This year we celebrated four years of our incredible partnership with Demelza children’s hospice. The hospice is a charity which provides care and treasured memories for children with severe and terminal illnesses, and their families.
As well as offering our Demelza Children’s account (from which we make an annual donation to Demelza equivalent to 0.25% of the total average balances held in these accounts), we regularly take part in fundraisers and some of our staff choose to use their annual volunteer day to help out where we can.
On top of that we’re proud to also be working with XL@Football women’s club, beginning a 3-year partnership with them in August 2021. Our first act as Club Sponsor was to donate the valuable advertising space on the front of the match day training and coaching kits to Demelza, marking just the start of an exciting three-way partnership. And we also joined together at Christmas to donate over 100 gifts to the children, as well as vouchers for staff.
Since 2018 we’ve donated over £45k to Demelza, but how does it help in terms of providing vital care for children that need it the most?
Between 2021-2022 alone, we donated £27k, which could help to fund:
- Over a month of overnight stays at one of Demelza’s two hospices – where a specialised team can help parents and carers have a break, knowing that all nursing and medical needs will be looked after. The children will also have an opportunity to get one-to-one care, play and take part in activities.
- The cost for 135 families to go through the referral process and access support – many parents have reservations about handing care over to someone else but Demelza work hard to show families they can support them to experience joy, for however limited that time might be.
- 551 hours of specialist nursing care – providing not just clinical care, but emotional support, practical advice and connections for the entire family.
Demelza focus on supporting each and every child and family to achieve the best possible standard of life, children like Fin and Fia.
Fin has cerebral palsy and experiences up to 30 seizures a day. He can’t speak and is also registered blind. This means caring for him is a full-time job for his family. Fin returns every year for short breaks, where he enjoys swimming in the hydro pool.
Fin’s Dad said: “We don’t get any other help and we need a break from being Fin’s carers. We know Fin is in good hands at Demelza – I don’t know what we would do without them.”
Fia has a rare neurodegenerative brain disease and needs constant supervision. Fia loves visiting the Demelza care team – it’s a safe space where she can paint and play with toys. But not only that, Fia’s brothers have been able to attend online support groups during lockdown where they could play quizzes and games with other children.
Fia’s Mum is extremely grateful for the support Demelza provide: “For Fia, who has numerous medical problems, she can have freedom – she can be just like her big brothers and sister. It does her the world of good and the four children can play together - like all siblings should.”
Once restrictions lifted, there was also a fun-filled day at Gravity trampoline park, as well as an activity day at the Kent hospice, where children and their siblings took part in music sessions, played games, had a game of football and baked some tasty treats.
We’re looking forward to another year working with Demelza and supporting the wonderful work they do, and helping with the many fundraising events they have planned that everyone can get involved in – find out more at https://www.demelza.org.uk/support-us/events.