Devine Dash 

Round & About

children’s hospice

It’s the time of year when you expect to see a man in a red suit with a white beard but get set to see hundreds of them.

Now in its seventh year, the Santa Dash in Windsor in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice is the annual festive fun run on Saturday, 24th November.

The dash will guide you through Windsor, along the Long Walk, the Castle, Queen Victoria’s statue and the town’s streets and it’s up to you how you decide to take on the 5km – dash, run, jog, skip or dance.

The entry fee includes a free Santa suit or reindeer antlers for children and a medal and every penny goes to the children’s hospice service in Maidenhead.

The hospice opened in 2018 after years of hard work and tireless campaigning to raise the funds by Fiona and John Devine. Their son Alexander was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of four and their lives became consumed by hospital appointments and treatments.

They sadly lost Alexander after four and a half years and through their experiences found there was a need for a children’s hospice in Berkshire.

Fiona and John wanted to provide a safe, loving environment for all that gives children and families a choice of care and support. The hospice complements the existing community service with state-of-the-art facilities. It has six children’s bedrooms, two-self-contained flats for families, a dining area, open plan sitting room and suite dedicated to end of life and bereavement care.

There is also a sensory room, creative learning zone, music room and hydrotherapy pool.

A woodland-themed sensory garden, mud kitchen, musical play pieces, scented plants and raised flower beds allow children to enjoy the outdoors.

There are LEGO models scattered around the garden and an adventure playground is currently being built designed with special equipment.

Nurses and nursery nurses, play and music specialists and counsellors and doctors use their knowledge, compassion and expertise to provide the support and care each family and child needs.

Santas are encouraged to raise at least £57 in sponsorship – this alone could pay for a specialist play session.

The dash starts at 9am, but dashers are encouraged to arrive at 8am for a briefing, to join the warm up and collect their Santa suit, these can also be collected in advance from this month with previous arrangement.

Registration is at Bachelors Acre at 8.40am before the run starts at the top of the Long Walk by the Castle.

Entry costs £20 adults, £7.50 children, under 5s free, family of four (2&2) £36.

Take part

For more details and to enter

Children’s Hospice Week

Round & About

children’s hospice

Show you care during Children’s Hospice Week

There are 49,000 children in the UK living with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and that number is growing.

Today (Monday 17th) marks the start of Children’s Hospice Week which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospice and palliative care services across the UK.

The theme of this year’s campaign is Moments That Matter focussing on services and ways in which families create special memories and moments in their lives.

Moments That Matter can be anything from the first family swim to a more poignant time when a hospice has helped.

There are 54 children’s hospices in the UK all providing vital care and support to families at the toughest times, providing help to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of children, young people and their families.

There are various ways you can help support their work and raise money – hold a sweepstake using the Flutter Buy Sweepstake sheet or hold a fundraiser. Why not try a ‘give it up’ challenge, use the fundraising recipe card for ideas and once you’ve decided what to do, spread the word using the empty belly poster.

Hospices across our areas – Helen & Douglas House, Oxford; Alexander Devine, Maidenhead; Christopher’s, Guildford; Naomi House & Jacksplace, Winchester and Julia’s House, Devizes – are doing vital work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  Show your support by going to Together for short lives