We were delighted to welcome Lila Dowie, Head of Corporate Partnerships and Trusts at our charity of choice Demelza Hospice Care for Children for a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session at our offices on Wednesday 27 April.
Organised by our charity committee, which was represented by Gareth Warner and Katie Hilsdon today but also includes Lisa Connolly, it was a great opportunity for team members to discover more about the services and support Demelza provides and the impact our fundraising could have.
Lila explained that Demelza ‘makes sure that children with serious or terminal conditions and their families aren’t forgotten’. She said that Demelza offers its services across a large area of Kent, Sussex and seven London boroughs. It has three sites, including its hospice in Sittingbourne, which she said was a ‘bright, colourful’ space with lots of cake! Demelza also provides an outreach service into patients’ homes
The services which the charity provides are even more important, as children with long-term conditions are living longer and Demelza now supports many of its patients to transition into adult care. In many ways, Lila explained, end-of-life care though crucial, is only a small part of what Demelza does.
All the care which the hospice provides is free of charge to families and it currently supports 700 children (and 4000 family members in total, including grandparents and siblings). Support is tailored to suit each family and, in addition to vital medical care and respite services, the hospice also provides art, music and play therapy.
Only 14% of Demelza’s funding comes from Government and statutory sources, so fundraising is vital. Lila told our team about the various ways they can help from having a declutter to provide items for the charity’s shops, to volunteering at events and taking part in challenges, as well as holding a cake sale. By the end of the session, team members were thinking about ways they could help.