C M Downton was at the home of its fictional namesake on Sunday, playing Easter Bunny to hundreds of children from across the country at the Highclere Castle Easter Egg Hunt.
The home of ITV’s global phenomenon Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle hosts the event each year in support of the Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults. Downton was the lead sponsor for this year’s event which, despite the heavy downpours that washed over the country on Sunday, was still attended by more than 1,500 from across the country.
As well as providing a significant donation to the charity hospices to fund the event, Downton used one of its iconic trucks to deliver the eggs to the grounds of the historic stately home – and staff from the Gloucestershire-based haulier were there on the day to hand them out to the children taking part in the hunt.
The money raised by the event each year enables Naomi House & Jacksplace to provide invaluable round-the-clock care and services for young people with life-limiting or threatening conditions.
Downton director Kate Downton, who has worked closely with the team at Naomi House to organise the big day, said: “We are so proud to be able to sponsor this fantastic family event and raise money for a charity that provides such incredible services to those that need them most.
“When Naomi House came to us looking for a lead sponsor, we were of course thrilled by the chance to be linked with the wonderful Downton Abbey,” added Kate, “but that was really just an added bonus. We would have done this anyway because the event and the charity are such worthy beneficiaries.”
Three of the directors of C M Downton – siblings Kate, John and Richard Downton – were at Highclere on the day to enjoy the event with their families, and to help dish out the chocolate rewards at the end of the hunt.
Nicole Denison, events fundraiser for Naomi House & Jacksplace, said: “Despite the inclement weather we had a great time at this year’s Easter Egg Hunt and were delighted that so many intrepid egg hunters came to enjoy the day and support our hospices. We are particularly grateful to C M Downton for the invaluable support we received in setting up the event and making the day such a great success.”
Highclere Castle – home in Downton Abbey to the fictional Grantham family – is actually the seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and is located near Newbury in Berkshire. The Castle holds many charity events throughout the year, and has hosted the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday for the past seven years.