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For the Now

Chestnut Tree House wants to continue helping families like Charlie’s live For the Now.


Chestnut Tree House has been supporting 12 year-old Charlie and his family for five years, helping them make every moment count and ensuring they can spend quality time together.

Charlie has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, both as a result of being born at 32 weeks, but his parents Mary and Russ say that this doesn’t stop him doing anything and having a happy childhood.

On visits to Chestnut Tree House, Charlie loves playing the Xbox and spending time in the music room, where he can make different sounds on the drums and piano. For his dad, Russ, one of the best things about Chestnut Tree House is that “everybody knows Charlie. They know his strong points and what he likes to do. It’s the one place where he feels totally relaxed, as he can go and do his own thing.”

Charlie describes Chestnut Tree House as “fun and friendly” and he has made lots of new friends. Like most children his age, there are times when Charlie craves a bit of independence, so it’s no surprise that one of the positive aspects about visiting the House is that he “can pretty much do anything there without mum or dad.”

For Charlie, Now is… playing his favourite game on the Xbox

For Charlie’s mum, Mary, Chestnut Tree House gives the family “a chance to spend time together, but also for Charlie to do the things he wants without us.  It’s just a great place for us all to relax.”

In addition to visits and respite breaks at the hospice, Charlie receives care in his own home from Chestnut Tree House Community Nurses. Kimberley, Charlie’s Care Support Worker, helps support the family by looking after Charlie at home, taking him out for the day, or playing games.

Russ and Mary describe Chestnut Tree House as “a really special place” and “probably the only place that we know we can leave Charlie to be safe, where he’s happy. Without it, I think the intensity of everyday life would just be ongoing, so it gives all three of us the chance for a little break.”

Chestnut Tree House wants to continue helping families like Charlie’s live For the Now.