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Demelza Hospice Care for Children, based in Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, launches Shorts 4 Short Lives fundraising plea

A children's hospice is calling on supporters of all ages to sport their shorts to raise much-needed cash.

Demelza Hospice Care for Children, whose work is a lifeline to more than 750 children, young people and families across Kent and beyond, has seen a significant drop in income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Demelza House Hospice in Rook Lane, Bobbing. Picture: Chris Davey
Demelza House Hospice in Rook Lane, Bobbing. Picture: Chris Davey

The charity, which provides specialist care and support at its Bobbing base for children with terminal conditions, is asking people to wear a pair of shorts – the funkier the better – and post a photo on social media on Thursday, July 2, donating via a fundraising link to help support its work.

The Shorts 4 Short Lives campaign is supported by Demelza’s celebrity ambassadors including Strictly’s Len Goodman, who will be bearing their knees on Thursday to raise awareness of the specialist care services provided by the charity.

Director of fundraising and marketing, Tamsyn Clark, said: "The charity normally needs to raise in excess of £11 million pounds every year with 88% of that coming from public donations.

"The effect of the pandemic has been extremely detrimental with many of our fundraising events cancelled and our shops forced to close across the area we serve.

"The government has stepped in to give much-needed initial support but the medium to long-term future is still very much a concern especially as some forms of fundraising are still not possible.

"We are working hard to find new ways to fundraise."

"Demelza is absolutely determined to be here for the children and families we support especially at a time when they need us the most. Our supporters have dug deep and we are working hard to find new ways to fundraise.

"When you have a child living with a serious or terminal condition, the idea that life’s too short is more real than for most. And in lockdown, this expression has more meaning than it ever has.

"Life is for living, and finding joy in every moment you can. Demelza’s help is needed now more than ever to help families focus on each other and make lasting memories."

To take part in Shorts4shortlives, visit www.demelza.org.uk/support-us/shorts-4-short-lives.

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