Celebrated since 1926 by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, World Thinking Day (22 February) is a day of international friendship. A day to be inspired and speak out about issues. To make a difference by fundraising. To mark World Thinking Day 2019, Girlguiding Sussex West County have chosen to support’s ‘Pay for a Day’ initiative, paying for all the hospice’s care services (£6,850) on Friday 22 February 2019. Girlguiding Sussex West County raised £22,500 last year.
On Thursday 21 February, a group of representatives from Girlguiding Sussex West County, including County Commissioner, Amanda Teasel; Assistant Division Commissioner Adur Valley, Carol Yeend; and Chair of Finance, Yvonne Piper, visited the children’s hospice near Arundel, to receive their ‘Pay for a Day’ certificate. They were joined by members of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, as well as Chestnut Tree House’s fundraising team and the charity’s Interim CEO, Rosemarie Finley. Community Fundraiser, Caroline Roberts-Quigley gave the group a short talk about the work of Chestnut Tree House and how the money raised will make a difference. She then showed the group around hospice’s Woodland Walk.
The relationship between Girlguiding Sussex West and Chestnut Tree House began in 2015, when Carol Yeend, Guide Leader of Shoreham, Southwick and Kingston Buci Girlguiding District, suggested holding a sponsored walk for the charity’s annual ‘Reindeer Run’ fundraising initiative. The first Girlguiding ‘Reindeer Ramble’ for Chestnut Tree House raised £432, which they increased to just over £2,000 the following year.
These achievements led to the creation of a specific ‘Reindeer Ramble’ badge for the Adur Valley Division in 2017, and £2,253 was raised.
In 2018 – Chestnut Tree House’s 15th birthday year – the second ‘Reindeer Ramble’ badge was produced and seven divisions within Girlguiding Sussex West took part, raising £22,500.
Caroline Roberts-Quigley, Community Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House said: “We are delighted that Girlguiding Sussex West are so engaged with our festive fundraising campaign. Reindeer Rambles are a great way to raise vital funds for us, but they also do a lot in terms of raising awareness in the local community. We feel honoured that there is a dedicated Reindeer Ramble badge and would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved for raising so much money.
“We need to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all Chestnut Tree House’s specialist care services, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes, so support like this really is invaluable. It is especially poignant that Girlguiding Sussex West have chosen to ‘Pay for a Day’ on World Thinking Day, when Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world are speaking out about the issues they care about. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Chestnut Tree House opened its doors in 2003 and currently 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 service is over £3.9 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 6% central government funding so relies on the generosity and support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.