There was a great turn out for ellenor Children’s Hospice Care (formerly chYps) annual Chilli Dip, as friends and family were on side to watch 28 supporters brave the freezing waters of the outside pool at St Julian’s Club in Sevenoaks on Saturday 6 February. The hardy group jumped into the water to raise money to support families facing terminal illness and were rewarded afterwards with a steaming bowl of chilli.

ellenor chilli dipThis year, a group of eight from ellenor corporate supporter, Paddock Wood-based Baxall Construction, took part and proved that it’s an event for all ages. The group of hardy dippers included a 20-year-old apprentice from the company and a staff member aged 64 and, between them, their brave efforts raised more than £400 to support families facing terminal illness. “I am extremely proud of our group of guys who plunged into the freezing waters – they all signed up of their own accord,” says Malcolm Clarke, Managing Director at Baxall Construction. “The team at Baxall is very engaged about supporting ellenor. A lot of our staff have children and grandchildren and they want to support a charity which works with young people.”

The Chilli Dip began with the now traditional dive-in by members from the Sevenoaks Sharks Waterpolo team – who have raised more than £500 this year. The group included 65 year old Robert Lench – who was dipping for the third year running. “I love taking part in this event,” he says. “It’s always great fun and ellenor is a fabulous local charity to support.”


Doing the dip for the second year was Chloe Stephens, a personal trainer, who runs Tonbridge Boot Camps. This year she’d brought along two boot camp regulars, Kerry Ashdown and Louise Haines. “I love supporting ellenor – but I also think it’s important to set personal goals and the Chilli Dip is a fabulous challenge,” says Chloe. “Next up for me is the ellenor firewalk in March, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Two members of the ellenor team also braved the Chilli Dip – PR Manager, Angela Ward and Director of Patient Care, Jacquie Hackett. In her role, Jacquie sees first-hand how the money raised by the charity’s supporters – at events like the Chilli Dip and out in the community – is being spent. ellenor is the only charity in the county that provides hospice care for people of all ages – babies, children and adults – and their families. This includes pain and symptom relief, end of life care, respite, bereavement support and emotional and spiritual care.

“As a charity and not part of the NHS, ellenor needs to raise over £6.7 million each year to provide our round the clock care for families facing terminal illness,” she explains. “I felt it was important to support an event put on by our events team. I really fancied doing the Chilli Dip last year – so, this year, I signed-up and I really enjoyed it.”