Ron praised for raising more than £2,000

Ron Haines. Picture: Chestnut Sussex
Ron Haines. Picture: Chestnut Sussex

An 82-year-old man from Burgess Hill has been praised for raising more than £2,800 for Chestnut Tree House.

Ron Haines, along with his ten siblings, has been raising money for charities for 20 years and supporting Chestnut Tree House – the children’s hospice for the south coast – since 2012.

Jayne Todd, community fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Ron for his hard work over the last few years.

“It costs us over £3.5 million each year to provide all the specialist care services to local life-limited children and their families.

“Only 7 per cent of this comes from central government funding, so the support of the local community, and people like Ron, is invaluable to us.

“The amount Ron has raised for us will cover the cost of a three-night break at Chestnut Tree House for a child, allowing them to enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, relax in the multi-sensory room and join in with a host of activities, as well as giving three children the chance to visit the hospice for the day.

“From everyone at Chestnut Tree House, we would like to say a massive thank you.”

As a result of his charitable achievements, Ron – who was born and brought up in Burgess Hill – has collected numerous accolades, including an invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in 2001.

Born in October 1934, he attended Junction Road School and London Road School in Burgess Hill, before taking up work as an errand boy for a local wine merchant.

In 1953, he volunteered for the army for a short time and then worked as a building labourer from 1953 to 1957.

A nasty motorbike accident in 1957 led to a seven-month hospital stay and left Ron disabled.

After lengthy rehabilitation, he started to work on the railways in 1970.

Ron regularly sets up stands in The Martlets Shopping Centre and Market Place Shopping in the heart of Burgess Hill, where he plays music and collects more money for Chestnut Tree House.

His sister also makes bonnets, which people can have in return for a donation.

So far he has raised £2,818 to help Chestnut Tree House continue providing care.

Ron Haines added: “I just do it because I like doing it, and it helps people.

“I started because I had received so much help from the NHS, and lots of wonderful care for myself, and it is my little way of giving back and saying thank you.

“I couldn’t do it without the support of the people of Burgess Hill, and visitors to the town from surrounding areas.”