Tragic Essie's story inspires runners as Littlehampton 10k returns

After holding the Littlehampton 10k virtually last year, Chestnut Tree House is looking forward to bringing the live event back on Saturday, September 5.

Team Essie at the big race
Team Essie at the big race

After holding the Littlehampton 10k virtually last year, Chestnut Tree House is looking forward to bringing the live event back on Saturday, September 5.

“The Littlehampton 10k is such a well-loved event in the community,” says Andrew Battley at Chestnut Tree House. “It’s the perfect opportunity to kick those lockdown blues to the curb and take part in a charity run to support local children’s hospice care.”

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From Littlehampton beach promenade, the 10k route passes through residential Littlehampton, Rustington, and Mewsbrook Park.

Lorna and Steve Cobbett, Essie's parents

The run always attracts a variety of participants, from corporate teams and running clubs to individuals and groups – some pushing for a PB, others just wanting to get out running with friends.

The first team to sign up for this year’s live run was Team Essie, who have played a prominent part in the event since 2017. The team is open to everyone and was set up by Steve and Lorna Cobbett, in memory of their triplet daughter, Essie.

Lorna said: “Our daughter Essie was amazing, and she will forever be an inspiration. Without Chestnut Tree House giving us help with Essie we don’t know what we would have done. They changed our lives and running the Littlehampton 10k is a small way to say thank you.”

Essie was born prematurely on February 1 2016, along with her brother Roman and sister Eva. The day the triplets were born, Steve and Lorna found out Essie was very poorly. She had suffered a catastrophic brain injury at birth and was diagnosed as being life-limited when she was 11 days old.

Little Essie

On April 19, Essie finally came home from hospital and got to spend time with her triplet brother and sister. Shortly after, the family started to receive care from Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, where they were offered support and help to make precious memories together that will last them a lifetime.

“Essie fought through three end-of-life episodes at Chestnut Tree House to say ‘not now’ and came home to spend more time with us,” said Lorna. “For her last two end-of-life episodes, Essie clearly wanted to be at home, so with the support of Chestnut Tree House, we were able to make that happen.”

On August 13 2017, at just 18 months old, Essie flew away to be a shooting star, and Lorna and Steve said goodbye to her after spending a week at Chestnut Tree House in the Stars bereavement suite.

“We will forever be grateful to Chestnut Tree House for the help and support they gave us, and the way they cared for Essie. They rely on community support so that they can continue helping families like ours, so your donations are very much needed, now and in the future.”

The Chestnut Tree House Littlehampton 10k is now open for entries (minimum age 16 years). Standard entry costs £22, including chip-timing and a finisher medal.

Premium entry costs £45 and includes a Chestnut Tree House running vest.

Mr Battley said: “While we are all excited and looking forward to putting on the event, we are still very aware that things can change. The safety of our supporters, staff, and volunteers remains our top priority, and we want to assure everyone that we will continue to monitor the situation, and our Covid-19 promise means that you can register with confidence knowing that we will be putting your safety first.”

Find out more and sign up at