Community bids to help save Walsall's Acorns Hospice
Fundraising drives have been launched amid calls for people to give what they can to try to save Acorns' children's hospice in Walsall.
Several fundraising pages have sprung up online as the devastating news sinks in that the town's much-loved hospice is facing closure because of rising costs and falling donations.
Dozens of posts have appeared on social media asking what can be done to save the hospice, which is set to close from the end of September. A consultation is running until July 3.
One donation page set up by Colin Plant at JustGiving.com has urged people to give what they can.
He says on the page: "Raising funds for Acorns Children's Hospice Trust because it would be devastating for so many sick children."
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- Express & Star comment: Funding for hospices is lamentable
- 'Acorns is the most amazing place': Isabella Lyttle's family in shock
- 'Acorns brings joy to children allowing parents to recharge their batteries'
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Another page entitled Stop Walsall Acorns from closing has been launched by Adelle Hassall. A Save Acorns page has also been set up on Facebook, in a separate bid to rally round.
The family of Walsall schoolgirl Isabella Lyttle, who died aged 11 after an eight-year battle with cancer have also called for support.
Her father Mark Lyttle said: "Please give what you can and share as far as you can, you never know, we have a few months to maybe somehow help them keep their doors open. Isabella and so many other children massively benefitted and still do from the most amazing place you could ever ask for. Acorns just can’t shut down."
The decision to close the Walsall hospice comes amid a funding crisis. Bosses say they have taken the decision to safeguard the charity's future.
It costs nearly £10 million every year to keep running and relies of fundraising for the bulk of the total.
Acorns says the cost of providing care at its three hospices is steadily rising every year and is currently out-stripping its ability to raise all the funds it needs.