A Chorley children’s charity that helps families of seriously ill children make the most of every moment is gearing up to celebrate its 30th year.
Derian House Children’s Hospice opened its doors in October 1993 and provides care to more than 400 babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The hospice was co-founded by Chorley man Ian Haydock, who lost his 19-year-old brother Derek to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in 1969 – a time when there were very few hospices in the country for children.
He started a fundraising campaign with his family in 1991, raising the initial £25,000, before turning to local businesswoman Margaret Vinten, who helped make his dream become a reality.
In 1993 Derian House Children’s Hospice welcomed its first child through the doors. The name Derian is a combination of the names of Derek and Ian.
Ian Haydock died in 2020, but his daughter, Lesley, remembers her dad’s passion for Derian House.
She said: “Dad wanted to help children, like his brother, because his parents didn’t have the support they needed for my uncle Derek. Dad always said it would be a happy place – one of the happiest places imaginable.
“Derian House is a lot different to my first memories of it. It has flourished and grown and has helped so many children and their families throughout the years. My brother and I are incredibly proud of everything that our parents did to help get Derian House up and running. I can’t believe 30 years has flown by.
“I wish all the best to everyone at Derian House – the families, the staff, the volunteers, and all of the supporters. You are amazing.”
Lynn Grayson, Director of Clinical Services and Interim Chief Executive, began working at Derian House in 2015.
She said: “We’re all very proud to celebrate 30 years of care at Derian House Children’s Hospice. There have been many changes and improvements since the hospice was built in 1993, but the one constant over all these years is the outstanding care we offer to children, young people and their families when they need us most.
“Derian House is a wonderful place where families can make the very most of the time they have and this has only been possible thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers, as well as the fundraising efforts of our supporters.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped Derian House grow into the charity it is today, and cannot wait to continue to develop our services to help more families in the future.”