• Demelza marathon challenger ready to run with celebrities

    by Tessa Paton | Apr 13, 2016
    A Demelza fundraiser will be seeing stars when he takes part in the Virgin Money London Marathon this month.

    Father-of-two Ged Longworth will be surrounded by celebrities as he embarks on the epic 26.2mile race on Sunday 24 April.  

    The 33-year-old from Days Lane, Sidcup is the lucky winner of one of eight upgrades to the star-studded Green Start.

    Ged will be hoping to capture selfies with the likes of Kent Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes MBE and Radio 2 Presenter Chris Evans, who is a familiar face at Demelza.

    The Green Start is the smallest place to begin the race so once the gun fires, Ged is hoping to be over the line in a flash.

    The second-time marathon runner is also looking forward to wearing his Demelza vest with pride and is aiming for a super-speedy time of under three hours 40 minutes.

    Ged said: “It means a lot to me to be able to run for Demelza, my local children’s hospice. I’m determined to raise £2,500 because the money will help to fund vital care for seriously ill children and their families. It was hard to believe I’d won the upgrade because there are so many people taking part but it’s a nice feeling knowing I will be able to get running a lot quicker and hopefully achieve my target time.”

    Ged is one of 65 #TeamDemelza runners who will be taking part in the Brighton and London Marathon this month.  

    You can support Demelza by sponsoring Ged or by taking part in your own challenge or event.
  • Hundreds take to two wheels as part of Pedal for a Purpose

    by User Not Found | Apr 11, 2016

    Hundreds of cyclists took to the road in the name of #TeamDemelza for its second Pedal for a Purpose event.

    Demelza's cycling event took place on Sunday (10 April) starting and finishing at Sittingbourne Greyhound Track.

    There were three different routes to choose from family (10 miles); classic (52 miles) and epic (103 miles) with around 400 people taking part.

    Steve and son Scott Edmed, aged 11, were the first cyclists to complete the family route which went along the roads and cycle paths near Sittingbourne.

    Steve, from Wormshill, said: “It was really down to my son because he was interested in doing it and he loved every minute and he thought it was good fun. He’s quite a confident cyclist.”

    The father and son duo raised around £170 and intend to do the ride next year.

    The event was also attended by lots of cyclists in training for the Demelza 101 Sittingbourne to Amsterdam bike ride which sets off later this month.

    All participants were given a medal on completion and children who joined were given a Demelza Dotty wristband.

    Click here to see more pictures from Pedal.

    Demelza Events Coordinator Emma Austen said: “Thank you to all our amazing riders who took part in Pedal – we were certainly lucky with the weather! We hope everyone enjoyed it as the three different routes aimed to appeal to everyone. Special thank yous to Quick Release Cycling Club, MK Cycling, Dole Fresh, McDonalds, Conyer Quay - Swale Marina, Headcorn Parish Council, Carpet Direct and the Sittingbourne Greyhound Stadium for their support. Keep an eye out for details of next year's Pedal for a Purpose."

  • The sky's the limit when Brian turns 70

    by User Not Found | Apr 07, 2016

    A fearless fundraiser celebrated his 70th birthday in style by jumping 12,000ft from a plane to raise vital funds for Demelza.

    Brian Denny decided to mark the special occasion by doing the skydive at Headcorn Aerodrome at the beginning of April, raising £600.

    Brian said: “I wanted to do something big to mark turning seventy. It was a brilliant experience and I would do it again tomorrow.”

    You can still donate to Brian’s fundraiser by visiting his justgiving page here: www.justgiving.com/Brian-Denny

  • Over 30 runners taking on 26 miles for #TeamDemelza

    by User Not Found | Apr 04, 2016

    Over 30 runners will be taking part in the London Marathon in aid of Demelza later this month.

    Ben Smith is running Brighton Marathon on 17 April and London Marathon on 24 April after Demelza provided respite and end of life care for his sister-in-law, Catriona.

    Catriona was born with an immune deficiency. She was in and out of hospital during her life but came to Demelza SEL in Eltham for some treatments.

    Ben said: “We spent time there as a family. It was a nice environment. It didn’t feel medical”.

    And he explained how important Demelza was to the family when the 13-year-old passed away.

    “It gave all the family comfort that the facility provided an environment to say goodbye to Catriona.”

    Catriona died on 3 March 2012 and Ben has been spurred on to fundraise for Demelza since then.

    He said: “After that experience I wanted to do some running for Demelza.”

    The 37-year-old from Sidcup has been running for about 10 years and has done about 16 marathons already:

    He explained: “You either do one and never do them again or do one and just keep doing them. It’s a good way of keeping fit.”

    Among the other 33 runners taking part is Catherine Shearer, a house mistress and teacher at The Kings School in Canterbury.

    It is Catherine’s first marathon and she has the backing of her class who have done lots of fundraising for Demelza in the past. Each tutor group will be running a marathon between them over the weekend of the London Marathon. That is seven marathons over the course of the weekend in total including Catherine’s.

    Catherine (pictured) said: “It was my decision to support Demelza when I first took over Broughton House for a few reasons. Firstly I used to read a column in the local newspaper by a young lady called Nicole who promoted Demelza and highlighted what a special charity it is. I was fortunate to visit an open evening with a couple of my students and this was reinforced. The girls were inspired by the visit too and it was evident that every penny raised went into something beneficial. Since then, we have developed this relationship and would like to continue to do so.”

    Stephen Smith is taking on Brighton and then London Marathon a week later.

    He says: “The Brighton Marathon for me in 2015 was extremely tough but with my thoughts on raising funds for Demelza it kept me going. During the Brighton Marathon I collapsed due to a chest infection. After treatment at mile 25 for three hours I still got up and finished the last mile. What I did was nothing to what Demelza stands for in helping families every day to bring a little sparkle into their lives.

    “Did the experience of what happened to me put me off? No, I am now preparing to raise more awareness for Demelza by completing Brighton Marathon on 17 April, then the following week, 24 April the London Marathon. 

    “I am totally focused to do my best and finish both marathons by proudly crossing the line with my Demelza vest on. I look forward to seeing familiar faces as we take on the challenge!” 

    Naomi Saxon from Crowborough, East Sussex is also taking on 26 miles for #TeamDemelza.

    She said: “I first came across Demelza at the Penshurst Craft fair in 2015, where the representative from the charity was talking passionately about the work the charity do and encouraging people to sign up to the weekly lottery.  I was hugely moved and inspired upon hearing how Demelza support children and their families through what must be incredibly difficult circumstances.  I signed up to the lottery straight away. 

    “Following this I started to think about other opportunities to fundraise.  I have always wanted to do a marathon and saw a potential opportunity to raise more money for Demelza at the same time as fulfilling a personal goal.  I feel both privileged and excited about running the 2016 London Marathon.”

  • Nice warm feelings and very, very sore legs

    by Ryan Campbell | Mar 28, 2016

    As a charity, Demelza spends a lot of its time raising funds, and as a charity chief executive I spend a lot of my time involved in fundraising.  I love it; it’s honourable, fun and amazingly worthwhile work. 

    In some ways our fundraising is very sophisticated – we have a turnover of £10m after all, the majority of which comes from fundraising of one kind or another. We know the profit ratios of our charity shops, we organise amazing events as expertly as any private company etc. But when it comes down to it, raising funds is still the simple thing it always was – nice people making it possible for us to do really, really nice things that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Literally making the world a better place.

    Whether those nice people are individuals who press the ‘donate’ button at the top of this webpage, or include us at the bottom of their Wills, or donate furniture to our shops, or organise a summer garden party, or the nice people in companies who get their companies to sponsor us, the act of giving or raising money for charity is a wonderful and civilised human thing to be celebrated. 

    In a world where the bleakness can sometimes seem a little overwhelming, the fact that Demelza exists purely by virtue of thousands of people’s individual acts of niceness, is a bit of an antidote. It is for me anyway, and it certainly is for the children with life-limiting conditions and their families who rely on us. They rely on the generosity of those thousands of people.

    Fundraising is getting harder however. It has picked up a bit of a tarnished reputation, with some poor fundraising practices in some charities quite rightly receiving press attention, and of course with the difficult economic climate putting pressure on people’s purses. It is getting harder for Demelza. Our incredible fundraisers, most of whom are volunteers, are having to work harder and harder.  But harder and harder they work.

    I’m doing the Brighton marathon in a few weeks. I’ll be rubbish and I’ll cripple myself, but I’ll be so proud to be finishing with (or more likely, after) our team of volunteer fundraisers, some of whom are also part of our team running the Virgin Money London Marathon the following week. And those are just two of the hundreds and hundreds of things people do for us every year to ensure we’re still here the year after.

    As Chief Executive of Demelza, I’m proud of charity. So I’m proud to be a fundraiser. And unashamed of it. So, errm, if you can, can you give us some money? If you do, I promise we’ll turn it into something very special – just have a read of some of the parent and young person stories on this website if you want to know the sort of thing.  It’ll make you feel nice.

  • Being an apprentice at Demelza is "exciting and valuable."

    by User Not Found | Mar 17, 2016
    This week is National Apprenticeship Week and we have been seeing the benefits of apprentices since we launched our scheme in 2014. 

    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.

    She says:  “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 ”

    Following on from this success Leah Akhurst started as an apprentice in the lottery team.

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

    We hope to continue to offer apprenticeship placements in the future and offer the opportunity for individuals to grow and develop their skills 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.”                

  • What an egg-cellent idea

    by User Not Found | Mar 17, 2016

    Companies, community groups and schools can help give families at Demelza an egg-stra special Easter.

    Download our egg-cellent poster to donate money for craft materials so our children can make colourful decorations and cards. Choose your egg and pay £1 – and don’t forget to add your name to be in with the chance of winning a prize.

    Claire Ellis-Waghorn, Demelza’s Head of Fundraising, said: “Getting busy with the paint and glitter is a lovely way for youngsters who cannot eat chocolate to share in some Easter fun.

    “We are so grateful to everyone who thinks of the children we care for at special occasions during the year – your support really does make a difference.”

    Once you have filled in the poster, please send it in with a cheque and your group details to Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Demelza House, Rook Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 8DZ.

  • Volunteer Maggie recognised for gentle touch

    by User Not Found | Mar 15, 2016

    maggie allen awardDemelza massage therapist Maggie Allen has been named runner-up in the Volunteer of the Year category of the Kent Charity Awards 2016.

    The annual awards showcase the hard work that charities and voluntary groups do throughout the county to make the lives of others better.

    For the past 16 years, Maggie has offered professional massage therapy to the children with life threatening  and life limiting health conditions who use Demelza.

    Her support is there for families too, who, after traumatic hospital treatment or faced with the approaching loss of their child, may be worried about holding them. Maggie has also recently begun outreach sessions for older children and their parents in their own home, offering a compassionate listening ear and acting as a gateway to other Demelza services, such as family support, counselling and art therapy.

    Lynne Clark, Demelza’s Head of Voluntary Services, said: “Maggie not only offers the touch of acceptance, she also offers a space where children and families can let go, knowing that she will be with them as the journey ahead of them unfolds.

    “Like all our volunteers, Maggie plays a vital part in Demelza’s work, for which we are hugely grateful. We’re delighted that she has been recognised in the Kent Charity Awards.”

    The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone on 10 March.

    Find out more about our family services here.

  • Demelza Art Therapist wins prestigious award

    by Stuart Hubbard | Mar 11, 2016

    The ‘hard work and creativity’ of a Demelza art therapist have been officially recognised through a prestigious award.

    Josie Mahoney scooped top prize in the Creative Counselling Initiative of the Year category at the Towergate Care Awards on Thursday 10 March.

    Josie, who joined Demelza as a student and has been a qualified art therapist for two years, impressed judges with her innovative and caring ways of supporting seriously ill babies, children and young people.

    Her work has been welcomed by bereaved families even at the most painful of times, by offering them prints of their baby’s hands and feet for treasured memories.

    For primary aged children affected by medical procedures, Josie gives them a confidential space where they can express the feelings they find difficult putting into words through art.

    With older children, as well as using a variety of art materials such as soft clay for those with weak muscle tone, Josie also uses Eyegaze for those with very minimal movement. This equipment allows the children to draw or paint electronically by making choices with moving eyes to indicate colour and shape. Parents are often moved to tears as they see their child producing images independently.

    Demelza Therapy Services Manager Jane O’Neill, who nominated Josie for the award, said: “Josie is very deserving of this award. It recognises all her hard work, creativity and innovation to meet the needs of our families. Josie has also introduced therapy dolls at Demelza and is supervising art therapy students. We’re very proud of her.”

    The awards, which are in the first year, celebrate unsung heroes and excellence across the care industry and were held at The Berkeley Hotel in London.

    Josie was presented the glass accolade by comic actress and writer Sally Phillips and given a £500 Red Letter Day voucher.

    Josie said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to receive this award. I had no idea I had been nominated until a week before. For me it’s all about making sure that art is accessible to all children, no matter what their condition or illness.”

  • Musicians are top of the pops

    by User Not Found | Mar 08, 2016

    A band of music-loving friends from Sittingbourne are busy planning their next annual fundraiser for Demelza.

    Dave Lee and his partner Sandy Thomas have been raising money for us for the last 16 years, getting musicians together for the yearly Demelza Showtime event at UKP Leisure. In total they have donated an incredible £46,695.

    Dave, who sings and plays keyboards for The Rebounds, pictured below in the 1960s,  said: “It started as a one-off but we all enjoyed ourselves so much and Demelza is such a good cause that we continued, and some years it’s been so popular we’ve had to put on two shows.

    Dave Lee The Rebounds“Most of the musicians involved are busy with their own gigs, but they all try to keep the date free for us.”

    Making Demelza Showtime go with a swing is an all-year-round occupation for the couple and other organisers including Frank Boswell, who runs Ebenezers Barbers in Sittingbourne, and Master of Ceremonies Peter Day.

    “We have no costs – everything is donated, from people’s time to raffle gifts to the venue, thanks to UK Paper,” said Dave.

    This year’s Showtime on Sunday 27 November will feature The Rebounds and other local groups’ members playing hits from the 1960s onwards, plus Sittingbourne choir Opus 32, the Invicta Jazz Orchestra and Sue Barnes singing musical theatre favourites.

    Demelza Community Fundraiser David Holmes said: “We are extremely fortunate to have local supporters who have really taken Demelza to heart, and none more than the Showtime team.

    “To raise so much money over such a long period of time is a tremendous achievement for which we are enormously grateful.”

    Would you like to join our band of fundraising supporters? Find out how here.

  • Art attack: Find out more about our art therapy

    by User Not Found | Mar 07, 2016

    Rachel - artist in residence (resized)Demelza offers Honorary Artist in Residence placements for those wanting to pursue a career in art therapy.

    They work alongside our Art Therapist organising creative activities for the children and young people on a voluntary basis for six months.

    We currently have an Artist in Residence at Demelza SEL and one at Demelza Kent.

    Rachel Turner who works at Demelza SEL (pictured above) says: “I attend the hospice weekly, designing activities based on themes that the staff have planned for the week. These sessions have resulted in children making elephants out of milk bottles for a jungle theme, creating a fox and badger to join the Autumn tree and aeroplanes for a travel week. The children have enjoyed these activities especially feeling the different textures of the materials used, therefore it has become a priority that each activity I plan can be adaptable for each child to enhance their sensory experience.” 

    She added: “I enjoy all aspects of my role at Demelza especially seeing the children’s reactions when working with the art materials. I hope to continue the work at Demelza, which is giving me good experience to pursue training in Art Therapy.”

    Fiona Willis is our Artist in Residence at Demelza Kent (pictured top).

    She says: “I have a degree in Visual Art and Design and would one day like to train in Art Therapy. Becoming Demelza’s Artist in Residence has enabled me to gain valuable experience working with the children and tutoring from an experienced Art Therapist.  

    “I try to match creative activities with a child’s individual needs, so no day is ever the same. Because some of the children have limited mobility, vision or hearing, sensory materials are very important in my work and offer a whole new dimension to creative crafts.  Seeing the children enjoying making art and being a part of their experience is such a privilege and something which is truly invaluable to me.”

  • Cyclists wanted to pedal for a purpose

    by User Not Found | Mar 04, 2016

    Wheeley good fun: Demelza is calling on cyclists to take to two wheels as part of a charity fundraiser.

    The second Pedal for a Purpose bike ride takes place on Sunday 10 April with the circular route starting and finishing at Sittingbourne Greyhound Track.

    There are three routes to choose from - family (10 miles); classic (52 miles) and epic (103 miles).

    More than 300 people took on the challenge last year for the first ever Pedal event.

    A place on the family route costs £10 per adult and £5 per child; classic is £20 per person and epic is £35.

    The epic route riders will make their way past Faversham and then head to Wye, round to Rye and then through Benenden, Sissinghurst, Headcorn and back to Sittingbourne via Harrietsham, Bredgar and Borden.

    Those on the classic route will also start towards to Faversham and then head to Charing, Pluckley, Smarden and Headcorn and then back via Harrietsham, Bredgar and Borden.

    The family route is a gentle route along roads and cycle paths near Sittingbourne.

    All participants will be given a medal on completion and children who join in will be given a Demelza Dotty wristband.

    Riders on the longer two routes receive a chip for their helmets to record their time and there will be food stops and participants on all courses will have access to a mobile mechanic if needed.

    Demelza Nurse Helen Rolls who took part in the family route last year said: “Pedal for a purpose was something that I could do with my family, including the children. There was a lovely atmosphere and lots of laughter. The camaraderie was excellent which included being helped up when fell off my bike and I couldn’t get up for laughing.”   

    Demelza Events Coordinator Emma Austen said: “Pedal for a Purpose is back for a second year and we would love you to join us to help make it better than ever. With three different routes there is something for the whole family.”

    For more information or to sign up, phone Emma on 01795 845288 or email emma.austen@demelza.org.uk or click here to book

  • Opening your garden is a blooming good idea

    by User Not Found | Mar 02, 2016
    Calling all gardeners – could you help Demelza by sharing the fruits of your labours with friends, family and neighbours?
    Blooming Good Gardens 2016 will see supporters inviting people to enjoy a stroll around their garden, perhaps while enjoying refreshments such as afternoon tea or a barbecue, in return for a donation.
    The money raised goes towards our work with life-threatened and life-limited children and their families in East Sussex, Kent and South East London.
    The date you open your garden is up to you, so you can choose the best time for it to be seen in its full glory – just let the charity know so they can help you to promote the occasion.
    Someone who knows the value of a beautiful garden is Demelza Kent’s Head Gardener Mark Blackman.
    “We take great pride in our beautiful hospice gardens so we are hoping keen gardeners from across the south east will get involved in Blooming Good Gardens,” said Mark.
    “It needn’t be a back garden – why not open your allotment, or get together with neigbours to host an event in your communal space?”
    Click here to find fundraising packs full of tips and inspiring ideas, invitations, flyers and posters to advertise your event, donations forms – there’s even dotty bunting to download.
  • Gaming event offers bargains for a great cause

    by User Not Found | Feb 29, 2016
    Gaming fans at Canterbury College got their hands on some bargains while supporting Demelza.

    The charity joined forces with students on the college’s media course to run the four-day on-campus gaming event on 23-26 February.

    Stalls stacked with donated consoles, games, branded t-shirts and toys proved a big hit, and students paid a donation to have a go at retro games including Space Invaders.

    The event raised a total of £3,500 to help Demelza care for life-limited and life-threatened children in Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

    “This is the third year students have worked with us on the event as part of their studies, and they are brilliant, really supportive of Demelza,” said Demelza’s Shops Operations Manager, Rachel Stead, who visits the college to talk about the charity’s work.

    “Thanks must also go to Debbie Baumback, manager of our Whitstable charity shop, who collects donated gaming items all year and makes sure everything is safety-tested and working.”

    Course lecturer Stuart Dodd said: “It is an absolute honour to do this for Demelza, a charity very close to my heart. I am incredibly proud of the students for all their hard work and dedication.”


  • Riders prepare for epic cycle in aid of #TeamDemelza

    by User Not Found | Feb 25, 2016

    One hundred cyclists are preparing to cycle from Sittingbourne to Amsterdam to raise funds for Demelza.

    The riders will be cycling 340 miles as part of the Demelza 101 challenge.

    They will be setting off from Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne on 27 April and coming into Amsterdam on 30 April.

    The team is made up of Demelza family members, keen cyclists, corporate supporters and Demelza staff. They range from those who are used to cycling long distances to those who hadn’t got on a bike for years before starting training.

    Over the past 12 months the Demelza 101 team have been raising sponsorship money by holding events including cake sales, a ball, band nights, quiz nights and curry nights. The event has already raised a staggering £98,000 which could pay for two nurses and one care assistant for a year, a day’s care at Demelza SEL and a day’s care at Demelza Kent.

    Mum Liz and daughter Kelly Withall from Sittingbourne are the only mother and daughter team taking part in the Demelza 101. Liz took part in the Sittingbourne to Paris fundraiser in April 2014 and has persuaded Kelly to join the team this time.

    Liz explains what she got out of the Sittingbourne to Paris bike ride and why she has signed up again: “I couldn’t believe how supportive my fellow riders were, many of whom belonged to clubs and were what I call ‘proper’ cyclists. The crew running the whole event were also such a great bunch. Then to cap off a perfect experience all my family were in Paris waiting for me when we arrived en-masse to ride round the Eiffel Tower. There was much hugging and laughter as well as tears of joy and relief that we had made it.”

    Kelly added: “The staff at Demelza do a wonderful but very hard job, a job I could never do, I admire them. Having spoken to parents of children who have been helped by the Demelza team, their care and understanding of the child and parent needs is overwhelming. Please help me raise funds to support this brilliant charity. I want this support to be available to all families that need it.”

    Demelza Community Fundraiser David Holmes, from Leysdown, who is also taking part said: “When I went up to Ebbsfleet to collect the bikes from the Sittingbourne to Paris ride I was so taken by the camaraderie by those who took part I decided that if we did it again I would take part.

    “However by the time I realised it was about another 100 miles I had already signed up so I couldn’t change my mind. I am really looking forward to making new friends and finishing the challenge.”

    Demelza Events Coordinator Emma Austen said: “We are so excited to be organising another epic cycle ride with the challenge two years on of it being a bit longer than Sittingbourne to Paris. It’s been so great to hear about everyone’s different fundraisers and how each rider has approached their training. They all love being part of #TeamDemelza and helping to make a difference to the children and families who need us.”

  • You make my pants want to get up and dance

    by User Not Found | Feb 23, 2016
    In a few weeks’ time I’m going to be on a local radio programme in East Sussex, in which I get to choose all the music. Of the 20 songs on my list, 13 are from my childhood and adolescence. Of those, three are directly inherited from my parents – songs that were played in the house when I was young.

    If that represents who I am today, then 65% of me is the same person I was before I became an adult, and 15% of me comes directly from my parents. The influence of parenting is astoundingly deep in our psyches. Or how else could you explain Dr Hook (pictured in their heyday) on my playlist?

    If I was making this list back in my childhood, those percentages would have been much higher, and the younger I was the more my tastes would have been directly aligned with that of my adult family members. As a 10 year-old, Barry Manilow and The Wurzels would have made it onto there. But it’s not the case that children’s personalities come directly from their parents.

    One of my song choices is inherited from my five year old son. Our children start out being linked almost wholly to us, but very quickly as we influence and change them, they influence and change us too.

    I wonder if that is sometimes even more the case for the children who use Demelza. When I see young people with their parents in our services, I’m taken aback by the particular closeness in their relationships.

    I wonder if that comes from parents sometimes being the only people who can readily communicate with their child, where there are communication issues. Or, when I attend one of our parents’ forums and hear what families are going through, I wonder if it’s because of the extraordinary lengths which parents of children with disabilities often have to go to in battling, striving and fighting for the care and support they need and are entitled to.

    As young people reach adolescence and start to develop their own independent hideous musical tastes, it’s a fight that they then start to take on themselves.

    It shouldn’t be like that. Parents of children with disabilities shouldn’t have to be warriors, and neither should their children. Life can be hard enough as it is without unnecessary battles.

    I don’t have the answer. But sometimes our care staff, family support staff, and transition and youth support staff do, or they can at least help share the load.
  • £25,000 win spells dream holiday

    by User Not Found | Feb 23, 2016
    One lucky family is looking forward to the holiday of a lifetime after winning £25,000 in the Demelza Superdraw.

    Kim Beckingham started playing the charity’s lottery in 2011, but never dreamed her numbers would come up.

    “I signed up because Demelza is such a worthwhile cause, but I had no expectations as I’ve never won anything before. So winning came completely out of the blue and my reaction was total disbelief!”

    Now Kim, her developer husband Philip and their two daughters, aged eight and 10, are planning some extra special adventures during a dream holiday to America.

    The Demelza Lottery provides vital regular income to the charity, which has to raise over £10.5 million a year to care for life-threatened and life-limited children and their families at its hospices in Kent and South East London and in the community throughout East Sussex.

    Demelza’s Head of Lottery and Gaming, Paul Booth, said: “Our lottery gives our supporters the chance to win and live their dream while enabling us to help seriously ill children to live the best life they can.”

    From as little as £2 a week, players have the chance to win the £25,000 Superdraw or one of 53 weekly Lotto prizes of between £5-£1,000. For your chance to win, join now!
  • Swimmer raises over £4,000 despite missing out on record

    by User Not Found | Feb 18, 2016
    Danny Hanlon and Bernard Stone were just 3.9km off their goal of being the first relay team to swim the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand when bad weather forced them to abandon their swim.

    “Early on in the day, we were making great progress and looked set to reach the other side within 9 hours and set the new two-man record,” said Danny. “The highlights included each of us swimming with a pod of up to 15 dolphins, chasing around us at incredible speeds and clearly looking to see what was going on. Bernie also encountered a giant pack of jellyfish, swimming 100 metres to avoid them, and I was circled by a huge Albatross, looking to have a go at my toes!

    “We now know first-hand why the Cook Strait is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.”

    Despite missing out on the record Danny has raised nearly £4,500 for Demelza and recently visited Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne to see the difference his fundraising will make. He even tried out the hospice’s hydrotherapy pool, considerably warmer than the waters in the Cook Strait!

    You can still sponsor Danny here: https://www.justgiving.com/Danny-Hanlon/


  • Volunteers needed for Maidstone shop

    by User Not Found | Feb 12, 2016

    Staff will be at the shop in the Royal Star Arcade on 3rd March between 10.30am to 1pm with information for anyone interested in volunteering.

    The charity originally opened a pop up shop in the Royal Star Arcade for Christmas 2014. But the store proved so popular with shoppers that when another unit in the centre became available last year Demelza decided to open a permanent shop. 

    The shop sells a range of donated goods, clothing, homewares and accessories and also organises craft events and clubs.

    More volunteers are needed to help run the shop with tasks including pricing, sorting, window displays and serving customers.

    Anyone who is unable to attend but is interested in volunteering can ring 01795 845265 or email sue.brown@demelza.org.uk

  • Sign up now for Demelza 101 in 2017

    by User Not Found | Feb 10, 2016

    Registration is now open for the 2017 Demelza 101. So it’s time to choose – will you join Team Trekor Team Triathlon?

    With only 100 places up for grabs, be sure to signup soon if you want to join us for an incredible experience in the Lake District on 19-21 May next year.

    The triathlon comprises a two mile canoe paddle across Derwentwater, a six mile hike and 25 mile cycle. Trekkers will follow a spectacular route up Scafell and Scafell Pike taking between 6-8 hours depending on your fitness level.

    Registration costs £100 and each person must pledge to raise at least £1,000 which covers the cost of travel and accommodation as well as raising vital funds for Demelza.

    Demelza 101 2017 aims to raise £100,000 which could pay for two nurses and one care assistant for a year, and one day’s care at each of our hospices in Eltham and Sittingbourne as well as in the community across  East Sussex.