Image of a child at the house having fun and covered in paint

What we do

We're a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions in in East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

About us

Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for Sussex and South East Hampshire. Thanks to support from the local community, children and families who know they don’t have long together have the chance to live life to the full and say goodbye in the way that is right for them.

The generosity of the local community makes this happen. Over £5 million is needed every year to provide hospice care for local children and their families. Very little of this comes from the government. The rest comes from the amazing donations we receive, fundraising, gifts in wills, shops, the Chestnut Tree House lottery and volunteering.

What is a children's hospice?

On a visit to Chestnut Tree House, kids can be astronauts for the day in the multi-sensory room, discover creepy crawlies on a woodland walk, or form their very own pop group in the music room. It is a place where parents can just be parents, and not carers, and where siblings have people to talk to who understand. 

As well as care provided at the House, nurses visit families at home, taking children out to explore their local community, or simply giving tired families and carers the chance to take a well-earned break.  

Then, when the time comes, we help families say goodbye, in whatever way feels right for them, at home or in the hospice itself. We offer ongoing bereavement support for the whole family. 

Read our CQC report:

Our care is inspected by the Care Quality Commission – and you can read their report in full below. Find out more about our care services and what we offer.

Our history

  • We were first established as the Chestnut Tree Trust, in October 1997, with the aim of looking after children with life-threatening conditions and their families.
  • In April 1998 the Trustees of St Barnabas House and the Chestnut Tree Trust formally agreed to work together to provide a children’s hospice in Sussex.
  • In 2001, work began to build Chestnut Tree House on land donated by the late Lady Sarah Clutton, and a community team was launched to start caring for families in their own homes before the hospice opened.
  • Our first charity shop was opened on River Road, Arundel in February 2002.
  • The House was officially opened on Tuesday 11 November 2003 by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra. We were caring for around 30 children and their families.
  • In September 2009 our Meadow Gardens were opened and on Thursday 19 June 2014 our magical and interactive wheelchair accessible Woodland Walk was opened.


Every year, we care for around 300 children and young people, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. Since we opened in 2003, there have been no significant changes to the space and configuration of the House. Over the same period, due to advances in medical technology and the introduction of pioneering treatments, children with certain conditions are living longer than ever expected, with increasingly complex needs.

To ensure that children and young people continue to get the best possible care and support, in an environment which can address all medical needs and complexities, some renovations have taken place. These include:

  • increasing the ceiling height in the Teenage Wing and pool area
  • improved mechanical hoisting installation;
  • piped oxygen and suction installed in the Teenage Wing and pool area;
  • a new wet and dry changing area to allow more children and young people to use the pool with greater privacy.