Hilary Bearchell from Ringwood is a very deserving winner of the Chestnut Tree House Lottery, over the years she has been responsible for raising over £20,000 for the charity.
Hilary, who won £250, was a financial consultant with the Nationwide Building Society before going into management there, and had an idea for a calendar to raise money.
“With 12 branches of Nationwide in West Sussex I thought it would be fun to get the 12 managers – and maybe the custom service managers – in a funny pose, one for each month. But when I mentioned it to head office they told me it was such a good idea they would do it nationwide.
She smiled, “I felt a bit cross about them pinching my idea. I knew the chief executive of Nationwide at the time and he asked me if it would ease my pain if he made a cheque for £10,000 out to Chestnut Tree House.
“So we came along with this big presentation cheque. And what really impressed us, when we went to Chestnut Tree House, is that they gave us a cup of tea and a biscuit. We were really delighted that they hadn’t laid anything on, like champagne. Because that meant all the money was going to the charity, which is how it should be.”
When Hilary’s son, Tony, cycled to Paris with a friend in 2016 for charity, raising about £10,000, that also went to Chestnut Tree House because of his mother’s connection with the charity.
“It dates back to when a friend of mine had a child with leukaemia. There was no hospice like Chestnut Tree House around then then. So my friend had no help during that horrific year. It would have been lovely if it had been about then. So we have been supporting the charity for about 13 years. They do such wonderful work.
“When Patrick and I were married we told people that we had everything we needed. But we said that if they really wanted to do something they could buy us a bottle of champagne – because we always like a glass of champagne – or make a donation to Chestnut Tree House. We got about £450 for Chestnut on that occasion.”
Chestnut Tree House uses the money raised by Lottery players to provide the best care to local children and families. It costs just £1 a week to play and our Lottery pays for one in every four days of hospice care.
Play now for your chance to become our next hospice Lottery winner of £1,000 – there are 22 other weekly cash prizes to be won.