News from our nominated charity

Date: 06/10/2021

Dear all,

I thought you’d like to hear about a recent residential trip our Family Support team took a group of our siblings on last month, to Kingswood Adventure and Activity Park at Grosvenor Hall, Ashford.  Friendships, memories and life skills were made, bringing together brothers and sisters of children cared for by Demelza.

For many of the 13 children, the residential trip was their first time away from their homes in Kent, South East London and East Sussex since the start of the pandemic.

Siblings can often feel like the forgotten member of the family when there is another child with so many additional needs to care for. They can feel resentment and then guilt, leaving them unable to know how to deal with these complex emptions. Having time and space that is focused on them is vital for their own wellbeing.

Emma Sweetlove, Demelza’s Family Events Lead, said: “COVID-19 has put an enormous strain on the families we support; particularly for siblings who have had to shield alongside a brother or sister living with a serious or terminal condition… many of the children are transitioning from primary to secondary school and the trip has undoubtedly helped to build their confidence and social skills. They were all so brave when doing the challenges and it was wonderful to see their confidence soar; especially amongst some of the quieter ones.”

Throughout the three days, the group of 10 and 11-year-olds faced their fears and supported each other as they tackled a number of exhilarating outdoor challenges; including a high adrenaline 3G swing, trampolining sport Aeroball and a 10ft pole climb. The level of involvement was completely up to the children who could either tackle the challenges with gung-ho attitude, or cheer on others from the side-line.

The trip gave the children time to connect with others in a similar position to themselves, and many strong bonds were forged throughout the group. New friends Darcie, 10, and Pearl, 11 (left), tackled ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ together which required team work and communication:

“Jacob’s Ladder was scary! But we are very good friends and a double act. I hope we stay in touch”, says Pearl on hers and Darcie’s friendship.

Jane O’Neill, Deputy Director of Family Support said this of the trip: “For the children, confidence has soared and new friendships have been made and there has been so much laughter.”

The trip was a huge success, thanks to the enthusiasm of the children and a team of incredible volunteers and we have plans to offer another trip to give more siblings the chance to get away and connect with one another.

Thank you for everything you do to help children like Pearl and Darcie, their siblings and families, we couldn’t deliver activities like this trip without you.

Best wishes,


Demelza | Making memories, friends and building confidence

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