Valentine’s challenge for Sussex children’s charity could see romance blossom

Signing up for a challenge to support a Sussex children’s charity could bring you more than just a feelgood factor and a boost to the charity’s funds.

Chailey Heritage Foundation has a knack of playing Cupid and bringing couples together.

Chailey Heritage’s IT Manager, Tyrone Da Silva, met his partner, Connie Baldwin, a former social care administrator at the charity five years ago.

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Together with colleagues, the couple took part in a Wolf Run – a hardcore mud and trail run – to help raise funds for the charity.

Chailey Tyrone and Connie SUS-210102-124834001

Connie said: “We took part in the Wolf Run about two years after we first started seeing each other. It was a great thing to do together and raise funds for Chailey Heritage. We supported each other all the way round. It was a tough challenge and a good test of our relationship!”

The challenge proved to be a good omen for Tyrone and Connie, now living in Hailsham. Their son, Otis, was born in October 2020 and the couple got engaged at Christmas.

Jeremy and Anna Clark also have a romantic tale to tell. They met when Anna was a student at Chailey Heritage School after a mutual friend played matchmaker and the couple decided to tie the knot in 2009.

The Clarks moved to Burgess Hill, but have kept their link to Chailey Heritage, by now coming to the LSC, a specialist activity centre for people with disabilities. Anna has cerebral palsy and Jeremy has the same condition but with the added complication of haemophilia. This means that the couple, who are keen to keep fit, need a specialist gym and instructors.

Chailey Heritage Jeremy and Anna SUS-210102-124824001

The gym at the Charity’s LSC in North Chailey allows Anna and Jeremy to exercise safely and effectively. Due to Covid-19, they currently take part in classes online provided by the LSC.

Jeremy said: “We both love the LSC gym and the challenges the instructors set for us. We took part in the inaugural ‘Chailey Games’ in 2019. I won a gold medal for boxing and Anna won gold for weightlifting. We were so proud to be able to take part and achieve our goals together. We are both looking forward to taking part in another challenge as soon as we can.”

This year’s Chailey Valentine’s Challenge is a virtual run of 5 or 10k. Participants can take part as a pair or as a lonely heart. All the funds raised will go to supporting children and young people with complex physical disabilities at the Charity’s base in Sussex.

Chailey Heritage’s Community and Events Fundraiser, Joy Dyson, said, “We know that the lockdown makes fundraising more challenging but we are hoping that our virtual Valentine’s run will provide a fun challenge during lockdown. Sharing the challenge and supporting each other on social media or in a support bubble will make the event extra special. And who knows – the Chailey Cupid may strike again!”

There are more details on the Chailey Valentine’s Challenge, including how to sign up and take part on the charity’s website Virtual Valentines Run (

Chailey Heritage Foundation is a charity providing education, care and transition services to children and young adults with complex physical disabilities. Their mission is to give disabled children and young adults every opportunity to pursue their fullest potential.