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Creating memorable moments to treasure is central to both Chestnut Tree House and Raymond Briggs’s classic picture book, The Snowman™, which is the basis of our annual Christmas campaign, The Snowman Spectacular.
On the evening of Thursday 21 November, at the Hospice UK Awards 2019 in Liverpool, Chestnut Tree House was awarded the ‘Innovation in Income Generation Award’ for the Sussex-wide campaign, which is instrumental in raising funds and awareness during the Christmas period.
The story of The Snowman has been the theme of our annual winter fundraising ball since 2008, but the use of the iconic brand has recently been extended to raise funds and increase awareness through a variety of activities in November and December.
In 2018, The Snowman Spectacular was not only instrumental in raising vital funds to care for local children and their families – via our annual fundraising ball, Christmas Appeal, corporate fundraising and retail activities – but also encouraged community engagement through a children’s drawing competition and appearances from The Snowman costume character.
Rosemarie Finley, CEO of Chestnut Tree House, was at the conference and collected the award.
Rosemarie said: “Coming up with innovative ideas to keep fundraising fresh and exciting is crucial to hospices, and all charities, but is also extremely challenging. Being able to use The Snowman as the focus for our Christmas campaign is very special to Chestnut Tree House, and we are extremely grateful to both our friend and Patron, Raymond Briggs CBE, and Penguin Ventures (who are part of Penguin Random House Children’s) for their ongoing support; as well as families who have shared their stories.
“The story of The Snowman is loved by many, but the themes and emotions particularly resonate with families of children with life-shortening conditions. The young boy in the story experiences the most amazing adventure, but then he loses his new friend. But, when you think of The Snowman, it’s not the sad ending you remember. It’s the happy times they have together, and this is very much what Chestnut Tree House is all about – helping families to spend time together and create precious memories to last a lifetime.
“Having The Snowman at the centre of our Christmas activities has undoubtedly helped raise vital funds, but it has done more than that. Having community-engagement elements of the campaign has also enabled us to increase awareness and open up the conversation about children’s hospice care, which is so important.”
Highlights of The Snowman Spectacular Christmas campaign last year included a partnership with Penguin Ventures, who manage The Snowman brand, bringing together activations beyond the book including consumer products, live events and promotional partnerships. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Raymond’s original picture book in 2018, Penguin Ventures launched a campaign titled ‘My Snowman’ whereby nine leading children’s book illustrators recreated the iconic Snowman character in their own style. These artworks went on display at the Brighton Pavilion and were auctioned online, raising over £10,000 for Chestnut Tree House.
In addition to this, funds were raised at the charity’s annual fundraising ball, The Snowman Spectacular, from The Snowman Spectacular Christmas Appeal, ‘Get Festive with The Snowman’ fundraising activities, and sales of a Snowman Christmas card designed by Raymond Briggs.
The Hospice UK judging panel described The Snowman Spectacular as ‘a true innovation’, relevant to everyone receiving hospice and end-of-life care and their families.
Commenting on the awards, Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “There were some terrific entries for our awards this year, which featured an impressive array of inspirational individuals and innovative projects. Whether helping to increase public awareness about end of life care, tackling inequalities in provision or trying new approaches to reach more people, each one has made a massive difference to care for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.
“As ever we are immensely grateful to the National Garden Scheme for its longstanding support for our awards and, as our largest funder, for many other aspects of Hospice UK’s work.”