"I began my journey working for Demelza as a Health Care Assistant in February 2019 with Leanne Archer, my play partner- and it was the best decision I have ever made. My previous experience includes eight years of experience in paediatrics, complex disabilities, brain injuries & neurological disorders- working both in rehabilitation and residential care settings."

"My previous skills gave me the confidence to develop further in additional training Demelza can offer. Since becoming a member of the Demelza family I have completed a variation of competencies this includes caring for children at end of life as well as children with tracheostomies and offering bereavement support.

"This July I applied for the role of a Senior Health Care Assistant specialising in Play and Activities. From day one, I have been known for my lively and motivated attitude towards my job, throwing myself into every opportunity to play and make memories through activities (sometimes a bit too much). I feel proud to be a part of the Care Team, they are very used to my bold and big ideas, with no judgement.

"During lockdown myself and the Care Team organised theme days as an opportunity for both children and staff to dress up. These were great fun and really raised morale at such an unpredictable and isolating time. The pandemic was a real challenge in terms of activities for the children- due not being able to mix different households or leave the hospice, therefore we all had to think on the spot. We all researched art and sensory activities as well as utilising art and music therapy offered for our children via Zoom. I think everyone would agree, we all enjoyed using our creative streak during this time- confirming quite how much I would enjoy our new role.

"All Health Care Assistants (myself included) have had life guard training, offering opportunities for families to go swimming in our hydro pool- a safe environment with nurses and highly trained health care assistants nearby. As a result of this I have been able to witness ‘first swims’ with children and families that never thought they would see the day.

A young boy enjoys the hydro pool at Demelza, he is laying on his back, being held and supporting by mum whilst floating.

"Some of my fondest memories at Demelza have been in the hydro pool whether it is having a water fight with fellow staff members, or making memories with families.  It is a privilege to be a part of that process and enable families to make such special memories- especially when we can get in too. As a Senior Health Care Assistant, I now have protected time to ensure these experiences can go ahead, which I think is so important.

"One of my biggest focuses is fundraising and events, prior to lockdown I helped organise a teddy bears picnic for our families, as well as facilitating our Christmas grotto (as an elf). I am really looking forward to bringing back these events, when it is safe to do so.  Myself and Leanne are climbing Kilimanjaro next September for Demelza, during lockdown we have done several challenges together, including spending 24 hours in our cars. Therefore, when I found out Leanne would be working with me in our new role I knew we would work well together….and so far we have."

'We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing’- George Bernard Shaw

Senior Health Care Assistant, Beth, is wearing her green Demelza t-shirt and red lanyard. She is sat on a red leather chair, smiling.

- Beth Harris, Senior Health Care Assistant