• Devon mansion for sale to raise funds for Demelza Hospice Care for Children

    by User Not Found | Apr 18, 2018

    An anonymous millionaire is selling his Devon mansion to help raise funds for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

    It’s not just the £2.3m mansion with its swimming pool, gym and three-hole golf course up for grabs through the online competition at www.millionairemansion.co.uk. The prize also includes a Rolls Royce, contents and furnishings, Stamp Duty paid and £50,000 in cash.

    The owners decided to offer the ‘Millionaire Mansion’ as a prize as a way of selling their home, with 20 per cent of all the proceeds being shared with Demelza and 10 of their favourite charities.

    "We’ve had some wonderful times in the house, which we designed and built ourselves,” said the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous.

    "However, we want to be closer to our grandchildren. We thought that selling the house through a competition would be a fun thing to do and would mean we could raise money for some of our favourite charities.”

    Situated in a mid-Devon hamlet, the property features a sweeping driveway, 10 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds, golfing greens, fully equipped kitchen, wine cellar, indoor swimming pool, gym and self-contained apartment with its own garden. There are also nine runner-up prizes of £10,000 each.

    Competition tickets, which are £10, plus 50p booking fee per transaction, are available to buy at millionairemansion.co.uk.

    For a chance of winning, entrants need to go to millionairemansion.co.uk and successfully answer a multiple-choice question. The competition runs until November 28, 2018.

    Entrants must be aged 18 years or over and a permanent resident of England, Wales or Scotland, to enter. Competition terms and conditions apply. https://millionairemansion.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/

    Devon Mansion for sale to raise funds for Demelza
  • Tuning in to the power of music

    by User Not Found | Mar 29, 2018

    Everyone knows that hearing a certain song can instantly lift their mood, while another tune will bring a tear to their eye – we all respond to music.

    At Demelza, we use the power of music to comfort babies, children and young people in our care, and give them and their families an outlet for their emotions.

    Music Therapist Victoria Swan, who works at our hospices in Kent and South East London, explains: “Music therapy is based on the belief that we can all respond to and appreciate music, regardless of age, disability or illness.”

    Victoria uses her voice, a wide range of instruments, and – particularly popular in sessions with older children – digital music technology in individual and group sessions.

    “Every session is completely different. If I am working with bereaved siblings, for instance, they might want to write a song about how much they miss their brother or sister. They may be dealing with emotions they struggle to talk about, like guilt at feeling glad to have their mum and dad back to themselves, and music is an outlet for expressing them.”

    As well as an emotional response, music also has a physiological effect. “Music has an extraordinary capacity to offer a distraction during painful and invasive procedures or muscle spasms,” explains Victoria. “It has been shown to reduce pain levels by influencing the levels of endorphins.”

    Music therapy is one of the ways Demelza helps families to build precious memories. When a child is receiving end of life care, Victoria offers to sing and play for everyone.

    “If I have already had sessions with the child I will know the songs and instruments they like, otherwise I go on instinct, using quieter instruments like acoustic guitar, singing bowl or thumb piano. I encourage the rest of the family to dance, sing or just listen together, and often record the sessions to add to their treasured memories.

    “Music can bring families together during extraordinarily difficult times. Families can bond over music because it offers a shared experience which is not about the next medical procedure. For the child, music aids relaxation and helps with their breathing, and brings an acoustic source of comfort, reassuring them of their family’s presence.”

    Music can also help address cultural and spiritual needs when a child dies. Through working with a Nigerian mother whose newborn son was receiving end of life care, Victoria discovered that in her culture musicians sang when people died to guide their spirit into the next life. Victoria was able to to sing and play for the baby boy, bringing her great comfort.

    Victoria has known she wanted to be a music therapist since the age of 12, when her music teacher introduced the idea because although she loved to sing, Victoria hated to perform. Having gained her music degree and Masters in music therapy, she was volunteering at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London when she met a young woman who had received care at Demelza until she reached adulthood, and who encouraged her to use her skills to help whole families. She joined us shortly afterwards in 2012.

    “I am very proud to work for Demelza,” she says. “I love that my job is different every day, and feeling that I make a difference.”

    Find out more about the therapies on offer at Demelza by visiting www.demelza.org.uk/therapies

  • A good meal makes a big difference

    by User Not Found | Mar 26, 2018

    The kitchen is often described as the heart of a home, and that’s certainly the case at Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

    When the Kent hospice was built nearly 20 years ago, making the kitchen and dining area the central focus was fundamental to the design.

    “It was important that it didn’t look like a hospital – that it should be a home from home,” explains Demelza Operations Manager Tim Richards.

    So one of the first things families see when they come into the hospice in Sittingbourne is a huge, usually busily occupied, communal table companionably set next to the open kitchen. It’s a welcome vision of normality.

    Being able to sit around the table together is also a great way of breaking the ice with regular visitors and members of staff and volunteers, who also eat there, chatting with new families and showing them the ropes.

    The kitchen itself is a hive of activity. At both residential hospices, in Sittingbourne and Eltham, South East London, a team of three staff and volunteers work together on a rota basis to prepare and serve, breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

    They make sure there is plenty of choice on the menu – and a seemingly endless supply of cake. That’s on top of meeting the special dietary needs of all the children using the hospices, which can be complex.

    The team also has to make sure the separate kitchen areas used by teenagers and family members staying overnight are well stocked so they can help themselves to hot drinks and toast whenever they want.

    Chef Philip Martin – universally known as Pie – has worked in the kitchen in Sittingbourne for the past 10 years.  The catering team liaises closely with the care team to ensure they meet the young service users’ nutritional needs – keeping a record of their favourite foods so they can be sure to have them ready when they come in – and pay equal attention to the rest of the family.

    “We want to make sure that families don’t have to worry about anything to do with meals while they are here,” Pie explains. “Before coming to Demelza they might have spent months in hospital living on canteen food and sandwiches, or their child may have very specific nutritional requirements. When they want to give all their attention to their sick child, our being able to put a good meal on the table makes a big difference.”

    If they choose to, families can bring in their own supplies, but most take advantage of all that’s on offer. While there is always a healthy option on the menu, comfort food like cottage pie and toad in the hole is always a popular choice. With a rueful grin, Pie admits that the children’s favourite is chicken nuggets.

    So that the whole family can share meal together, the kitchen will prepare the same dish for children who cannot manage solid food, going so far as to blend items separately so they look more appetising.

    As ever, it is our volunteers who make all this possible. Some are trained chefs themselves and are invaluable for helping with menu planning and preparation – especially when a consignment of discounted surplus supermarket goods from food redistribution charity Fareshare comes in. Paul Brown brings 48 years’ experience in the catering industry to Demelza, and now loves working with his fellow volunteers. For Diane Jones, who has been helping out in the kitchen for 10 years, it was the chance to do something completely different that appealed. “It’s a nice relaxed atmosphere with fantastic staff,” she says.

    Will you give £25 to Demelza to feed a family for one day? Please visit our Donate page. We are also grateful for donations of tea, coffee and sugar, as well as Sainsbury’s vouchers. Thank you for your support.

  • Rugby star Sam Warburton visits our south east London children’s hospice

    by User Not Found | Mar 14, 2018
    Rugby Legend Sam Warburton OBE “instantly fell in love” with Demelza when he visited families in our care on Tuesday 13 March. 

    The Welsh international rugby union player and two-times Lions skipper is supporting Demelza as one of his charities during his testimonial year.

    Father-of-one Sam, 29, visited our Eltham hospice Demelza SEL, where children up to the age of 19 come for respite, therapies, symptom management and end of life care
    Sam, who will be raising vital funds for Demelza throughout the testimonial season, met three-year-old Mia who has been coming to Demelza since she was just 11 days old after suffering a bleed on the brain at birth. 

    Brothers Thomas, 10, and eight-year-old Connor, who were both born with congenital heart disease and a host of other health issues, also gave Sam a warm welcome by displaying the Welsh flag on the hospice’s sensory magic carpet.  

    Sam, who has a young daughter, said: “Demelza’s facilities are unbelievable – the respite it gives parents, the support it gives children with terminal illnesses – it can really help the family. I’ve had a walk around and met some of the parents and they can’t speak more highly enough of the hospice. 

    “It’s friendly and happy. I’ve been really impressed with the staff and facilities that are second to none, where the children can come to make happy memories with their families.” 

    After meeting families Sam was taken on a tour of the facilities, including the sensory and music room where families can enjoy therapies and create memories and Butterfly Room bereavement suites where a child can lay at rest after they have died.  

    Demelza also has another hospice Demelza Kent, near Sittingbourne, and a Community Team who provide vital care in the homes of families in East Sussex

    Ann Fagg, Care Service Lead at Demelza SEL, said: “We’re so grateful to Sam for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Demelza and for choosing to support us during his testimonial year. He interacted beautifully with the children and raised so many smiles.

    “The unique support we give to families comes at a price and we’re reliant on the generosity of our local community to raise funds that keep our services going. Having Sam’s support will not only help us financially but it will also help to raise awareness of the specialist care and emotional support we give to so many families.”  
  • Thank you Barbara!

    by Stuart Hubbard | Mar 07, 2018

    It was love at first sight for newly retired teacher Barbara Derham when she visited Demelza’s Sittingbourne hospice on one of its very first open days in 1998. The hospice had opened its doors and welcomed in the local community to explain the care and services that would be on offer at the newly built children’s hospice.

    “I wasn’t particularly looking for a volunteering role at that stage. I’d not long retired and I was busy looking after my grandson. But walking through the front doors on my first visit to Demelza, I was bowled over by the love, care and compassion you could just feel from the team and the building itself. There were no children there at that stage, but the staff – there’s something very special about them - welcomed me in like an old friend and I knew I wanted to be a part of this family.”

    Barbara signed up to volunteer once a week on the housekeeping team.  However, on the morning that Barbara was due to start at Demelza, she received a phone call to let her know that the kitchen needed help. One day in the kitchen turned to five years volunteering as a cook. Each Tuesday Barbara would arrive just after 8am to start preparing home cooked meals, snacks and treats for the families staying at the hospice. 

    From the kitchen, Barbara moved across to the care team as a care volunteer working with the children that visited the hospice, often taking siblings on outings and supporting bereaved families.

    “There was always such lovely feedback from the families I worked with, Demelza gave them hope and strength in their darkest moments,” explains Barbara.  “It’s a lifeline – a chance to receive vital support and guidance, and to know that someone really cares about your child and your situation. It’s so important to our Demelza families.”

    Over the years, Demelza has grown and we are able to care for more families in more locations, but Barbara sees a constant feature across the last 20 years: “Care, love and support - that is the heart of Demelza. They are the warm arms that wrap around the families with children facing terminal illness. That has always been there and will always continue to be there.”

    Sadly, Barbara will leave Demelza this month after an inspirational 20 years of volunteering: “I’ll take with me the wonderful friendships I have made here. I became part of the Demelza family very quickly and I will always feel like I am a part of this remarkable place.”

    Barbara is one of more than 1,000 volunteers who kindly give their time to Demelza every year.

    Lynne Clark, Head of Voluntary Services, said: "A heartfelt thank you to Barbara, on behalf of us all here at Demelza ,for her continued support and devotion over the last 20 years. The generosity of all of our volunteers is vital in helping Demelza to continue providing terminally ill children and their families with much needed care and support.”

    Could you donate some of your time to Demelza? Find out more about our exciting volunteering opportunities.

  • Rugby legend supports Demelza in exciting testimonial year

    by User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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 User Not Found | 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.