The Snowman™ heads up list of honorary Patrons as Sussex children’s hospice gets set to celebrate its 15th birthday in 2018
Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice opened its doors in November 2003, which means it will be 15 years old in 2018. A range of activities are planned to thank supporters, promote the hospice and to celebrate 15 years of caring for life-limited children in Sussex and South East Hampshire. Alongside these activities and the charity’s regular events, a group of birthday Patrons has been created to support the work of Chestnut Tree House throughout the year, alongside existing Patrons of the charity.
Raymond Briggs CBE has been a Patron of Chestnut Tree House for over a decade and now his much-loved Snowman character (who turns 40 in 2018) will help promote the work of Chestnut Tree House, helping people understand the vital care services provided and see beyond the word ‘hospice’. The themes and emotions of The Snowman story – emphasising happy times and creating memories rather than the sad ending – make The Snowman the ideal ambassador for a children’s hospice, where the focus is on providing wonderful care, experiences and precious memories of happy times together.
Joining The Snowman™, Chestnut Tree House is delighted to have 12 other birthday Patrons for 2018, who will support and advise the charity, each contributing in their own way. They are (in alphabetical order):
• Paralympic Equestrian Champion, Natasha Baker MBE
• Author, Julia Donaldson and her husband, Dr Malcolm Donaldson
• Singer, songwriter, Chesney Hawkes
• East Sussex Ambassadors, Jacquie and Barry Hinves
• Model, racing driver and TV presenter, Jodie Kidd
• Artist, Lester Magoogan
• International polo player and Captain of the US polo team, Nic Roldan
• Footballer and Captain of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Bruno Saltor
• Singer, pianist and songwriter, Joe Stilgoe
• Businessman, Matt Turner
Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House said: “The hospice itself may not have opened until 2003 but there was work going on in the background around the need for palliative care for children in Sussex since 1997. Chestnut Tree’s Community Team was launched in 2001, with the first charity shop opening in Arundel the following year, and then the House was built and officially opened on 11 November 2003 by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra.
“A lot has changed since we first opened our doors in 2003 and we could not have helped the 833 children and families we have over the last 15 years without the help and support of the local community.
“Without the donations, fundraisers, volunteers and gifts in wills, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue providing the specialist care that is vital to so many children and young people in Sussex and South East Hampshire. To everyone who has helped us over the last 15 years, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you from all the children, families and staff at Chestnut Tree House.
“Our Patrons are great ambassadors for Chestnut Tree House, offering us a range of support and advice, and we look forward to working with our honorary 15th birthday Patrons during 2018.”
Chestnut Tree House provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding so relies heavily on the support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.