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Local MP, Huw Merriman, and a team of Councillors from his constituency of Bexhill and Battle, made a recent visit to Chestnut Tree House, Sussex’s children’s hospice.
Paying tribute to the work which the organisation carries out for children and their families, the cross-party delegation Huw described the hospice as “a really happy and positive place where families and children can spend time together having fun and taking part in a wide variety of activities.”
Joining Huw for the visit were Cllr Lin Clark, Wealden District Councillor for Pevensey, Cllr Kathryn Field, County and District Councillor for Battle and Battle Town Councillor and Glenna Flavell. All were keen to find out more about the children’s hospice and outreach services for their residents.
Chestnut Tree, which is celebrating its 15th Birthday this year, cares for around 300 children with life-shortening conditions across Sussex and South East Hampshire, including 60 in East Sussex. It offers care in families’ own homes across the region as well as at its purpose built hospice building near Arundel.
The local delegation were shown around the hospice, which has 10 bedrooms for children to enjoy overnight stays, as well as family rooms and a bereavement suite. The building is fully equipped to meet the needs of each and every child, including a sensory room, hydrotherapy pool, teenage wing and woodland walk.
Huw said “We were so impressed with the amazing facilities and peaceful location of the hospice. There is so much to do and everything is fully accessible. They have thought of everything a family needs to spend quality time together and, importantly, they support the whole family including siblings and grandparents. The wonderful staff at the hospice told us that it was all about living at Chestnut Tree House and we saw that this is very much the case.”
On the visit, the team also learned about the care the charity offers in his own constituency. Families being cared for by Chestnut Tree are offered regular respite visits from the Chestnut Tree community nursing team, are invited to specially arranged events across the county throughout the year and are supported by the charity at the end of a child’s life wherever they would like to be.
Huw commented “Knowing that you have someone on hand who can support your family at home with everyday life as well as during difficult times is invaluable.”