After Keith's granddaughter sadly passed away, the family accessed our bereavement services in our Eltham hospice. Our bereavement facilities allowed the family time to say their goodbyes, whilst being supported by our nursing and care team.
Keith began to look for ways in which he could give back to Demelza and for Volunteers' Week, he has shared his story of becoming a #TeamDemelza volunteer:
"In July of the same year, I started looking at ways I could give back to Demelza and heard about volunteering with their Practical Support team, who work to assist families with the everyday tasks most of us take for granted; DIY, grocery shopping, gardening, and driving from A to B. I’m useless at DIY (my skills lie elsewhere!), so in the end, we agreed that I’d be a driver for the families Demelza supports."
Becoming Father Christmas
"Demelza also put on a Christmas Grotto last year in Sittingbourne, and they asked me to be Father Christmas for four days! That was a really lovely experience, getting to interact with the kids and families in a less formal setting and actually seeing them smiling and having a good time, even just for a little while. A lot of families just don’t get experiences like that without Demelza’s help. If a child has a severe disability, the noise and chaos of a normal shopping centre grotto can be way too much; not to mention that with COVID-19, that was probably the first time in a long time that many of those families got to do something that felt so normal, and it was a genuinely heartwarming experience getting to be a part of that.
"Imagine a little boy or girl meeting Father Christmas for the very first time, seeing their face light up and hearing their excited laughter, and knowing you’re the reason it’s able to happen. That’s as good an argument as I can make for getting involved with Demelza."
"Now more than ever, Demelza needs willing volunteers to help the families they support. Whatever your skillset, whether you’re a dab-hand at gardening or a whiz in the kitchen, just a few hours of your time a week can make that unimaginable difference to a family who needs it."