Derian House Children’s Hospice is celebrating 30 years of helping seriously ill children and their families to make the most of every moment.
October 11 marked three decades since the hospice was officially opened by the Duchess of Norfolk, Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, and welcomed in its first child.
To celebrate, the charity has been delving into its past – with young people, families, staff, volunteers and supporters all sharing their favourite memories of the hospice.
The name Derian comes from a combination of the names of brothers Derek and Ian Haydock.
The Haydock family helped found the hospice after struggling to access services for Derek, who lived with a life-limiting condition and died aged 19.
Margaret Vinten played a pivotal role in moving Ian and Derek’s dream forward and found the location in Astley Village.
As well as helping to design the hospice, she also oversaw the building work. She was the driving force behind the fundraising campaign to raise money for the project and recruiting supporters throughout the region.
Derian House continues to provide care to more than 400 babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Karen Edwards, Chief Executive Officer at Derian House, said: “It has been incredible to read everyone’s memories of the hospice over the years - they help to paint a picture of how things have changed since Derian House’s small beginnings in 1993. But it is clear one thing hasn’t changed – the compassion and care that we provide for families.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped Derian House grow into the charity it is today, and cannot wait to continue to develop our services to help more families in the future.”
To read all 30 stories, click on the pages below.
Derian House means so much to so many people. Photo: submit
2. Kelly and Kalel
Kelly’s son Kalel died in 2019, aged just 11-years-old, after being born with a rare genetic condition.
He laid at rest in one of the Sunflower Rooms at Derian House before his funeral, giving his family extra time to say goodbye.
Dad Paul was so inspired by the care received by Derian House, he has begun work on a special documentary, titled The Little Things, to shine a light on the world of children’s hospices. Photo: submit
3. Cate Tindall MBE
Cate is a passionate volunteer who visits Derian House each week to play and have fun with the hospice’s youngest children at playgroup.
She has always been a pioneer in fighting for equality for children with complex needs, and in 2016 Cate was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Years Honours list for her ‘services to children in special educational needs and disabilities’.
For over 35 years, Cate taught early years at specialist education school, Newfield, in Blackburn, and before that, she taught in a unique open-air school on the outskirts of Blackburn, which is where she first heard about Derian House. Photo: submit
4. Adam and Connor
During their time at Derian House, Adam and Connor have become good friends.
Connor Griffith, 21, said: “My favourite thing about Derian is being able to go out on trips out. My favourite place to go is Chill Factore. It’s brilliant.“
Adam Burton, 20, said: “I love having a joke with the staff at Derian. My favourite thing about Derian has been getting to go out for nice meals – like a nice carvery or to Wagamama.” Photo: submit
5. Colleen Pugh
Colleen Pugh, of Blackburn, was just 14 years old when she first visited Derian House.
Colleen, now 34, visited the hospice between 2002 and 2014 and has a lot of good memories of that time.
She said: “I was very shy when I first started visiting Derian. I remember being very nervous but I was made to feel very welcome by all the staff.
“I was surprised at how bright and colourful Derian is and how it didn’t feel like I thought it would. Over the years that I went there it became my safe place I loved going for respite and seeing everyone." Photo: submit
6. Kiki Deville
Kiki is an international cabaret star best known in the UK for her appearances on ITV’s The Voice UK, and All Together Now on the BBC.
In 2007, Kiki’s son Dexter passed away at Derian House aged one month and three days.
Kiki is now a Patron of the charity and founder of the Keepsake Circle, the project that works with bereaved families to create songs using their favourite memories and stories.
Kiki said: “When my husband and I made our way through the doors of Derian House we knew our lives had changed forever, but we had no idea that this inspiring place would end up being a part of us forever." Photo: submit