I am writing this at Acorns Walsall sat next to Mark Lyttle, the father of Isabella, who tragically passed away in April after a long and brave battle with a brain tumour.
Isabella and her family were regular visitors to our Black Country children’s hospice in Walsall, and made so many happy memories together here.
When we announced in June that we felt we had no choice but to propose closing our Walsall hospice, Mark led the campaign to keep the hospice open.
I have had the privilege to spend a lot of time with Mark over the past four months, in the Black Country and also in Westminster, where we went together to successfully lobby for more Government funding for children’s hospice care. He is a genuine inspiration.
It is therefore moving and fitting to be sat next to Mark when writing this huge and heart felt thank you to the big-hearted and generous readers of the Express & Star for all you are doing to support our Save Acorns Black Country Hospice appeal.
The goal of the appeal is to raise the £2m we will need to guarantee our children’s hospice care across the Black Country for the next four years, until new funding for Acorns promised by the NHS reaches its full amount.
We have announced that we have raised an amazing £450,000 already. We are making progress faster that we would have dreamed in July.
We still have a long way to go, but we are determined we will reach our £2m goal, and confident we will do so.
The appeal aims to guarantee our children’s hospice service for the next four years. We are a quarter of the way there already.
We can therefore already remove the limit we had earlier placed on families booking stays beyond the end of March this year.
They will now be able to book stays for their children at our Black Country hospice up to a year in advance.
This helps families do things like book holidays, or attend family events.
The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal goes on.
Please continue to donate or organise fundraising events and challenges to support our appeal. We are so grateful for everything so many of you have done already.
Your generosity has inspired us and have given us hope and, more importantly, you have allowed Acorns to continue to be there for any child or family in the Black Country who needs our support. Thank you so much.