Give time to hospice, volunteer urges

Volunteer Gill Chapple, 69, with fellow helper Alan
Volunteer Gill Chapple, 69, with fellow helper Alan

A volunteer for a children’s hospice is asking East Sussex residents if they can spare a few hours to help it raise funds and awareness.

Gill Chapple, 69, from Eastbourne, has been giving her time to Chestnut Tree House for the past six years and is encouraging others to get involved.

She heard about the charity through a friend and got in touch to find out how she could help, eventually becoming a collection box co-ordinator – a role she has held since.

“It fits right into my life,” she said. “If I’ve got a bit of spare time then I can organise some collections and just pick the boxes up when I’m passing.”

As well as her regular role, Gill also helps out at events.

“I receive a list of opportunities by email and just do whatever I fancy that fits around my life.

“I love handing out the medals at the [Eastbourne] Night to Remember midnight walk, but I also help with raffles and tombolas, man awareness stands and organise monthly table games evenings. These have proved a great success, good fun and raised almost £600 in a year.

“It sounds like a lot but really it isn’t, I can pick and choose what I do and there is never any pressure. If I can’t do something it isn’t a problem.”

Asked why she volunteers, Gill said: “I just feel so blessed and this is my way of giving something back.”

“It’s just really fun. I love being with people and I meet so many through volunteering with Chestnut Tree.”

Chestnut Tree House says it cares for more than 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families. Its Hands Up! campaign has been asking East Sussex residents to get involved, by fundraising, participating, donating or volunteering.

Gill added: “I’m always encouraging my friends and family to put their Hands Up! and get involved and now I want to extend that to the whole of East Sussex. You can really do as much or as little as you want and the whole ethos at Chestnut Tree is really friendly and nice.”

For more details about volunteering roles call 01323 725095, or visit

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