Connect with us

Charity

Chestnut Tree House cares about making every Now count

This year, Children’s Hospice Week (21-27 May) is all about remembering that life’s short and recognising the importance of making moments that matter.

Published

on

This year, Children’s Hospice Week (21-27 May) is all about remembering that life’s short and recognising the importance of making moments that matter.

To coincide with this, Chestnut Tree House is highlighting its focus to help local children with life-shortening conditions, and their families, live For the Now.

Making every moment count is done in many ways by Chestnut Tree House, both at the hospice near Arundel, and in families’ own homes across Sussex and South East Hampshire. By providing safe spaces for carefree fun and laughter.

By helping parents and carers find time for themselves. By supporting families in their final moments together.

It is about the good days as well as the not-so-good days.
On a visit to Chestnut Tree House, kids might be an astronaut in the multi-sensory room. Discover creepy crawlies on a woodland walk. Or make their own band in the music room. With the help of the Community Nursing Team, children can go out to explore the local community. Visit the local park, or play games at home.

Charlie’s Story

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.

Making every Now count doesn’t stop at families. Chestnut Tree House supporters get involved and challenge themselves. They take part in events. Cheer friends to the finish line. Donate. Supporters make every moment count and help Chestnut Tree House to help families create their moments and live For the Now.

Chestnut Tree House opened its doors on 11 November 2003 and currently provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex and South East Hampshire – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding. All care is provided to families free of charge, so Chestnut Tree house relies heavily on the generosity and support of the community.

Chestnut Tree House. For local families. For living. For the Now.

 

Charity

Largest charity Dragon Boat race at Tilgate Park ever!

This year’s festival was the hospice’s biggest ever to date, with more teams than ever before taking to the lake.

Published

on

St Catherine’s Hospice annual Dragon Boat Festival returned to Tilgate Park with a splash yesterday (Sunday 9 September), in a fantastic day of free family fun!

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Teams were made up of local businesses, including Crawley teams: Irwin Mitchell, Elekta, Grant Thornton, UK Power Networks, B&CE, CAE Training & Services, Vines BMW & Mini, Childcare & Learning Cranbrook, Inspiration Healthcare, KPMG, Search, Siemens, Smith & Western, St Catherine’s Hospice, Thales, Virgin Media, Novo Nordisk, and Oriel High School
who battled it out to be crowned Dragon Boat Champions 2018.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Speaking on the day, George De Silvo, Corporate Associate from Irwin Mitchell said:

“The Irwin Mitchell team has really enjoyed getting involved with the Dragon Boat Festival. St Catherine’s is our Charity of the Year and so we’ve been raising funds for them since January. Hearing about the Dragon Boat Festival got the whole office excited and motivated to do as much as we can to help such a great cause. I’m so pleased our Noah’s Ark survived!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Ian Watson, Head of Software Engineering at Elekta said,

“We’ve been taking part in Dragon Boats for many years. It’s a big event and brings so many people from local businesses and the local community together for a great cause. What St Catherine’s does resonates a lot with what we do at Elekta, helping people at a moment of need in their lives. The hospice is a great cause to support.”

St Catherine’s team, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Grant Thornton were another Crawley team competing. Between races, John O’Mahony, Partner at Grant Thornton, said:

“We’re very proud to be associated with St Catherine’s Hospice. They do wonderful work and we’ve had great fun fundraising. Our team ‘Sea’s the Day’ are making great progress during our heats and we’re feeling very optimistic!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Those on the shorelines tried their luck at traditional fête games such as hook a duck and a penalty shootout, whilst younger visitors sprung into action on giant inflatables. Visitors also tucked into tasty food from onsite vendors and enjoyed refreshing drinks from the onsite bar, provided by Sussex Event Bars, who donated a percentage of profits to St Catherine’s.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

On the lake, teams showed true team spirit as they raced across the water in Chinese Dragon Boats.

DHL team, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

After a full day of races, DHL Express powered through to be crowned champions, with a winning time of 57 seconds, which was two seconds faster than last year’s winners.

The Elekta Crew, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Amanda Phelan, Operations Manager at DHL Express, said:

“This is our third year competing and it’s always such a lovely, fantastic day. The second year we took part we came in at second place so we were here to win today. And we’re thrilled we managed it!”

Grant Thornton, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Close behind, in second place, were Vines Ltd with Vines Beemer taking the third place trophy.

Vines Beemer, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

Winning teams were presented with medals and trophies by Giles Tomsett, Chief Executive at St Catherine’s, and The Worshipful Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Portal Castro.

Vines MINIons, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Vines of Gatwick proudly sponsored the festival, alongside entering two teams. Darren Buche, MINI

Sales Executive at Vines of Gatwick said:

“Every year, we have a fantastic day at St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival. It’s been great seeing even more teams competing this year to show their support for the amazing work St Catherine’s does caring for people in the community around us. It’s a fun day out for us as colleagues and it’s brilliant to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. We’re pleased that our efforts will help more people in our community in the future. We’re already looking forward to signing up for next year’s race!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival is one of the local hospice’s biggest annual fundraisers. The event will help them provide expert end of life care to local terminally ill people and their friends and family, when life comes full circle. Currently, the hospice can only care for one in three people. But with the support of the community at events like Dragon Boats, the hospice wants to make sure that nobody faces death and loss alone.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Suzanne Davis, Corporate Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported or took part in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Your efforts take us a step nearer to reaching everyone who needs us. We hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did!

UK Power Networks, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

To find out about future St Catherine’s events, or how you can support the hospice, visit: www.stch.org.uk.

Continue Reading

Trending