10 Mar 2020
Stagecoach and Demelza Hospice Care for Children have announced their charity partnership with the launch of a specially designed bus, featuring the charity’s distinctive clown and red dot design. Stagecoach, who have been providing bus services across the South East for over 25 years, have chosen Demelza as their charity of the year. Demelza provides specialist care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions and their loved ones throughout Kent, South East London and East Sussex.
The bus, which is now in service on routes across East Kent, was unveiled at the Sittingbourne hospice on Monday 2 March. Employees at Stagecoach will be working with the fundraising team at Demelza to raise the charity’s profile as well as funds to provide support to over 750 children, young people and families throughout the region. The bus company has a host of activities planned for its staff over the year, including a Mud Tug team at the Whitstable Oyster Festival in July, a charity football match, and a Tough Mudder challenge in the autumn. Stagecoach will also be sponsoring this year’s Easter Egg hunt at the hospice in Sittingbourne and the Bubble Rush event in Mote Park, Maidstone.
Joel Mitchell, Managing Director at Stagecoach South East, said “What warms my heart more than anything else about working for a large business is the opportunity it gives us to pull together and do something exceptional that truly helps make a difference to peoples’ lives. Stagecoach is all about putting people at the heart; creating connections and bringing communities together. We’re chuffed to be able to decorate a bus to celebrate this partnership and it fills me with a great sense of excitement and pride that colleagues from across our company are coming together to support this fantastic charity.”
Matt Ryder, a Stagecoach employee at Canterbury, explained his own personal experience of the unique support offered by Demelza for his own son. “We used Demelza Hospice in 2007-2008 for our son Anthony. They took great care of him during the day which allowed myself and my wife to relax and have some time to ourselves. Anthony loved their sensory room and soft play. Demelza were fantastic in caring for our needs and opening their doors to us – thank you Demelza!”
Ryan Campbell, Chief Executive at Demelza, said “We’re really excited to be working with the team at Stagecoach – and spotting the dotty bus as it travels around the area! As a charity, we’re almost entirely dependent on the generosity of our supporters to provide the funds that keep our services going so we’re hugely grateful to Stagecoach for choosing us as their charity of the year.”
For further information on becoming a corporate partner, please go to https://www.demelza.org.uk/support-us/corporate-partnerships
Find out more about Demelza at www.demelza.org.uk, follow the charity on Facebook at www.facebook.com/demelzahospice or @demelzahospice on Twitter.
L to R: Becky and Mary from Demelza, Isabella (service user) and her sister Emily, Joel Mitchell, MD Stagecoach Southeast.