Acorns appeal reaches finish line with help from local friends

The fundraising appeal to refurbish a much-loved Walsall hospice has reached the finish line thanks to the support of the Black Country community and the final donation from a Walsall fundraising group.

£750,000 has now been raised for the Room to Grow Appeal - a fundraising appeal for Acorns in the Black Country, Walsall, to completely transform the hospice for the 200 local children and families who use it every year.

Helping the charity over the finish line was a final donation of £175,000 from the League of Friends of the Walsall Healthcare Trust, a group who approached Acorns in March to donate the final proceeds of their charitable fund.

£140,000 of the donation has been given to the Room to Grow Appeal, with the remainder going towards ongoing specialist nursing care at the hospice. Noel Cramer, Director of Support Engagement at Acorns, said:

“From the very first day we launched the Room to Grow Appeal, we had no doubt that the local community would rally behind the hospice and help us get to the finish line.

“Now we’re delighted to say: ‘We’ve done it!’. The response from the community has been remarkable and we’re truly grateful to everyone who has donated.

“Our immense gratitude also to the League of Friends who have provided the final piece of the ‘jigsaw’. Their approach to Acorns was so welcome, coming at a time when the various cost pressures people are experiencing is having an effect on charity donations.

“We were especially thrilled to accept this wonderful gift for our hospice, which means so much to the local families that use it.”

The success of the Room to Grow Appeal means that the Walsall hospice - which had been unable to benefit from significant investment for many years due to financial constraints - can be modernised.

As part of the improvement work, Acorns has completely refurbished the bedrooms where children stay for short breaks, as well as the corridors, reception, dining room and created a brand-new arts and crafts space. Mr Ivan Westley, Chair of the League of Friends, said:

“Our group were proud and delighted to be able to use some of the remaining funds in our charity to both close the Acorns Appeal and bow-out ourselves from fundraising after many years of supporting local healthcare, including Walsall Manor Hospital.

“We are well aware of the huge difference this facility and the fantastic teams who work there makes to local children and their families.

“The Acorns ‘Room to Grow’ Appeal was the perfect campaign for us to support and I have been so impressed with the work of our local children’s hospice.”

The Room to Grow Appeal was launched in February 2022 and saw the local community once again rally behind the hospice and raise vital funds.

As part of the refurbishment, the Walsall hospice will be become the first of Acorns three hospices to have piped oxygen built into bedrooms in recognition of the increasing medical complexities of the children it cares for.

A further addition to the hospice is brand-new purpose-built craft room named ‘Isabella’s Place’ in memory of Walsall girl Isabella Lyttle who spent many happy years visiting Acorns.

Whilst the improvement work has taken place, Acorns has continued to provide care, both in family homes and thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with St Giles Hospice, who offered use of their hospice in Whittington for children and families.

To find out more about Acorns, visit acorns.org.uk.

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