MORE than 100 bikers armed with toys and gifts descended on Derian House Children’s Hospice at the weekend.
The generous Rivington Barn Bikers travelled en masse from Rivington to Chorley to deliver gifts for the children and young people, which they had collected over the past few months.
Organiser Craig Hayward, said: “We started this last year on behalf of my son who spent time at Derian House a long time ago. I just wanted to give something back and do something to make the kids happy.
“This year we decided to do it again and we have had twice as many taking part. The biker community is amazing. You mention the word charity and they’re there. They made this possible.”
The bikers formed a human train – stretching from the car park, through reception and down the hospice bedroom corridor – to pass down each present – all while singing ‘Jingle Bells’ and shouting Ho Ho Ho!
Children staying at the hospice watched from the hospice front steps, thrilled at the extraordinary scene unfolding before them.
Caroline Taylor, Communications and Marketing Manager at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed by this generous gesture from the Rivington Barn Bikers. The children staying at the hospice couldn’t believe their eyes, they were absolutely spellbound – it was joyous.
“On behalf of Derian House, thank you to each and every one of the guys who came. These presents will put big smiles on our children’s faces.”
HUNDREDS flocked to an uplifting Christmas concert held at Blackburn Cathedral on Friday.
Derian House Children’s Hospice annual Lights of Love event saw the spectacular cathedral illuminated by hundreds of Christmas tree lights – each one representing the life of a loved one.
The event also included festive carols performed by St Elisabeth’s Parish Choir, Reddish. One highlight being a poignant rendition of Silent Night sung partly in German – reminiscent of the Christmas Day Truce – to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Staff and volunteers from Derian House got involved too, with The Derian Singers choir performing “This is Me” from hit film The Greatest Showman.
Brothers Michael, 21, and Andrew Mills, 19 – who both use services at Derian House – signed the song words in Makaton for the crowd.
Play It Forward Brass Band Ensemble – a group of who give up their time to make music and raise funds to make a positive difference to other people’s lives – also took part.
David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “2018 has been a wonderful year for Derian House. In our 25th anniversary year we have supported more than 350 families from across the North West to make happy memories.
“It has been a year of love and laughter. Of course, there have also been sad times. And Lights of Love is also about remembering the lives of friends and family who are no longer with us.”
Derian House Children’s Hospice is based in Chorley and looks after children and young people with life-limiting conditions across Lancashire and South Cumbria. The charity provides respite and end-of-life care and aims to help families create precious memories that will last a lifetime.
Inspirational youngsters will lead an uplifting Christmas service to help raise funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Brothers Michael, 21, and Andrew Mills, 19, who both use services at Derian, will translate the modern classic “This is Me” into Makaton sign language for the crowd.
The song, which features in the box office hit The Greatest Showman, is being performed by the Derian Singers, a choir made up of 22 staff from the hospice who have been rehearsing for weeks.
Lights of Love Service is Derian’s annual Christmas concert, being held on Friday, 7 December at Blackburn Cathedral, from 7.30pm and is open to everyone.
This year’s service also features performances by The Choir of St Elisabeth’s Parish Church in Reddish and Play It Forward Brass Band Ensemble – a group of musicians from all walks of life who give up their time to make music and raise funds to make a positive difference to other people’s lives.
23-year-old Katy Galbraith, who also visits Derian, will switch on the ‘lights of love’ on the cathedral Christmas tree to remember all the friends and family who are no longer with us.