Hospice user urges people to enter £1 million house prize draw for charity.


There is currently a prize draw to win a £1 million house for as little as £2.    10% of the money raised will go to Chestnut Tree House (a charity providing hospice care for children and young people based in Sussex) and St Barnabas House (a charity providing palliative care to adults in the Worthing area).  Becca Torricelli, a long-standing user of the children’s hospice, talks about the importance of Chestnut Tree House and what this money would mean to the charity.

The ‘Dream Home Prize Draw’ to win a £1.25 million house is now well under way. The general public can purchase as many £2 tickets as they like to be in with the chance of winning a stunning four-bedroom seaside house in West Sussex. 10% of the sales will be going to local hospices, Chestnut Tree House – who care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and St Barnabas House – who provide palliative to adults with life-limiting illnesses, both at the hospice and at home.

West Sussex man, Peter Pearce, decided to launch the once-in-a-lifetime prize draw after seeing a crisis appeal from the hospices earlier this year. Learning that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused the charity’s fundraising income to plummet by 70%, he wanted to do something to help, to ensure the hospices can continue to be there for local children, adults and families who need them, now and in the future.

A long-standing user of Chestnut Tree House, Becca Torricelli, has spoken out about the ‘life-saving’ impact the charity has had on her and her family, and how this prize draw will help.

Becca has a rare neuromuscular condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and has been receiving respite care from Chestnut Tree House since she was five years old, when the hospice first opened in 2003.

“My condition affects every part of my daily life. I use an electric wheelchair 24/7 as I have never been able to walk. All my muscles are extremely weak so I need help with pretty much everything you can think of; not just getting dressed and out of bed in the morning, but simple things like picking up a glass of water, or being passed the TV remote. At five years old, my mum was doing all of my care, as well as looking after my two-year-old little brother. As you can imagine, this was absolutely exhausting for her and things were pretty tough at home, but going to Chestnut was like a safe haven for us all. We used to go and stay as a family, and while my mum knew that I was being cared for by medical professionals, it gave us all time to be just that – a family. 

“I think there are some misconceptions around hospice environments; people often think they are very medical, scary places, but Chestnut has always been a home away from home for my family and me. The house is beautifully decorated and there are so many fun things to do for children of all ages and abilities: there are music, cinema, and sensory rooms, a massive garden with a play park, and you can do all manner of arts and crafts, to name but a few things. Of course, the medical aspect is there, but it’s done very discreetly and respectfully so that you don’t really notice that side of things.”

We asked her how beneficial the house prize draw will be for Chestnut Tree House:

“It costs £4.6 million each year to provide all Chestnut’s specialist care services. They receive very little government funding, so rely almost solely on fundraising and donations to continue supporting families like mine in truly difficult times, and they’ve been hit so hard by the pandemic. Most children cared for by Chestnut Tree House are vulnerable and will therefore have been shielding since March, most likely without care. Many families will be on their knees after such a long period without support, which is why it’s imperative, now more than ever, that the hospice can continue providing care, help and support. So please, buy some prize draw tickets – you’ll be supporting an amazing charity, and could win a £1 million house… what’s not to love?”

The Dream Home Prize Draw ends on 31st August and Peter Pearce hopes to sell as many tickets as possible to support Chestnut Tree House and St Barnabas House hospices. The higher the total sales, the higher the donation to the charities; head over to https://www.dreamhomeprizedraw.com to buy your tickets now, and be in with the chance of winning a £1 million house!