£250,000 fundraising blow for children’s hospice after summer events programme cancelled

Forced cancellations of fundraising events due to the coronavirus outbreak are set to leave a children’s hospice with a £250,000 black hole in its budget.

Derian House Children’s Hospice, which cares for more than 400 seriously ill children and young people from across the North West, was counting on the cash due to be brought in by a programme of spring and summer events.

But Government advice to avoid mass gatherings has meant events such as Stars & Cars and Supercar Showtime have had to be put on hold.

David Robinson, Chief Executive at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “These are difficult times for everyone across the world right now and we are working really hard to come up with ways of supporting our children and families in every eventuality. The message for our supporters is that we’re still here and still supporting families.

“The biggest challenge we are currently facing is the catastrophic effect the forced cancellation of our spring and summer events will have on our income.

“It costs us £4.8m every year to run our services and we were counting on the £250,000 due to be raised at a whole host of events to allow us to care for our children and young people now and in the future.”

Despite the chaos as the world struggles to cope with the global pandemic, life goes on at the hospice. Families are still enjoying the sensory room and gardens. They are making Mother’s Day cards in the messy play zone and creating cherished memories together.

The charity has vowed it will stay open for end-of-life care for the very sickest children and families are being encouraged to access counselling and bereavement support over the phone.

Hospice staff are also lending a hand to colleagues in the NHS to help with increased demand during the outbreak.

Perinatal nurse Katie Turner has voluntarily been seconded to Royal Preston Hospital’s neonatal unit to help families in the most need. She will bring her specialist palliative care skills and help free up hospital staff for other duties.

Mr Robinson added: “I am so proud of all of my staff for the dedication and hard work they are showing in the face of adversity and with the support of our community I’m sure we will be able to cope with this unprecedented event.”

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Hospice nurse to compete in hockey world championships

A hospice nurse who spends her days caring for seriously ill children has been selected to play ball hockey for Team GB.

Emma Pearson, 33, who works at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire, will represent her country against teams from all around the world, in the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation Master’s World Championships, to be held in the Czech Republic in June.

The sport is the summer equivalent of ice hockey, and mum-of-one Emma can usually be found on the ice, where she plays for Blackburn Hawks men’s team and also captains Widnes Wild women’s team.

On top of her full-time job caring for children with life-limiting conditions, Emma trains three times a week on the ice, competes in games at weekends, and attends four CrossFit sessions every week to build stamina.

Now she will add an extra training programme on top of her gruelling schedule, to make sure her sprinting technique is up to scratch so she is ready to take on the world.

“I train in the evenings after work and it can mean late nights,” said Emma, of Warrington.

“I’m also halfway through a two-year qualification at work to become an Advanced Clinical Practitioner, which is a lot of work so I’m definitely kept busy! But although I only average about four hours sleep a night I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel better when I’ve been on the ice and I probably couldn’t cope with such a full-on job and doing my qualification without it.”

Ice hockey is a family affair for Emma, whose husband Phil also plays for Widnes Wild, as well as coaching the women’s team. Their son Henry, 4, has also got in on the act, learning the sport and how to figure skate.

The couple even made the news recently after becoming the first married couple to play on the same team in a registered league game.

“For us, ice hockey is family time because we do it together. We just love it.”

Lynn Grayson, Clinical Director at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re all so proud of Emma for her fantastic achievement of being selected to play for her country – with her on the team the others don’t stand a chance!

“Emma is a wonderful nurse who works tirelessly to help our children and their families and it’s this dedication that has also seen her taking on a really difficult qualification to become an Advanced Clinical Practitioner

“We’ll all excited to see how she gets on in the world championships and will be behind her all the way!”

Pals’ banger bust-up to raise money for Derian House

Two bonkers buddies are set to embark on an epic tour across Europe in an old banger for charity.

The Banger Bust Up is a 2,500-mile challenge from Dover to Portugal spread over six days.

Pals Peter Boulton and Malcolm Chester bought a beaten-up, mouldy, £300 Bedford Rascal and will set off on the road trip of a lifetime from their home town of New Longton on May 18.

The pair will raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice, which offers respite and end-of-life care to more than 400 children from across the North West.

Teams must buy a small car for less than £500, with an engine size of no more than 1200cc and no more than three doors.

If the old banger makes it, the pair will travel across France, stopping off at Chateauroux and Toulouse, over the Pyrenees to Spain and through Andorra to Madrid.

The final day will see them reach the finish line in Portugal and enjoy a BBQ beach party, with the winning team securing a £500 prize for the charity of their choice.

Veteran charity fundraiser Peter, 68, is no stranger to madcap challenges for good causes. Last year he raised more than £8,000 for Derian House cycling across Cuba.

The thrill-seeker has also previously raised £50,000 for charities in the North West by taking part in international fundraising events including a dog sled expedition across Lapland, scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, travelling

to Everest Base Camp, and cycling challenges from Vietnam to Cambodia and also across India.

Peter said: “We can’t wait to get going and hopefully raise lots of money for Derian House, our goal is to raise £2,500.

“The idea came about after I arrived back home from my last charity challenge. My friend Malcolm sent me the link to this and I thought: ‘Why not?’  We’re both crackers – we’ll do anything for a laugh. I think the hardest part will be sleeping in a tent every night. It’s all been self-funded and we even plan on driving it all the way back too!”

Kevin Bedford, Income Generation Manager at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Peter and Malcolm’s challenge for Derian House is really inspiring and the money they raise will make a real difference to the children and young people we care for.

“Derian House Children’s Hospice supports more than 400 children with life limiting conditions across Lancashire, with respite and end-of-life care. Our aim is to give children the very best care, and help families create happy memories together to last a lifetime.”

You can sponsor Peter and Malcolm by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bangerbustup

Month: March 2020