Dance videos go viral in hospice emergency fundraiser

Dancers are putting their best foot forward on social media, in a new dance craze to raise money for Lancashire’s children’s hospice.

Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley, asked its supporters to record themselves dancing to Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and post it on social media.

They asked people to text to donate £3 and nominate their friends to join in too – resulting in heart-warming and funny videos that have since gone viral.

“The outbreak of coronavirus has been catastrophic for our fundraising,” said Caroline Taylor, Communications Manager for Derian House.

“It costs £4.8million to run our services every year, and with 93p of every pound raised by our supporters, it’s left us with a big problem.

“Dance4Derian is a fun way of raising cash to help plug the gap and so far we’ve been blown away by the brilliant videos our supporters have made and how far the message has spread. It’s like our very own ice bucket challenge!

“We chose the song to reflect that our care isn’t just nine-to-five, but that we look after 400 seriously ill children and their families from across the North West, 365 days a year.”

Social media influencers and authors The Blossom Twins have recorded a video for their 21,000 followers on Twitter, and some of the charity’s celebrity supporters have also promised to get dancing for the good cause.

Dolly herself has even been tagged in the video on Twitter and staff at Derian House are keeping their fingers crossed she sees it and takes part.

The charity launched its Dance4Derian appeal with a heart-warming video filmed by nurses and children at the hospice, which has been viewed by nearly 30,000 people from across the world. You can view it here:

What to post and how to donate:

Simply record a video of yourself dancing to Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and post to social media with this message:

This is my #Dance4Derian.

I’ve made my donation to Derian House Children’s Hospice and nominate FRIEND’S NAMES. You have 24 hours!

Text DANCE4DERIAN to 70085 to donate £3 and help seriously ill children make the most of every moment.

Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message.

Derian House care isn’t just 9 to 5, it’s 24/7, 365 days a year for families of seriously ill children in need.

£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.”

Visit to donate now or text DERIAN 5 to 70085 to donate £5.

Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text DERIANNOINFO 5 to 70085.


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:

Happy Birthday bash at Chorley charity shop

Chorley shoppers are invited to join in the birthday celebrations at Derian House Children’s Hospice’s town centre charity shop next weekend.

Customers will get a free slice of birthday cake to celebrate a year of trading and record profits made for the charity which looks after local children and young people with life-limiting illnesses.

The Cleveland Street store is celebrating its first anniversary on Saturday, 22 February from 9am to 4.30pm.

Since the shop relocated from its previous position in Chapel Street, profits have doubled – down to better footfall as well as a full re-brand.

A new light, bright interior and eye-catching window displays has attracted new customers in their droves.

Far from the dusty knick-knacks sometimes associate with charity shops, the store now stocks high quality furniture, children’s toys and games, Derian House merchandise as well as a popular Designers at Derian range featuring brand new designer men and ladies clothing from previous seasons.

The charity has also driven profits by opening up the shop at night during town centre events such as Chorley Live, and even taking a pop-up shop to Astley Park for the Bonfire Night firework show.

Andrew Upton-Ford, Retail Manager at Derian House Children’s Hospice said: “We wanted to thank all of our loyal customers for ensuring our first year of trading at our new Chorley shop was the best ever and so throwing a party was the natural choice.

“At Derian House Children’s Hospice we need to raise £4.8million every year to continue to care for 400 children, young people and their families and so making sure our charity shops are the very best they can be is really important to us as a charity.”

The charity also has shops in Horwich and Leyland and a warehouse in Adlington.

People can donate unwanted goods by dropping them off at the shop, or ring 01257 485 823 for a free furniture collection service.

Visit for more details or check out the Facebook Instagram or Twitter pages.

Million pound makeover for Lancashire’s children’s hospice

Top class facilities including a sensory room, messy play zone and cinema have been unveiled as part of a £1.6million makeover at Lancashire’s children’s hospice.

Seriously ill children will be able to make happy memories with their families thanks to the huge building refurbishment, officially launched today at Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The Chorley-based hospice has been looking after children and young adults with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West for more than 25 years.

Last spring it began a huge project to make the hospice “fit for the future” so it could continue to care for children with increasingly complex conditions for many years to come.

Walls were knocked down and the hospice was remodelled into a lighter, brigher and more flexible space, with the very latest technology added.

The work has transformed the building into a state-of-the-art facility which puts it at the pinnacle of children’s palliative care in the UK and will improve the respite and end-of-life care received by more than 400 children from the region.

  • The new PlayZone, sponsored by AO Smile, includes a large sensory room for both stimulation and relaxation. It also includes a large messy play area to allow children to unleash their creativity and make cherished keepsakes such as hand and footprints.
  • A new £100,000 cinema room will allow families to watch the latest releases together, with a popcorn and candy floss machine providing the finishing touches for an authentic experience.
  • A new accessible kitchen in The Lodge – the area of the hospice reseved for teenagers and young adults – will allow youngsters to bake or fix themselves snacks. This area has been sponsored by Red Sea Pedestrians.
  • A new sunflower suite will allow children to lay at rest before their funeral, to give families extra time to say goodbye.

Cutting-edge technology has been added to rooms to give the youngsters greater independence – including special sensors on doors for wheelchair users, smart speakers in all bedrooms, and a new kitchen with counter tops that rise and fall.

The completion of the new hospice building is the latest in a series of successess for the hospice, which was yesterday (15 January, 2016) officially rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission (CQC). In October last year the charity also scooped a national award when it was named JustGiving Charity of the Year 2019.

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “When we began drafting plans for the new hospice building we knew it would be good, but seeing it completed and watching how much the children and their families are enjoying the new facilities is quite overwhelming. We knew we wanted to lead the way in children’s palliative care and I am thrilled that our new facilities – along with the dediation of our staff and volunteers – allow us to do that. Derian House is now at the very pinnacle of care available to families.

“Thank you to all of our donors who have made this wonderful refurbishent possible. It’s thanks to their kind donations that Derian House will be able to offer children from across the North West the very best care now and way into the future.”

Christine Francioli’s four-year-old son Bruno has a rare genetic condition and is visually impaired. He comes to Derian House for respite and also accesses the Derian at Home service.

Christine said: “Derian House is a home from home for us. It is such a beautiful place and allows Bruno to do the things a little boy should be doing like going for a swim or playing on the park. Without Derian he wouldn’t have these opportunities.

“Bruno is very vulnerable and tends to pick everything up. He can’t even go to school in winter because of all the bugs and so we stay at home a lot. Last week we came to use the new cinema room and couldn’t believe how amazing it was. Bruno lay on a big beanbag and looked up at the lights on the ceiling and fell asleep while me, my partner and our daughter watched a movie. Being able to have that experience as a family without worrying was so good.

“Afterwards Bruno went into the new sensory room and spent time on the warm waterbed. It was perfect and we left feeling so refreshed. It was so nice to have a day out knowing it wouldn’t result in a hospital stay because Bruno had picked up a bug.”

Lynn Grayson, Clinical Director at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Our fantastic new facilities will help us to improve the care we can offer to our families. The bright, colourful environment enhances overall wellbeing and allows our children to be children.”

David Wilkinson, Trustee at AO Smile said: “AO and all our people care greatly. This is reflected in a strong desire to support our local communities, with particular focus on improving the lives of young people. Derian House does an incredible job for children and their families going through unbelievably tough times, and reflects AO’s values. AO Smile Foundation is both proud and delighted to donate the Smile Play Zone, not only on behalf of the company but also recognising the fundraising efforts of all AO’ers.”


AO Smile is a foundation for AO staff to give their time, money and help to local causes.

The new refurbished building includes:

  • £100,000 commercial quality cinema.
  • New state-of-the-art sensory room.
  • PlayZone for arts and crafts and messy play.
  • New children’s bedrooms with cutting-edge technology.
  • Accessible kitchen to allow young adults greater independence.
  • Reflection Zone, including a new Sunflower Suite where children lay at rest to give their families time to say goodbye.

Children’s hospice with cinema, holidays and therapy dog lands Outstanding rating

A CHILDREN’S hospice which boasts its own cinema, holiday lodges and a therapy dog has been given an Outstanding CQC rating.

Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire, was praised by CQC inspectors for “putting children, young people and their families’ needs at the heart of all services.”

The charity, which also offers free massages for tired and stressed-out parents and takes siblings of sick children on fun days out, prides itself on helping children with life-limiting illnesses make the most of every moment.

It looks after 400 seriously ill children and young people from pre-birth to 26-years-old, from across the North West of England.

Lynn Grayson, Clinical Director at Derian House, said: “We are thrilled to receive our first-ever overall Outstanding rating. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of all of our staff and volunteers here at Derian House who go above and beyond every day to deliver the very best care.

“There can be a misconception that a children’s hospice is a sad place, but although we do have sad times here at Derian House, we work really hard to ensure our children and young people don’t miss out on the fun and can make happy memories.

“We’re so pleased that the inspector could see what everyone who comes through our doors comments upon – that Derian House is a special place, doing important work at an incredibly difficult time for families.”

Findings of the unannounced three-day inspection carried out in September and October, 2019, reported leaders at the hospice were “committed and passionate” and that the service “had an imaginative and child-centred vision”.

Families can experience the magic of the big screen at the hospice’s commercial-quality cinema room – even enjoying hotdogs and popcorn for an authentic experience.

A free week’s holiday at one of the charity’s holiday lodges at Ribby Hall Holiday Village near the seaside resort of Blackpool is available to all families.

And Pets as Therapy dog Shuna brings smiles when she visits every week for cuddles.

Other services and areas praised as “outstanding practice” included:

Splash sessions to give families chance to use the heated hydrotherapy pool for weekend fun.

Free bereavement counselling and support groups not only for parents, but for siblings and grandparents too.

Fun trips out for brothers and sisters of children looked after by the hospice.

Massages for tired stressed-out parents and grandparents.

The hospice made history in 2018 becoming the first hospice to tackle the national nursing shortage by launching its own scholarship scheme that sees a new nurse recruited every year.

Judith Connor, CQC Head of Hospital Inspection, said: “It is always great to see a service achieve an Outstanding rating, but it is impressive when one improves as much as this one has. They clearly took on board our previous findings and have worked hard to provide the best possible care and support.

“We found that people and their families were at the centre of everything the service did, support was always provided by passionate, caring and empathetic staff who worked to meet people’s individual needs. There was a holistic approach to the support provided and a deep understanding of people’s emotional needs, so distress could be minimised. Leaders were committed to ensuring a high-quality care culture and acted on their vision for child-centred care. Staff were supported to develop in their roles and valued as a key part of the service.

“We also found the service using innovative practises to support people in the community and responded quickly to people’s changing needs. Feedback from people and their families was consistently positive and confirmed the caring and compassionate care we saw.

“This service has shown that sustainable improvements can be made and made well. Congratulations on achieving an Outstanding rating, well done.”

Derian House has been looking after seriously ill children for 26 years. A £1.6million refurbishment of the hospice building, completed this month, will ensure it can continue supporting families long into the future with new technology putting it at the very forefront of children’s palliative care.

David Robinson, Chief Executive at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “We are over the moon to have a CQC rating which we feel accurately reflects the wonderful work we do here at Derian House.

“We’ve worked really hard over the past 18 months to transform how we run the charity in the face of challenging times nationally for fundraising. We’ve added exciting new services for families, upgraded the building to make it fit for the future with a £1.6million refurbishment, and worked with our staff to ensure Derian is a great place to work and have your career.

“I’d like to thank all of our supporters whose generosity overwhelms us every single day and without whom, none of the work we do to help our children and their families would be possible.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.

It costs £4.8million to run services at Derian House every year and yet less than 7 per cent of this comes from the government. For 93p in every pound needed, the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters.

Bolton footballers spread Christmas joy at children’s hospice

Footballers from Bolton Wanderers were greeted with big smiles when they dropped into Derian House Children’s Hospice on a festive toy run this afternoon (Tuesday, 17 December, 2019).

Club captain Jason Lowe, who is an ambassador for the Chorley-based charity, brought along his team-mates to give out gifts and visit the seriously ill children.

After spending time with the children and chatting to staff, the players even made a surprise visit to the retirement party of Clinical Educator Trish Clarkson who was leaving the hospice after 20 years’ service.

The players – whose personal donations had paid for the gifts – also took a tour of the refurbished hospice, played games with the children and posed for pictures with staff.  

Jason Lowe, who got involved with the charity after being humbled by its work during the visit last Christmas, said: “I feel so proud to come back to Derian this year as ambassador and to see the refurbished hospice which looks wonderful.

“For the players, this is such a privilege, and an experience that we all enjoy. It’s our pleasure to come along and put a smile on the kids’ faces and give something back to our community.”

Derian House Children’s Hospice looks after more than 400 children and young people with life-limiting conditions throughout the North West.

Miriam Payne, Events and Promotions Manager at Derian House, said: “We’re really grateful to the Bolton players for bringing some festive cheer into Derian. The children were absolutely thrilled with their gifts and it means a lot to us to have their support, especially from our ambassador Jason Lowe who always goes above and beyond to get behind the work we do.”

Poignant candle-lit service to remember loved ones

Twinkling Christmas tree lights – each one symbolising the life of a loved one lost – were lit at the annual Lights of Love service held at Blackburn Cathedral on Friday evening.

Hundreds of people attended the event, organised by Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Abigail Orme, 12, who comes to the Chorley-based hospice, did the honours of turning on the lights as part of the moving service.

Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP performed a reading of Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

And he was joined by TV actor and Derian House supporter Ben Batt and Radio Lancashire presenter John Gillmore, who also took part in the festive service.

Music was provided by the Rawstorne Singers, a choir established for more than 30 years with members from across Lancashire.

The charity’s very own choir made up of staff and volunteers, the Derian Voices, also performed ‘Remember Me’ from Disney Pixar film Coco and ‘Make your Own Kind of Music’.

And the crowd joined in with a poignant candle-lit rendition of Silent Night.

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Lights of Love is always a very moving evening where we celebrate the lives of family and friends no longer with us.

“It’s also a wonderful chance for us to look back at what we have achieved over the year, and a time to celebrate all the wonderful memories we’ve been able to give to our families thanks to the kind donations of our supporters.”

Visit to help a child at Derian House Children’s Hospice this Christmas.

Santa bikers bring festive joy to children’s hospice

More than 150 kind-hearted bikers made a special delivery of toys and gifts to seriously ill children this weekend.

The generous Rivington Barn Bikers travelled in convoy to deliver a sleigh-load of presents from their base in Rivington to Derian House Children’s Hospice on Sunday.

Dressed in festive dress, and with many of the bikes decorated for Christmas, the bikers flooded down the driveway of the hospice to the delight of the children staying there, who watched with delight from the front steps.

The bikers then formed a chain gang and passed presents down the length of the car park and into the hospice building.

The extraordinary gesture was in memory of biker Craig Hayward’s son James who was cared for at Derian House before he died on Boxing Day in 2005, aged seven.

Craig Hayward said: “We started this three years ago with 30 bikers and it’s just got bigger and better every year since. It’s overwhelming to see how everyone pulls together and I want to thank each and every person who came out today. This means more to me than just about anything.

“Derian House will always have a place in my heart. My lad came here and a few of my lad’s friends came here too. It’s a fantastic place that helps relieve the stress for parents and I hope by doing this I can do that too. I just wanted to give something back and put a smile on the kids’ faces.”

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 were so excited to see them – it was joyous to watch their faces as the bikes pulled into the driveway.

“We will make good use of the gifts donated, making sure that each of the 450 children and young people we care for, and many of their siblings too, get a special present this year. On behalf of everyone at Derian House we’d like to say a huge thank you to Craig and his fellow bikers.”

Visit to help a child at Derian House Children’s Hospice this Christmas.