Raymond Briggs’ classic 1978 picture book, The Snowman™ is loved by many, but the themes and emotions particularly resonate with Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and the families they care for. The young boy in the story gets to experience the most amazing adventure, but then he loses his new friend. But, when you think of The Snowman™, it’s not always the sad ending you remember. It’s the happy times they have together, and this is very much what Chestnut Tree House is about – providing wonderful care, experiences, and precious memories of happy times together.
The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction – supporting local children’s hospice care
At this time of year, the Chestnut Tree House fundraising team are usually busy with last minute preparations for the biggest event in their fundraising calendar – The Snowman™ Spectacular fundraising ball. Sadly, they had to take the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event due to COVID-19.
The event usually raises vital funds for the care of local children and their families. Last year alone, The Snowman™ Spectacular raised an incredible £404,665, thanks to the support of a host of generous sponsors, guests and donors.
The good news is that there is still a way you can get involved and be part of something really special this winter to support your local children’s hospice.
The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction is still taking place and went live on Saturday 7th November!
From one-off illustrations to cookery lessons, celebrity golf days and a VIP football experience, there is something for everyone. You can also make a difference to local children and families by choosing one of the special ‘Pay for Care’ lots.
By getting involved in The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction during November, you will be helping children with life-shortening conditions, and their families, across Sussex and South East Hampshire.
Your support will help families like Jack’s
Jack lives with his Mum, Emma, and Dad, Kevin. Like many eight-year olds, he loves spending time outdoors jumping on his trampoline and playing in the garden.
But for Jack’s family, his favourite things were once a distant dream. “Jack is our beautiful miracle baby,” says Emma. “At three weeks old, we thought we would have to say goodbye to him. They told us he would never walk, never sit up, never speak.” Jack was born with Lowe’s syndrome, a genetic disease that primarily affects his eyes, brain, and kidneys, resulting in Jack having severe complex medical needs and requiring 24-hour care.
When Jack was four years old, his school nurse recommended that the family seek support from Chestnut Tree House. “At the time I had heard of them, but I didn’t think we would qualify for their services. It took me a long time to come to terms with the word hospice. I did not know what to expect. A hospice sounds like a scary place,” says Emma.
After their referral, the family were invited to spend some time at the hospice. “I remember walking in and thinking ‘this is amazing’. Everyone made us feel at home, from receptionists and the housekeeping team to care staff, everyone made us feel welcome. And Jack loved it.”
Three years on, the family have regular visits from the community care team who visit them in their own home and take Jack out to explore the local community.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Jack and his family had to shield for a number of weeks. “Chestnut Tree House have kept in regular contact, we’ve had texts, phone calls, activity packs, everything! They are always there for us.
“It’s important to let you know that they are also there for the rubbish side of it as well. We know that time will come; Jack has a life-shortening condition. But we know that they make it that little bit more bearable.”
“We don’t know what we would do without Chestnut, we wouldn’t even want to think about it – it would be a nightmare. They are there for everything. They are always on the other end of the phone, they are so friendly, knowledgeable, and all-round amazing. They let Jack live his best life.”
Message from Chestnut Tree House Patron and creator of The Snowman™, Raymond Briggs CBE
When I created The Snowman over 40 years ago, I could never have imagined the pleasure he would bring to so many lives. I am delighted that my Snowman and I are involved with Chestnut Tree House, and I know what a huge difference this wonderful charity makes to children and families in our local community.
Every year, many of you give generously at The Snowman Spectacular fundraising ball, which helps Chestnut Tree House to continue to care for children across Sussex and South East Hampshire. Sadly, due to COVID-19, the event is not able to go ahead this year, but I hope you will all support The Snowman Spectacular Online Auction, which is still taking place.
This year has been difficult for many of us. But for families of children with life-shortening conditions, there have been even more challenges. Please support Chestnut Tree House so that they can continue to be there for the children and families who need them.
Thank you and wishing you a very Happy Christmas.
Patron of Chestnut Tree House
The Snowman™ Spectacular Online Auction is going live on Saturday 7th November and will close at 9pm on Saturday 5th December.
Find out more at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/christmas
Registered Charity Number 256789
© Snowman Enterprises Limited 2020.
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