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With local children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House announced as Worthing Theatres official charity partner for their pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the theatres staff have been busy organising fundraising events to help raise money and awareness for the Sussex children’s hospice, which cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

The cast of Snow White recently paid a visit to the house in Arundel to meet the children and staff at Chestnut Tree House. Dressed as their characters in the production, Chesney Hawkes (Prince Benedict), Cassie Compton (Snow White) and the CBeebies duo Richard David-Caine (‘Orrible Herman) and Joseph Elliott (Muddles) arrived at the house, and were given a tour of the hospice, originally led by staff members, until one of the children decided to take over and gave them the grand tour of the entire house.

On Thursday 21 December the Worthing Theatres staff will be working together to pull off an all-day Santa cycle at the Connaught Theatre. From 9.30am to 4.30pm, a member of theatres’ staff will be dressed as Father Christmas, with outfits provided by Chestnut Tree House, and will cycle non-stop on an electronic bicycle donated by South Downs Leisure, taking turns for an hour each throughout the day. To donate visit justgiving.com/wtsantacycle.

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, Community Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House says “Worthing Theatres have been incredible in their support over the last couple of years – both in terms of raising funds and awareness of our services – and we would like to thank everyone there for their commitment and enthusiasm. As a charity, we need to raise £6,850 per day to provide all our specialist care services, both at the hospice and out in the community, and without the support of individuals and organisations in the local area it would not be possible for us to continue helping so many children and families. In addition to raising vital funds for Chestnut Tree House, Worthing Theatres have shown their support in other ways, most recently by arranging for the cast of the Snow White pantomime to visit the hospice and meet some of the children and families. We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved.”

Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, says “Pantomime is all about bringing families together over the festive period, and having Chestnut Tree House as our official charity for Snow White is a very special partnership for us. The theatres team are working hard to raise funds and awareness for this magnificent cause, and all donations people can contribute are very gratefully accepted. A huge thank you also to South Downs Leisure, who have very generously donated their equipment to support our upcoming fundraising event.”

For people wishing to contribute funds throughout the pantomime, the charity will have collection tins at the Pavilion Café Bar, as well as volunteers with collection buckets at various performances. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs until Monday 1st January; for more information visit worthingtheatres.co.uk or chestnut-tree-house.org.uk