ENGLAND and Sussex cricketer Matt Prior has named Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice as one of his chosen charities for his benefit year in 2012.
The wicket-keeper/batsman, a member of England’s successful Ashes teams which defeated Australia in 2009 and 2010/11, first visited the hospice, at Poling, two years ago with his county squad.
He said: “I was blown away by Chestnut Tree House and the care they provide for life-limited children and their families. I came away that day knowing that it was a pretty special place and promising myself that as a local resident I would do something to help the hospice.
“When I heard about the benefit year, I knew immediately that this was one way to help Chestnut Tree House and give something back to my local community.”
Matt visited the hospice again just before Christmas, taking his family with him to have a tour and to meet some of the children, staff and volunteers.
Linda Perry, director of children’s services at the hospice, said: “It is a real honour that Matt has chosen Chestnut Tree House as his charity for his benefit year. As a family man himself and as a Sussex resident, he really understands the importance of the expert palliative care we provide to these special children and their families.”
Matt has promised to continue helping Chestnut Tree House when his benefit year is over, and to cement the special relationship, Lady Sarah Clutton, the charity’s president, invited Matt to become a patron.
Linda added: “We were all delighted when Matt accepted the honorary position of patron and we know that he will be a great supporter and ambassador for Chestnut Tree House, helping us to raise funds and awareness across Sussex.”