Raymond Briggs - The Snowman

A softie at heart<br/>Sussex illustrator Raymond Briggs is synonymous with the festive season, thanks to the enduring appeal of his children's classics, Father Christmas and The Snowman. But, ironically, he loathes Christmas and won't even men...

Raymond Briggs' endearing creation The Snowman, one of the best-loved characters in children's story-telling throughout the world, will be the inspiration behind a forthcoming charity event being held in Sussex in aid of sick children.Chestnut Tree House, the only children's hospice in Sussex, is set to celebrate its fifth birthday by hosting The Snowman Spectacular - a fundraising ball to be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on Friday, December 5.Raymond, described by the hospice as "our friend and supporter", praised the organisation for its work in caring for children and young adults with progressive life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses."It does such a wonderful job. It's an inspiring place and depends heavily on the support of the people of Sussex," said the Sussex-based author and illustrator.The hospice says there are potentially 400 families with life-limited children in Sussex. Chestnut Tree House offers them a wide range of help, from psychological support to end of life and respite care.The organisation, located near Arundel, costs around ?2 million a year to run but receives no government funding, relying instead on the generosity and support of Sussex people.Organisers of the forthcoming ball, a major fund-raising initiative for the hospice, say the event will be staged "in the magical surroundings of a Christmassy wonderland inspired by Raymond Briggs' enchanting drawings and The Snowman story".