Hannah Kent and her family used Derian House’s services over 21 years.
Hannah said: “What an incredible almost-21 years we had. A place we were lucky enough to call home over the years.
“I would like to dedicate this to the staff that have grown with us and have become what we would consider our family. Over the years we have smiled, laughed until our ribs hurt and cried tears that could make a river. We couldn’t have got this far without you all and we most definitely wouldn’t have the memories we have.
“When Tyla, Alix and Adam were all diagnosed I’d imagine my Mum, Dad and Auntie didn’t know what to expect. Their lives probably felt like they had crumbled.
“That’s when they were introduce to Derian House. When you think of a hospice, you wouldn’t think of joy, happiness, laughter, the unimaginable memories you are going to make. Most of all forgetting all about the illnesses and conditions that your love ones have, because that’s what Derian is.
“Derian House was a place where we could just be kids and play like kids. We could have fun and laugh like we should without the medical side of things, and I was lucky enough to be able to stay with Tyla, Alix and Adam. We made friends with the most incredible and inspiring young people and their siblings. Oh, the stories we have you could write a book with!
”Our whole childhood was in that place. We always knew that the day would come when they wouldn’t be able to access Derian’s services any more. It was always a day we were dreading.
“Sadly when you reach 26 years of age you can no longer use the facilities and by 28 years of age you lose complete connection.
“Then COVID got in the way. Alix sadly lost his farewell stay but luckily Adam just about managed to have his. No way could we have imagined not actually getting to say a proper goodbye and leaving a place that has been part of our lives since I was five-years-old.
”Thank you so much to Derian House for being part of and making it the best childhood we could have had. I think what makes it harder is sadly a lot of the people we had memories with there are no longer here with us, so it feels like we are leaving those memories behind, even though they will stay with us forever.
”No words will ever be able to express the place Derian House has in our hearts, and no member of staff will ever understand what they mean to us; no words of thanks will be able to show how thankful we truly are.
”Derian House is an inspiring, dreamlike home from home that my family wouldn’t have survived without.”
The Kent Family