Petra Bones, Demelza’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, reviews our charity partnership with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, thanking them for their continued support in a somewhat challenging year!


A year in the life of a corporate partnership – Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Petra says:

“Demelza Hospice Care for Children has been members of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce for two years now, so we were absolutely delighted when their Chief Executive, Jo James, invited us to become the Chamber’s first charity partner in 2019.

Our partnership was launched at the Kent Construction Expo in October 2019, where we were gifted a stand and had the opportunity to catch up with current partners, network in a key sector for us, and fundraise through a raffle drawn at the Gala Dinner. We worked with Expo organisers Revolution Events to maximise the opportunity, as we would never have been able to justify stand costs from our charity marketing budget so this was such a huge bonus.

Over the past 18 months we have had a range of benefits from our charity partner status, as well as our Chamber membership, and since the launch we have benefitted from:

  • Networking opportunities (in person and virtual)
  • Guest speaker slots and ‘elevator pitches’
  • Complimentary attendance at the 2019 Christmas lunch and fundraising from the raffle
  • Thinking Business Magazine articles and features
  • Training and member events, which have given us new opportunities and enhanced skills
  • PR / social media support
  • Enhanced communications with more businesses on the same ‘patch’
  • New supporters and partners, including Supersonic Playground; Amakari; Pitman Training; and Eight76, amongst others
  • Chamber staff and members signing up for our lottery
  • ‘Gifts in kind’ and event fundraising donations which have totalled over £3000 which is equivalent to 65 hours of specialist Demelza nursing care or 290 hours of Demelza healthcare assistant care.

Whilst COVID-19 has changed the way most of us work (probably for good), the quality of the events and opportunities the Chamber has given us definitely hasn’t! The thought leadership, quality and frequency of networking and training, and general support they have given us has been fantastic and we’d like to say a special thank you to: Jo James; Tudor Price; Neil Vanstone; Paul Brooks; Angela Pearmine; Molly Hall; Kaz Macklin and Kelly Chawner.

Whilst our partnership with the Chamber is ending, our membership and support of children and families definitely isn’t and we need supporters like you and your business more than ever.

The last financial year was really unpredictable for Demelza. Our usual activity had to stop, change, or find entirely new ways to happen. Financially, we saw similar challenges, with a lot of our usual income badly affected by the pandemic. Fundraising, especially events and community, has been hit significantly, and our 26 shops were forced to close for much of the year.

As the country begins to open up, our retail shops start to trade again and community fundraising and events become less restricted, 2021-22 still poses a significant challenge for Demelza. We will go on for as long as our reserves hold out but COVID-19 will continue to have a significant impact on our income and we have already seen a massive decline. If we cannot make up the shortfall, this will have an effect on the families we support.

We’d love to speak to you about how we can partner in the months ahead, whether for individual, team or company fundraising - together we can make sure our vital work remains a lifeline to over 600 children, young people and families.”

To get in touch with our Corporate Team you can email them on or visit the corporate partnerships web page for more details.