Derian announces new Patrons

The Queen’s royal guardian of Lancashire has been announced as Patron of Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, has taken up the prestigious post to help raise awareness of the charity which offers respite and end-of-life care for more than 350 children and young people across the county.

“I have admired the remarkable work of Derian House for years, so I am delighted now to be formally associated with it.  It is one of the most inspiring places in Lancashire,” he said.

Lord and Lady Shuttleworth visited Derian House in September. They enjoyed a tour of the hospice and were presented with a special canvas painted by nine-year-old Amelia with the help of the Derian Play Team.

Lord Shuttleworth is joined by queen of the cabaret Kiki DeVille as a second new Patron at the Chorley-based hospice.
Kiki is best-known for her appearance on The Voice UK as a member of Team and also as judge on TV talent show All Together Now.

But at Derian, Kiki is better-known as mum to Dexter. Diagnosed at birth with Zellweger Syndrome, Dexter died at Derian House in October 2007 aged four weeks and three days-old.

“Ever since our little boy Dexter William died in our arms at Derian House Children’s Hospice, all I have ever wanted is to raise awareness and money for this incredible life-affirming place,” said Kiki.

“I am beyond humbled and excited to be a Patron of Derian House. It is literally a dream come true. I have hoped for this moment for 11 years and can barely put into words how it feels.”

The two new Patrons will act as representatives for Derian House, using their platform to help raise awareness of its work and reach a wider audience.

David Robinson, Chief Executive at Derian House, said: “We are honoured to welcome Lord Shuttleworth and Kiki DeVille and can’t wait to work with them on some of the exciting projects we have coming up.

“Kiki has close ties with Derian and her connection and passion for what we do makes her patronage so very special.

“Lord Shuttleworth has been connected to Derian for a number of years and we are proud he has agreed to join us as Patron. His association will add huge value and strength to the message we communicate about the importance of children’s palliative care.”


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.

Derian strikes gold at Chorley Flower Show

Blooming marvellous volunteers from Derian House are celebrating after winning gold at Chorley Flower Show.

The Chorley-based children’s hospice was awarded the gold standard in the Community Garden category, at the event this summer.

The show garden aimed to celebrate the people of Derian – the children, young people and their families, as well as the hard-working staff and volunteers.

It also showcased the important role gardens play at Derian, adding to the experience of families who come to the hospice not only for specialist care, but also to take time to rest, reflect and make happy memories.  

The whole Derian community pitched in to help, with staff helping with the design, children and their siblings making the colourful artwork and helping planting, and volunteers growing the plants. It was all hands to the pump for the final assembly.

Volunteer gardener Mike Jackson, said: “We were absolutely thrilled with the judges’ comments. They described our entry as ‘four gardens in one, with lovely planting and lots of work’ and I think they summed it up perfectly.

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “On behalf of myself and all of our children and young people I want to say a huge thank you to the volunteers who have worked incredibly hard to make this happen. Their dedication is just fantastic and we are very lucky to have them.”

Derian’s new holiday home welcomes first visitors

Watching son Luis splashing around in the swimming pool grinning from ear-to-ear was a magical moment for mum Jayne Grant.

“Luis was just so excited,” said Jayne. “He absolutely loved it. The staff were fantastic with him and you don’t often get a pool that is accessible, so it was just really great.”

The Grant family were the first to stay at Derian’s brand new holiday home at Ribby Hall Holiday Village.

The fully-adapted lodge will give families, who may not otherwise be able to, enjoy a break together to relax and unwind from the stresses and strains of daily life.

The luxury lodge, set in a peaceful location on the holiday park, comes complete with an electric medical bed, hoist, fully-adapted bathroom and a large wheelchair-friendly decking area outside.

The park itself has an accessible swimming pool with hoists, a great selection of eateries, night-time entertainment, and a host of other family-friendly fun activities including cycling, boating and mini-golf.

This summer, Derian House sent a postcard to all of its families, inviting them for a free week’s stay. Within days the lodge was fully-booked for the year.

For the Grant family, it was much more than just a week away – it was a rare chance to spend precious time together as a family making happy memories.

“It’s a lot of work to look after Luis because he has complex needs, and it’s quite hard to come across holiday accommodation that’s fully accessible,” said mum Jayne.

“We’ve had a really horrible time lately and when I heard we were the first family to stay in the lodge I had tears in my eyes. It has meant so much to us because it’s given us time to be together as a family.”

The holiday lodge has been so successfully in fact, that Derian House is looking into the feasibility of buying a second plot at Ribby Hall.

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House, said: “It’s been great to be able to give our families the news that we are sending them on holiday. Seeing their excitement has been wonderful.

“Ribby Hall was a perfect choice as it’s not too far to travel, and yet the peaceful location means it really does feel like a getaway.
“We really hope our families will have a fantastic time creating happy memories at the lodge and that it will give them a well-earned chance to relax.”