Fancy dress fundraiser for Chestnut Tree Hospice

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ESTATE agents took to the saddle to contribute towards ill children’s Christmas dinner.

The team at Bell and Blake pedalled through the South Downs singing Christmas carols and stopping at various pubs to make collections.

“It went well. We basically set out from Chichester about midday on Saturday,” said partner Andy Daniel.

“All of us had fancy dress on and all of our bikes were covered in lights.

“We stopped at about 12 pubs en route.

“There were 12 of us. We had seven reindeers, three or four Santas and one guy dressed as Mrs Santa, which was a bit weird.

“We were singing Christmas carols all the way round and finished at 9pm at night.

“It was good fun. We do it every year and last year we did it in fancy dress.”

Previously, the group had done it as a festive end-of-year event, but this year the decision was taken to use it as a fundraising opportunity.

Andy added: “Our goal was to raise money for the children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House.

“The money raised is to pay for their Christmas dinner.

“Money was donated after singing Christmas hymns to all the lucky people at each stop.”

So far, more than £500 has been raised from the carol singing and cycling.

The 25-mile route over the Downs visited the following pubs: The George and Dragon, in Chichester, Earl of March, in Lavant, Royal Oak, in Lavant, Horse and Groom, in East Ashling, Fox and Hounds, in Funtington, Barley Mow, in Walderton, Hare and Hounds, Stoughton, White Horse, Chilgrove, The Dean, West Dean.

The group then returned to Chichester, stopping once again at the George and Dragon, in North Street.

Some pubs donated to the team’s cause, as well as the people visiting the pub.

Andy especially mentioned the Fox and Hounds, in Funtington, which he said was the most generous.

He said the team had chosen to donate to Chestnut Tree Hospice, because rather than donating to a larger national charity they could directly see the good that their fundraising would be put towards.

The hospice is based in Arundel and provides support to children who are terminally ill and their families.

It is the only children’s hospice in Sussex and cares for 280 children and young adults up to 25 years of age.

The team is still collecting donations towards the Christmas meal, so click here to sponsor them.