Acorns announce interim CEO as Toby Porter bows out after six years

Toby Porter (left) will leave Acorns this week and will be replaced by interim CEO, Matt Bullock (right).

Chief Executive of Acorns Children’s Hospice, Toby Porter, has spoken of his “total honour” at leading the charity as he bows out this week after six years of dedicated service.

Toby, who has been CEO of Acorns since 2016, will be taking up a role as Chief Executive of national charity Hospice UK in mid-September, supporting the work of the country’s entire network of adult and children’s hospices. 

Acorns, a charity which cares for hundreds of children and families across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire every year, has announced an interim CEO who will take the reins between Toby’s departure and the appointment of the charity’s permanent CEO. Toby said:

“It has been a total honour and privilege to lead Acorns and the wonderful people working and volunteering here. This charity continues to work alongside some of the most vulnerable young members of our community through some of the most challenging times we have experienced in recent memory. 

“It is a charity that is rightly loved across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire, and as our region faces fresh challenges and a winter of uncertainty, will be there providing the vital love, care and support local families need.

“As we all experience the effects of rising costs, the hardships felt by those in our region caring for life limited or life threatened children will be felt more acutely than most, and I would urge those who can, to continue to support the work of Acorns in the coming months and years.”

Toby joined Acorns as Chief Executive in 2016, from his previous role as CEO at HelpAge International, and over the past six years has helped steer the charity through a number of significant milestones and challenges.

A period of financial uncertainty in 2019 culminated in a successful fundraising appeal to save the charity’s Black Country Hospice. Six months later, Acorns quickly adapted its children’s hospice service at the onset of Covid. For the two years of the pandemic, Acorns and its children’s hospice care service remained available every day to some of the region’s most vulnerable children and families.

In preparation for Toby’s departure, Acorns Trustees have been working on transitional arrangements and have announced Matt Bullock as the charity’s interim CEO. Matt will continue in his substantive role as Acorns Director of People and Culture between Toby’s departure and the arrival of the charity’s permanent CEO. Toby added:

“I really love Acorns and it will be incredibly difficult to leave after six years here. Saying goodbye is so hard, but I do believe that it is the right time to hand the reins to a new leader who can bring new ideas and fresh perspectives and help this vital children’s hospice service continue to flourish over the coming years.

“I would like to thank the countless people who have supported Acorns so loyally over my six years. This is a wonderful local community, and I have never encountered such good will and generosity as that I have seen towards Acorns in this role. 

“I would also like to thank our incredible Acorns people. Those working and volunteering with us are an extraordinary team – skilled, brave, resilient and totally committed to the children and families we serve. 

“Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank the children, young people and families who circumstance has led them to use the Acorns care service. You have taught me so much, thank you.

“I feel very honoured to be asked to lead Hospice UK and I look forward to joining its highly respected team and support the hospice and end of life care sector nationally. I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to continue to support Acorns in this new national role, along with the wonderful adult hospices in our region.”

To find out more about Acorns, you can visit


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