And raises over £3k for children’s hospice charity

An extraordinary weekend of country pursuits, murder mystery, partying and fund raising made this year’s Travel Retail Consortium customer event one that will surely be remembered as the best ever!

Some 80 Consortium members, guests and partners arrived at the magnificent Hampshire located Tylney Hall, Rotherwick, on Friday November 8th for a chilled evening enabling colleagues and friends to meet and network over drinks and a delicious buffet. A Silent Auction and Tombola – with amazing gifts and experiences donated by both Consortium members and customers – was the first opportunity to raise money for this year’s TRC Chairman’s charity: Chestnut Tree House – a Sussex based hospice for children.

Despite inclement weather on Saturday, 12 teams competed for the Country Pursuits Challenge – a fun day which saw everyone have a go at Archery, Target Shooting, Falconry, Duck herding, Sniper Rifle Shooting, Laser Clays and Axe Throwing. From the ‘Ooo’s and ahhh’s’ at the magnificent owls and falcons, expertly trained border collies and (relatively) compliant Indian Runner ducks, to the appreciative claps as unknown skills were shown on the ranges, it was clear that everyone taking part had a fantastic and memorable time.

The evening saw all gather again for a Taittinger Champagne reception, followed by a superb three-course dinner with Mudhouse wines, where more funds were raised via a £5 in the pot draw, a Heads and Tails competition along with general donation envelopes and buckets.

Welcoming everyone, TRC Chairman Jonathan Corbett introduced Chestnut Tree House CEO Rosemarie Finley who gave a moving presentation on the work of the charity, which helps children at end of life or with shortened life expectancy and their families to have the very best care, memories and experiences during extremely difficult times. “At Chestnut Tree House our goal is to provide the best quality of life for children, young people and their families, and to offer a total package of practical, social and spiritual support throughout each child’s life, however short it may be. she said.

Added Jonathan: Chestnut Tree House is a local charity to me and I have always been tremendously moved by the work that they do. Anyone who is a parent will understand the absolute devastation that the loss of a child will cause and the long-term trauma and sadness that it brings to a family. The work that this charity does is beyond magnificent and anyone visiting their premises in Arundel, Sussex cannot be anything but humbled by the dedication of the staff and the bravery of the children. Yet the charity – like so many – has a constant struggle to survive with very little government funding, so for me making it this year’s TRC beneficiary was a clear and obvious choice. I’m hoping that the work we can do to raise funds through the TRC can make a difference to just a few childrens lives and their families.

In total, £3021.40 was raised from the event.

But the fun did not end there. Guests were surprised when they were suddenly transported back to 1929 and became witness to the murder of Lord Grantuss in a ‘who dunnit’ that required each table to solve the mystery and name the perpetrator, using cryptic clues, suspect questioning and paying keen attention to humorously played out scenes. The winning table continued to celebrate the evening with prize Taittinger Champagne and chocolates.

Said Phrederika Miltiadou, Global Product & Promotions Manager – Confectionery at Dufry:
“The TRC Event at Tylney Hall was a fabulous opportunity to meet industry colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.  The weekend was full of fun events and a great opportunity to join the TRC in supporting the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice.”

Kevin Johnson, Retail Sourcing Manager at DFDS added:
Thank you to all at the Travel Retail Consortium for a really well organised event at the stunning Tylney Hall. It was great to see old friends and new from the industry; in a relaxed informal atmosphere. A far cry from the normal format we are used to! 

“We are very proud to be able to help support the TRC in their fundraising efforts this year for such a fantastic charity in Chesnut Tree House, a truly worthwhile cause.”

Sarah Strangeway, Head of Buying and Marketing at Tourvest Retail also commented:  “I would like to say a massive thankyou to the TRC for setting up such a great weekend event. Meeting up and spending time with colleagues in the industry, additionally boosted by raising money for a great charity, Chestnut Tree House was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed the company and discovered that I definitely don’t have coordination with a bow and arrow, however Duck Herding went down very well!

“I made some great connects and enjoyed the super hospitality of everyone.

“Building great business, supplier and industry relationships is a key driver to us at Tourvest so this was a perfect match up.”

Customers attending the event included:  Ambassadors Choice/CMD, Condor Ferries, DFDS, Dufry, Duty360, Harding Retail, ISG Paris Macintyre Scott (MSX), Tourvest Retail

Silent auction, tombola, £5 in the pot and other prizes were kindly provided by Consortium members Accolade Wines, Aurora World, GoTravel, Guinness, Heineken, Imperial Brands, Invu, Kurate, Mars ITR, Morgan & Oates, Rémy Cointreau, RHA, Sekonda, Skross, Taittinger Champagne & Twinings. Two notable donations of a North Sea cruise and a limited edition bottle of whiskey were also received from DFDS and enabled more funds to be raised.

Concludes Consortium PR Relations Manager Rebecca Harwood Lincoln: “Each year members of the Travel Retail Consortium host a social event for key buyers and retailers. Everyone attending knows that alongside first-class corporate hospitality they will enjoy an event that is designed to be sociable, relaxing and – above all – FUN! From sailing on the Solent to wine tasting in Jersey to high tea at Lords, guests are able to recharge their batteries in the company of friends and colleagues, with the opportunity to find potential new suppliers if they so wish!”

For more information please contact:

About Chestnut Tree House:

Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

Chestnut Tree House offers support for the whole family including psychological and bereavement support, end of life and short break care and sibling support.

It currently costs over £4 million each year to provide all the care services offered by Chestnut Tree House. Families are never charged for their care and less than 6p in every pound is funded by the government, so we rely heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex.

About the Travel Retail Consortium:

The Travel Retail Consortium was originally conceived in the late 1960s and formalised in 1971 to further the interests and development of the Travel Retail Industry within the UK through the member companies

The organisation’s objectives are to improve standards of business within the travel retail industry, promote members’ products and services, discuss industry issues and provide social and business networking opportunities for key industry customers and members’ representatives at annual events. The TRC is also active in raising funds for charity and the Chairman nominates a charity of their choice.