For some children with a serious or life-limiting condition, this Christmas could be their last. That’s why local children’s charity Demelza has launched an appeal to raise £65,000 and grant festive wishes for every child it cares for, as well as their brothers and sisters, helping families create magical moments today that will become tomorrow’s memories.

Volunteer elves will once again take the magic of a Demelza Christmas out to families – with presents from Father Christmas for children and their siblings across Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

And this year, Demelza, has not only one but two Christmas grottos: one at its Kent hospice and one at its hospice in Eltham, South East London, helping create moments that become memories for the whole family that will last forever.

Families can also opt-in to receive a personalised letter from Father Christmas and attend festive parties, a festive light trail and decorate their own Christmas decoration that can hang on the tree for years to come.

Sharon, from East Sussex and mum to Fenton, who appears in the charity’s Christmas video, said:

“I’m really looking forward to this year’s grotto at Demelza; it’s built for children like Fenton, and I already know we’ll love it. I’ve tried taking Fenton to public Christmas grottos, but they’re just not suitable – the staff don’t understand what’s needed and it becomes so stressful. Knowing we can go to Demelza’s grotto, where Fenton can enjoy a tailored, sensory experience means so much to us as a family and you can’t put a price on that.”

Most importantly of all, this Christmas Demelza will be providing extraordinary care to children with a life-limiting or serious condition and emotional support for their loved ones. Demelza’s specialist nursing, care, family liaison, therapist and counselling teams support families from first diagnosis and for as long as they are needed.

For Elizabeth and Rupert Turpin, from Chatham in Kent, whose youngest son, Wilber, died just before Christmas last year, the support they received from the team at Demelza, was outstanding. Elizabeth, a former Medway Conservative Deputy Leader, said:

“Wilber died just two weeks before Christmas last year; it was an unbelievably difficult time for us, but the support we received from Demelza was incredible. They did lots of memory-making activities with us all, providing an overnight on-call service and a lot of emotional support. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. We got to focus on being a family and spending time with Wilber without any distractions. We will forever be grateful for the care and support we received from Demelza.”

Demelza supports over 2,500 children and their family members, relying almost entirely on the generosity of its supporters to provide funding for its outstanding clinical care and bespoke emotional support and therapies.

Lavinia Jarrett, Chief Executive at Demelza said:

“We have been privileged to celebrate 25 years of Demelza this year and have revisited memories from the past and made new ones that we will carry with pride into the next 25 years. We know how precious memories can be for families whose child has a serious or life-limiting condition – every moment of every day matters.

“Demelza’s support helps them to celebrate the joy in family life and make magical memories during even the most challenging of times.

“Every donation, no matter how small, has a big impact on the lives of the children and families we support. Whatever you feel you can manage, your gift will help us make this Christmas magical for families who don’t know what next Christmas will hold.”

Help us create magical moments today for children and their families, that will become their memories of tomorrow. To donate please visit:

To watch Demelza’s Christmas video, please go to:

Video voiced by Demelza Ambassador, Dave Berry, host of Absolute Radio’s breakfast show.

What your donation could also help pay for this Christmas:

£10 could bring Christmas magic to a child’s home as one of Father Christmas’s elves delivers presents to their door, creating a moment that will be remembered forever.

£50 could create a lasting memory for a family to see Father Christmas at our Demelza Grotto before making personalised decorations to hang on the Christmas tree for years to come.

£100 could help us to bring some festive magic to every child’s short break, ensuring our expert clinical care and emotional support comes with added sparkle.

Find out more about Demelza at, follow the charity on Facebook at, @DemelzaCharity on Twitter and @demelzacharity on Instagram


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