Short breaks and day care at Demelza

Many of our families say that at times, they become physically and emotionally exhausted.

This is where our short breaks and day care can be of benefit to the whole family, as they enable everyone to have a much-needed rest.

“Demelza helping means switching off your alarm and having a good night’s sleep, knowing that she is ok. It means we can recharge our batteries.” 

In a recent family survey, 77% said they had benefited from a meaningful break from taking care of their child and 63% felt more confident and better able to care for their child; “As a family, they help us put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.”

Lucy and mum Sam

Lucy's story

Lucy and her family have been accessing services at Demelza in Sittingbourne for six years. With no family locally and Lucy’s grandma suffering from arthritis, the support from Demelza has been invaluable.

The family have come to rely on the services they access at Demelza, with Lucy's mum, Sam, sharing:  “I’m not sure where we’d be without Demelza’s respite services”.

Sam and Craig also use the respite service for Lucy when they need to visit Craig’s father who has dementia: “Demelza saved our family’s sanity, we are so grateful for the help”.

Yasmina and Health Care Assistant baking together

Benefits for families

Whether it’s catching up with housework or doing the shopping, families tell us this valuable support enables them to do things they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do. Short breaks/day care will also give you the time to focus on your other children, who might be feeling overlooked or isolated, as so much of the focus is on the child with a serious or terminal condition.
Ralph with Registered Nurse on the swings at Demelza Kent


It can be daunting leaving your child, especially for the first time, so there is plenty of time to settle them in. We have lots of experience and expertise in providing full nursing and personal care, but we still want to know how you care for your child. First and foremost, you are their parents/carers and you are also experts in their care. During the assessment and pre-assessment, we will assess your child to ensure their individual needs are considered and catered for.
Finley with Health Care Assistant using optic lights

A choice of support

Your child can either stay just during the day or overnight as well. Day care and overnight stays at our hospices offer children and young people the chance to enjoy our amazing facilities and use our therapy services. You also have the choice of a short break in the comfort of your own homes via our Care at Home Service. Sometimes you may need care at short notice or urgently and other times you will be able to plan breaks in advance. We will endeavour to meet your needs and work with you to arrange your short breaks at suitable times.

Fun activities

“Demelza gives us a space for Ralph to come and be safe and happy, we can leave the house and feel like a normal family, the boys can be normal children. I don’t have to wait until other families have gone home from the park, or assess every area for potential risks to Ralph…  It’s completely different at Demelza – it’s stress-free.”

“If I could offer any advice to other parents who might be afraid of what coming to a children’s hospice means, I’d say ‘just do it and don’t listen to pre-conceived ideas or judgements – it’s life-changing.’”

Ralph and a registered nurse playing in the outside area at Demelza Kent

Want to enquire about short breaks or day care?

If you're an existing Demelza family you can get in touch with us to enquire about booking a short break or day care.

If you're not currently supported by Demelza, complete our referral form to see how we can help.

Demelza Kent

Demelza Kent

Your short break will be at either Demelza Kent or Demelza South East London. Take a look at the facilities offered.
Demelza South East London

Demelza South East London

Your short break will be at either Demelza Kent or Demelza South East London. Take a look at the facilities offered.