Spectacular turn out for Winter Sparkle

Christmas officially arrived in Chorley this weekend when Derian House Children’s Hospice Winter Sparkle event came to town (Sunday, 4 Nov).

More than 10,000 people flocked to Astley Park where families enjoyed fairground rides, visits to Santa (and his real reindeer), a giant snow globe, unicorn rides, giant bubbles and Punch and Judy.

Shoppers stocked up on Christmas gifts and trinkets from Austrian-style market stalls and tucked into delicious food and drink including bratwurst, mulled wine, festive fizz, churros, Lancashire cheese and speciality chocolate.

TV cameras from Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers were on hand to capture the exciting unveiling of a huge reindeer cake, baked especially for the event by cake maker Rosie Dummer.

Slices were sold to raise money and the show will be aired next month as a Christmas special.

Although the final figures are still being calculated, event organisers said the event was one of the most successful the charity has ever held, smashing fundraising totals of the previous seven years that the event has run.

Kevin Bedford, Derian House Fundraising Manager, said: “I’m really proud of how our team of staff and volunteers pulled together to make the event a fantastic success. Without their fantastic support we simply could not have done it.

“I’m equally thrilled at how the community came out to support Derian at the event. It was marvellous to see families spending time together having fun while raising money for our children and young people at the same time.”

Winter Sparkle raised vital funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice, which cares for more than 350 children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families, across the North West.

The event was sponsored by Eric Wright Group, Waitrose, Andrew Porter Ltd, Huntapac and System Hygiene.


Derian House Heads to Westminster in fight for funding

REPRESENTATIVES from Chorley-based children’s hospice, Derian House,  travelled to London to lobby Lancashire MPs for more funding.

The charity, which offers respite and end-of-life care for more than 350 children and young people in the North West, costs £4 million to run each year – but less than 10 per cent of that is funded by the government and NHS.

For the remaining 90% of vital funding, the charity must rely upon the generosity of its supporters.

“Derian House saves the NHS literally millions of pounds every year,” said David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House. “But we are forced to rely on our supporters to come up with £4 million every single year just to keep the doors open.

“Our families tell us that the services we offer are a lifeline. It’s not just about supporting the children and young people, but also looking after the whole family. We offer a range of wellbeing services, sibling support and generally provide a safe haven for our families.

“Our goal is to make sure our children make the most of every moment and create happy memories with their families.

“It is hugely unfair that children’s hospices receive significantly less financial support from the government than adult hospices.”

Mr Robinson was joined by Derian’s Clinical Director Lynn Grayson and Communications and Marketing Manager Caroline Taylor for the trip to the House of Commons to meet Lancashire MPs at the meeting organised by Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, a long-time supporter of the charity.

MPs who attended the meeting and agreed to visit Derian House were Julie Cooper (Burnley), Seema Kennedy (South Ribble), David Crausby (Bolton North East), a representative for Chris Green (Bolton West) and Mark Hendrick (Preston)

They were asked by the charity to join their fight for funding, and to have a louder voice in putting children’s palliative care on the agenda.

Happy Birthday Derian House!


Families rubbed shoulders with celebrity guests at a star-studded birthday bash to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Derian House.

The silver-themed party saw more than 100 families celebrating a quarter of a century of helping youngsters with life-limiting conditions to make the very most of every moment.

Lynn Grayson, Derian’s Clinical Director, told the assembled guests: “This day is all about recognising the special people at the heart of Derian House – our children, families, staff and volunteers.

“Over the last 25 years we’ve been privileged to care for and support some truly incredible families from all over the North West. Every single person who comes through these doors has left their mark, and we treasure the memories of those who are no longer with us.”

Party guests sang Happy Birthday and cut into a gigantic birthday cake baked by celebrity baker Molly Robbins, from Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers.

It was a family affair for the Robbinses – with Ted and Judy Robbins coming along to the bash in their role as proud Derian ambassadors.

Ted, an actor, TV presenter and radio broadcaster, said: “Every time I come to Derian it fills my heart with joy. Seeing what people face up to with courage and dignity is humbling and being here is just life-affirming.

“The birthday party has been full of fun and colour and Judy and I are so proud to be a part of it.”

As well as party games, entertainment and ice cream (kindly donated by Mrs Dowsons Farm) the guests had the first chance to meet

Derian’s new Patron, Kiki DeVille – best known as judge on TV talent show All Together Now.

Kiki, whose son Dexter died at Derian aged just 4 weeks and 3 days, in 2007, said: “It’s been so lovely to meet so many beautiful families today at the birthday party and I look forward to being a familiar face at Derian House. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spread the word about this wonderful place.”

There was also live music by the Ukulele Band, giant bubble blowing by Emma from eBublio, and a chance to meet Elizabeth Grant, who was crowned Miss England 2016 and is Derian’s Fundraising Ambassador. Elizabeth is also part of the Derian family, having been part of the charity’s Sibling Support group when her sister Melanie was cared for at the hospice.

Derian House provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 350 children and young people across the North West. It costs £4 million a year to run the charity, more than 90% of which is reliant upon the generous donations of supporters.

Derian’s ethos is to make sure that every child and young person is able to make the most of the time they have and create happy memories with their family.

Month: October 2018