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.”

Night at the movies

Get your popcorn at the ready, for magic of the big screen is coming to Derian!

As part of Derian’s Fit for the Future refurbishment project, a brand new state-of-the-art accessible cinema will be built at the hospice.

Derian families will be able to enjoy family film nights and see the latest blockbusters, all without leaving the building.

The cinema room, which will be based in The Lodge, has been donated by Together for Cinema.

Founded by Ian Morrish in 2009, the charity aims to donate and install 25 cinema rooms in children’s hospices across the UK by 2020. Derian is number 22 on the list!

The cinema is part of Derian’s 25th anniversary Fit for the Future project.

Starting in January 2019, the exciting scheme will see walls knocked down to create bigger, brighter open plan spaces and better bedrooms.

The house will be split into zones for eating, sleeping and relaxing. Corridors will be themed and The Lodge will be given a cool new look.

There will be more places for people to sit, relax and reflect and a new modern colour scheme.