Worthing Theatres double their donation to Chestnut Tree House hospice after panto success

Dave Lynn - Widow Twankey
Dave Lynn - Widow Twankey

Worthing Theatres have announced that across their recent record-breaking pantomime Aladdin, customers and staff raised £8,070 for the children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House – twice as much as the previous year’s fundraising efforts from Snow White.

Since the charity partnership was first formed in 2016, the total funds accumulated now stands at £13,076.

Amanda O Reilly, head of culture for Worthing Theatres, said: “Customers generously donated at the bucket collections after each performance of the pantomime, which was recently revealed to be their best-selling Christmas production of all time.

“Staff at Worthing Theatres were keen to get involved in the fundraising endeavours as they pushed themselves to the limit in their all day Santa cycle at the Connaught Theatre, where they cycled the length of Sussex on an indoor electronic bike generously donated by South Downs Leisure, dressed in festive costumes to support the cause.

“The cast also paid a special visit to the children’s hospice in Arundel as STEPS singer Lee Latchford-Evans and renowned children’s entertainer Mark Jones visited the staff, volunteers and children at the house.

“Dressed in their pantomime costumes, the two of them took an extensive tour of the facilities and created Aladdin themed golden lamps with the children on the day. They even had a play on the house’s new state of the art games projector, where Aladdin and Wishee Washee played a match against each other on an interactive football pitch, which ended in a friendly draw.”

Chestnut Tree House cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

Amanda added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to our staff and customers who generously donated their money to support such a fantastic cause. We’re very proud to have Chestnut Tree House as our official pantomime charity partner; as an organisation, connecting with our local community is an essential part of everything we do, and to have raised such a substantial amount, which increases year upon year, is wonderful.”

Chestnut Tree House community fundraiser Caroline Roberts-Quigley said: “I was astonished to learn that over £8,000 was raised. The generosity of people living in our local communities is heart-warming. Everyone at Chestnut Tree House would like to say a most grateful thank you to Worthing Theatres for choosing us as their Pantomime Partner and to everyone who gave so generously, which makes a real difference to the life-limited children and families we support.

“We have to raise £6,850 every day to pay for a day of care at Chestnut Tree House, provided at the house and in the children’s own homes. It now costs over £3.9 million a year to provide our care services and families are never charged.”

Tickets are on sale for next year’s pantomime Cinderella, which runs at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing from Friday, November 29 2019 to Sunday, January 5 2020. For more information on tickets visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01903 206206.

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