Locally, people often hear the words Chestnut Tree House and think we are a West Sussex charity. True, the house itself is just over the border near Worthing but the work we do extends across the whole of East and West Sussex.
Currently there are 88 children in East Sussex who are benefitting from the services Chestnut Tree House offers. This includes 27 in Eastbourne and the surrounding areas and 12 across Hastings and Rye.
Many of them do choose to access the house, giving them and their families short breaks, respite and emergency care. Our community team often help them in making practical arrangements for travelling across the county.
All of the children, however, access services in the community. This usually means that a community nurse will visit them in their own home and look after them or take them out to enjoy activities they may otherwise struggle to access.
Not only do the children enjoy their time with the community nurse but the rest of the family get some time to themselves. This might mean a relaxing bath, a chance to catch up on the soaps, or the opportunity for siblings to go out to the cinema or bowling, activities they can’t usually take part in as a family. Things most of us take for granted but that are luxuries for those who have round-the-clock responsibilities for a life-limited child.
We would love to help more children in East Sussex. In order to do this we need to spread the word that we are a local charity. So next time someone mentions us, why not tell them a bit about who we are and what we do? You can find out more by visiting www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk