Our story began as two separate children’s hospice charities. CHASE which was founded in 1994 and The Shooting Star Trust founded in 1995. In April 2011, the two charities merged to become Shooting Star Chase, with the two hospices Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton able to provide more care for more children and families in London and Surrey. In February 2019 we updated our name to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, to provide greater clarity about what we do.
Today we are a leading children’s hospice charity supporting over 700 children, and their families, throughout Surrey and across 15 boroughs of London, 365 days a year.
1990 – Our story began when Julia Lever MBE sets up a fundraising group to support a children’s hospice in Birmingham, prompted by an article in a national newspaper describing the plight of a family living with their life-limited daughter. Julia soon realises that there is no comparable service covering south-east England, so sets about establishing such a service.
1994 – CHASE, which stands for Children’s Hospice Association of the South East is officially registered as a charity.
1995 – Kate Turner MBE establishes The Shooting Star Trust with the aim of providing a home-from-home environment offering medical, practical and emotional services free of charge to families in south-west London. The charity is named Shooting Star Trust in recognition of children with life-limiting conditions who, like shooting stars, shine bright but are gone far too soon.
1997 – In January, Michael and Sarah More-Molyneux make their land available on which to build a children’s hospice – a £3.5million project. In August of the same year, Christopher, Michael and Sarah’s young son sadly dies in a tragic accident on the Loseley Estate. It’s then decided that the yet to be named hospice will be called Christopher’s in his memory.
1999 – CHASE raise enough money to launch their Community Team – a service dedicated to providing care and support to families in need throughout the South East. By the end of the first year the team is caring for 35 families.
2000 – Anneka Rice joins CHASE for a turf-cutting ceremony and a digger turns the first sod to mark the start of building Christopher’s children’s hospice.
2001 – 11 years after CHASE was founded, Christopher’s, our nine bedroom hospice in Artington, Guildford is opened on 21 November.
2002 – Christopher’s is officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex, who remains our Royal Patron to this day.
2002 – After seven years of capital fundraising, The Shooting Star Trust reaches the £6 million required to build a hospice, marking the start of construction of Shooting Star House.
2005 – Ten years after The Shooting Star Trust was founded, Shooting Star House, our Hampton based hospice, opens its doors and welcomes its first family on 5 August. Within the first month, the hospice welcomes 26 children with life-limiting conditions.
2006 – Shooting Star House is officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
2011 – In one of the key moments of our story, The Shooting Star Trust and CHASE merge to become Shooting Star Chase, paving the way for opportunities to increase care, expertise and funding.
2011 – Christopher’s celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the 10 years, our Guildford hospice has cared for 900 families and provided over 20,000 bed nights.
2012 – We increase our investment in our Hospice at Home service, enabling specialist care and tailored support to be given to families in their own home. By 2014 we are providing 800 hours of care a month to families.
2015 – Shooting Star House celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the 10 years, our Hampton hospice has cared for 865 families, supported 1059 siblings at our siblings’ groups and remembered 326 children at our memory days.
2015 – Shooting Star House is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The inspection is focused on five areas – whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsible and well-led. CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.
2016 – New figures released reveal Shooting Star Chase has cared for 5,000 people in need across London and Surrey since The Shooting Star Trust and CHASE merged in 2011, increasing the number of families supported in five years by 36% – reinforcing the charity as a lifeline for children with life-limiting conditions.
2016 – Christopher’s is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The inspection is focused on five areas – whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsible and well-led.
Both hospices have the highest possible overall rating of Outstanding, putting Shooting Star Chase in the CQC’s top 3% of health and social services in England.
2017 – Refurbishment work starts on Christopher’s, the first of its kind since 2001. Improvements include renovations to the family flats, dining and lounge area and the children’s bedrooms, as well as an extensive remodel of the reception, upgrade of the garden, installation of a cinema room and a lighting and music system for the hydrotherapy pool.
2019 – Shooting Star Chase becomes Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, to better promote the work we do to the communities we serve.