The two-year partnership will support Demelza’s extraordinary care for extraordinary children across Kent, East Sussex, and South East London, providing creative therapies and short breaks, to practical and emotional support for families and siblings, and care towards the end of life.

Our specialist nursing and care teams provide expert clinical care for children who are facing serious or life-limiting conditions like two-year-old Esme and her family. Esme from Maidstone was just 17 months old when she was diagnosed with Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); a rare, degenerative condition that makes the muscles weaker.

“When we were referred to Demelza we didn’t know what to expect, and we were a little apprehensive as – to our minds – a hospice only offers end-of-life care,” said Emma, Esme’s mum. “Thankfully, they really opened our eyes to the kind of support that’s available to families of children facing serious or life-limiting conditions.

That’s why this partnership with Coolings is so valuable to charities like Demelza,” said Emma, “in order for them to continue delivering support, resources, activities, and care to families like ours."

Petra Bones, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Demelza, said: “We are delighted that Coolings has selected Demelza as its charity of choice for 2023/24. This year we are marking our 25th Anniversary and this wouldn’t have been possible without the loyalty and generosity of our donors, supporters and corporate partners like Coolings. We are very excited about sharing our great work with Coolings staff and customers.”

The independent garden centre was started over 100 years ago by the Coolings family and over 65% of its plants are homegrown at its on-site nursery at Coolings, Rushmore Hill in Knockholt. It also has three other sites in Knockholt, Forest Row and Bearsted.

Customers can also support the charity partnership by purchasing the specially named ‘Demelza Smiles’ bedding plant which will be on sale this spring or by using a Coolings Family Card, with every swipe leading to a 10p donation being made to Demelza.

Ian Hazon, Production and Operations Director at Coolings, said: “It is great to be working with and supporting Demelza. Like other hospices, a lot of their work goes unrecognised, but their support is invaluable to the families that really do depend on them. They make such a difference to people’s lives and helping raise the much-needed funds will allow them to help even more.”

Click to find out more about how you can support this partnership!