• Superdraw winner takes to the road!

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

     A LIFE on the open road beckons for a retired Maidstone postie who scooped £25,000 in Demelza's Superdraw.

    But 57-year old David Stuart nearly missed out on the money after forgetting to tell us that he had moved house!

    When Head of Lottery and Gaming Paul Booth went to Mr Stuart’s house to present the £25,000 cheque to him, he discovered he had moved away last August. A six week search ensued before Paul finally tracked him down to Littlestone-on-Sea – 40 miles away on Romney Marsh.

    Paul said: “I spoke to the neighbours but they didn’t have a forwarding address. I discovered he had worked for the Post Office, so we tried contacting them, but to no avail."

    Mr Stuart pays his lottery membership by direct debit and it was the bank which finally got in touch.

    The Superdraw win means Mr Stuart is now able to indulge his new big love for travel. He has spent his winnings on a shiny new four-berth camper van so he and his partner Maria can tour around Britain and Europe!

    The former postman took early retirement after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in November 2010. He spent several weeks in hospital and signed up to the Lotto and Superdraw four years ago at our stand in Maidstone Hospital.

    He said: “I have always felt passionately about the work Demelza does with children and decided my monthly contributions would go some way to help. I never really expected to win anything!"

    Mr Stuart’s mother Myrtle, who still lives in Maidstone, has been a member of the Demelza lottery for many years. The family now plan to spread the word about Demelza’s Lotto when out and about in the van. He said: “I’m so thrilled by the win, I want to give something back.”

     

  • Beating the drum for Demelza!

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    African drumming, Am Dram and rock were part of a day-long feast of music and movement for our TIZ group.

    Entertainers who gave of their time and talents included singer-songwriter Chantal Olivia from Canterbury, Simon Lee on African drums, the Falconwood Rock Choir and Bromley Players. There was also a special sensory music session from TIME - Therapy in Music Experience - and a magician, all taking place at our SEL hospice.

    Organiser Melissa Day said: “Here at Demelza it’s all about life – and making the most of it.

    “All our children love to take part in music activities but this was something geared towards our Transformers group – a chance for them to get together and take part in a great fun day with their pals!"

  • New charity shop opens in Hythe

    by Tessa Paton | Sep 02, 2016

    Local people have pulled out all the stops to support the opening of our new charity shop in Hythe.

    ‘Designer,’ ‘bespoke’ and ‘beautiful’ are just some of the adjectives being used to describe the pre-loved items on offer at the new shop, just a stone’s throw from its previous premises in the High Street.

    Demelza has successfully operated a charity shop in the town for 15 years, as well as a separate, hugely-popular bookstore, a few doors away. But the move to bigger and better new premises – at 138 High Street – means we will have more space, more scope – and more flexibility.

    The double-fronted Georgian shop has been newly-fitted out to accommodate regular donations of clothes and household items but upstairs, two beautiful spacious rooms mean we will be able to run special ‘pop up’ features – such as a Christmas shop, wedding shop, carnival shop  and vintage shop

    Rachel Stead, Shop Operations Manager, said: “We are hugely excited by the move to these lovely new premises and the potential they have to offer. Locals have been beating down the doors while we have been getting ready – not just giving us some fantastically generous donations, but also wanting to buy.”

    Elke, a regular visitor to Demelza, was invited along to cut the ribbon on Thursday September 1 and officially declare the new shop open, after which a few glasses of bubbly were raised to toast the continued success of Hythe’s Demelza shop.

    Shop manager Lynn Madigan, who has worked for Demelza for more than 13 years, will continue to manage the new shop with her faithful team of trusty volunteers, who look forward to welcoming their regular customers – along with some new ones.  The old shop will continue to open three days a week – Friday, Saturday and Monday from 10am-4pm - until November 5 as a clearance store, with lots of items at bargain prices.

     

  • Fig rolls

    by Tessa Paton | Sep 01, 2016

    You know those NICE biscuits – the plainish ones somewhere between rich tea and malted milk on the boring spectrum? When I was about eight I accidently called them nice biscuits and my nanna explained that they are pronounced neece, which is French. This is because if you walked into a shop and asked the shopkeeper for nice biscuits he’d bring you every biscuit in the shop before you could stop him which would be a big inconvenience for all concerned. It was an important lesson which I’ve always remembered. 

    At about the same time though, shops changed overnight from being places where you asked a man in brown overalls for what you wanted, “May I have a Fray Bentos pie, two pounds of potatoes, a quarter of Army and Navy sweets, half a pound of faggots and some neece biscuits please?”, to places where you got to pick stuff off shelves for yourself; so I never actually got to use that lesson.

    Anyway, you know that NICE Guidance on End of Life Care for Children, Infants and Young People? A draft version of it has just been out for consultation and we’re expecting a final version in December this year. NICE stands for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (I know it doesn’t really, because that would be NIHCE, but how that came about is a very dull story indeed). It’s the quasi-governmental body which produces guidance on how the NHS and everyone else should deliver health services. 

    We’ve never had guidance before on how to deliver any aspect of palliative care for children and young people. This is a problem – not necessarily because we might be doing it wrong, or even because what care you get might depend on where you live.  It’s a problem because without properly put together guidance, care might not be as connected as it should be to the evidence base. The process of producing guidance, in short, is to look at what works best, and say that what works best is what should be done.

    The draft version of the guidance, which covers hospital and community NHS care as well as hospice care, states amongst other things that access to emotional and psychological support should be available for all; that bereavement support should be offered to all; and that everyone should be supported to have choice about place of death, including at home. This is far more than many children, young people and families get at present. It would be extraordinary and marvellous, and the impact would be transformational. It would require better and more joined together systems. And it would require a lot more money.

    I don’t know if that last point might be a problem. But either way, we might either be getting much more and better support for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families; or at least we might have verification of the evidence-base so that we can campaign better for it.

  • It's time to go dotty for Demelza!

    by User Not Found | Aug 31, 2016

    As the dark nights start to draw in, why not add a splash of colour to your life by planning something bright and colourful - and ‘Go Dotty’ for Demelza?

    Our staff are going dotty, our shops are going dotty - so why don't you join us by wearing dots and raising lots?

    #TeamDemelza want to see everyone literally ‘Go Dotty’ during the month of September - it can be something as simple as wearing a spotty tie, socks or a scarf and making a donation to Demelza.

    Or you could really push the boat out and organise a Dotty tea party, cake sale, guess the number of sweets in a dotty jar – or sign up for one of Demelza’s many fabulous fundraising events!

    We have dotty collecting tins, buckets and envelopes to make it easy for your office, friends or family to collect loose change - just make sure you have fun fundraising!

    Contact the fundraising team on 01795 845266 if you need more ideas!

     

  • Get on your bike for Demelza!

    by User Not Found | Aug 30, 2016
     IF you’re feeling sporty and inspired following a summer of Olympic activity, Demelza is giving you the chance to get a slice of the action.

    #TeamDemelza has secured a number of charity places in this year’s London to Brighton Cycle Ride and is now looking for keen cyclists to saddle up and get on their bikes for the 54-mile challenge.

    More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s ride, which takes place on Sunday September 11. Starting out from Clapham Common, it’s a chance for cyclists to hit the open road and blaze a trail through the Surrey countryside to the seaside in East Sussex!

    Last year’s riders raised almost £5,000 for Demelza and events co-ordinator Emma Cox is hoping to top that target this time around.

    She said: “We are so grateful the 38 people who chose to take part in the ride last year, many of whom have signed up again.  However, we hope to welcome some new faces on board!  Our riders come from all walks of life and have different reasons for taking on the challenge.”

    Emma said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to spread awareness through the area where we provide care.”

    Registration is £40 and entrants need to pledge to raise at least £100 in sponsorship. All participants will receive a free Demelza T-shirt.

    Details can be found at: https://www.demelza.org.uk/support-us/challenges-and-events/detail/london-to-brighton-cycle.

  • Archbishop of Canterbury visits Demelza Kent

    by User Not Found | Aug 24, 2016

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, was full of praise for the love and care shown by Demelza when he visited our Kent Hospice at Sittingbourne.

    The Archbishop, who is a Patron of the charity, toured the Hospice along with his wife, Mrs Caroline Welby, on what proved to be one of the hottest days of the year. The couple were shown around by eight-year old Malachi, who impressed the Archbishop no end with his knowledge of the Hospice and its facilities - and his adeptness at getting around, despite being blind.

    The Archbishop took tea in our magnificent gardens, cared for largely by volunteers, where he met some of our families, volunteers and trustees, while listening to some of our children enjoying music therapy. He also explored our soft play centre and sensory room!

    The Archbishop, who was welcomed by Chief Executive Ryan Campbell, chair of the Board of Trustees Sarah Phillips and Derek Phillips, our founder President, said: "This place is a tardis! It isn’t large on the outside but inside there is a whole country of wonderful care and love. I have been blown away by it.”

    He was later presented with a paper dove, made by children in their art therapy, which bore all of their thumbprints.

    We were also pleased to welcome Reverends Mike and Liz Resch, from Holy Trinity Church, Sittingbourne, among our other many supporters.


    Check out our image gallery for more pictures from the visit.

     

     

     

     

  • Monkey moves make money for #TeamDemelza

    by User Not Found | Aug 22, 2016


    Internet prankster Lee Marshall – also known as Discoboy – has released a charity single to raise funds for the vital work of Demelza.

    Lee, from Kent, who has a following of more than 185,000 fans on Facebook, has released a You Tube video to coincide with the release of his dance hit single ‘The Monkey Move’ – a dance move and song for children.

    Lee, who created the Monkey Move in 2015, hopes the single will be an internet sensation and raise loads of money for Demelza, says: “There has not been a single like this since the Cha Cha Slide and Macarena.

    “The song features a simple but entertaining dance move that young children will love.”
    The social media celebrity is best known for springing street pranks on unsuspecting members of the public but said: “This is something for the kids and done in order to help raise money for the seriously ill children in Demelza’s care.”

    Lee and his team have already been spotted on the streets of Maidstone and Canterbury rehearsing the catchy dance routine.

    He is hoping to get radio and TV support for the single and he hopes the video will go viral.   All proceeds will go to Demelza.

    The single is now on sale from all digital stores including iTUNES, Amazon MP3, Spotify and Apple Music.
  • Fun in the sun for families

    by User Not Found | Aug 15, 2016
    Fifteen families from across South East London enjoyed fun in the sun at Demelza's annual fun day in Eltham.

    Children who receive care from the hospice, along with their parents and brothers and sisters, had the chance to get up close and personal with TV favourites Peppa Pig and Bob the Builder, as well as officers from London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police, plus the region’s Search and Rescue dogs.

    A whole host of events was organised by the charity’s staff and volunteers for the 85 visitors, including the ever-popular bouncy castle, hook-a-duck, a tombola, raffle and facepainting.

    Giggle doctor Dr Geehee from Theodora Children’s Charity also provided entertainment at the event on Saturday (13 August).

    Ann Fagg, Care Services Lead at SEL said: “It’s a chance for families who use our services to get together and enjoy the kind of fun and games other people might take for granted.”
  • Over 1,000 people have bubbly fun for #TeamDemelza

    by User Not Found | Aug 08, 2016
    Over 1,100 runners enjoyed fast and furious, frothy fun when they ran through walls of 4ft bubbles on Sunday (7 August).

    The sun shone on young and old as men, women and children charged through the multi-coloured foam bubbles in Central Park, to raise thousands of pounds for Demelza.

    The Mayor of Dartford, Councillor John Burrell, and the Mayoress, Mrs Eija Burrell, turned out to wish the runners well as they started their foam-filled adventure.

    Joining in the fun were families and friends of Demelza, Star Wars Stormtroopers from the UK Garrison, a number of Disney Princesses and Demelza’s mascot, Dotty. There was live entertainment throughout the day, a photobooth for people to take selfies, a bumper bouncy castle and a Spider Mountain to keep the little ones entertained. Everyone taking part received a Bubble Rush t-shirt, medal and goody bag.

    More than £18,500 had been raised prior to the run and Demelza hope to top the £30,000 raised last year. A similar event in Brighton last month has raised £36,000, with cash still coming in.

    Head of Events, Emma Middleton, said: “The event sums up the ethos of Demelza – fun, laughter and making memories. It was so amazing to see so many people embrace Bubble Rush. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported this including our supporters and sponsors Dartford Borough Council, Dartford Harriers Athletic Club, McDonalds, Dartford Football Club and Practical Car & Van Rental, Dartford.”

    Check out our image gallery for more pictures from Bubble Rush.
  • Here come the ghouls .....

    by User Not Found | Aug 05, 2016
    Demelza is seeking help from daredevil dramatists and dancers in giving local folk the fright of their lives.

    Running Scared, which takes place in Mote Park, Maidstone, on the weekend before Halloween, is one of this year’s major fundraisers for the children's charity.

    The event, from 8-10pm, on Friday 28 October, will see hundreds of sponsored participants running through UV paint, foam, bubbles and assorted slimy substances – getting a few spooky surprises along the way!

    Ghostly figures, menacing monsters and bloodcurdling vampires will leap out of the shadows to give entrants a real fright night experience – and you've got the chance to be among them!

    Demelza is now gathering its group of ghouls and if you fancy your chances at scaring your friends, family – and complete strangers - Demelza’s fundraising team would like to hear from you.

    Events co-ordinator Gemma Murray said: “We are looking for groups of amateur actors who are willing to put on their scariest outfits and make up, as well as dance groups who can put on a ‘thriller style’ routine – or something equally spine-tingling.”

    Applicants should contact Gemma with their ideas on 01795 845183, email gemma.murray@demelza.org.uk

    Tickets are already being snapped up for Running Scared and for the earlier family-friendly Monster Dash which takes place from 5-7pm and is open to all ages.

    Entrants are encouraged to wear their scariest Halloween costumes and will receive a Running Scared glow-in-the-dark headband on arrival.

    All sponsorship from the run will go towards the invaluable work of Demelza and runners who raise more than £100 in sponsorship can have their entry fee refunded.

    The 5k run is recommended for over 16s only, although those 15 and under will be permitted, if accompanied by an adult at all times.

    Beware - the Terror Zone is not for the faint-hearted! 
  • Lots of fun for families at Teddy Bears' Picnic

    by Tessa Paton | Aug 02, 2016
    The weather may have been drizzly but it didn’t dampen spirits at our Teddy Bears' Picnic.

    Thanks to funding by Medway Commissioners, the care team at our Sittingbourne hospice Demelza Kent hosted a fun-filled teddy bear-themed day for families on Tuesday 2 August.

    Children and siblings decorated maracas, painted teddy bears, went on a bear hunt, sang along with musician Andrew Tye from charity Music in Hospitals and watched Paddington Bear with their furry friends.

    Debbie McSwiney, Care Services Lead at Demelza Kent, said: “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic was absolutely wonderful and the families really enjoyed all of the activities. We’re very grateful to Medway Commissioners for making this special day possible.” 
  • Walk this Way participants' final total

    by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2016
    Epic walkers have helped raised over £30,000 for Demelza.

    Seventy six people took on a challenge and a half back in May when they walked 50k between Demelza’s hospices in Rook Lane, Bobbing and Wensley Close, Eltham or vice versa.

    As well as the entry fee many participants were sponsored for this feat which took between 9 hours and 12 and a half hours to complete.

    We have been busy counting up the money and we are delighted to announce that Walk this Way 50k raised a staggering £34,336.43 with a target of £35,000.

    If you have been inspired by this please do consider joining us for Walk this Way 2017. Full details will be available online nearer the time so watch this space!
  • New extension to pool thanks to legacy

    by User Not Found | Jul 29, 2016
    The hydroptherapy pool at Demelza has undergone an extension to add more changing facilities and a new viewing area.

    Since the pool opened at Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne in 2012 it has been a popular facility enabling some families to swim together for the first time or children who cannot walk the chance to feel mobile.

    And families don’t need to be staying at the Demelza in order to use the pool as our popular Sunday sessions enable them to come and book a slot.

    But demand for these sessions was putting pressure on the changing facilities and the hoist kept jamming so extra space was needed.

    Thanks to a legacy from the Stone family we now have a new hoist and extra track, two new shower cubicles and an extra bigger changing area plus a storage area for wheelchairs and buggies, new lockers and a viewing area.
  • All aboard for village fete at sea

    by User Not Found | Jul 29, 2016
    Sailors on board HMS Kent enjoyed a taste of home when they organised a traditional village fete at sea.

    Entertainment included whack-a-mole, apple bobbing, darts, coffee mat flicking, a bbq and an obstacle course.

    HMS Kent are long-term supporters of Demelza and the fete raised more than £300. Great work!

    If this has inspired you find out how to fundraise for #TeamDemelza here
  • Demelza welcomes new Trustee and Area Fundraiser

    by Tessa Paton | Jul 20, 2016
    Demelza is welcoming two new additions to the team to help raise awareness of our care across South East London.

    Kate Stephens, a lawyer from Dulwich, joins Demelza as a Trustee and will be working alongside other members of the Board to provide oversight in all areas of the running of the charity.

    Mum-of-two Kate, who has expertise in litigation, insurance law, compliance and governance, said: “Demelza is a fantastic charity that does such valuable work for families who really need their help, not only at its two hospice sites but also in the community.

    “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with an exceptional Board of Trustees and team. I hope to bring my legal and governance skills to the Board and also working with the team to raise awareness of Demelza in South East London where I live.”

    Jennifer Heritage is the latest recruit to join the fundraising team at Demelza and will be supporting individuals, groups, clubs and businesses in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham Southwark and Croydon to help raise vital funds for the charity.

    The 30-year-old Area Fundraiser is based at our Eltham hospice Demelza SEL - where children up to the age of 19 come for expert, one-to-one care. This includes respite, symptom management and end of life care, as well as life-enhancing therapies and facilities, such as a sensory and music therapy room.

    Jenny, who also supports a team of Demelza volunteers and is a Girl Guiding leader in her spare time, said: “As a charity, not part of the NHS, Demelza is reliant on the generosity of the local community to be able to continue providing vital care to families. It’s an absolute pleasure to be supporting these remarkable people who do so much for their local children’s hospice.”

    To join Jenny's troop of fundraisers please email or call 020 8859 9804.
  • Clay shoot hits the spot

    by User Not Found | Jul 18, 2016
    Detling was the venue for our recent clay shoot attended by one hundred guests.

    The shooting was highly competitive with some experienced clay shooters participating but the overall winning team was Andrew Hooker’s who won a magnum of champagne for each in his team.

    The shoot was followed by a champagne reception and an auction.

    Demelza’s Major Donor Manager Sarah Kemsley said: “We have been really touched by the level of support we have received for staging this event, from those who are involved with Detling shoot preparing the ground and all those who generously donated to the auction.”
  • Families enjoy fun day and music festival

    by User Not Found | Jul 15, 2016
    Children and families who use Demelza had a chance to socialise together at two events at the weekend.

    Around 150 people came to Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne on Saturday (9 July) for a family fun day which included face painting, arts and crafts, music, dancing, African drumming, raffles and stalls. Children also had a chance to pet the therapy ponies and play boccia. Darth Vader and one of his Storm Troopers also joined in the fun.

    On Saturday evening the hospice was transformed into a festival site for the older children (15-19) who come to Demelza to enjoy a full programme of live music, food, mocktails, festival games and a casino.

    Jonathan Rees Transition Team Leader said: “This was the third music festival we have held at Demelza and a big thanks to everyone for helping to make this event happen from the artists who performed to those who provided sound and lighting. For a lot of our young people this might be their only chance to experience a music festival and it’s great that we are able to enable them to do something that other people of their own age are doing and to create some special memories.”
  • It's all about the bubbles

    by User Not Found | Jul 11, 2016
    Watch the video from #TeamCookie about their experience of Bubble Rush and read more about the event below:

    Over 1,500 runners took part in an event with a difference on Saturday (9 July) when they entered Demelza’s Bubble Rush event.

    Preston Park in Brighton was the venue for the event which saw more than 1,500 people, including the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Pete West, running through walls of 4ft coloured bubbles.

    Demelza child Rhys, aged two, whose family have respite care in their own home and come to Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne also took part in the run along with mum Naomi.

    A few children taking part were celebrating their birthdays on Saturday so the crowd sang a very special Happy Birthday to them and Oscar, who turned seven, started some of the runners off.

    There was live entertainment throughout the day, a photobooth for people to get selfies and silly photographs and everyone taking part received a t-shirt, medal and goody bag.

    Around £30,000 has been raised already but it is hoped that the final figure will be £50,000.

    Emma Middleton, Head of Events at Demelza, said: “The event sums up the ethos of Demelza – fun, laughter and making memories. It was so amazing to see so many people embrace Bubble Rush. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported this including McDonald’s in London Road which provided some of the water.”

    Click here to see some of the photos from the event.
  • Demelza opens first children's shop in Sheerness

    by User Not Found | Jun 30, 2016
    Demelza has opened its first dedicated children’s and baby shop with everything you might need for your young family but at an affordable price.

    The shop at 86 High Street, Sheerness was officially opened on Thursday 30 June at 10.30am with one mum queueing from 7.30am to bag a bargain.

    Heidi Moore, mum to Robert nine months, explained what had prompted her early start: “There’s lots of good stuff in there and it’s really cheap. It’s really good because it’s so cheap especially for mums that struggle.”

    The ribbon was cut by Dan Zaccheo, Deputy Head at Meadowfields School which has had past and present pupils use Demelza.

    Claire Jordan, Demelza’s Head of Trading Company Development said: “Demelza is about life. We provide compassionate and expert care for babies, children and young people when they need it most and we support their families. I can’t think of a better way for the retail charity shops to align with our fantastic charity than by opening a shop dedicated to children. By donating, buying and supporting you’re directly helping care for the children that we serve.”

    Shop Manager Jane Noble, who previously managed the co-op in Sheerness, said: “I think it’s fantastic because there is nothing like it in Sheerness High Street and I really think it will have a huge impact.”

    Demelza Area Manager Robin Watson added: “We’ve got a really good volunteer team already. The local community really supported us even before we opened the doors.”

    The shop will be selling clothes, toys, books, prams, cots, moses baskets and high chairs and is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm. It is Demelza’s second shop in Sheerness and the charity’s 24th store.