Derian House has announced its new patron, The Voice singer Kiki DeVille.
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Kiki, who grew up in Rawtenstall, is no stranger to Derian’s services as her son, Dexter William Robinson was born with Zellweger Syndrome in September 2007.
He was suffering from up to 15 seizures and was unable to suck or swallow, meaning he had to be fed by a nasal gastric tube.
As she took him to Derian House, he died whilst in her arms, just four weeks and three days old.
She continued accessing its services, through the Stepping Stones bereavement group and was ‘humbled’ to be invited to be the new patron.
Kiki said: “Being asked to be patron is by far one of the most overwhelming and humbling experiences of my life. It has been my dream since Dexter died and is an honour and responsibility that I will take very seriously.
“Over the years I have been a personal ambassador and fund-raiser for the charity. One of the reasons I went on The Voice in 2014 was to get a platform to be well known enough to talk about Derian House.
“I want to make sure as many people know about Derian House as possible and help the charity lobby Parliament to get more funding. Only about two percent of its funding is from the government and as the hospice needs to raise £3.5m a year, a lot of money needs to come in. Hospices are offering a service which is not available elsewhere. For example, I only got an appointment for Dexter’s physiotherapy after he died. These services are respite for parents of children with life limiting disabilities. It also provides relief from the NHS which is invaluable.”
Kiki is also hoping to use her role as judge on the BBC talent show All Together Now to gain more publicity for the hospice.
She added: “I have been able to pull some strings and I have been asking celebrities to design a flower to auction off for Derian House. My fellow judges, Spice Girl Geri Horner and comedian Rob Beckett, have already agreed to help. Geri is lovely and asks how Derian is doing.”
Kiki, who has two older children aged 22 and 27, reveals that shortly after Dexter died she fell pregnant, with her son Arlo Dexter, who is now 10.
She said: “He came along pretty quickly and is the light of our lives. He was the reason I was able to pick myself up and get on with things.”