At the launch of James House at The Heathfield Show in May, 1996, I was so touched by what I heard about the difficulties the Gooch Family had experienced travelling with James for respite care, the nearest being Manchester, I went home and told my husband and we were determined to fundraise for a local hospice.
It was decided firstly to have Community Nurses who went into the children’s homes where they are able to still be with their Parents and siblings, and this continues today. When we amalgamated with Demelza Hospice we had the best of both worlds, care in the community and wonderful respite care at Sittingbourne. It’s a great privilege to work with The Demelza Family and I’m very proud of my own family, a super daughter-in-law and lovely granddaughter, who works so hard for fundraising.
I have been with Demelza ever since it started in 1996. When I was just 6 years old I was signed up to James house, then as it has moved to Demelza James and now Demelza I have followed it all the way through.
I enjoy doing the charity work because it is fun and the group of friends that I work with is like a second family, we all work well together and we enjoy fundraising for Demelza and also promoting what Demelza is.
I also have both my nan and my mum who is in the same friends group so that is even nicer getting to work with them. We organise the Heffle cuckoo fair which we have been doing for the last 7 years, when we are coming up to the fair time and we are starting to organise it often at family meals me mum and nan are discussing what needs doing what we have got coming etc, my dad and my other half sit their rolling their eyes, but they enjoy helping out and do have a lot of input top. It makes me really proud to know that I am doing it alongside my family and that in the future I would like to have my kids involved and make me proud like my nan and mum make me proud for seeing all the hard work and commitment they put in.
It all started when we enrolled both our daughters to receive a children's newsletter, which was being produced by James House charity, which started out at Burwash Common when we attend the Heathfield Agricultural Show. They both fell in the love with ‘Beep’ the car which was used as their emblem.
Our friends group is a great group, we all get on really well, (it feels like a small family), we share a lot of laughs as well as working together to raise money for such a very special charity. We have all helped at many different fundraising events, but our greatest achievement is reviving the Heffle Cuckoo Fair, which is our main fundraising event.
I am extremely proud to say that I am part of this wonderful worthwhile charity, and I am also extremely proud of my lovely daughter and my fantastic mother-in-law for all their hard work & commitment over the last 16 years.