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Drawing with wolves - children with life-limiting conditions get rare day out

It's something most of us take for granted - a day out with the family. But for children receiving hospice care, it's all too rare.

A lack of facilities at museums and theatres, let alone ill-health, often means the severely disabled are stuck at home. But a project supporting children with life-limiting conditions, and their families, has begun in Sussex today.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to mothers Chrissie Buckingham and Apolina D Silva, as well as Kate Giles from the Jerwood Gallery and Susan Freeman of Chestnut Tree House.

Triplets Mum named 'top fundraiser'

Essie Cobbett

A mother of triplets who had to fight for extra support for her disabled baby daughter has been named 'top fundraiser' by a children's hospice.

Lorna Cobbett and her husband Steve, both from Horsham, joined the annual 10k run for Chestnut Tree House to say thank you for the support its given nine-month-old Essie.

Together the pair raised more than £1,600 and are now planning on taking part in the marathon every year as part of their daughter's legacy.

Lorna said: "Essie has stayed at the hospice quite a lot, where she's known as Princess Essie, and we also have a lot of support from them as a family.

"They come out and do babysitting for us, we get counselling from the chaplain, who is amazing, and they're really good at letting us use their hydrotherapy pool - we can't say thank you enough."


Text Santa raises £20,000 for Sussex hospice

ITV's Loose Women Denise Welch and Sally Lindsay taking part in Text Santa. Credit: PA

A Sussex children's hospice is due to receive more than £20,000 from ITV's charity fundraising campaign Text Santa.

Chestnut Tree House is one of 49 children's hospices across the UK to benefit from money raised in the TV appeal.

The 2012 Text Santa raised more than £5.2 million, which will equally benefit six UK charities including Together for Short Lives, the leading charity for UK children's hospices.

Linda Perry, director of children's services at Chestnut Tree House, said: "We are thrilled that the funds raised from Text Santa will benefit children and families in East and West Sussex supported by Chestnut Tree House.

"We are just one of the 49 children's hospice services to benefit from the money donated by ITV viewers which will help support thousands of families caring for a child with a life-limiting illness."

More than five million viewers tuned in to see the entertainment extravaganza on December 21. The show featured ITV's best-loved presenters introducing star guests, live performances and special mini episodes of ITV's biggest shows.

The appeal was presented by Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield, Christine Bleakley, Paddy McGuinness and Together for Short Lives Patron Holly Willoughby.

Santa runners preparing for charity race

Santa fun runners assemble for run in Crawley Credit: Nashreen Issa

Hundreds of people dressed as Santa have gathered in Crawley for a 'Santa Fun Run'. Grown ups and children are taking part. The event is raising money for the Chestnut Tree House children's hospice.

Fun runners pose for the cameras ahead of Crawley's Santa Run
More participants dressed up in Santa suits