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'Acorns brings joy to children allowing parents to recharge their batteries'

By Heather Large | Walsall | Health | Published:

“This isn’t just a lifeline for my daughter and and me, it’s also one for many families”.

Aimee loves her times at Acorns

Those are the words of devastated mother Charlotte Cleary whose seven-year-old daughter Aimee attends Acorns for respite care.

The youngster has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy and this means she is unable to sit, stand, walk, talk and is partly tube-fed.

Charlotte, aged 30, who lives in Cheslyn Hay said Aimee spends 16 days throughout the year at the children’s hospice where she can take part in a range of activities.

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“She absolutely loves going there. Before you go for the first time you have the idea that hospices are dark and gloomy but it’s nothing like that at all. It’s a really happy place,” she added.

While Aimee is having a whale of a time at the hospice, Charlotte is able to recharge her batteries. As a single mother to Aimee, taking care of her is hard and is physically and emotionally draining.

Charlotte added: “We use this hospice on a regular basis and it gives Aimee some much-needed respite care as well as me being able to have the break I need so I can look after her to my fullest,” she said.

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After hearing the proposal to close the hospice in Walstead Road, Charlotte said she felt “absolutely gutted”.

“The hospice is our lifeline. It’s hard work looking after a child let alone one with disabilities.

“Aimee will stay for four or five days for respite care at a time and when she comes home I feel revitalised and raring to go.

“It’s a lifeline for so many families,” she added.

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Charlotte says she doesn’t know what the future will hold as she currently relies on public transport to attend the hospice so travelling to either of the Birmingham or Worcester sites will be more challenging.

“It’s doable but it will be tricky because of all of her stuff and equipment that we have to take with us,” she added.

She has now started a fundraising campaign in aid of the hospice. “I don’t know if it will make a difference but at least I will have tried,” added Charlotte.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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