• Rugby legend supports Demelza in exciting testimonial year

    by Paul Lawrence | Feb 28, 2018

    We are delighted to announce that rugby legend, Sam Warburton OBE, has chosen to support Demelza as one of his charities during his testimonial year.

    The Welsh international rugby union player and two-times Lions skipper will be raising vital funds throughout the season in recognition of his long and outstanding service to the game. 

    Father-of-one Sam, says: “It’s an absolute privilege to be able to support Demelza Hospice Care for Children. 

    “I came across this charity and instantly fell in love with the amazing care and support they provide, and I can see the invaluable, life changing differences they make to families’ lives. Being a relatively new father to my two-year-old daughter has helped me appreciate how wonderful Demelza is for families in need. 

    To be able to try and help contribute to Demelza is an honour, and I’m really looking forward to helping raise money and awareness for this brilliant charity. Thank you Demelza for accepting, and here’s to another successful year!”

    Further details of all Sam’s fundraising activities are to be announced.  

  • Younger siblings group enjoy outward bound adventures

    by Paul Lawrence | Feb 22, 2018

    Building dens, making campfires and toasting marshmallows proved a hit for our Younger Siblings Group during half term.

    On Tuesday 13th February the adventurous group of 21 children were transported by luxury coach firm The Kings Ferry to Faversham Gunpowder Country Park, ready to begin learning essential forestry skills which they couldn’t wait to put into practise. 

    Supported by volunteers and staff from our two hospices Demelza Kent and Demelza SEL they soon began to connect with nature, using their new found wilderness skills in the Bush Craft session provided by Medway Valley Countryside Partnership.

    Having a brother or sister with a terminal diagnosis can often be lonely, and having fun can seem difficult or almost impossible at times.  But the group could not contain their smiles at their second stop - Faversham Community Gym and Activity Centre - where they made use of the trampolines, climbing ropes and slides.

    Zoe Workman, Family Support Worker at Demelza Kent, said: “Thank you to everyone who donated their time and resources to make this fantastic day possible. The children really loved their day and the feedback showed they loved being part of a team, learning new skills, making lots of friends and most importantly having fun. They are already looking forward to the next event.”

    For more information about to be part of the Demelza Younger Siblings Group, please visit our Younger Siblings Group page.

  • Demelza welcomes new support from local Champneys Spa Hotel, Eastwell Manor

    by Paul Lawrence | Feb 09, 2018

    We’re very excited to announce that Eastwell Manor, Champneys Spa Hotel in Ashford, Kent, will be supporting Demelza  by hosting a number of fundraising events and activities throughout 2018.  Guests at Eastwell Manor will also be given the option of making a £2 donation when they settle their bill at the end of their stay.  All the donations raised will go through Champneys Charitable Foundation.

    Mrs Dorothy Purdew, Champneys’ founder and owner, says:  “Eastwell Manor is delighted to be supporting local charity Demelza through the Champneys Charitable Foundation.  The charity is doing some fantastic work in helping to support children and families at a difficult time, and we look forward to raising as many funds as possible during our partnership.

    Ryan Campbell, Chief Executive at Demelza, says: “At Demelza we care for some of the most wonderful children and young people in Kent.  These are young people who live life to the full, despite their health and disability needs being very challenging at times.

    We are so delighted to have Champneys support Demelza, and we look forward to working together to help fund vital care for our children and families.

    Watch this space for further details and information of the upcoming fundraising activities Eastwell Manor has planned. 

  • New Year parties are a hit with Demelza families

    by Paul Lawrence | Jan 22, 2018

    Smiling faces and the sounds of laughter filled the room at Demelza’s New Year parties.

    Celebrations kicked off on Sunday 7 January with a Winter Wonderland-themed party at the Mecure Maidstone for families who regularly use Demelza Kent, our hospice near Sittingbourne. 

    Around 70 children and young people and their parents and siblings were treated to an afternoon of games, delicious food, magic tricks and musical entertainment from Sean Sullivan, Demelza’s HR Business Partner.

    Two weeks later the fun continued with a Disney party at The Crofton Halls in Orpington for families who use Demelza SEL, our hospice in Eltham, South East London.

    Liz Wenham, mum to three-year-old Mia who has cerebral palsy, said: “We all had such a lovely afternoon at the Demelza New Year party. Mia loved all the dancing and having her face painted. It was also beneficial for my husband and I to meet other parents who are supported by Demelza.”

    The children enjoyed meeting Disney characters Belle, Ana and Elsa and had lots of fun singing along to Disney favourites performed by students from Bird College.

    Ann Fagg, Care Service Lead at Demelza SEL, said: “We had a fantastic turn out of more than 120 and it was so lovely to see so many of our families getting together. We’re so very grateful to everyone who donated their time, resources and prizes to help make this party so very special and memorable.”  

  • New year brings lucky £25,000 win for Demelza Superdraw player

    by Paul Lawrence | Jan 22, 2018

    When Demelza Lottery and Superdraw player Sarah signed up she never imagined she would be a winner!

    “For me it was all about helping other families,” says the mum-of-one from Dartford.

    “My son was young and Demelza had just opened a children’s hospice in Eltham. It got me thinking about how blessed I was to have a healthy child and I wanted to do my bit to support others going through a tough time.”

    So when Sarah received a call from Paul Booth, Demelza’s Head of Lottery and Gaming, telling her she’d won the £25,000 Superdraw Jackpot on Friday 12 January, she was ‘stunned’.

    Sarah said:  “When he told me I was a winner and then the amount my jaw-dropped. I just couldn’t believe it. I was overwhelmed.  I’m treating my son to a Nintendo Switch and I’d like to get my bathroom done. It’s a project we’d put on the back-burner because we didn’t have the funds, but now we can which is wonderful.”

    Our Lottery is one of the simplest and sustainable ways you can support Demelza. Collectively, our members make a huge difference, because the money raised by our lottery provides vital regular income that helps us to reach more children and families.

    From as a little as £2 week, you have the chance to win a whopping £25,000 on our Superdraw or 53 weekly other cash prizes with our Lotto.

    Sarah added: “I would encourage anyone to sign up. I barely notice the money going out of my account every month and more importantly you know it is going to help local children and families in their time of need.”

    Click here to sign up or call 01795 845224 to speak to one of Lottery team to find out more.

  • Kent Reliance giving away teddy bears to holders of new Demelza Children’s Savings Account

    by Paul Lawrence | Jan 18, 2018

    Today (Thursday 18 January) marks the launch of an exciting new initiative between Demelza and long-term corporate supporter Kent Reliance.

    The local banking services provider will be making a donation to Demelza for every person under 18 who takes out a new Demelza Children’s Savings Account.

    Demelza will receive the equivalent of 0.25 per cent of the average monthly balance held across open accounts.

    Ryan Campbell, Demelza CEO, said: “Kent Reliance have been supporting Demelza since we opened in 1998 and we have enjoyed working together on a range of fundraising activities.  This year, we celebrate our 20th year anniversary as a hospice and today we launch into a new multi-year partnership with this amazing bank. Our joint aim is to raise a phenomenal £60,000 over the course of the next five years for the children and families we support. We look forward to working with the team at Kent Reliance and would like to thank everyone who will be a part of helping us achieve this.”

    The Demelza Children’s Savings Account is specifically designed for younger savers and every child who opens an account in branch will receive a special teddy bear.

    Samantha Hopkins, Savings Product Manager at Kent Reliance said: “We feel honoured to work with Demelza and look forward to helping the children and families they support on a daily basis through this new account. There are only a limited number of bears available, on a first come first served basis, and are wonderful reminders of the fantastic work that Demelza carries out within our local community.”

    For more information please visit the Kent Reliance Website

  • Thank you to all of our supporters

    by Paul Lawrence | Dec 31, 2017

    2017 has been an incredibly busy year for Demelza, as we continue to grow to help support seriously ill babies, children, young people and their families.  As the year draws to a close, we'd like to take a moment to share with you just a few of the highlights...

    * Our new Demelza Shopping Outlet and retail warehouse was officially opened in Maidstone.  Here, as in all of our charity shops, every pound spent helps fund vital care and support. 

    * The wonderful new Sensory Garden in Sittingbourne  was built with the help of a team of fantastic volunteers and funded by Tesco Groundworks. 

    * In East Sussex we moved to a fabulous new building where we can provide activities for children, as well as continuing our work with these families in their own homes.

    * And finally December saw Penny Lancaster-Stewart proudly open the ‘Space to Grow’ project at our Eltham hospice.  The incredible extension and refurbishment was gifted to Demelza from Osborne Construction and their supply chain partners.  

    It is an exciting time for Demelza but we could not continue to grow and reach out to families without your support. 

    THANK YOU for your generosity.  We hope you had a lovely Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year.

  • Penny Lancaster-Stewart officially opens the Demelza and Osborne Space To Grow project

    by Paul Lawrence | Dec 07, 2017
    The Demelza Space to Grow project was officially opened by Lady Penny Lancaster-Stewart on Tuesday 5 December.  The well attended event was the culmination of an exciting building project at our Eltham hospice in South East London.  The impressive two-storey extension is the most incredible gift to Demelza from Osborne, one of the UK’s leading construction businesses, and their wonderful colleagues and suppliers.

    This year, Osborne celebrated 50 years at the top of their industry.  As part of their 50 year legacy, they donated their time and covered all costs for a fantastic extension at the hospice.  Unbelievably, the transformation of the building took just 14 days. The Osborne team worked tirelessly to deliver the Space to Grow Project, that has ensured that the hospice now has the right room and space to deliver its outstanding care.

    The emotional well-being of everyone at Demelza 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. The new extension provides space to allow Demelza 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 the children and families at the hospice. 

    Penny Lancaster-Stewart said: “I am honoured and humbled to officially open Demelza’s Space to Grow extension.  I have personally supported this incredible children’s hospice charity for a number of years, and this transformation to their Eltham hospice is a fantastic gift that the children, families and the whole Demelza team truly deserve.  This new space will make a real and lasting difference to everyone at Demelza.

    Osborne’s Chief Executive, Andy Steele said: “I am delighted we have made a difference with the Demelza Space to Grow Project and marked our 50 years in business. I felt it was important to leave a legacy and achieve an outcome which will positively impact on the lives of children and families in our society for the next 50 years. This ambitious project would not have been possible however, without the support of our supply chain and many other partners who have aosbornell come together for such a worthwhile cause.

    Demelza’s CEO, Ryan Campbell
     said: “We are so grateful to the team at Osborne and all their colleagues and suppliers for giving us such a phenomenal gift. The incredible transformation to our Eltham hospice has already made a huge impact - not just to our children and families, but also our staff and volunteers too, who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care.
  • Tesco Groundworks funds new Sensory Garden for our Kent hospice

    by Paul Lawrence | Nov 22, 2017
    We proudly opened our new Sensory Garden this week, after 11 months of labour intensive work from over 50 volunteers.

    Demelza’s new sensory garden was funded by Tesco Groundworks  - Tesco’s local community grant scheme, where money raised from the sale of carrier bags is used to fund local projects in communities throughout the UK.  The scheme raised over £12,000 that was needed to transform an area of the hospice’s grounds, that were unused by families because of poor accessibility for children and young people in wheelchairs. 

    Demelza’s Senior Trusts Fundraiser, Laura Smyth said: “The plants and general feel of the area needed updating, so we thought turning it into a magical sensory garden would be an amazing project to undertake with the help of Tesco Groundworks.”

    The transformation was made possible by 20 corporate volunteers from local businesses, listed below, and over 30 people who regularly volunteer for Demelza.  The huge project is now ready for all the families who visit the Kent site for respite to enjoy.

    Laura continues: “We now have paved and hard standing pathways and areas, so everyone can move around and enjoy being outside in a beautiful, private and tranquil space. Introducing the sensory aspect means the garden can be further enjoyed by our children and young people. This includes a large water feature, tactile and fragrant plants and flowers, figures and characters dotted around, pergolas and a range of musical instruments. We cannot wait to see this beautiful garden in full bloom come the spring.”

    Lavinia Jarrett, Demelza’s Director of People and Resources, officially opened the Sensory Garden by cutting the ribbon and said:

    “We would like to thank Tesco Groundworks for funding this amazing project and to everyone who worked tirelessly on the Sensory Garden and across the rest of the Demelza Kent site during 2017. Building the new garden, whilst maintaining the 6.5 acres of land for our children, young people and families to enjoy, has been a monumental undertaking. You have exceeded expectations and for that we would like to thank you wholeheartedly”.

    A big thank you to the volunteers from the following companies….

    Amicus Horizon (now Optivo)
    Virgin Media 
    M&S Hempstead Valley
    Scottish Power
    National Grid 
    Swiss Re 
    Direct Line Group 
    KCC Tradings Team 
    Russell King Associates
    Berkeley Homes
    Ernst and Young
    Lloyds of London
    Morrisons Distribution Centre
    Kent Reliance
    Medway Norse
  • #MakeChristmasSpecial for Demelza families this year

    by Paul Lawrence | Nov 20, 2017
    Christmas is a time for giving – but Demelza will be helping #MakeChristmasSpecial for the families by issuing a plea NOT to receive presents this year. 

    Demelza’s CEO, Ryan Campbell explains: “Everything Demelza has and everything Demelza does are products of our charitable communities.  We are constantly in awe of the tremendous generosity people show to our children and families.”

    “At Christmas, their thoughts naturally turn to giving us toys – but, sadly, most of these gifts are just not suited to our children’s very special needs. Most Demelza children also have specific dietary requirements, sometimes requiring tube feeding, which means they can’t even tuck into sweet treats like other boys and girls of their age.” 

    So this Christmas, Demelza would like to ask that those who wish to give a gift to the charity, to either consider making a donation, to ensure that they can continue providing the very best care and support to local families; or to provide our children with an Amazon gift card, so specific gifts, such as sensory toys, can be purchased in order to benefit each individual child’s needs.

    As a charity, not part of the NHS, Demelza is reliant on fundraising, donations and gifts in Wills to raise over the £10.5 million needed every year to provide care to seriously ill children and their families.  

    Ryan says: “Every single penny is so desperately needed and Demelza can do so much with your donations, no matter how big or small.  A donation of just £25 could provide a family with all their meals for a day during their stay with us, or a donation of £60 would allow a child an art or music therapy session to help express thoughts and feelings they may not be able to put into words.”

    Even more ways to give…

    This year Demelza is one of 29 charities to benefit from Heart FM’s Giving Tree at Bluewater Shopping Centre, which supplies gifts for siblings of Demelza children.

    Ryan says: “Demelza are here to support the whole family, and every Christmas we like to give gifts to brothers and sisters that visit the hospice with their siblings. We’re very fortunate that our present needs will be broadly met by the valued partnership we have with Heart FM’s Giving Tree.” 

    “However, we are in desperate need of stock to be sold at our charity shops so if supporters would like to donate gifts, or intend on having a clear out post-Christmas, we would gratefully receive these items.”

    All sales from Demelza’s 25 charity shops provide a vital source of income for the charity.  

    Ryan says: “We are eternally grateful to our supporters for all of their donations, without which Demelza could not survive. Your generosity means we can help make Christmas special for our families as we continue to ensure that children with short lives will still lead full lives.” 

    To donate today please visit our Donate page, or to buy an Amazon gift card for one of our children click here.

    For details on how to donate stock to the shops please visit our Shop With Us page.
  • Businesses in Kent and South East London receive awards for children's hospice charity support

    by Paul Lawrence | Nov 06, 2017
    Companies from across Kent and South East London were rewarded for their charity support at the annual Demelza Business Awards, on Thursday 2 November 2017.  This year’s event was hosted by Great British Bake Off finalist, Jane Beedle, alongside Demelza CEO Ryan Campbell, and was sponsored by one of Demelza’s longstanding business partners, CLS.

    The annual award ceremony is a chance for Demelza to thank its corporate supporters for their fundraising efforts throughout the year.  The black tie event took place at the Tudor Park Marriott hotel in Maidstone, where guests heard bereaved father, John Humphrey, speak about his experiences of Demelza and express why it was so important for companies to support the charity that had helped his family.

    The winners were as follows:

    • Outstanding Individual Supporter  – Alison Mulford, Lloyds Banking Group, Kent Region

    • Outstanding Fundraising Team of the Year – Bouygues Energies & Services for their London to Paris Cycling Team

    • Bronze Outstanding Corporate Supporter – CLS

    • Silver Outstanding Corporate Supporter – Lloyds Banking Group, Kent Region

    • Gold Outstanding Corporate Supporter – Swale Heating

    • Outstanding Corporate Project – Osborne

    The first award of the evening, the Outstanding Individual Supporter award, was presented to Alison Mulford from Lloyds Banking Group, Kent Region.  Alison was recognised for her continued volunteering roles at Demelza and for helping forge the partnership between the charity and Lloyds Banking Group.

    Swale Heating was presented with the Gold Outstanding Corporate Supporter award for its continuing support in raising brand awareness for Demelza, through donating a generous budget for television advertisements.

    Lloyds Banking Group, Kent Region picked up the Silver Outstanding Corporate Supporter award, and CLS took home the Bronze Outstanding Corporate Supporter award, marking the 10 year anniversary of their partnership with Demelza.

    Bouygues Energies & Services’ London to Paris Cycling Team picked up the Fundraising Team of the Year award for their challenge event which raised an incredible £21,000 for Demelza. 

    The Outstanding Corporate Project award went to one of the UK’s leading construction companies, Osborne, for their incredible gift to Demelza in the form of the Space to Grow project. The exciting building transformation will see an impressive two-storey extension take place at our Eltham hospice over the coming weeks.  

    Jane Beedle said on the night:  “I am fortunate enough to have healthy children, but not everyone is in that position.  Demelza does such a fantastic job caring for those children and families that need them most. But Demelza requires the help provided by their wonderful business supporters in order to reach more families who are in need of Demelza’s care”

    Ryan Campbell, Demelza CEO said: “Everything Demelza has and everything we do is a product of the generosity of our community.  It has been a great year for Demelza as we continue to grow and expand our services, reaching more children and families.  And we really couldn’t do this without the continued help from all of our outstanding business supporters.  We are exceptionally proud of them all, helping us through direct funding, gifts of time or goods and just being incredible ambassadors for our charity.”

    Find out more about Demelza at www.demelza.org.uk, follow the charity on Facebook at www.facebook.com/demelzahospice or @demelzahospice on Twitter.
    A selection of pictures from the event can be seen here
  • 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.