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A tribute to Lady Sarah Clutton, President of Chestnut Tree House & St Barnabas House hospices.
We were so sad to learn that Lady Sarah Clutton our much-loved Honorary President died on Sunday 14 June 2015. Lady Sarah was out in her garden on Saturday with her secateurs, keeping her plants in order and then slipped away in her sleep overnight.
Lady Sarah became President of St Barnabas Hospices in 1996 following the death of her mother, Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk. For the past twenty years, she has been an incredible support, inspiration and a real friend to both Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and St Barnabas House adult hospice. We owe her a huge amount for kindnesses small and large, not least for the land on which Chestnut Tree House is built.
Lady Sarah was instrumental in the creation of Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex. The hospice is built on Angmering Estate land provided to the charity by Lady Sarah. At the time, she gave the hospice a 125 year lease with a rent of one dozen mixed lilies (no white ones) and a new £1 coin on her birthday each year. The people of Sussex gave and raised £5m to build Chestnut Tree House and Lady Sarah proudly attended the opening of our children’s hospice by HRH Princess Alexandra on 11 November 2003.
More recently, Lady Sarah gave an additional piece of land to Chestnut Tree House to enable the creation of a very special Woodland Walk for the children and families using the hospice. This year the Woodland Walk will be open to the public for the very first time on Friday 2 October and Saturday 3 October during the Chestnut Tree House 2015 Open Days. We will remember her especially during these two days later in the year when we are open to the public.
With a wonderful habit of ‘popping in’, Lady Sarah will be very much missed by staff and volunteers at both hospices. The children and families at Chestnut Tree House will also miss Lady Sarah as a trip up the lane will be incomplete without her. It is so hard to believe we will never see her again and our thoughts are with Lady Sarah’s family at this very sad time.