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The first of three summer parties laid on by Chestnut Tree children’s hospice took place in Eastbourne last week, with children and families from across East Sussex enjoying a day of fun in the sun.
Not only is this the first of this year’s parties for children with life-shortening conditions and their families, it is the first one the charity has hosted in East Sussex. “We hold summer parties each year at Chestnut Tree House,” explains Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at the charity. “We are caring for a growing number of children in East Sussex and so we thought it was time we held a party over here as an opportunity for local families to come together.”
The event was made possible, in part, due to the support of the Hydro Hotel who gave Chestnut Tree use of their Garden Suite and lawn area as part as their ongoing support throughout 2017. In addition, the charity was thrilled to welcome entertainment from the Showcase Dancers, Marco the Magician, an Elton John Tribute and novelty act, Danny the Idiot, as well as a visit from Princesses Belle and Cinderella. Balloon modeller, Little Twister, also donated her time on the day to produce amazing balloon creations for the guests.
“The kids all had a wonderful time, and I think the adults enjoyed it too,” says Linda. “When you have a child with complex health needs your whole day can be spent caring for all those needs, so to have a chance to come out as a whole family and enjoy yourselves is very special. For me the most important part of the day is when the families meet each other and friendships start that may last many years. Many of the families we care for can be very isolated, so to have someone to share with can make a great difference.”
Chestnut Tree care for children with life-shortening conditions across East and West Sussex and South-East Hampshire, both at their hospice building near Arundel and in families’ own homes across the region. They offer short break, emergency and end of life care as well as bereavement support to any family who loses a child.