Plan for Ribble Valley partnership to support Derian House

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BUSINESSES and volunteers are joining forces in a new Ribble Valley partnership to support Derian House, the Lancashire hospice for sick children.

An informal meeting has been called for Friday, February 1st, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Inn at the Station, King Street, Clitheroe, where business and community leaders have been invited to find out more about the proposed partnership and how they can help.Wayne McKenzie, who manages the hotel for proprietors Gary and Louise Clough, said: “I was involved in partnership work like this when I worked at Burnley and it really can bring results.

“When I became manager here a few weeks ago I contacted Derian House to see if they would be interested, and they are keen to gain support in the Ribble Valley.”

Derian House at Astley Village, Chorley, has a catchment area from Carlisle to Manchester and currently supports 200 families, with beds for up to nine children.

It provides specialist care for terminally ill children and emotional support for parents and families. The aim of Derian House is to make the most of every moment through play, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, massage and relaxation techniques, with fun and laughter packed into every day.

The charity receives less than 10% of its funding from official sources and costs about £1.8 million a year to run, with it providing care and support all year.

Funds are also needed to build a new wing for adolescents.

Stan Bamber, chairman of the Friends of Derian House, will attend the Clitheroe meeting, along with representatives of Blackburn Rovers owners Venky’s, who support child charities in India.

Mr McKenzie added: “So far, we’ve had a very positive response from business and community leaders in the voluntary sector.

“One of the shops we’ve spoken to is keen to organise a fashion show and other people are coming up with lots more good ideas.”

The first event confirmed will be a Kiki’s Kabaret burlesque evening at the Inn at the Station on Friday, March 8th.

Kiki de Ville is, in everyday life, Kristiana Robinson, an Australian cabaret performer now living in Rawtenstall, who has been fundraising for Derian House since her baby son, Dexter, who had a rare genetic condition, died there in 2007.

Tickets are already selling fast for the ticket-only event, which also includes a charity auction.

The organisers need a loan of lighting gear and some meet-and-greet volunteers to help on the night.

Tickets are on sale at the Inn at the Station, and potential supporters of Derian House can call 01200 425464 or email innatthestation@tiscali.co.uk