Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice needs to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all its specialist care services, both at the House near Arundel and in families’ own homes across Sussex and South East Hampshire. On Friday 2 August, this has been paid for by Astolat Lodge no. 5848, a Masonic lodge based in Guildford, supporting the hospice’s Pay for a Day initiative.
A mixture of fundraising and donations by Astolat Lodge raised £7,500 for Chestnut Tree House during 2018/19 – more than enough to pay for 24 hours of care. Freemasonry supports both national and local charities, and Astolat Lodge chose to support the Sussex-based children’s hospice because of a personal connection to the charity.
Worshipful Master, Peter Wood said: “Local lodges seek to add to the overall charitable efforts of Freemasonry and support many local charities. Often there may be a personal connection through a member of the Lodge, and that is the case with my wife Elaine and myself.
“Our dear friends of over 40 years have a granddaughter, Mollie, who has received support from Chestnut Tree House, along with her mum, Suzie, and dad, Brian. We have seen the impact of Mollie’s situation on the whole family and the invaluable benefit of the support and care they receive from the hospice.
“2 August is Mollie’s birthday and paying for this day of care is our way of thanking Chestnut Tree House for supporting Mollie and her family, as well as all the other children and families.”
Jayne Todd, Community Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House said: “It costs over £4 million every year to provide our care and less than 6% of that comes from central government. Without the generosity of individuals and organisations in our local community we wouldn’t be able to continue supporting the children and families who need us. Families just like Mollie’s.
“On behalf of everyone at Chestnut Tree House, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Peter, Elaine, and all the members of Astolat Lodge for their kindness and support. Raising £7,500 and choosing to pay for a day of our care services on Mollie’s birthday is a wonderful gesture and will benefit many other children and families as well.”
Chestnut Tree House provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex and South East Hampshire, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this service is over £4 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 6% central government funding so relies on the generosity and support of the community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.