Demelza's founder president, Derek Phillips, received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award on Friday 13 May.

Derek Phillips, who lives in Fareham, set up ‘Demelza Hospice Care for Children’ in memory of his daughter Demelza, who died of a brain tumour aged 24 and had been dedicated to supporting children in hospices. Wanting to continue her legacy, Derek and his wife Jennifer began establishing a hospice charity in her name in 1994, with the first hospice opening in 1998 in Sittingbourne, Kent - a building which Derek, an architect, had designed himself. Derek faced further tragedy three years later after Jennifer unexpectedly died, but continued to focus his energy on his charitable work, expanding the ‘Demelza Hospice Care For Children’ further by merging with two other charities to open up two further sites in South East London and East Sussex. The charity now provides support every year to over 600 children, young people and their families, providing palliative, respite, end-of-life and bereavement care.

Congratulating Derek on his award, Suella Braverman QC, MP for Fareham, said:

"Recently I visited Beck Lodge Care Home in my constituency where I met Derek and heard about the enduring charitable efforts he has made over the course of his lifetime. In response to such a tragic turn of events, Derek provided a point of light for so many in honour of his daughter Demelza. He continued her work with her always in mind. His efforts truly are of the highest calibre and have resulted in invaluable memories for people going through the worst imaginable situations of their lives. It is for Derek’s compassionate service and dedication to supporting children and young adults, and their families, that I believe he is fully deserving of being awarded a Points of Light award."

Lavinia Jarrett, CEO of Demelza, said:

“Without Derek, there would be no Demelza Hospice. His vision – to build a hospice supporting children with serious or terminal conditions in Kent – has resulted in a vital service, providing specialist care and emotional support for over 600 children, and their families, across the South East, whether in our hospices in Sittingbourne and Eltham, South East London or in the community across East Sussex. This is a richly deserved award and huge congratulations from everyone at Demelza.”

Derek is the 1914th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Latest news

A charity skydiver is wearing his skydive jumpsuit, pulling open the chest to show his Demelza t-shirt underneath.
16th June 2022
Why jump out of a perfectly good plane?

Fundraiser and first-time skydiver, Malcolm, has shared his reflections after taking on our tandem skydive challenge!

Find out more
Ralph and his brother in the soft play ball pit at Demelza Kent.
09th June 2022
Carers' Week 2022

“By the age of four Freddie had learned what to do with the medication and he’d know exactly how to save Ralph’s life if he needed to.” To mark Carers’ Week 2022, we are sharing Ralph and brother, Freddie’s story.

Find out more
Sean is standing outside the Millwall Football Stadium, wearing a Demelza t-shirt, holding a collection bucket.
01st June 2022
Volunteers' Week: Sean's story

Volunteers' Week 2022 is here and it's a time to say thanks - and a time to recognise and celebrate the contribution of our volunteers to our communities. Volunteer of four years, Sean, has shared a glimpse into his volunteering journey at Demelza.

Find out more
A charity skydiver is wearing his skydive jumpsuit, pulling open the chest to show his Demelza t-shirt underneath.
16th June 2022
Why jump out of a perfectly good plane?

Fundraiser and first-time skydiver, Malcolm, has shared his reflections after taking on our tandem skydive challenge!

Find out more
Ralph and his brother in the soft play ball pit at Demelza Kent.
09th June 2022
Carers' Week 2022

“By the age of four Freddie had learned what to do with the medication and he’d know exactly how to save Ralph’s life if he needed to.” To mark Carers’ Week 2022, we are sharing Ralph and brother, Freddie’s story.

Find out more
Sean is standing outside the Millwall Football Stadium, wearing a Demelza t-shirt, holding a collection bucket.
01st June 2022
Volunteers' Week: Sean's story

Volunteers' Week 2022 is here and it's a time to say thanks - and a time to recognise and celebrate the contribution of our volunteers to our communities. Volunteer of four years, Sean, has shared a glimpse into his volunteering journey at Demelza.

Find out more