“For me, it was a quick realisation that a visit to Father Christmas, something that might seem so simple to plan to you or me, for families caring for a child with a serious or terminal condition, is something that might be impossible; having to consider their medical needs and equipment, suitable parking or a quiet location that’s not too overwhelming – in itself, could be extremely overwhelming for the family.
“As I sat in the craft area with one family who had brought along their child, who is a wheelchair user, and his two siblings, I overheard his Mum make a passing comment to her partner, about the bench she had just sat her child at. The bench had half a seat, allowing space for a wheelchair to sit in closely. She loved that, smiled, and said how she was ‘easily pleased’.
“Every child I saw during my spell as a Demelza Elf was so clearly excited, and could not wait to get into the grotto and meet Father Christmas, and it was so heart-warming to see. To our family support department, really well done, I know you’ve helped make a lot of magical Christmas memories.
“If you’re thinking about volunteering, do it. It’s fun, it’s rewarding and at Demelza, there are lots of opportunities for you. From volunteering at our grotto to helping in the hospices, or supporting at our events – whatever skills and experiences you have, however many hours you can give, we would love to hear from you!”