The teams have worked tirelessly over the past year to continue to deliver vital care and have adapted rapidly to make sure that the majority of its therapy services can be accessed virtually and this award is richly deserved.
Creative arts at Demelza embrace the fun, the sad, the silly and the precious, unforgettable moments of family life. They are a part of the families’ journeys and until recently have been delivered primarily within a hospice setting or in the home. COVID-19 changed all that and the teams at Demelza adapted rapidly to continue to work closely with families. Where possible, music sensory bags were delivered to families so they could take part in virtual music therapy sessions, art therapy for siblings went ‘virtual’ so children could enjoy crafting and the Little Dots sessions, which usually take place at the Sittingbourne hospice on Tuesdays for pre-schoolers, also went online.
The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate and showcase the innovation and care excellence of the not-for-profit care and support sector. The Demelza team were shortlisted last year following a nerve-wracking zoom interview in October! Usually the team would have been invited to attend the star-studded award ceremony but of course, the pandemic meant the event went online. Victoria Swan, Senior Music Therapist at Demelza, had the honour of being presented the award on behalf of the team by journalist and TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.
Jane O’Neill, Deputy Director of Family Support, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Creative Arts category in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards. Creative arts are embedded into the everyday care and support Demelza gives to families who have a child with a serious or terminal condition and this is a fantastic way to acknowledge and celebrate our services. It is both a recognition of the work we do in the hospices and also of the adaptability and innovation shown by the team to move services online”.
Sam from Kent, whose daughter Lucy, accesses the music therapy provided by Demelza online says “This is a hugely deserved award – last week’s world music session took us from drumming music from Mali, to Ireland's Riverdance and finished with Bob Marley. Therapy for all of us and much needed when we are confined by lockdown restrictions!”.
Lucy enjoying a music therapy session with Demelza.