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Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Chestnut Tree House is closely monitoring the situation concerning the COVID-19 virus. We are in regular contact with Public Health England and the NHS. We will provide updates as and when information changes.


The information on this page includes health advice, the latest guidance on visiting the hospice, updates to care services, fundraising and volunteering.

On 19 July 2021, the UK Government decided that England would move into Step 4 of the roadmap to ease restrictions. They have been clear to state that this does not mean the pandemic is over and everyone should remain cautious. Despite the success of the vaccination programme, there will still be high levels of infection and illness and we will still be doing everything we can to limit the risk to children, families and staff.

Please use trusted resources for updates on COVID-19, such as the Government website and the NHS.

Visiting the hospice

Chestnut Tree House remains closed to routine visitors.

Care services

When the pandemic was declared, routine respite breaks and day care services were immediately cancelled in accordance with government guidelines.

Some of the care team were redeployed to our sister hospice, St Barnabas House, while others went to support local hospitals. The remaining team continued providing respite care for exceptional circumstances, end of life care and bereavement support throughout the initial phase.

We have remained in contact with the children and families we care for and offered regular telephone support and community visits (in full PPE and fully risk-assessed) to those who were still happy to receive them.

Keeping youngsters happily occupied can be challenging at any time, and even more so during lockdown so our Activity Team have been creating lots of fun by delivering tailored activity packs to families at home and hosting singing and storytelling sessions via video.

As constraints have started to ease, the deployed staff have all now returned and we have been able to welcome families back to the House for day care sessions and have started to book routine respite stays for families who need them. We have continued to provide telephone support and are increasing the number of home visits and counselling sessions.

You can view and download our full COVID risk assessment here.

Thank you for working with us through these challenging times to ensure the continued wellbeing of everyone at the hospice.

Bereavement Support

Sussex Health and Care Partnership have launched a bereavement guide supporting those who have lost a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes practical information, signposting to further support and information on the new Sussex Bereavement Helpline


Latest update (Friday 9 April): following government guidance we temporarily stopped all face-to-face fundraising on Saturday 26 December. As the constraints begin to ease, we are reintroducing face-to-face fundraising starting from Monday 12 April. Small teams of canvassers will begin fundraising door-to-door and in pre-booked venues. We have carried out full risk assessments in line with the government guidelines and will continue to closely monitor the situation.


Thank you for your continued support. We have been extremely moved by your kind messages and offers of support during this difficult time. This is a difficult time for everyone, but if you could consider supporting us with a donation at this time, it would be greatly appreciated.

Your support enables us to continue providing the care that is so vitally important to the people we work with – now and in the future.

We are delighted that our shops are now open again and we look forward to welcoming you back.   Please see individual shop pages for opening times.

Shops are only able to accept limited donations, because of the need to quarantine and store items. Space is restricted therefore donations cannot be accepted once a safe capacity has been reached. Please contact your local shop for more details and before making a journey.

Our furniture delivery and collection, and house clearance services are back in operation.

For more information please go to our Retail FAQs.

Thank you for your support!

You can find all the latest details of changes to specific fundraising events, by visiting our challenge events page.

All volunteer roles at the hospice, in our retail shops and those visiting in the community are currently suspended for the foreseeable future.

For more information please see our latest COVID-19 update for volunteers.

Help Healthwatch to help us

Be their eyes and ears to support the NHS and each other at this difficult time

These past few weeks, whilst challenging for many, have proven that we are great at working collaboratively and supporting each other. Across the organisation, many of us have been working #TogetherApart to ensure that our patients and their families still receive the support that they need. Now, we need to extend our amazing teamwork culture into the wider community.

The Helpdesk Hub team at Healthwatch, West Sussex need us and those we care for to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of our communities; to help identify what is working well and where there are gaps within the provision and delivery of health and social care services in West Sussex at this critical time. With our help, Healthwatch will be able to use statutory powers to influence change and support services to make a positive difference for the patients and families who need us.

You can share your thoughts and experiences via phone (0300 012 0122), email or online. Examples of the experiences you might like to comment on include:

  • Information that is confusing or contradictory in relation to COVID-19 or any other health and social care services
  • Services or initiatives that are working well, having adapted to the pandemic
  • Any gaps or barriers to accessing support

Healthwatch will feedback any changes that occur or useful information obtained from their data, but to ensure the highest accuracy and maximum benefit to all, our insight is essential for them to deliver this.

To find out more about Healthwatch, visit their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.