• 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

  • Today is World Hand Wash Day

    by User Not Found | May 05, 2017
    Today is World Hand Wash Day, and to acknowledge it we thought we'd offer you this handy guide as to how you can wash your hands more effectively. 

    At Demelza, we have to take hygiene very seriously, and are lucky to have an expert in this very area - our Care Coordinator, Helen Rolls.

    Helen has kindly put together this video how-to-guide on the importance of hand washing and how you can do a better job of it in as little as 15 seconds. 

    Here are some fun facts for you: 

    Germs from flushing the toilet can travel up to 6 feet!
    Every time a toilet is flushed and the lid is left up, a fine aerosol mist is sprayed into the air that contains all types of bacteria causing diseases. It can then be inhaled or deposited on your clothes, creating a potential mobile source of infection.

    1 in 5 people don’t wash their hands effectively. Sadly of those who do wash their hands, only 30% use soap. It is recommended 15-20 seconds of vigorous handwashing with soap and water to effectively kill germs, but only 5% of people wash their hands for 15seconds or more. The result – faecal matter including bacteria such as E-Coli can be found on just over a quarter of our hands.

    Mobile phones are dirtier than you think. Each square inch of your mobile contains roughly 25,000 germs making it one of the filthiest things you can come into contact with on a daily basis.

    So check out our video, and please wash your hands regularly to help us keep our work environment as clean from germs as possible.
  • Family fun day in memory of Florence

    by User Not Found | Apr 26, 2017
    The family of a three-month old baby girl who spent her final days at Kent’s Demelza Hospice are holding a bumper Family Fun Day to raise funds for the charity and others who helped to care for her.

    Little Florence Eva Brockman was born on December 15 at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, with just one lung, one kidney and two holes in her heart.  When she was four days old, her parents Jack and Bianca, from Canterbury, learned she had a life-threatening, critically narrow airway. 

    Florence spent 12 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit in the Evelina Children’s Hospital before being transferred to Demelza, near Sittingbourne, where she spent her final days.

    Jack (22) said: “Florence proved a lot of professionals wrong – they couldn’t understand how she was alive, but she fought and fought until enough was enough. 

    “She sadly fell asleep at Demelza on March 14. She was and always will be our inspiration.” 

    Bianca (20) said: “We are unbelievably grateful to have had almost three months with our beautiful baby girl. If it wasn't for the staff at Evelina and Demelza, this wouldn't have happened.”

    Demelza’s Hop Garden is a bereavement suite where families can stay with their children and family friends and relatives were able to visit Florence to spend precious moments with her, both before and after her passing.

    Florence’s aunt Jasmine Brockman said: “Demelza allowed Florence and all of us in her family to spend absolutely amazing moments with her in her last hours on this earth.  We all pushed her in her pram around their beautiful gardens, something her parents had longed for. It was nothing like a hospital and the staff made us all feel welcome and helped us to say goodbye to our beautiful princess. Those moments were so precious and have given us lasting memories. We are just so grateful to Demelza for giving us that time.”  

    The family is now organising an action-packed activity day at Chartham Village Hall and the adjacent Memorial Field, on Sunday June 18 to raise funds for Demelza, Evelina and the Ronald McDonald charity which enabled Bianca and Jack to stay close to Florence in hospital.

    The fun starts at 10am, with a bouncy castle, face painting, pony rides, characters in costume, a raffle, tombolas and games for all ages.  Dozens of stallholders and businesses have already offered their support.

    If anyone would like to donate items for the raffle and tombola or to get involved in any other way, call 07525 761816.

  • Ashford Friends raise £10,000 for Demelza

    by User Not Found | Apr 18, 2017
    Demelza is looking for new supporters - especially in the Ashford area - following the retirement of a sterling bunch of local ladies.

    The Ashford Friends Group has raised £10,000 for the charity in the past four years by holding coffee mornings, cake sales, quizzes and an assortment of other events, including selling quilts and other hand-sewn goods at craft fairs. 

    Their efforts in the past year alone have brought in a much-needed £3,000 for Demelza.

    Now the ladies – led by Eileen Wilson, Hilda Durrant and Joan Dudley (pictured left to right) - are putting away their sewing baskets and needles along with their coffee cups.

    Eileen said: “We have had great fun meeting up to chat and sew and sell things to raise funds for Demelza, but we are not getting any younger and a couple of us have health problems, so we felt now was the right time to stop.”

    Community fundraiser Leila Ilkhan said: “These ladies have been amazing over the past four years – their support has been fantastic.

    “Unfortunately, they are going to leave a big hole in our fundraising in the Ashford area so we would be delighted to welcome anyone on board who would like to help with our fundraising efforts. 

    “We don’t expect them to climb mountains or run marathons – coffee mornings, book sales, bric-a-brac sales, raffles  – all those small events can add up to a big total at the end of the year.”

    If a group of friends – or a workplace group – would like to volunteer to help Demelza in Ashford or any other part of the South East, they should contact Leila on Leila.ilkhan@demelza.org.uk or telephone the fundraising team on 07825 094777
  • Spectacular support from Sunshine Girls

    by User Not Found | Apr 18, 2017
    A group of Dover fundraisers have donated more than £74,000 to Demelza.

    The Sunshine Girls – who started out as a local darts and skittles team - have raised £10,000 for Demelza in the past year – bringing the total raised in 20 years of fundraising to an amazing £74,000!

    The Sunshine Girls, headed up by Cess Crascall, used to meet at the former Churchill’s Club, but since its closure regularly hold fundraising events at The Bull Inn, in Dover’s London Road.

    They also organise coffee mornings, cake sales and weekly raffles and take part in the annual Boxing Day Dip in the English Channel.

    The Sunshine Girls’ support for Demelza began the year the Kent hospice was opened -  in 1998.

    Cess explained: “My husband Robert lost his brother Johnnie to cancer, aged just 42. We could see the hospice for children being built and it was close to home, so we decided it would be a good cause to support.”

    Not content with notching up £74,000, the group is set to continue raising vital funds for Demelza in the coming year. 

    Kirk Bennett, the son in law of one of the Sunshine Girls, is joining the brave 15 taking part in the Demelza Wing Walk on July 1, while some of the other Sunshine Girls intend to walk from Demelza’s Canterbury charity shop to Dover, dressed only in their ‘onesies.’ 

    Cess, her daughter Amy and son-in-law Shep are also hoping to walk the 50 kilometres between Demelza’s Eltham hospice and the Sittingbourne hospice as part of the Demelza ‘Walk this Way’ challenge.

    Community fundraiser Leila Ilkhan said: “This amazing bunch of ladies have been huge supporters of Demelza from the start and there seems to be no end to their stamina and determination to do daring deeds to raise money for us! We are so grateful for their support – it makes such a difference to the lives of our families.”

    If anyone would like to organise their own event in support of Demelza, please contact Leila on 07825 094777.  Details of all Demelza’s other fundraising events can be found here

  • Give your quidz to help Demelza's kidz

    by User Not Found | Apr 15, 2017
    Have you had your first new pound coin yet?

    If so, Demelza is asking you to donate it to our #Quid4Kids appeal to help make life a little happier for our children and their families in Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

    The new 12-sided £1 coin came into circulation on March 28, with the old £1 round pound ceasing to be legal tender on October 15.
    Demelza is asking you to donate your £1 coins – both old and new - between March and September to help raise vital funds to help with the care of our babies, children and young people with a life-limiting illness.

    There are four ways you can get involved:-

    Numero Uno – Be a number one supporter and donate your first NEW £1 Coins. Donate online at www.demelza.org.uk/donate.  

    Quids in – use the distinctive Demelza ladybird coin card holders to donate your old £1 coins. Available from fundraising@demelza.org.uk or call us on 01795 845288

    B Smart – Fill sweet tubes with your old £1 coins and send us your donation.

    Bunny Money - Donate £1 for every Easter egg you buy for your friends and family to Demelza during April. 

    And don't forget to share #quid4kids on social media and encourage your friends and family to get involved too!  
    So, as we say farewell to our 30-year old £1 round pound, spare a few quid for our kids – it will make a massive difference to enriching their lives.

    Thank you!
  • Chairman's Cycle Challenge hits the road for Demelza

    by User Not Found | Apr 12, 2017
    An enthusiastic clutch of cyclists from construction company Osborne’s took on the ‘Chairman’s Cycle Challenge’ to raise funds for Demelza.

    With a target of £12,000, the riders saddled up for a 25, 50 or 75-mile cycle sprint through the leafy lanes of Sussex and the South Downs – despite a day of appallingly inclement weather.

    Osborne, with offices in London, Reigate and the Midlands, was founded 50 years ago by Geoffrey Osborne and has grown to become one of the country's leading
    construction companies. The challenge was set by current Chairman Andrew Osborne as part of the company’s half-century celebrations.

    Mr Osborne said: “We see our 50th birthday as the perfect occasion to give something back and leave a legacy for the communities within which we work.”

    The cycle challenge combined two of the company’s objectives – of offering a physical but fun challenge for employees, their families and those with whom they work and to finance a community project with Demelza.

    Employees from Osborne’s offices throughout the country threw themselves wholeheartedly into the challenge and everyone who took part made it to the finish at Chichester College where the Sports Centre team, brilliantly organised by Mark Forder, got everyone showered, cleaned and changed before supplying them with some very welcome hot food. 

    The total raised is now well over £9,000 with funds still rolling in to the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/OsborneChairmansCycleChallenge.

    Demelza's Head of Fundraising Claire Ellis-Waghorn said: “Our corporate supporters are vitally important to the work we do with our families at Demelza and we are very grateful to all Osborne’s friends and families who sponsored the participants to raise this magnificent amount.

    “We hope to release details of how the money will be spent in due course – we have something very special in mind!”
  • Can you help us shape our communications?

    by User Not Found | Apr 11, 2017
    At Demelza we really value feedback and viewpoints from our staff, volunteers, supporters and the public. We are currently are looking for people who would be willing to participate in some focus groups that will help us to shape our marketing and fundraising activities. The focus groups will take place in Tunbridge Wells, Eltham and Sittingbourne on dates throughout May. 

    If you would be interested in attending please could you email us at comms@demelza.org.uk

  • TV ad's widespread success

    by User Not Found | Mar 27, 2017
    Demelza’s first TV advert has beamed the charity’s work into thousands of homes throughout London and the South East.

    Our first TV advertisement – made possible thanks to airtime donated by Swale Heating – is believed to have reached up to half a million viewers during its initial six-week run.

    As well as raising invaluable funds to help with the care and therapy work with children and families, by asking people to text MEMORIES to 70660, it gave a massive boost to our profile within the ITV London and Meridian regions.

    During the advert’s run, a number of new families self-referred to Demelza and the resulting press publicity reached more than 1.89 million people.

    At a wrap party to celebrate the end of the six-week 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.”

    Demelza children who took part in the advert joined in the party fun, including 11-year old Caitlin, from Maidstone, who recorded the voice-over for the 30-second commercial – reciting a moving poem which included lines about how Demelza helps her own family.

    Swale Heating donated £26,000-worth of their own air-time to us, allowing the advert to be shown during such programmes as The Chase, Judge Rinder and Tipping Point.

    Swale Heating also services Demelza’s boilers free of charge and carries the charity logo on all of its vehicles.

    Swale Heating Sales Director Matthew Edwards said:  “The work the Demelza team carries out is extraordinary.”

    Viewers can still text 'MEMORIES' to 70660 to donate £3 – or donate via our website.
  • Demelza is set to build on our apprenticeships success stories

    by User Not Found | Mar 06, 2017

    This week is National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2017 and with two great success stories to date, Demelza is really pleased to be expanding its apprenticeship scheme.

    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.”    

    Building on these successes, Demelza is delighted to be in the process of setting up an apprenticeships scheme which is due to be launched in the Spring of 2017. We will be looking for business administration apprentices to join our busy teams across the organisation.  To register your interest for updates about this scheme, please email your details to recruitment@demelza.org.uk, reference – Apprenticeship Scheme 2017.