Hastings artist Lester Magoogan has been named as one of the patrons to help Chestnut Tree House celebrate 15 years of caring for life-limited children in Sussex.
The group of birthday patrons has been created to support the work of Chestnut Tree House throughout the year, alongside existing patrons of the charity, which include Snowman creator Raymond Briggs .
Lester is joined by paralympic equestrian champion Natasha Baker, author Julia Donaldson, singer Chesney Hawkes, East Sussex ambassadors Jacquie and Barry Hinves, model Jodie Kidd, international polo player Nic Roldan, Brighton and Hove Albion FC captain Bruno Saltor, musician Joe Stilgoe and businessman Matt Turner.
Former Hastings College student Lester, who has Down’s Syndrome, first put his artwork on show at Pissarro’s pub in 1999 and went on to exhibit at Tate Modern, the Strand Gallery in London and The Lowry in Manchester.
Since then he has exhibited across the world in places including Siberia, Hong Kong and New York.
Linda Perry, director of children’s services at Chestnut Tree House, said: “The hospice itself may not have opened until 2003 but there was work going on in the background around the need for palliative care for children in Sussex since 1997.
“Chestnut Tree’s community team was launched in 2001, with the first charity shop opening the following year. Then the house was built and officially opened on November 11, 2003, by Princess Alexandra.
“A lot has changed since we first opened our doors in 2003 and we could not have helped the 833 children and families we have over the last 15 years without the help and support of the local community.
“Without the donations, fundraisers, volunteers and gifts in wills, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue providing the specialist care that is vital to so many children and young people in Sussex. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us over the past 15 years. Our patrons are great ambassadors for Chestnut Tree House, offering us a range of support and advice, and we look forward to working with our honorary 15th birthday patrons during 2018.”
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