Last Tuesday, a very special visit to Chestnut Tree House took place, as STEPS pop superstar Lee Latchford-Evans and renowned children’s entertainer Mark Jones visited the local children’s hospice in Arundel to spread some Aladdin magic to the staff and patients.
Dressed in their pantomime costumes, Lee (Aladdin) and Mark (Wishee Washee) were taken on a detailed tour of the house as they discovered the remarkable facilities, whilst meeting the staff, volunteers and patients. They even got the chance to interact with some of the children as they worked together to create miniature cut-out golden lamps.
Chestnut Tree House, which cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions, is the official charity partner of the Worthing Theatres pantomime, and this partnership has continued for the past three consecutive years.
In 2017 during Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the theatres managed to triple the funds raised for the children’s hospice compared to the previous year, so this time the theatres staff and volunteers are working extra hard to raise even more, with collection tins and post-show collection buckets.
The staff will also be taking part in an all-day Santa cycle at the Connaught Theatre on Wednesday 19 December, in which they will be attempting to beat last year’s distance where they cycled the entire length of Sussex.
Chestnut Tree House Community Fundraiser Caroline Roberts-Quigley says “We are so grateful to Worthing Theatres for once again choosing us to be their charity Pantomime partner. Every year the children look forward to meeting members of the cast at the house and enjoying the panto. On behalf of everyone at Chestnut Tree House, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you. We need to raise a staggering £6,850 every day to provide all of our specialist care services, so the support from Worthing Theatres and everyone who generously donates at the end of the performances is invaluable.”