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It’s our 15th birthday!

Friday 19 January 2018

This year we will be celebrating Chestnut Tree House’s 15th birthday – 15 years of caring for children and young people with life-shortening conditions, and their families, in East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

Chestnut Tree House staff Sarah and Karen, pictured with Luke

Our story began in 1999 when it was realised that there was little or no provision for children and young people in Sussex who needed specialist hospice care. The Chestnut Tree Trust was formed and an appeal was launched to build a children’s hospice for Sussex. The local community got behind the project and raised the £5 million needed for us to realise our dream of a purpose-built hospice where children and young people could receive the care they so desperately needed.

In November 2003, HRH Princess Alexandra officially opened Chestnut Tree House. At that time we were caring for just 30 children. Now, 15 years later, the demand for our services has increased dramatically. To meet that demand, we have introduced new services such as our oncology service for children with cancer and our neonatal service for very young babies, and we are caring for children with much more complex needs than ever before. We have introduced our Youth Group and our Saplings Group for under 5s, and expanded our Community Team to provide more care for families in the comfort of their own homes. In our 15th birthday year, we are now helping around 300 children and families.

15th birthday Patrons

We have got lots of exciting things planned for our 15th birthday and to kick off the year of celebrations we have invited a group of birthday Patrons to support our work throughout the year, alongside our existing Patrons.

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 our work, helping people understand the vital care services we provide and to 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™, we are delighted to have 13 other birthday Patrons for 2018, who will support and advise the charity, each contributing in their own way.

“Our Patrons are great ambassadors for Chestnut Tree House, offering us a range of support and advice,” says Linda Perry, the hospice’s Director of Children’s Services. “We look forward to working with our honorary 15th birthday Patrons during 2018.”

15 challenges for our 15th birthday

As we celebrate our 15th birthday, we would love people of all ages across Sussex and South East Hampshire to take on a challenge to mark the occasion. From events and activities, to small actions that make a big difference, there is something for everyone. Choose a challenge, live for the now, and help us to continue caring for local life-limited children and families. Make this a year for taking a leap. For crossing the finish line. For doing something you never thought you could.

Take a look at these amazing events and take on a challenge. For yourself. For your company. For local families. For living. For the now.

Take on a challenge… pick one, two or even take on all 15 – see all the challenges here.

Chestnut Tree House Open Days – you’re invited!

On Friday 5 and Saturday 6 October we will be celebrating our 15th birthday by throwing open our doors and inviting people from across the region to come and see what a special place the hospice is! Everybody is welcome. There will be tours of the House, where you can see our wonderful care facilities and explore our beautiful gardens, including our wheelchair-accessible Woodland Walk. There will be a chance to meet the Care Team who do such a wonderful job looking after the children and families.

There’s no need to book and parking and refreshments are available on both days. Just come along between 10am and 4pm and find out for yourself what a difference Chestnut Tree House makes to local children and families!

Thank you!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the last 15 years.