Category Archives: Blog

Father Christmas at St George’s 2023

We had an amazing day at St George’s Hospital handing out presents to the children who are unlucky enough to be in hospital this time of year.

You can see all the photos here  and patients and familes can download hi res versions for printing and sharing.

Thank you so much to Tracey and her team of play specialists who helped us prepare and to Janine and Hayley who came around the wards with us. As usual our wonderful trustees Darren and Amy chose and wrapped the presents and this year Darren stepped in as the photographer and as you can see did a fabulous job.

As usual I was blown away by the energy, dilligence and love from all of the staff at St George’s. Thank you for all the effort you put in, often under difficult circumstances.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Christian Blandford Fund.

Posted in Blog, Things We've Done.

Father Christmas at St George’s 2022

It was wonderful being back at St George’s for a father Christmas visit after 2 years away!


We have put the photos up for friends and families of the patients to download here

Thank you to our trusty trustees Darren and Amy  and their families for wrapping all the presents. Thank you to lovely Annie Stevens for stepping in as the photographer at the last minute, you did a great job! Thank you to the play specialists at St George’s for making it happen, particularly Hazel who was incredible all day.

Finally and mostly, thank you to all the staff at St George’s for the work you do and the energy you put into your day. I am always amazed, touched and humbled by the passion I see from every member of staff. You are all overworked, you are all under appreciated and you are all incredible. The love and compassion you have for your patients is a pleasure to witness.

Merry Christmas and lots of love from everybody at The Christian Blandford Fund.

Posted in Blog, Christian's Story, Things We've Done. Tagged with , , , .

Goodbye Brenda

Brenda Trenowden

Brenda Trenowden and her wonderful husband Mark (Trend) have been one of Peter and Claudia's closest friends since we were all young and fun as new parents in Clapham. They were very loving and supportive all those years ago when Christian was ill, frequently visiting us at The Royal Marsden and St George's, often bringing some delicious soup, and always a bottle of wine. We all remained great friends and they moved to Sevenoaks not long after us, following that well trodden path from Nappy Valley to Kent life.
While Trend looked after the home and their wonderful kids, Teddy and India, Brenda's career flourished. Brenda believed in her work and her passion led her not only to personal success, but to have genuine influence in the lives of many others. Trend's importance in this success can not be underemphasised, there is a great interview on the BBC i-player where Brenda called Trend, "The chief household officer", and I know how much Brenda depended on Trend's perpetual support.
Brenda has been one of the UK's most prominent diversity champions having been chair of the 30% club from 2015 to 2018. During her tenure, Brenda set the deadline for the campaign's initial aim of women making up 30% of FTSE 100 boards. In 2018 she was awarded a CBE for services to the financial sector and gender equality.
Brenda went on to be a partner at PWC, a trustee of The Royal Marsden and the senior independent Director on the England and Wales Cricket Board, I love how this position demonstrates how Brenda could walk the walk and well as talking it!
The extraordinary thing is that much of what Brenda achieved, she achieved while coping with a horrible and rare form of cancer which was diagnosed in 2016. While many of us would have folded and reverted into a spiral of self pity, Brenda didn't. She worked, she raised her family, she supported others, she partied and she lived her life. Brenda and Trend chronicled her journey in her blog Brenda won't back down, it remains as a fitting testament to a truly wonderful person.
Brenda's influence reached far and wide, but also close to home. Her passion, work ethic and ambition fed through to Teddy and India who, as well as being lovely human beings, are both smart, driven and have achieved excellent academic results.
Very few people leave this world inspiring and improving the lives of as many people as Brenda has. We are touched, honoured and humbled that Trend has decided that all donations in lieu of flowers should be given to The Christian Blandford Fund.
Thank you Trend, Teddy and India, and thank you Brenda, for fitting so much into an unjustly short number of years.

Registered Charity number - 1139614

Posted in Blog, Fund Raising. Tagged with .

Claudia’s Christmas Fair

Claudia hosted a fantastic Christmas fair yesterday which everybody enjoyed and appears to have been even more successful in fund raising than previous years.
The raffle prizes were bigger and better than ever so we have decided to sell the last few remaining tickets online to allow people who did not attend a chance to win. All the prizes were donated by wonderful supporters which means 100% of the money given will go to the charity.

Donate £20 here to get 5 chances to win one of these amazing prizes - you can donate more for more chances!

  • A luxury beauty hamper From Kat Farmer from Does My Bum Look 40? - worth £1500
  • An incredible unique hand blown glass artwork from the very  talented  Anthony Scala from his impressive Turbulence Collection. Similar pieces fetch £1250 at the Vessel Gallery in Notting Hill.
  • For James Bond fans! - A stunning studio stamped limited  edition Bond print (chosen by the winner from here). This will be signed by the famous photographer Greg Williams who has been the official Bond photographer for all of Daniel Craig’s 15 year tenure. Valued at £550 without the signature. Thank you Bob Ford and Greg Williams for your generosity.
  • A beautiful ladies watch from Swiss brand Frederique Constant worth £750, thank you Mark Robinson and Frederique Constant UK
  • A stunning hand knitted scarf by Chloe Gustard
  • Candle from Space NK
  • Candle from Mint Velvet
  • Champagne from Waitrose
  • Voucher from Sweaty Betty Sevenoaks, thank you to the manager Hazel brown
  • Framed Sevenoaks print by the artist Susie West
  • £50 voucher from The Bull Inn Limpsfield thanks to the manager Danny Parish
  • Voucher from Cryojuvinate, thank you to the managing director Ruth Hyde
  • Archers Express cleaning voucher
  • Cook Sevenoaks voucher
  • SPN fitness Gift Card for 10 free studio classes, thank you to Jaime Cooke
  • Generous gifts from the stall holders on the day including Coco Cuscino La Península use VIP access code - ISKEOM The Square Salon in Riverhead Rock & Lily Moho Jewellery Passionate about Pashminas Nourish by Naomi Bella De Luca's fabulous lamp shade kits soon to be available online
Thank you to the wonderful stall holders who came and maintained energy and enthusiasm all day, despite spending all of it on their feet! If you haven't bought raffle tickets yet, please do, we are hoping this will be our most successful raffle ever! You can download hi-res versions of these photos without watermarks here Due to COVID our regular stall holder CrashBangKids was unable to attend the fair.  Lulu has very kindly set up a code CHRISTIANB on her website.  This allows you free postage and gives The CB Fund 10%.
Posted in Blog, Fund Raising. Tagged with , .

Some exciting news from The Christian Blandford Fund

It’s been a busy few months at The CBF. We have been finalising a very exciting project that we have been working on for the last 2 years.
The fabulous news is that we effectuated a new Clinical Psychologist for the teenagers and young adults at The Royal Marsden Hospital .
The psychology team at the hospital provide support for the TYA’s and have seen a huge increase in referrals in the last year, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They were seriously overstretched and did not have the capacity to offer the psychological support that the unfortunate teenagers seriously needed during cancer treatment.
The new member of staff will be part of the outreach program so will help teenagers and young adults at other hospitals in the South East including St George's.
This is not something that The CBF would normally support as we try to avoid financing projects which we feel should be paid for by the NHS. We tend to focus on the extras that are not covered by central government funds. Claudia was the main driver for this project and persuaded the rest of the trustees that, although it is expensive, it very much fits our mandate to improve lives of children and their families during prolonged stays in hospital.
We are delighted that this new resource is now in place and would not have happened without our financial help.
Our contribution of £45,752 will pay for the psychologist for a year. After this time we hope and expect their value to have been demonstrated and the psychologist to be retained through hospital funds.
We have also started to prepare for Claudia's terrific biennial Christmas Fair!
Today we received our first donation for the raffle – a stunning print of The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks by the artist Susie West.
Susie is an artist who is painting her way around Britain’s cities, towns and villages.  Please do have a look at her website or follow her on Instagram “artistsusiewest”
If you have a local shop and would like to be involved please contact Claudia for further details. Here are a few pictures from the last event.
Posted in Blog, Fund Raising, Things We've Done.

Merry Christmas from the Christian Blandford Fund

This year's Father Christmas visit had to be virtual, with some somewhat unexpected results! We hope you enjoy this short video

It was all worth it when we received this lovely message the following day 

I'm just writing to say a heartfelt thank you.  My son has been in and out of St George's since the end of November and I've just picked him up for home leave for Christmas.  He was genuinely so thrilled to get his present from you this morning, and I was so touched as his Mum too.
Thank you so much and wishing you the merriest of Christmases.
We are very happy that this December we have been able to help out Poole Hospital who, as well as standard requests such as new beds for visiting parents, had an unusual request...
We would love ceramic mugs with lids for parents to use for hot drinks.   We struggle to buy them as they are not seen as essential but help greatly in reducing spill risks and the possibility  of scalds. These needs  100 plus mugs,  This would be top of our list. I am currently trying to source theses for a cost but am struggling to find anything. I have been able to find bamboo mugs but these can transfer heat easily and not all are dishwasher safe.
Fortunately we found just the thing...

Posted in Blog, Things We've Done. Tagged with , , , .

Santa 2019!

We had another wonderful day at St George’s handing out presents to some lovely children who are unlucky enough to be spending this time of year in hospital. It was particularly good to borrow the toy Tesla car for Jessica the elf to drive around the wards as we handed out presents. This is one of many cars donated by The Tesla Owners Group, in partnership with the Christian Blandford Fund to hospitals throughout the country. The staff at St George’s were all wonderful, a special thanks to Justine and her amazing team of play specialists who helped to organise the presents and accompanied us on the rounds, smiling and happy even when one of them had a toe run over by a Tesla driving elf (sorry Genevieve!). You can see a small selection of the photos below but the rest you can see here Click here for the full collection of photographs - free downloads for families and friends of patients Thank you to the talented photographer, Samantha Connoly Boles, who gave up her time and abilities for free to take these photos. You can see more of her work here. A special thank you to our trustees Darren Bowler and Amy Hancox who wrapped all the presents ready for Santa and to Susannah Boughtflower from Susannah's People for the fabulous beard.
Posted in Blog, Christian's Story, Things We've Done. Tagged with , , .

The guy who surprises everybody at that airport piano!

The Blandfords have just returned from holiday and were delighted to find two checks for the Christian Blandford Fund. One from St George's Church in the Weald for £747 and another from LVS Ascot for £743. We would like to particularly thank Luisa Northing and her friends in Coburg House at LVS who took part in a giant cake sale, a 'splat the teacher" event and a student leg wax!

Lu and Christian, many years ago

  While waiting at Geneva Airport for departure, we spotted a piano...  
Posted in Blog, Christian's Story, Fund Raising. Tagged with , , , .

Ella Gracie’s Garden Project

We were so pleased to be able to support The Royal Marsden by donating towards Ella Gracie’s Garden Project. This new garden for the children’s ward provides some much needed outside space for the kids and their families. The first picture shows the space as it was originally!

Posted in Blog, Things We've Done.

Father Christmas at St George’s Hospital (and Pembury Hospital) 2018

Yesterday we had another amazing day handing out presents at St George's. Christian and Jessica were fantastic elves helping me as Santa. The CBF trustees, Darren and Amy did a great job of wrapping presents and Neil and the St George's play specialists were a great help on the rounds. As usual it was a day filled with both laughter and tears. We are reminded how lucky we are that Christian has made such a great recovery and we are touched that he has become a beacon of hope for many families who are going through an incredibly difficult time.

Thank you to Matt Binnie who provided his photographic skills and equipment for free. You can see a selection above, the rest are here where friends and families of the patients can get downloads for free. Click on the cloud to download individual photos.

For the first time we also handed out presents in a different hospital, our local NHS hospital in Kent, Pembury. As my sledge is having an MOT we had to bring in some external Santa help! Here is a message from Claudia

"The Pembury Father Christmas  trip would not have been possible without the generosity of Granville School staff, parents and pupils who generously bought and wrapped all the gifts.  We would also like to thank Dionne Lessner who gave up her time to help Claudia on the day, Susannah Boughtflower (from Susannah’s People and The Kids Entertainers Network) who found us the most brilliant Father Christmas and who waived her fee & Damien Warren Smith who was a fantastic Father Christmas and who charmed not only the children but their parents and the Dr’s and nurses and play specialists."

Posted in Blog, Things We've Done. Tagged with , , , , .