142 children from Sussex and South East Hampshire entered Chestnut Tree House‘s first ever snowman-themed Christmas card competition last month.
The competition was open to children aged 4-12 years, and was judged by Chestnut Tree House Patron and creator of The Snowman™ Raymond Briggs CBE.
The competition invited children to get inspired by The Snowman™ and draw or paint their own spectacular snowman scene. The entries were judged by a panel at Chestnut Tree House with Raymond Briggs choosing the final two winners – six year-old Luca Wawrzyniak and 10 year-old Caleb Edser, both from Brighton.
Each winner received a Sony digital camera, £100 to spend on Penguin Random House books, and a copy of The Snowman™ book signed by Raymond Briggs. Their designs will also feature in Chestnut Tree House’s 2018 Christmas card range, available in their charity shops and online. The winners were invited to visit Chestnut Tree House on Thursday 14 December to receive their prizes from The Snowman.
Luca’s mum, Ella Walsh said: “Luca was so pleased when I told him that he had won. He loves getting creative and really enjoyed designing his own snowman scene for the competition.”
Unfortunately, Caleb was unable to visit Chestnut Tree House to receive his prize on 14 December, but Caleb’s dad Matt Edser said: “Caleb was really excited when he found out he had won the competition. Actually, we all were!
“He did his entry while he was spending time at Chestnut Tree House and we never even thought about winning. We’ve already got some of his festive artwork on our wall at home, and can’t wait to see his snowman Christmas card design in print next year. Caleb has been visiting Chestnut Tree House since 2012 and the support we receive from them makes a huge difference to our lives.”
Raymond also selected four runners-up – Edie Stacy from Hastings (aged eight), Amy Derbyshire from Alciston (aged eight), Katherine Taylor from Horsham (aged 10) and Rihanna Vine from Bognor Regis (aged nine) – who will all receive a personalised signed card from the illustrator.
Janet Parsons, Head of Communications at Chestnut Tree House said: “This year marks a decade of friendship between Chestnut Tree House and The Snowman, and even longer with our Patron, Raymond Briggs. His iconic Snowman is the focal point for our annual Snowman Spectacular Fundraising Ball every December, but we wanted to do something special this year and involve a wider, younger audience with our Snowman activity.
“Raymond spent a lot of time looking at each and every entry. In the end he selected the more abstract designs as winners, and said that he loved the colour in Luca’s entry and the unique footprint snowman created by Caleb. He was very impressed with the standard of the artwork and the level of imagination and skill across both age categories.
“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to create a snowman design for our competition, as well as Raymond for giving up his time to judge the entries. We look forward to seeing the designs in print next year and hope that this initiative has helped to raise awareness of Chestnut Tree House.”
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 their own homes.
The cost of providing this 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 specialist care to local life-limited children and their families.
For more information about Chestnut Tree House, visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk