Community care: beyond respite

Chestnut Tree House Update SUS-140508-070644001
Chestnut Tree House Update SUS-140508-070644001

The community team here at Chestnut Tree House do an amazing job visiting children with life-limiting conditions and their families at home. Time and time again I hear what a lifeline this service is, offering parents and siblings a break from the round-the-clock responsibilities of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition.

However, our care goes beyond this. Recently, one of the families who we help in Eastbourne needed a new car seat for their child, but it was going to cost £1,700 for the specialist seat. Their community nurse helped them complete an application for funding which was successful and means that their daughter can now travel in safety with the rest of the family.

We also have plenty of opportunities for families to spend time simply enjoying themselves.

Last week Gatwick Airport hosted a teddy bears picnic for our Chestnut Tree house families, where the children and their siblings got the chance to meet BBC Children in Need’s Pudsey and Bliss, were entertained by Dave Benson Phillips and met fireman and police dogs.

And two weeks ago two of our Chestnut Tree House mums enjoyed a very special lunch with TV actresses, Julie Graham and Tamzin Outhwaite at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel which had been generously donated by the hotel and Southern Water.

Of course, we can only continue to offer our highly tailored community care with the support and generosity of the local community. It costs well over £3 million pounds every year to offer all of our care services and we receive less than 8% of our funding from central government.

You can find out about the work we do and ways you can support us at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.