Leaders estate agents swap property for gardening at Chestnut Tree House

Managers from Leaders branches across Sussex came together during the summer for a day of weeding, pruning, tidying and digging at Chestnut Tree House, helping to keep the grounds beautiful for the children and families who spend time at the hospice.

The team of 10 volunteered as part of Leaders’ charity partnership with Together for Short Lives, the UK’s leading charity supporting children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and those who care for them, including the 53 children’s hospice services across the UK.

Chestnut Tree House is the only children’s hospice in Sussex. It cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-limiting conditions. It costs over £3m each year to provide all the care services offered by the hospice free of charge to families, but with less than 8p in every pound funded by the government, Chestnut Tree House relies heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex, including volunteers who enable the hospice to save money by carrying out essential work free of charge.

One of the volunteers, Martina Packham, manager of Leaders in North Laine, Brighton, said: “Chestnut Tree is an amazing, beautiful and inspirational place.  We had a wonderful day helping in the garden, cleaning the children’s wendy house and clearing weeds from the patio and beds. Around us the staff and children were playing with water and having fun. We also had a very informative tour of the house, which some of us were a little worried about beforehand as we weren’t sure what to expect. But we were struck by what a positive and inspirational place it is. The tour really brought home to us what amazing things Chestnut Tree House and the staff do every day.”

Sarah Arnold, corporate fundraising manager at Chestnut Tree House, said: “We were delighted to welcome the team of volunteers from Leaders to Chestnut Tree House and would like to say a heartfelt thank you for their hard work during the day.  It was a great opportunity for us to show them what a difference their support makes to the hospice and also for us to thank them for their kindness and generosity.”

As part of Leaders’ partnership with Together for Short Lives, the company has pledged to raise at least £25,000 for the charity during 2015 and all employees are encouraged to take a day off work to volunteer for their local children’s hospice. This can include helping with fundraising events, working in charity shops and lending a hand with day-to-day jobs at the hospice.