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Ever noticed how beautiful London is? It’s particularly beautiful at night time when the lights sparkle on the river and when the hubbub of people has died down to a gentle hum. Last month I had the very special experience of seeing the city like this during the night time Moonwalk, which passes many of London’s great landmarks as well as some of the quiet and pretty residential streets, all in the small hours when most sane people are tucked up in bed. And with your help, doing this last month I raised over £350 for breast cancer treatments and research. I’m absolutely thrilled.

This month, I wanted to show a bit of love to my home county of Kent, and specifically to the Demelza children’s hospice who work with children and families throughout the area. When choosing this charity, I asked advice from one of my good friends who herself works with children with complex needs – so her expert opinion means a lot to me. Here’s what she had to say about Demelza:

Demelza House are a short breaks service for children and young people who have life limiting conditions and complex health needs. Demelza give much needed breaks to the children and their families within their complex at Sittingbourne (they also run another two sites, one based in London and one based in Brighton).

The young people that Demelza work with have very complex medical conditions and require specialist care around the clock, which means families are limited as to who can work with their child; so hiring a baby sitter so that they can pop out for an evening is an impossibility. For the parents, Demelza offers them the opportunity to have a short break, knowing that their child is safe and having a great time at the centre.

Each child who visits has their own adapted bedroom, designed to enable an enhanced level of independence. The staff are specialists at working with these young people and at providing support to their parents and sibilings. The centre has adapted and specialist equipment, including a Sensory Room, Soft Play area and a beautiful hydro-pool that the children can access during their stay.

Another important aspect to the work that Demelza does is to provide specialist care and support to babies, children, young people and the whole family from diagnosis, during day to day family life, times of crisis, end of life and through bereavement. Without Demelza, families affected by these issues would have very little support or resources available to them during and after their greatest time of need.

I recently visited Demelza House and was moved by the work that they do there; the staff were clearly passionate and dedicated to the children and their families. It was a humbling yet heart warming experience. Please, if you can spare a few pennies you will help Demelza continue the important and vital work they do.

As usual, for every £2 that you donate, I will enter your name into a prize draw to win an original art work. You can get the full details on how it works here. And if you’d like to take part and support the fantastic work that Demelza are doing, you can make a donation here. Thanks so much!

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