a very rewarding experience and there’s probably more ways of doing it than you think. If you would like to volunteer at Demelza please contact the Voluntary Services team on 01795 845200, email us or check out our current vacancies.

     

  • Changing perceptions of children’s hospices - #ChildrensHospiceWeek

    by User Not Found | May 24, 2017

    This week is Children’s Hospice Week #ChildrensHospiceWeek, during which we are working with Together for Short Lives and children’s hospices across the UK to help raise awareness of the number and needs of children with life-limiting conditions. 

    We are also trying to change people’s perceptions about some of the myths surrounding children’s palliative care. 

    We asked our staff and volunteers what the one thing would be that you wish people knew about children’s hospices, and that you think they would be surprised to hear. The overwhelming response from everyone is just how happy children’s hospices are. 

    David, in our community fundraising team said “as soon as you mention the word hospice to people, they think what a sad place it must be”. He often replies that “yes, sad things do happen, but more often than not, if you found yourself in one of our hospices and witnessed what was going on around you, it would be very unlikely for you to realise that you were in a hospice”. 

    Sophie, in our HR team, reiterated the point and said that Demelza is “one of the most happiest places to work” that she has experienced. 

    Courtney, in our Family Support team, added to this point and said that when she speaks with past colleagues from other childrens’ service organisations. “Sometimes they automatically think what a sad place it must be to work, but that she’s found Demelza to be “full of great energy and fun play opportunities”. “It’s helping families with the small things that their minds just don’t have time to think about and creating memories with families that are priceless”.

    It’s not only our staff and volunteers who remark how happy a place Demelza is, but also our families too. Lawrence, father to Joshua who came to Demelza shortly after he was born, says “I had a preconceived idea of what a hospice was and I didn’t want Joshua there. I had a view of a hospice as a depressing, bleak environment and I didn’t want my son involved”. After a tour of the hospice and the opportunity to meet some of the team and other families, Lawrence’s views soon changed. “This was a happy place, a fun place, a child’s dream house!”. He adds, “arriving at Demelza essentially gave me my family back. We were suddenly able to all be together and concentrate on just loving him. The last month of Joshua’s life was the best time we all had together as a family. I knew his pain was being managed and we were able to play with him each day, hold him and love him.” You can read more about Joshua's story in our latest appeal. 

    When James, our Transition and Youth Engagement Support Worker, faces negativity around working in a hospice, he simply responds by saying “You’d be surprised, it’s actually the happiest, most positive, upbeat place I’ve ever been!”.

  • Demelza apprenticeships scheme is now open for applications

    by User Not Found | May 18, 2017

    We're really pleased to announce that Demelza has just opened its new apprenticeships scheme for applications. 

    We are advertising for five apprentices to assist with administration across varying areas of the organisation. You can find out more and apply here

    We piloted an apprenticeship scheme in 2014 and took on two apprentices at Demelza. 

    Sophie LaHaye (pictured above) was our first apprentice, working in the HR team. It was such a success that Sophie went on to get a full-time job as an HR assistant at the end of the scheme and now leads on all of our recruitment.

    She says:  “Following on from last year, I have taken on the role as Recruitment Lead for Demelza. Going back to the start of the apprenticeship, I never thought I would have progressed so far and into a position that I love so much. Every day is different and each week brings new challenges and learning experiences.”

    Leah Akhurst then joined Demelza in our lottery team.

    Leah says:  “My apprenticeship at Demelza has given me the opportunity to enhance my skills and develop my confidence in the workplace.”

    Director of People and Resources, Lavinia Jarrett said: “Demelza must grow our skills in all areas and Apprenticeships are a fantastic ways to achieve this.”    

    Our apprenticeship roles offer a great start to a career, so why not apply today, or pass on the news to anyone that you know who may be interested. 

  • #LearningAtWork opportunities all year round at Demelza

    by User Not Found | May 16, 2017
    It’s National #LearningAtWork this week, but learning, training and personal development are all topics that are taken very seriously all year-round at Demelza. 

    Helen Rolls, our Nursing Care Coordinator commented that training “makes all the difference in being prepared and being in a better position to offer that first-class service, rather than muddling through and taking someone in when you’re not upskilled to do it.”

    As well as having a dedicated Learning and Development Manager, Demelza also boasts a Governance Team who are collectively responsible for workforce development across the organisation. 

    When you join Demelza access to training and development opportunities is evident from day one. We have a thorough induction programme delivered in person that really allows you to get under the skin of the organisation and understand how all of the teams at Demelza come together. This is supported by an online training package covering key issues such as Health and Safety and Data Protection. 

    The induction window for Nurses, in particular, continues for another six months, with them being supported by a mentor and taught how all the equipment works. It gives newcomers time to settle in and ensure their clinical skills are up to speed as so many children have complex needs.

    As well as personal development and skills based training, Demelza also provide excellent support for all the mandatory training that Demelza is required to provide to comply with regulatory requirements and support good practice. We also hold Lunch and Learn sessions where staff and volunteers are invited to share their skills and knowledge from perhaps outside of Demelza to the rest of the organisation. Topics have included everything from Tai Chi to Driver Awareness. 

    For line managers, Demelza runs a Leadership Development Programme for everyone who has people management responsibilities.  There are a total of 8 modules covering a wide range of subjects.

    Demelza are in the process of rolling out an Apprentice Scheme for Demelza, which follows on from the two successful Apprentice roles we have had in the past.  Sophie (pictured above) was our first apprentice and said of her experience “my time spent as a HR Apprentice at Demelza was really exciting and valuable. I have learnt so much and everyone has really helped me to develop my knowledge and skills. I was made to feel so welcome and fitted straight into #TeamDemelza ”. We have vacancies for five non-care apprentices currently and hope to be able to offer care roles too, after the initial pilot.  Recruitment starts on 15th May, and you can register your interest with hayley.clark@demelza.org.uk  

    For ongoing interest in your personal development and opportunities to do so, Demelza see this as a key benefit in working or volunteering with them. To see more about our benefits and current vacancies, check out our website
     
  • Celebrating our Care Team heroes

    by User Not Found | May 12, 2017
    Friday 12th May is Nurses’ Day #InternationalNursesDay, so here at Demelza we’re taking a moment to appreciate our #nurseheroes, and in fact all of our front line staff and volunteers who provide care and support to the families with whom we work!

    Each year Demelza cares for 650 babies, children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.  However, our aim is to reach even more children and families who need Demelza’s support.  We cannot do that without each and every staff member, volunteer and supporter that make up #TeamDemelza.  

    As today is Nurses’ Day, we would like to say a special thank you, on behalf of everyone at Demelza, to all our nurses and care team who provide specialist, round the clock care and support to our Demelza families.  We’re immensely proud of our team! 

    Our care and support teams are here every day to provide compassionate and expert care for our seriously ill children and their families – when they need it most.  

    Demelza parent Lawrence explains:  “Demelza was critical to us coping individually and as a family and if they weren’t there I’m not sure we would have.  I owe the organisation and people who work within it a debt that I will never be able to fully replay. They truly are an exceptional organisation staffed by some of the most incredible people I have ever met.”

    In our recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports, our wonderful team were also specifically mentioned for the way that they delivered our services: ““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.”

    Whether in one of Demelza’s hospices, situated in Sittingbourne in Kent and Eltham in South East London,  or in the community with our team in East Sussex, our team are there to provide quality and effective care to enable children who may not live a long life to live a full life.  Demelza Kent’s Care Coordinator, Helen Rolls has been part of this fantastic team for the past 12 years.  

    Helen trained within the NHS, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London and progressed to paediatric nursing at Maidstone Hospital Kent.  Helen describes her first encounter with Demelza: “I was caring for a young boy on the hospital ward, who had terminal cancer.  When he was transferred to Demelza’s hospice, he left some of his personal possessions behind so I took them up to him. When I saw the hospice, I realised this was what I really wanted to do – to give these children that special kind of care.”

    Through the years Helen has been able to benefit from the different style of care which children’s hospices can offer: “The job is more emotional but more fulfilling than hospital nursing.
    You feel you’ve done a better job, a proper job in the time that you need to do that job - and that you’ve helped make someone else’s life better.  As nurses we want to provide holistic care but I don’t think I actually provided holistic care until I came to Demelza, because there simply isn’t time on a ward.”

    And just what makes the role of a Demelza nurse so special?  Helen explains: “I feel extremely privileged to work for Demelza, I have time to provide one-to-one, personalised care to families and truly feel part of a team. We help families create precious memories.”

    Helen is just one shining example of our outstanding #TeamDemelza!  If you think you could be one of our #nurseheroes then check out how you can work with us

    Or join us at one of our Nurse Recruitment Events to speak to our nurses about what it’s like to be part of #TeamDemelza, and tour our facilities and see what our residential buildings have to offer to children, young people and their families, as well as find out more about the wider support and therapies we offer.

    Events are being held on:
    Friday 2 June
    Demelza South East London
    2pm and 6pm

    Monday 19 June
    Demelza Kent
    2pm and 6pm

    To register your place please contact Hayley Clark, Learning and Development Manager – hayley.clark@demelza.org.uk, 01795 845203


    Of course, since Demelza is a charity, not part of the NHS, we are reliant on generous donations from local individuals, groups and businesses so that we are able to provide care free of charge to families. There are various ways in which you can help to fundraise for us, from bucket collections, to holding events, to participating in our challenges, leaving a contribution in your will, either as an individual, with your family and friends or via your workplace
     
  • The Axis foundation boost Demelza’s ‘adopt a nurse’ initiative with a £54,000 donation

    by User Not Found | May 11, 2017
    Demelza Hospice Care for Children’s ‘Adopt a Nurse’ initiative has had a huge boost with a £54,000 donation from The Axis Foundation, the charity arm of property maintenance and services provider Axis. The cheque was presented to Demelza, following a golf day at the London Golf Club, and is the equivalent to 2,680 hours of nursing care. 

    Axis’ longstanding partnership with Demelza started 13 years ago.  During this time £600,000 has been donated to support the charity’s ‘Adopt a Nurse’ programme. This programme helps to fund qualified nurses to provide Demelza children with 24-hour specialist care, which is key in providing them with a better quality of life.  As a charity, not part of the NHS, these charity partnerships are vital.  Demelza is reliant on generous donations from local individuals, groups and businesses to be able to provide care free of charge to children and young people, affected by life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

    The short breaks, family support services, therapies and end-of-life care that Demelza provides across East Sussex, Kent and South East London are crucial for the children and families who depend on them.

    Demelza Parent Mette explained: “As well as memory-making and emotional support Demelza also gave practical help - from the community nursing team making phone calls and liaising with various agencies, to staff at the hospice tackling paperwork. We didn’t need to worry about the cooking, cleaning, washing - we could just focus on Thomas.” 

    The Axis Foundation funds are raised through an annual corporate donation and corporate events such as a charity ball and supplier golf day. Axis people are also heavily involved in personal fundraising through activities that range from skydives and bake sales to Dotty Days and abseils, and are always thinking of new ways to raise funds for the hospice. 
     


     
  • Swale partnership goes from strength to strength

    by User Not Found | May 11, 2017
    Demelza has been working in partnership with Swale Heating since 2010 when Swale Heating, as a local Sittingbourne based business, began serving our boilers free of charge at both our Sittingbourne and Eltham Hospice. 

    Since then our partnership has done nothing but grow and flourish with Swale Heating going on to add Demelza’s famous clown logo to all of their vans and marketing materials, helping to raise our profile around Kent and South East London. 

    Most recently though Swale Heating blew us away with their offer to donate £26,000-worth of their own air-time to us, allowing Demelza our first ever opportunity to advertise on TV. The ad which began airing in February showed during such programmes as The Chase, Judge Rinder and Tipping Point. You can view the age at the top of this page. 

    At a wrap party to celebrate the end of the six-week trial run, Demelza CEO Ryan Campbell said: “A massive thank you to Swale Heating for giving us this amazing opportunity. It’s been fantastic for reaching new families and supporters. This is the first time Demelza has advertised on television and we are enormously grateful to Swale Heating.”

    Since the first ad aired it has been seen on average 42,000 times per week, achieving a three-fold increase in family self-referrals to Demelza. The advert has allowed us to reach new audiences as well as new families, increasing our profile and allowing everyone out  there to truly see and understand what it is that we do. This is all down to the wonderful support of Swale Heating.  

    Following the three month trial period we have now formed an ongoing agreement with Swale Heating, with them continuing to gift approximately £9,000 a month to Demelza for television ad slots. 

    We have many more plans in the pipeline too with this big partner, from growing our London Campaign and working together on our social presence. 

    Watch this space for more Swale Heating and Demelza news! 

    To find out more about Swale Heating check out their website