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Demelza to open shop in Canterbury
Demelza is to open a charity shop with a difference in Canterbury city centre – with plans to sell wedding clothing and form close links with the community.

Demelza has signed the lease for the property at 18a and 18b Burgate and is hoping to open the doors to the public in early July.

The charity plans to turn the shop into a community hub – allowing groups and organisations to come in and use the space for activities such as craft and book clubs, with the idea visitors could make use of any excess stock and rag.

The upstairs of the shop will sell a full range of stock such as clothing, accessories, toys, games and some furniture, while the downstairs will be transformed into a bridal department – a nod to its previous occupier Jodi bridal shop. 

As well as a wide range of wedding dresses which the charity has already been donated, it is hoping to build up a stock of even more and will also be selling bridesmaids’ dresses, bridal accessories and also prom dresses.

A fitting room will be installed and the bridal department will be run on an appointment-only basis, with a seamstress on hand every other week to assist customers.

Posted on: May 21, 2015
Posted by: Emma Grove

Call for short break funding
Demelza’s new chief executive is one of several children’s hospice leaders to have signed a letter which has today been published in The Guardian.

It’s been sent to the newspaper by Together for Short Lives as part of Children’s Hospice Week and calls on the new government to ensure fair and sustainable funding for short breaks through a new, ring-fenced fund, allocated to local authorities in England.

Demelza’s Ryan Campbell has added his signature to a list of 28 signatories which are on the letter.

Short breaks provide vital respite for families and help them cope with the pressure of providing round the clock care for their seriously ill child.

The previous government committed £800 million for short breaks for disabled children over four years. The funding ran out at the end of March and there’s currently no commitment to continue it.

Posted on: May 15, 2015
Posted by: Emma Grove

Generous donation of amazing technology
A piece of equipment which will help disabled children communicate has been donated to Demelza thanks to members of a masonic lodge. 

The Eyegaze piece of technology was presented to Demelza on Wednesday 6th May.

The machine makes computers accessible for disabled young people – calibrating to each different user’s eyes and allowing them to move the cursor around the screen. 

Children who were previously unable to communicate will now be able to do so – making decisions and explaining to their carers and parents what they would like to eat or drink.

It was donated to the charity’s Eltham hospice by Lifelites thanks to a £4,500 donation from the Elizabethan Lodge in The Provincial Grand Lodge of West Kent.

A number of the Freemasons and their wives visited the hospice in Wensley Close to see the equipment in action and were then given a tour of the site.

Lifelites also spent the day training Demelza staff to use the technology.

Posted on: May 7, 2015
Posted by: Emma Grove

Dozens walk 50k to raise thousands
Dozens of dedicated fundraisers have taken to the streets of Kent and south east London to support a children’s hospice. 

Demelza held its first Walk This Way event on Saturday 2nd May.

A total of 68 people took part in the 50k route – with 51 of them making their way from the charity’s hospice in Rook Lane, Bobbing, to its base in Wensley Close, Eltham, and the other 17 going the opposite way – from London to Kent.

The first walkers reached their final destination in around 10 hours, with the later ones taking around 16. 

The majority of them passed their fellow fundraisers around the Gravesend area.

 More than £17,000 has already been raised and it is hoped the final total will be closer to £30,000 once all the sponsorship money comes in.

As well as generous members of the public, participants included families and staff as well as corporate and community supporters.

Posted on: May 5, 2015
Posted by: Emma Grove

New Demelza chief exec Ryan Campbell takes up post
Demelza has welcomed new chief executive Ryan Campbell. 

The 42-year-old previously led KCA, a Kent-based substance misuse and mental health charity, and has held senior positions in criminal justice and older people’s charities.

Mr Campbell has replaced Steve Hoy, who had been at the charity for three years before he left earlier this year to take up the same role at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester.

Demelza is delighted to have a new leader with Mr Campbell’s experience and drive to guide the organisation forward.  

With advances in medical science there are now more and more children with complex care needs who are able to live and enjoy childhood, and often young adulthood, but they and their whole families require specialist support, both in hospices and in the home, for this to happen. 

The future of children’s hospices, which rely almost entirely on community fundraising, is therefore complex and challenging, but absolutely essential.

Posted on: Apr 29, 2015
Posted by: Emma Grove

Demelza Kent : Rook Lane, Bobbing, Sittingbourne, Kent. ME9 8DZ
Demelza South East London : 5 Wensley Close, Eltham, London. SE9 5AB
Demelza Community : Langtye Farm, Langtye Lane, Ripe, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6BA 
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