Dawn Andrews is the Family and Young People Services Manager at Derian House. She oversees the Family Support Team, Wellbeing and Play Team, Youth Work and Transition Support within the hospice.
Dawn is a qualified Social Worker and Mental Capacity Act Best Interest Assessor and worked for many years as manager within Children’s Services for a local authority before joining the team at Derian House.
She said: “I knew of Derian before I started working here. My family members used to do a lot of fundraising for the charity and continue to do so.
“During my first days at Derian I just remember walking around the corridors endlessly like it was some sort of infinity loop thing.” Said Dawn. “The staff photo board was a saving grace because there were so many people and we were trying to remember who was who.
“I started at the same time as Lynn, Derian’s Director of Clinical Services, so we were able to help each other find our way around during those first few weeks.
“I’d describe Derian House as a fun and uplifting place, where there’s always some kind of surprise in store.” Said Dawn. “No matter what you think when you walk through those doors, it’s never what you experience when you get inside.
“There have always been a lot of dress up days at Derian – they have always been highlights for me.
“Lynn and I dressed up as very hungry caterpillars for World Book Day,” Laughed Dawn. “We wore sleeping bags!
“Christmas parties are always delightful at Derian. It’s just great to see the children, young people and families come together and enjoy themselves. For just a moment, they can forget about it all and just have fun.
“I have so many memories of Derian House.” Said Dawn. “For me, the most important thing is being there for the families during their darkest moments. It’s showing them that we care and trying to support them through it.
“It’s seeing friendships forming in our playgroup and at School’s Out. It’s the commitment from our staff to make these things work well because they see how essential it is for the young people to have those peer support networks.
“It is a privilege to work with the children, young people and their families who access the hospice and being part of a team to deliver the very best care and support.”