Sussex charity thanks donors for vital festive funds

An Arundel children's charity has thanked its donors as the festive period saw vital funds raised.


Groups have been working hard throughout Christmas and beyond to raise vital funds for Chestnut Tree House.

Newbridge Nurseries Garden Centre in Broadbridge Heath has raised £25,600 since 2012 – enough to pay for more than three days of the charity’s care services.

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This year the garden centre has given its fundraising efforts a boost with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed grotto.

Chestnut Tree House community fundraiser, Jayne Todd said: “We are so grateful for the ongoing support from Newbridge Nurseries. Without support like this, we wouldn’t be able to continue helping local life-limited children and their families, so on behalf of everyone at the hospice, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you. There is still time to visit the grotto at Newbridge Nurseries. You might even get one of the special golden tickets!”

Organised in partnership with Billingshurst Rotary Club, the grotto opened on November 25 and is run entirely by volunteers.

The grotto is open on December 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24, and costs £6 per child. Every child receives a gift from Santa, with special prizes for anyone with a golden ticket, and all proceeds are donated to Chestnut Tree House.

The Walled Gardens in Cowdray held a Christmas carol concert on Sunday December 2.

Music came from a choir and the Petworth Town Band and raised £4,000.

Tickets for the carol concert were sold in aid of the Lions Club, who generously donated £500 to Chestnut Tree House.

The remaining £3,500 was raised from an auction, with a range of prizes from businesses on offer, including Champagne afternoon tea, a Christmas wreath, and a specially-designed cake.

Jenny Murrell, community fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House added: “£4,000 is an amazing amount to raise.

“We would like to thank the organisers and everyone who attended the Christmas concert at The Walled Gardens, as well as the Lions Club for donating part of the ticket sales.

“We need to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all the specialist care services at Chestnut Tree House.

“This money really will make a difference, and help us to continue caring for children with life-shortening conditions and their families.”

Chestnut Tree House 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 more than £3.9 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than six per cent central government funding.

The charity relies on the generosity and support of the community for funding.