Children’s hospice wants to help people in Lewes and Wealden

Community nurse Becky Argent
Community nurse Becky Argent

A children’s hospice wants to double the number of young people it helps in East Sussex.

Chestnut Tree, the children’s hospice service for Wealden, Lewes and Seahaven has launched its Hands Up campaign to ask people if they can help.

The charity is also appealing for people to support its work to reach more people in East Sussex, as it only receives eight per cent of its funding from the Government.

Community nurse manager at the hospice Karen Brailey said: “People assume that we are a West Sussex charity, but we work with families across the whole of East and West Sussex.

“We need to change this perception and let people know that we can offer care for children with life-shortening conditions and their families right here in Seahaven, Lewes and Wealden.

“We’re not asking people to put their hands in their pockets today, we’re asking them to put their hands in the air and say ‘Yes I’ll help.’

“That might mean getting your company involved, holding a fundraising event, volunteering, spreading the word or taking part in one of our sponsored challenges.”

Chestnut Tree cares for 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families, including 28 in Wealden, Lewes and Seahaven.

The hospice building near Worthing has ten beds providing specialist short breaks, emergency care, step down from hospital and end of life care.

A community team cares for families in their own homes.

Community nurse Beckie Argent works with children and families in East Sussex by visiting them at home.

She said: “Every day is completely different. One day I could be meeting a family for the first time, helping them come to terms with a diagnosis for their child and work out a way forward, the next I could be looking after a child we have known for years, offering their parents a precious few hours to themselves.

“And at other times I will be caring for a child at the end of their life, giving the family the opportunity to say goodbye to their child in their own way.”

To find out more visit Chestnut-Tree-House.org.uk/handsup, call 01323 725095 or email handsup@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk

Chestnut Tree House provides specialist palliative care services to 300 children and young people aged 0 - 19 with life-shortening conditions in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

Any family who thinks they may be eligible to receive support from Chestnut Tree and would like to find out more can visit the website Chestnut-Tree-House.org.uk or call the care team on 01903 871800.