A big thank you to Derian House founding members

Derain House founder Margaret Vinten with retired Bishop of Blackburn Alan Chesters and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Diane Duke
Derain House founder Margaret Vinten with retired Bishop of Blackburn Alan Chesters and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Diane Duke

Twenty five years ago, Derian House children’s hospice opened and took in its first terminally ill baby.

It was a day founder Margaret Vinten will never forget and so to celebrate, she organised a thank you lunch at Preston Marriott Hotel for its founding trustees, nurses and supporters.

Some of the hospice nurses gather for a picture

Some of the hospice nurses gather for a picture

Among the special guests were retired Bishop of Blackburn Alan Chesters, who was the first patron and trustee, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Diane Duke.

Margaret says: “In 1991 was given £25,000 to build Derian House and by 1993 I had £700,000.

“I had a lot of support along the way and so I wanted to acknowledge them through this lunch, as they had done an amazing job.

“One of the most important parts of my life was seeing the first child walk through the door, aged three months. She died three weeks later and I could have burst into tears. I wanted to do this to honour them.

One of the most important parts of my life was seeing the first child walk through the door, aged three months. She died three weeks later and I could have burst into tears. I wanted to do this to honour them.

Margaret Vinten

“Everyone had a great time. It was lovely to see everyone - some of us had not seen each other for years. It took for months to find everyone. Luckily, some of the nurses helped me.

“We had almost 90 people coming. We had the first trustees, Douglas McMillan, Richard Thomas, Leo Duffy and of course Alan Chesters. A lot the original nurses and volunteers attended, as well as local supporters.

“The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Diane Duke, gave a lovely speech.

“She said we had given such a wonderful facility for the people of Lancashire and everyone was to rejoice and celebrate the hospice, which has been unbelievably successful.

A group of distinguished guests

A group of distinguished guests

“I agree wholeheartedly with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant.

“We do have a great deal to celebrate.

“We are very thankful for the staff, committee members and volunteers for the tremendous achievement in caring for the terminally ill young people and their families.

“We have been looking after children who are terminally ill or severely disabled since Derian House’s inception and the next 25 years starts now.”

Pam Thomas raises a glass

Pam Thomas raises a glass

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The celebration lunch was just one of the events to mark Derian House’s 25th anniversary. Current staff and volunteers had also held a party for families at the hospice site in Chancery Road, Chorley.

To support Derian House’s 25th anniversary appeal, call 01257 271 271.

Trustees l-r Douglas McMillan, Richard Thomas and Leo Duffy

Trustees l-r Douglas McMillan, Richard Thomas and Leo Duffy