Chestnut Tree House Donation

On 18th January 2017, Abigail Harley, community Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree, visited to Club for lunch and to talk to the Club about the work the charity does in the local community.
Following her talk, President Bill Pierce presented Abigail with a cheque made out to Chestnut Tree House for £340 raised from donations by Rotarians through our Christmas greetings in Newsmonger.
Chestnut Tree is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. We care for over 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families, both at our purpose-built hospice near Arundel and in families’ own homes across the region. This includes 10 families in Lewes and Seahaven.
We care for a whole variety of children, from new-born babies to 19 year olds, but they have one thing in common: they are unlikely to reach adulthood.
They often have complex medical and care needs, they can spend a lot of time in and out of hospital and they tend to need around the clock care. All of this takes a huge toll on families, which is where Chestnut Tree can step in.
We offer a range of services, from diagnosis, throughout a child’s life and beyond.
All families can use our hospice near Arundel for respite care and short breaks. We have an amazing house, which people often say feels like more of a home than a hospice, where children can swim, play, enjoy our sensory room, explore the gardens and accessible woodland walk, and have all their medical needs taken care of by highly skilled nurses and care support workers.
Sometimes families will stay at the house with their children, taking the time to be parents (or grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles) rather that carers or nurses. At other times, they may choose to leave their child in our expert care whilst they have a well-earned rest or spend time with other children and family members.
In addition to this we have a wonderful team of 22 community nurses and care support workers who visit families in their own homes. They are often the first person from Chestnut Tree that families will meet and they offer support, advice and guidance as well as regular care sessions at home that give parents and carers a break from the around the clock responsibilities of caring for a sick child.
The community team have fantastic relationships with the families for which they care. Parents and carers feel confident in talking about their child’s medical and care needs, they can ask for advice on any aspect of their child’s needs, and the team will often advocate for the child and family in meetings about their care.
Alongside this, Chestnut Tree offers a range of services to specific groups. Youth group allows over 12’s to get together and enjoy fun activities in a safe and supported environment whilst Saplings provides a space for parents with children under 5 to meet. We hold events for siblings, grandparents and those who have been bereaved, and we run a buddy scheme which allows young people from outside of Chestnut Tree to support those using our services. Young people - Youth Club, Buddy Scheme and transitional support into age appropriate services
As well as all of this, Chestnut Tree cares for families in their darkest hours. We can step in in a crisis, caring for a child when parents are unable to, or supporting them in hospital when their condition takes a turn for the worse. We also play an important role in end of life care. Families can choose where their child spends their final few days – in hospital, at the hospice or at home – and Chestnut Tree will work alongside other agencies to ensure the family is fully supported, whatever their choice.
Beyond this, we continue to offer bereavement support to families for as long as they need it.
We can only provide these services thanks to the generosity of the local community. It costs well over £3.5 million every year to provide all of our care and we receive less than 7% of our funding from central Government. Our costs continue to rise as we reach out to more families and children’s needs become ever greater.
Here in East Sussex we know that we are not reaching everyone who needs us, in fact we believe we can double the number of children for which we provide care, which is why we are asking the local community to put their Hands Up! if they think they could help. Whether that is by spreading the word about what we do, taking part in one of our events, putting on your own fundraiser or volunteering, we just need you to get in touch and pledge your support.
You can find out more at and you can contact Abigail at or on 01323 725095.

posted: Wednesday, 18 January 2017

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