The biennial Chestnut Tree House Business Awards was held last week to recognise businesses and individual employees and thank them for supporting the charity. An uplifting and exciting event hosted by BBC presenter Allison Ferns and charity vice president Ambrose Harcourt.
Over 100 people attended the 2019 Chestnut Tree House Business Awards ceremony, which took place at South Lodge Hotel on Thursday 7 March.
Sarah Colbourne, Head of Fundraising at Chestnut Tree House said, “Last year we celebrated Chestnut Tree House’s 15th birthday – 15 years of caring for children and young people with life-shortening conditions in Sussex and South East Hampshire. Without the ongoing support and generosity of our local community, it would not be possible for us to continue. Businesses – large and small – are a huge part of that, and we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our supporters for everything that they do for Chestnut Tree House.”
There were over 80 nominations for eight awards, finally narrowed down by a panel of judges – leading entrepreneur and award-winning businessman, Kevin Byrne; Chestnut Tree House Trustee, Maureen Chowen; previous Business Award winner and company director, Colin Davis; and former events company director, Jon Rogers. In addition to the eight awards, a special ‘Corporate Legacy Award’ was presented at the end of the evening.
Photos: Graham Franks
The winners and grand finalists
Outstanding Individual Fundraiser: Jamie Alderton
Jamie Alderton first visited Chestnut Tree House in 2017, which inspired him to take on his first challenge for the charity – running backwards for 24 hours. With the aid of his large social media following, Jamie smashed his original fundraising target, raising almost £18,000 (before Gift Aid) and is now in training for his next charity challenge and World Record attempt – to box jump the height of Mount Everest in 24 hours!
Grand Finalists: Sarah Hurst and Lorrie Maslen
Fundraising Team of the Year: AJW Aviation
AJW Aviation have supported Chestnut Tree House for nine years, and last year alone raised over £12,000, bringing their total to £45,000 since 2010. Fundraising activities include cake sales, quizzes, a collection in the canteen, and a golf day. Three members of the team also took part in the Chestnut Tree House abseil at Arundel Castle.
Grand Finalists: Airwave and Barclays
Most Innovative Fundraising Idea: Dometic
After nominating Chestnut Tree House as their Charity of the Year in 2018, Dometic organised an Irish Barn Dance, where their supply chain manager led the dancing for three hours. The event raised £7,800.
Grand Finalists: David Page and Penguin Ventures
Outstanding Voluntary Project: Adam Kerry and friends
Last August, Adam Kerry and a group of his friends and family pushed a ‘Darling Buds of May’-style lorry for 20 miles, raising an incredible £34,380, which was donated to Chestnut Tree House and the Stroke Association. The team also wore Chestnut Tree branded t-shirts and caps, and displayed charity banners on the lorry.
Grand Finalists: Blue Dawg and Sophie Mitchell
Outstanding Small Business: The Green Tree Gallery
The Green Tree Gallery celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 by adopting Chestnut Tree House as their Charity of the Year. The year-long campaign included an exhibition themed on the charity, and they collaborated with local photographer Sophie Mitchell, curating an original exhibition featuring two Chestnut Tree House children. Their enthusiasm and commitment raised over £2,500.
Grand Finalists: Bramptons Butchers and Portslade Health Centre
Outstanding SME Supporter: Knockhatch Adventure Park
Knockhatch Adventure Park’s current fundraising total exceeds £6,000, but the support goes beyond that. They have also invited the hospice’s Community Team to visit during their regular care sessions with local children, completely free.
Grand Finalists: Bennett Griffin and Watsons Associates
Outstanding Corporate Supporter: Shoreham Vehicle Auctions
In 2011, Shoreham Vehicle Auctions chose Chestnut Tree House as one of the charities to benefit from a car and van auction, which raised over £1,900 for Chestnut Tree House. This figure doubled the following year, and the event kept on growing, raising a massive £34,000 last year. To date, they have raised over £134,000.
Grand Finalists: Green People and Vitacress
Outstanding Long Term Supporter: Teddy Bear Run
Set up in 2012, the Teddy Bear Run involves a group of car enthusiasts driving from Goodwood Motor Circuit to Chestnut Tree House every December to deliver teddy bears – and money raised – to the hospice. The first Teddy Bear Run was made up of 30 cars, but it now exceeds 120. Last year they raised £16,000, but it goes beyond that as they offer children at Chestnut Tree House a truly special experience to see and sit in the cars.
Grand Finalists: Creative Pod and South Lodge
Corporate Legacy Award: Willmott Dixon
In addition to the eight awards, Chestnut Tree House presented a special Corporate Legacy Award to Willmott Dixon. This new award was introduced to recognise the incredible commitment shown by Willmott Dixon, both in terms of fundraising and offering their time, skills and experience over the last five years. The organisation pride themselves in existing to have a purpose beyond profit, and have committed to making a meaningful, sustainable and positive impact on society. This is evident in their ongoing support of Chestnut Tree House.
By December last year, Willmott Dixon had raised over £700,000 for Chestnut Tree House
When Willmott Dixon chose to support the children’s hospice in 2014, their original goal was to raise at least £6,850 – the amount Chestnut Tree House needs to raise every day to pay for all their specialist care services. The team smashed this target, raising enough to pay for one week of care. In 2015, they paid for two weeks of care, which they then exceeded in 2016, 2017 and 2018. By December last year, Willmott Dixon had raised over £700,000 for Chestnut Tree House.
More than just money
But in addition to spending days volunteering within the grounds of the hospice and at the charity’s retail distribution centre, they have organised a Digger Day for the children, and even made and donated a short film, which enabled Chestnut Tree House to trial TV advertising. Individual members of the team also support the charity through their own fundraising endeavours, including running marathons.
On receiving the award, Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director, Construction in the Southern Counties, Willmott Dixon said: “Engaging with Chestnut Tree House is really meaningful to us. We all understand the work that they do, and we all understand how important it is, so it gives us a real purpose beyond profit. If all you do as a team is work for money, it’s not that satisfying. So, working for something else really makes us a better team.”
Sarah Colbourne, Head of Fundraising at Chestnut Tree House said: “I’ve seen first-hand how the Willmott Dixon team push themselves on challenges – they throw themselves wholeheartedly into everything they do and really go the extra mile to raise money for Chestnut Tree House. The amount they have raised over the years is incredible, but their legacy goes way beyond that.”
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