PICTURES: Birthday afternoon tea at Chestnut Tree House

Around 100 guests celebrated the 15th birthday of Chestnut Tree House, enjoying a vintage afternoon tea at the children's hospice.

Lifetime Chestnut Tree House patron Ambrose Harcourt hosted the afternoon tea, and thanked the long list of people and local businesses who helped support the event.

Patron Ambrose Harcourt cutting the birthday cake at the party for Chestnut Tree House

Patron Ambrose Harcourt cutting the birthday cake at the party for Chestnut Tree House

He went on to talk about his memories of the Arundel-based hospice and how he felt when he first got involved with the charity in the late 1990s.

Guests included Caroline Nicholls, high sheriff of West Sussex; charity patrons and trustees; and a selection of people who were involved in establishing Chestnut Tree House between 1997 and 2003.

Parent Victoria Ramm spoke about what Chestnut Tree House means to her and her family. Victoria and her husband sadly lost two of their daughters, and spent precious time with them at the hospice, making memories.

She thanked all the guests at the event for continuing to support Chestnut Tree House, and expressed just how important the charity is to local families.

Hugh Lowson, chief executive officer of Chestnut Tree House, also spoke about the history of the hospice, recalling some of his early memories.

He discussed the future and how the charity needs to continue reaching out and helping more children and families in Sussex and South East Hampshire.

The cost of providing the hospice services is more than £3.9million per year. It receives less than six per cent central government funding so relies on the support of the community to continue providing care to children and families.

A representative from Chestnut Tree House said they would like to thank Brighton Hilton Metropole for loaning tablecloths, The Flower Shop, Littehampton for donating flowers for the tables, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College for making sandwiches and providing service during the event, The Lickfold Inn for donating some cheesecakes, South Lodge Hotel for making a special themed birthday cake, Seven Cellars for donating prosecco for the toast, and Tregothnan for donating tea and jam.