Looking back on a year of fundraising.

Thanks to you, we have supported 380,000 babies, children and young people this year.  ...

Thanks to you, we have supported 380,000 babies, children and young people this year.


This year has seen a lot happen at Rockinghorse, from amazing events to a visit to Buckingham palace, from a new website to winning a national award, it’s been non-stop since January.

But all of this work has been contributing towards one goal; to raise as much as possible to support hundreds of thousands of children and their families throughout Sussex. And none of this would be possible this year, or in the years to come, without the continued help of our wonderful supporters.

Fundraising support throughout 2023

A lot of our fundraising during the year comes from our own events and those our amazing supporters take part in, including marathons, golf days, sponsored cycles, the Drop 360 abseil, the very first Rockinghorse Rave and of course the sparkling Glitter Ball in March.

The Ball is our largest fundraising event of the year, and this year it raised an incredible £59,000 towards a new oncology psychologist service to support families managing the often-traumatic psychological impact of cancer treatment.

The event launched our One Day at a Time campaign which ran during the year, supporting families whose lives have been left in pieces following a child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Along with these larger events, the year has also seen so many individuals, schools, community groups and local businesses fundraising in hundreds of different ways from netball matches to sponsored walks, Easter Egg donations to rubbish collections. This list is endless, like our appreciation of every single person who took part in any fundraising during the year.

Celebrating success

Life in a small local charity can be busy and sometimes it can be hard to take stock and recognize the impact we have had. But this year we were able to take time to celebrate our work in some very special ways.

In May, we were invited to the first Royal garden party to take place since lockdown. A group from Rockinghorse, including CEO Donna Holland and Chair or Trustees, Dr Oli Rahman, went along to Buckingham Palace as guests of our Royal patron HRH Princess Alexandra.

Later in the year we were fortunate to receive a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Medium Charity of the Year category at the Third Sector Award’s in London.

And then earlier in November, we were honoured to win an award at the national Children and Young People Now Awards for our innovative Youth Worker project that supports young people in mental health crisis at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

A new look

At the end of September, we unveiled our website and updated branding. We wanted to be able to give supporters the best possible online experience and make it easier to support us along with evolving the brand so we can engage with new generations of supporters.

This new site will help us do things better, faster and more effectively along with making sure we adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.

The impact

The most important thing about all of the campaigns, fundraising events and branding, is the impact we have been able to have on children and families. Thanks to all our supporters we have been able to support 380,000 children during the year.

This includes the premature babies who need specialist equipment to breathe, the children being treated for cancer who need someone to talk to about how they are coping, the teenagers coming to A&E after self-harming who need support to manage their mental health, and so many more.

Thank you

But absolutely none of this work, or any of the 68 projects we have funded during 2023, would have happened without help from our local community.

Rockinghorse CEO Donna Holland said, “What the local community has done for Rockinghorse during the last year has meant that doctors, nurses, support staff and project organisers have been able to provide babies, children and young people with the support they need to thrive, be happy and enjoy being children.

“So, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the businesses and community groups, challenge participants and individuals who have taken so much of their time and effort to help support us this year.”

Thank you to all our wonderful supporters. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.