Demelza Hospice Care for Children has announced today that the Archbishop of Canterbury has become a Vice President of the charity.
Justin Welby was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013, after more than 20 years of ministry experience. He is no stranger to personal tragedy, feeling the call for ordination six years after his seven month old daughter died in a car crash in France.
Archbishop Justin joins high profile figures such as Jayne Torvill, Robin Cousins, Dave Berry, Lady Kingsdown and former chairman Des Crampton who are also Vice Presidents of the children's charity. The Archbishop also follows former Archbishop Rowan Williams who was a Vice President of the charity and who visited Demelza South East London in 2010.
Demelza celebrated its 15th birthday last year (2013) and provides care and support for hundreds of children across the South East who are not expected to reach adulthood through respite, symptom control, end of life care, counselling and support for their family.
Archbishop Justin said: "I'm honoured to be asked to be a Vice President of Demelza. The work of hospices is often misunderstood but places like Demelza are vital, helping to care for some of the most vulnerable in our society and enabling them to make the most of the time they have left, whether it is six weeks or six years."
Steve Hoy, Chief Executive of Demelza told SFM News: "We are delighted to welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury as a Vice President of Demelza. We rely on the support of the local community and the generosity of organisations such as churches so to have the patronage of such an important figure in the Church of England is wonderful news for Demelza. We hope his support will help us raise awareness of hospice care and the vital work we do across Kent, South East London and East Sussex."