Welcome to our first Meet Team Demelza guest blog, a new series featuring some of the amazing people working across all areas of our organisation. First up is a gentleman who is held in as much regard for his fundraising challenges and polka dot waistcoats as he is for keeping everyone at Demelza safe and ensuring everything is running smoothly...

Tim Richards, Operations Manager

I am lucky enough to be entering my 11th year at Demelza, following a 30 year career with Sainsbury’s. My current role involves supporting a brilliant team of committed people in our housekeeping and catering teams at our Sittingbourne and Eltham hospices. My role also involves Health and Safety, which means I have the added advantage of working with many fantastic people in virtually all areas of Demelza, including trading, fundraising, family support, HR & Voluntary services and of course our incredible care team – I feel truly blessed to work with some wonderful people.

Over the past few weeks we have had to come to terms with new ways of working, with many of our colleagues working from home. Part of my role in these strange times is to help monitor and maintain a supply of PPE to our care teams and to look forward with my colleagues to see how the other areas of our charity will need to adapt going forward. Our fundraising and trading teams will face particular challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

Many of us working for Demleza also take part in fundraising activities as we can see first hand the difference people’s kind donations make to the children and families who need our services.

In the past eight years I have been able to complete a number of distance cycle rides to Paris, Amsterdam and Italy, as well as climbing Ben Nevis and completing a Triathlon in the lake district.

The year ahead will be challenging one for fundraising and personally I am finding things more challenging. Demelza has set a fantastic challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2021 and I am very much hoping to take part. I normally do my fundraising by doing static 100km rides in supermarkets so, this year is... difficult! So, in preparation for our “planned” climb, I am embarking on a series of training climbs up and down 25 stone steps in Sittingbourne – and I am also hoping this will help attract some fundraising support at the same time! I plan over the next few months to climb the equivalent height of – you’ve guessed it – Kilimanjaro – a total of 38,317 steps.

I would appreciate any support, in the coming months to help me “get up the mountain” but, much more importantly help raise funds which will allow Demelza to support Children and families who are facing an incredibly difficult future.

If you would like to sponsor Tim in his quest to the top of Kilimanjaro, you can donate to his JustGiving page here.