Celebrating 25 years of Demelza
18 Dec 2023


As the end of 2023 draws nearer, we wanted to join in with the birthday celebrations as our charity partner Demelza marks its 25th anniversary. It’s incredible to think that since Demelza opened its doors, we’ve seen the iPod come and go, smart phones taking over our lives and the arrival of electric cars, but Demelza is still going strong!

We’re incredibly proud to work alongside Demelza to help raise money for the vital work they do to support children facing serious or life-limiting conditions through various fundraising initiatives and donations.

Demelza was founded by Derek and Jennifer Phillips who named the charity after their daughter, Demelza Phillips, who sadly died at the young age of 24 of a brain tumour. Before she passed away, she worked in a children’s hospice in Birmingham and was inspired by their work. Derek and Jennifer took Demelza’s passion for the support children’s hospices provide and wanted to establish their own in her memory. In 1998, they opened their first children’s hospice in Sittingbourne, Kent named after Demelza herself.

Since then, the charity has worked tirelessly to ensure children and their families have assistance in as many ways as possible, from driving families to and from the hospice, overnight stays, physical therapies, end-of-life care and many, many more services. They have cared for countless children and families over their 25 years where they provide a safe space for children to have fun, explore, rest, and recover. Demelza is not just a hospice, but a lifeline for many families in need of their support.

Our Demelza children’s savings accounts

Ever since they were founded, OSB Group through its Kent Reliance savings brand has been supporting Demelza in different ways. In 2018 we officially launched our Demelza children’s savings account from which we make an annual donation to them equivalent to 0.25% of the total average balances held in these accounts each year.

Every penny goes towards providing invaluable support for children and their families through the care of specialist nurses, therapy sessions, overnight stays at Demelza’s hospices and the many other necessary services they offer.

Our partners

We can’t forget to mention XL@Football, another of our partners, and how they have also supported Demelza. When we first sponsored XL@Football in 2021, we donated the valuable advertising space on their football shirts to Demelza, which all of the teams wear with pride at every game. They have also volunteered at and supported various fundraising events and donated and delivered Christmas presents to the children.

During 2022, we also raised money for Demelza’s Bubble Rush and Little Warrior events and sponsored their Celebration of Christmas carol concert – something we wanted to carry on into this year! We’ll once again be sponsoring their Christmas concert and we’re so excited for what promises to be a truly magical night celebrating an extraordinary 25 years.

Cycling for Demelza

Our latest big push for Demelza came in September this year, when our very own Christina Fasoli, manager of our Canterbury branch, and Group Managing Director, Mortgages and Savings Jon Hall tackled the Paris to Kent 2023 charity bike ride!

The duo took on the gruelling three-day challenge to cycle the 183-mile journey from the Eiffel Tower all the way to Demelza’s Sittingbourne hospice in Kent. Through amazing Just Giving donations, Christina and Jon managed to raise over £6,500 and, alongside a generous top up from OSB Group, ended up raising a total of £10,000 for Demelza.

Louise Earl, Corporate Partnerships Account Manager at Demelza, said: “Demelza receive a fantastic amount of support from OSB Group and have done for many years. Over the past 12 months alone we’ve had members of their staff volunteer at our warehouse, at our events, in our shops and at our Hospice in Sittingbourne. They’ve also taken part in the epic bike ride from Paris to Kent and raised £10,000 in the process! We benefit from their children’s savings account, and they sponsor some of our key events throughout the year.

“As partners they are engaged, passionate, always open to new ways of working and the relationship goes from strength to strength as time goes on. Next year, two of their staff are taking part in the trek to Machu Picchu on our behalf and we can’t wait to follow their journey. Thank you, OSB. The support that you give to Demelza has a huge impact on the level of support we can provide to the children and families in our care and we appreciate everything that you do for us.”

Happy 25th anniversary, Demelza! You do so much amazing work and we’re proud to work alongside you.