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'We will do all we can for hospice': Walsall Council leader vow over Acorns centre

By Heather Large | Walsall | Health | Published:

The leader of Walsall Council has pledged his support to the town's closure-threatened children's hospice.

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist respite and medical care at its centre in Walsall, which is expected to close by the end of September

Councillor Mike Bird said the authority would do it could to help the charity find alternative funding after it revealed proposals to shut the centre in Walstead Road.

Seventy jobs are at risk as part of the proposals which have the community reeling.

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Devastated families have described the hospice - one of three run by the charity - as a lifeline and spoken of the invaluable support provided by staff and volunteers.

They will be given the chance to attend either of its sites in Birmingham or Worcester.

MPs have also spoken out support of the cash-strapped charity, which is struggling amid rising running costs and a drop in donations.

Cllr Mike Bird

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Councillor Bird said the news had come as a shock, adding: "It's very, very sad and shows that nobody is exempt from the economic situation.

"Now we are aware of it we can support them in finding alternative funding. Although we can't help financially, we will assist in any other way we can."

A consultation on the proposals is now under way and will run until July 3.

If the move goes ahead, the hospice will cease to offer care from the end of September.

It comes after the charity revealed it had suffered a difficult 12 months and had been forced to plug a funding shortfall using its reverses. But it says this is not sustainable and the long-term future of the charity would be under threat if it did not take action.

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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