One-year-old from Lancashire with rare genetic disorder helps Derian House break ground

Freddie Halliwell from Darwen, Lancashire, who was born with a rare genetic condition has helped break ground for a new home being given away to raise money for Derian House.

By Emma Downey
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 9:44 am

Freddie, who recently celebrated his first birthday, comes to Derian House Children’s Hospice for playgroup sessions and fun in the hydrotherapy pool.

After spending his first six-and-a-half weeks in hospital on the neonatal intensive care unit doctors told Freddie’s parents Kari and Sam that developmental delays because of his condition would mean their little boy would never walk or talk. But the couple are hopeful he will prove them wrong.

Kari, 26, said: “Freddie loves coming to Derian House. He smiled for the first time whilst in the hydrotherapy pool there, which is a moment I will always treasure.

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(L to R) Paul Jones, Managing Director of Kingswood Homes, Kari Hewitt holding baby Freddie, Sam Halliwell, David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice.

“We all get so much out of coming to Derian. We’ve made new friends at playgroup and it’s a lovely atmosphere. I always wanted to take him to baby sensory groups but didn’t like the thought of people looking at him funny because he has a tube in his nose and looks a bit different, but at Derian it’s not like that. You feel accepted and the staff are all so friendly and warm.”

The ceremony, which took in Blackburn last Wednesday, marks the official start of work on a house donated by Kingswood Homes to Derian House Children’s Hospice in the Great Big House Giveaway.

It marked the start of construction on the three-bedroom detached home designed by HemingwayDesign, the company co-founded by Blackburn-raised Wayne Hemingway MBE.

Paul Jones, Managing Director of Kingswood Homes, said: “As a growing Lancashire-based business we wanted to give back to the community and, having had personal experience of the support that children’s hospices like Derian House offer, it was a natural fit."

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, added: “We are so grateful to our friends at Kingswood Homes for such a generous donation and hope the prize draw raises lots of money and awareness to help us look after children like Freddie and their families."

There will be a guaranteed winner of the prize draw, to be announced at a glittering gala ball in September.

People can buy tickets from £5 to be entered into a prize draw to win the £250,000 house on the award-winning Green Hills development in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Chorley-based charity Derian House offers respite, palliative and end of life care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, helping them to make the most of the precious time they have with their families.

To enter the prize draw visit