Children at Acorns treated to a sneak peek at theatre’s next panto

The magic of theatre came to Acorns Children’s Hospice recently when children were given a sneak peek at the Wolverhampton Grand’s upcoming action-packed panto.

Children and staff at Acorns in the Black Country, based in Walsall, were treated to a special performance of Dick Whittington ahead of the show’s seven-week run this December.

Among the cast visiting the hospice was panto darling, Ian Adams, as the much-loved Dame, who will be among the star-studded line-up bringing the festive favourite to life at the Grand this Christmas. Jackie Griffiths, Head Nurse at Acorns in the Black Country, said:

“What a magical morning! For some of the children using Acorns, visiting the theatre can be very difficult, so for the Wolverhampton Grand to bring it to us was really special. 

“The children absolutely loved the music and colourful sets and costumes. It was a real treat for staff too! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone at the Grand for helping us to create these precious memories for the children we care for.”

The Grand Theatre’s Introduction to Pantomime tour was born out of a desire to make the theatre as accessible to as many people in the community as possible, with a hope to reach everyone through the magic of theatre and positively affect lives. 

The theatre’s outreach work increases confidence and understanding of particular subjects all whilst having fun. This particular project is enjoyed year on year by thousands of local children, including those at Acorns hospice in Walsall. James Collins, Creative Learning Manager at the Grand Theatre, added:

“It was an absolute pleasure to bring Dick Whittington to Acorns as part of the Grand’s Introduction to Panto tour. This exciting programme gives us the chance to not only take pantomime to primary schools but also bring the wonder of panto to places where children may not be able to access theatre, like hospices and hospitals. 

“This is our second visit to Acorns. It’s brilliant here because it’s very intimate and the staff benefit from it just as much as the children – everyone has a great time and really enjoys it. The motto of the Grand Theatre is reaching out and touching people with the magic of theatre which fits in perfectly with Acorns.”

Acorns in the Black Country is at the centre of an urgent fundraising appeal to save the hospice from closure.

The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal follows a commitment of significant new NHS funding from Black Country healthcare commissioners and an earlier announcement by NHS England that they would double their central funding support to the country’s children’s hospices over the next five years. 

The appeal sets out to raise £2million towards the Walstead Road hospice – which the charity had proposed for closure – until the full amount of new Government funding is reached. 

For more information and to donate towards the Appeal, please visit


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