Demelza’s Fall on Me choir – starring children, families, staff and volunteers - was formed during lockdown and has brought joy, happiness and hope through months of isolation, loneliness and fear.
When 49-year-old Sam, from Kent, first heard ‘Fall on Me’ by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli, she burst into tears. It was in the height of lockdown 2020 and she was attending a Demelza virtual music therapy session alongside her 10-year-old daughter. Sam’s only child Lucy – a precious IVF baby - has a unique genetic condition and multiple medical issues which means she is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair.
Sam says: “The words resonated so much with me. Having a child with a life-threatening condition, all that means on a day-to-day basis and with the added pressure of shielding from COVID-19, lockdown felt isolating. When we needed help, Demelza staff were there to catch us from falling."
Sam’s reaction prompted her to approach Victoria Swan, Senior Music Therapist at Demelza, asking whether there was a way everyone could sing the track as part of the music therapy sessions that had become a lifeline to Sam, Lucy and countless other families at Demelza who were confined to their homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Victoria reached out to music producer James Hawkins - the mastermind behind the Missing People Choir who performed at Britain’s Got Talent in 2017 – to help make Sam’s dream a reality.
The final track and accompanying video, created by Red Goat Productions, played a leading role in the charity’s Festive Wishes 2021 Christmas campaign , creating more magical moments for children with serious or terminal conditions.
We support families when and where we’re needed most: in our hospices, in their homes, in local communities and online.
With two residential hospices in Kent and South East London and a community hub in East Sussex, we go beyond providing outstanding clinical care and emotional support. We help children explore their creativity, have fun and make memories. We offer activities and therapies, sensory spaces, outdoor areas and even a hydro pool in Kent for families to enjoy.
Our bespoke emotional support and therapies are provided in person and online. For individuals, families or as group sessions, this support helps families to connect. We also provide practical support, which includes driving to hospital appointments, as well as other short-term and one-off activities. This is offered to all Demelza families.
Our community care teams, who provide our support services in the family home, enable parents to have time to relax, knowing their child is with professionals. Our community care sessions are personalised, with fun activities and sensory aids, centred around a child’s specific needs. Our experienced nurses also work with other healthcare professionals to provide clinical care, including end of life care for children, should they wish to stay at home.
We align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: