There are few things more redolent of impending Christmas joy than the dulcet tones of Aled Jones. Immediately you’re transported through the air on a snowy adventure, floating in a moonlit sky…
This year, to help raise money for the Chestnut Tree House, around 100 children from Sussex and South East Hampshire entered a Christmas drawing competition, which was judged by Raymond Briggs CBE.
Open to children aged 4–12 years, the competition asked children to get inspired by Raymond’s iconic character, The Snowman, and draw or paint a spectacular snowman picture.
At the end of November, Raymond Briggs judged the competition, and selected 10 year-old Olivia Burke from Hove and seven year-old Steven Leitch from St Leonards on Sea as the winners.
Each winner received an Amazon Fire Tablet, £50 to spend on Penguin Random House books, and a copy of the 40th anniversary edition of The Snowman book signed by Raymond. The winners were invited to visit Chestnut Tree House on 14 December to receive their prizes from The Snowman.
Olivia’s mum said: “Olivia was so pleased when I told her she had won. Earlier this year, she started selling her pictures and paintings, and even had a stall at her school Christmas fair to raise money for a homeless charity. Winning this competition for Chestnut Tree House will inspire her to continue doing things for good causes, so we’re delighted.”
Due to the high standard of entries – and difficulty in narrowing it down to just two winners – Raymond also selected a runner-up in each age category. They will both receive a signed copy of The Snowman book.
Janet Parsons, Head of Communications at Chestnut Tree House said: “It was lovely to see so many children get involved and send in their drawings and paintings for the competition. Raymond spent a lot of time looking at all the entries, but in the end selected Olivia’s detailed sketch featuring a waving snowman and Santa’s sleigh flying in the sky; and Steven’s more abstract snowman design, drawn with white crayon on black paper.
“We would like to say a special thank you to our friend and Patron, Raymond Briggs, for giving up his time to judge the competition, as well as all the children who sent us their special snowman-themed designs. We really hope this initiative has helped raise awareness of Chestnut Tree House.”
Chestnut Tree House opened its doors on 11 November 2003 and currently provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex and South East Hampshire, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.9 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 6% central government funding so relies on the generosity and support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.