We were absolutely delighted to welcome hundreds of you to the Horatio’s Garden Carol Concert held yesterday evening at St Mary Abbots Parish Church in Kensington; the perfect place to host a magical festive event.


As ever, it was wonderful to see so many people of all generations coming together with their loved ones to celebrate the start of the Christmas season. Friends and families all attended together, supporters old and new among them and it was lovely to be amongst what Anneka Rice later affectionately called the ‘Horatio’s Garden gang’. 

Everyone was warmly welcomed by Horatio’s Garden Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, who told everyone about the charity’s latest exciting news, including that building work will soon begin on Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, as well as the fantastic story about Horatio’s Garden appearing at RHS Chelsea 2023 and how this garden will form the heart of Horatio’s Garden Sheffield in 2024.


She also thanked the evening’s sponsors, Stifel Europe, who were enormously generous in their support of the event and without whom the evening would not have been possible. It was a pleasure to welcome Stifel and their guests to the concert, which we sincerely hope everyone enjoyed.

Olivia then considerately turned people’s thoughts to those spending Christmas in NHS spinal injury centres across the country, a gentle reminder of why everyone’s support of Horatio’s Garden is so vital for thousands of people facing difficult times Christmas and beyond.

Mother Emma Dinwiddy-Smith, Vicar of St Mary Abbots Parish Church, also welcomed the audience, as did Father Christopher Rogers, who together shared how thrilled they were to be hosting Horatio’s Garden for a second year. It was equally a privilege for us to once again be at St Mary Abbots Parish Church and we appreciate the huge efforts of everyone involved with the church to ensure everyone had an enchanting evening.


Uniquely, a carefully curated selection of readings were performed throughout the hour-long service by people who all have a personal connection with Horatio’s Garden. Among them were: 

Joe Darrell, a former patient of Horatio’s Garden Scotland and Horatio’s Garden London & South East and a great friend of Tom Stuart-Smith, designer of the London garden. 

James Alexander-Sinclair, an acclaimed garden designer who created Horatio’s Garden Scotland and Trustee of Horatio’s Garden. 

Anneka Rice, well-known television presenter, broadcaster and journalist and Ambassador of Horatio’s Garden. 

Annie Maw, CVO CStJ, former Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, a Founding Trustee and now Ambassador of Horatio’s Garden. 

Arit Anderson, award-winning garden designer and presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World, Trustee of the National Garden Scheme and supporter of Horatio’s Garden, who gave the evening’s appeal.


Additionally, the gathered crowd were given the gift of some phenomenal musical performances, not only by the talented St Mary Abbots Choir, but also solos by: 

Charlotte Crawley, who recently finished school where she competed in multiple vocal and choral competitions and who is a supporter of Horatio’s Garden having experienced two scoliosis surgeries herself at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital aged 13. 

Bibi Heal, soprano studying under Sena Larard and a musical performer in Horatio’s Garden South West. 

Xavier Hetherington, tenor who’s spent several years singing internationally in both concerts and operas and was a friend of Horatio Chapple, the charity’s inspiration.


All those involved with the service spoke and sang exquisitely, something many guests commented on following the concert as they relished some festive fizz and mince pies. With so many people chatting and enjoying each other’s cosy company, the atmosphere was certainly one filled with seasonal spirit.


Among those making the evening a success were all our fantastic volunteers, who journeyed from across the country to help on the night. Seeing everyone together talking amongst themselves and with people in the crowd was a real reminder of the power and energy of the Horatio’s Garden community, something beautifully captured by the evening’s photographer, Joshua Humphrey.

We were truly delighted to be joined by so many of you and are immensely grateful for all your support. Your kindness, commitment and generosity to Horatio’s Garden truly will change lives, both throughout the coming festive season and in the months and years ahead.

On behalf of everyone at Horatio’s Garden, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Generously supported by