Walsall FC launches £10,000 fundraising appeal for Acorns Children's Hospice

Walsall Football Club has announced Acorns Children’s Hospice as its ‘charity partner’ for the year – and launched a £10,000 fundraising appeal.

Noel Cramer, director of supporter engagement at Acorns, and Walsall Football Club chairman Leigh Pomlett
Noel Cramer, director of supporter engagement at Acorns, and Walsall Football Club chairman Leigh Pomlett

The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal was launched to prevent the closure of its base in Walsall.

The club hopes that its bid to to raise £10,000 over the next 12 months will help Acorns reach its target – which has already hit £350,000 in little more than two months.

How you can donate to the Acorns appeal:

  • Text ACORNS5 to 70025 to donate £5*

  • Text ACORNS10 to 70025 to donate £10*

  • Phone: 01564 825 037

  • *With texts you will be charged your donation, plus your standard network rate. Acorns receives at least 98 per cent of your donation as it will incur a two per cent admin charge for this service. By texting, you are agreeing for Acorns to phone or text you to tell you about our work and how you can help. If you wish to donate and not hear from Acorns again, text ACORNS5 NO to 70025. For more information call 01564 825 037. Acorns Children’s Hospice registered charity no: 700859.

It is the first time that Acorns Children’s Hospice has been Walsall Football Club’s ‘charity partner’.

Leigh Pomlett, Saddlers’ chairman, said the club will do “everything it can” to support the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal.

He said: “The hospice is a big part of the community and they are very local to the club, that is why we are very keen to help them out where we can.

“We hope that our relationship with the hospice and its staff can grow over the duration of the season and I would like to see their hard work and effort continue.

“Hopefully our fans will get behind the hospice like they have with the team and we can all support them in their time of need.”

Leigh Pomlett at Acorns with Anna Cooksey and Ronnie, left, and Katrina Vardarjik and Jude, right

A number of bucket collections have been arranged throughout the season, including one from the Saddlers’ pre-season friendly against Aston Villa in July.

The club will also allow the use of its facilities free of charge for hospice events, invite staff and families at Acorns hospice in Walsall to Banks’s Stadium to watch home games throughout the season and hold a special fundraising lunch, which will also include a charity auction.

Last week, players Cameron Norman and Mat Sadler called into Acorns as part of the growing relationship with the charity, with further visits set to continue throughout the season.

Acorns Hospice needs to raise £2 million to keep it going until NHS funding increases

Noel Cramer, director of supporter engagement at Acorns, added: "What a fantastic boost to what is already becoming a very special partnership.

“Walsall Football Club has done some great work raising awareness of Acorns among their supporters and only last week we had two players visit staff and children at our Walsall hospice.

“We are delighted the club has now pledged to raise £10,000 for our Black Country Appeal. We can’t thank them enough.”

Background to the campaign:

The Walstead Road hospice, which cares for hundreds of sick children and their families, needs to raise £2 million if it is to avoid closing next year.

It was handed a potential reprieve in the summer when it was announced that NHS funding for hospices will double by 2023/24, however bosses need to find a way to plug the gap until then.

A number of celebrities have backed the appeal including Harry Potter stars Mark Williams and Dame Julie Walters, This Morning presenter Alison Hammond, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and comic Jasper Carrott.

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