CHERRY TREES MONTHLY SURREY ADVERTISER COLUMN - 8 It’s our 40th anniversary this year and we know exactly what we need and how you can help us. We are a small charity, in a pretty village, up a quiet country lane and we need more people to know we are here and to say yes to 2020 being a year to come and help us raise money for us. We need all of you – sporty types to take on challenges, local businesses and new clubs societies and individuals to get behind us taking on challenges, raising money and giving your time. Situated out on the fast A246 Epsom road between West Clandon and West Horsley you can easily drive right past us in a flash easily missing our bright red, white and green banner proudly displayed outside our ‘house’. Many have driven past our charity and then told us some time after they wondered for many years – ‘what is that place Cherry Trees?’ Often when talking to people about Cherry Trees their face falls into a wistful far-away-brain-scanning look before a soupy mix of words stumbling around between ‘children’s home… hospice, hospital or residential home’ when guessing what we do. It seems our present identity falls foul of its historical ancestry. For some, they better understand what was done in our main building back in 1903 when the country branch of The Alexandra Hospital opened here. At that time, our building was a convalescent home for children sent from London for treatment, rest and recovery from hip disease (or Tuberculous Arthritis). The commonality of this disease in the late 1800’s lead to three hospitals opening in fairly quick succession in Bloomsbury London before using the East Clandon site from 1903 until the outbreak of World War Two in 1936. As Alexandra Hospital gave way to Langford Cross Children’s home from 1938 onwards the affinity with caring for children and young people took on a new lease of life. In 1980 Cherry Trees was founded by a group of Doctors. This year we will be blowing out the candles on our 40th anniversary cake. Our respite breaks for children with disabilities are going strong and we are in demand! We want to make 2020 the year we meet, talk to, work with, and show so many more people that we aren’t a children’s hospital or any of the above but a thriving house where children with disabilities come to paint, pet ponies, camp out or get to join in with cookery club. At Cherry Trees we are at the forefront of working with the furthest fringes of minority groups and we champion all that we see our young people can do. Now we invite more people to become a new supporter in our 40th year. All our existing supporters have three things in common, they are: loyal, proactive and generous but we need more of them and this is our early doors message to our community to say please come and get to know us. We really are your local charity in Guildford, here to stop children with disabilities ending up in care and we want to keep on being here for another 40 years. We need more local businesses, schools, churches, people and clubs to come and get to know us and get involved. Do you have a friend that could ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 road race for us, do you have a team of employees who have an assigned charity day but don’t know what to do for it? Or perhaps you run a bakery and could donate 100 cherry tarts for our bridge tea? Upstairs the black and white photos from the times of Alexandra Hospital still hang in our corridors – rows of children primly tucked into starched beds, matron sitting at her desk and a caged parrot sits in the foreground adding an air of times now past. The iron bedsteads are long gone. Now a colorful playroom, a happy lively place for children of all disabilities to find fun and friendship. Our charities vision is “our doors will always be open to families in need throughout the South East, a much loved and supported charity” – please help us realize this by supporting Cherry Trees this year. Contact us on [email protected] with your ideas of how you'd like to help us.