Walsall players have kick about with poorly Acorns Hospice children

Children at Acorns Hospice were delighted when two Walsall Football Club stars dropped in to see them – sharing a laugh and even showing off their own ball skills.

Callum Cockerill-Mollett, aged 21, and Kory Roberts, 22, visit marked part of the club's ongoing support for the charity.

The players helped to bring smiles to the faces of those like little Oscar-Ray Roger and Reuben-Jayce Mills, both aged three.

Meanwhile two-year-old Jacob Leese even got to show off his dribbling skills to the League Two stars.

Walsall FC players Callum Cockerill-Mollett and Kory Roberts visited Acorns Hospice, Walsall, to show their support for the campaign to keep the hospice open

The Saddlers have committed to help raise £10,000 towards the £2million Acorns needs to keep going in Walsall.

The hospice, based on Walstead Road, cares for more than 200 families who rely on its services.

Cockerill-Mollett, a full-back, said: “It’s the first time I’ve visited the hospice and I’d like to do it again because what they’re doing here is incredible. The staff here are working so hard and what they’re doing makes them stand out as heroes.

“Being in a privileged position like we are as footballers, we need to help raise awareness for fantastic causes like this and I’d encourage all our fans to do the same because to lose something this special from our community would be a huge shame.”

Callum Cockerill-Mollett meets two year old Jacob Leese

Walsall FC, which announced Acorns as one of its charity partners for the 2019/2020 season, joined the campaign save Acorns hospice in the Black Country last autumn.

The Club has pledged to raise £10,000 towards the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, leaping straight into action with bucket collections at home games and a charity dinner.

Saddlers Chairman Leigh Pomlett said: “When the Club joined the fight to save Acorns hospice in the Black Country last year, we made a commitment to try and do all we can to help. In 2020, we’re continuing that commitment on a more personal level with players visiting the hospice at least once a month to spend time with the children and families who use this vital service.

“If we can continue to raise awareness of this incredible charity by doing things like this, hopefully it will inspire more people to back the campaign and help Acorns reach its £2million fundraising target.”

Kory Roberts meets Reuben-Jayce Mills, aged 3

Vicki Rowles, Head of Fundraising at Acorns, said: “We were delighted to welcome Walsall FC players back to our hospice in the Black Country and we’re thrilled to hear it’s full steam ahead with raising awareness and funds throughout 2020.

“Having a club like Walsall FC backing our Appeal is crucial if we’re going to continue getting our message out there. The community has been phenomenal in supporting our Appeal so far. We still have some way to go to reach our £2million target, so raising awareness of our campaign is more important than ever. Huge thanks to everyone at Walsall FC for helping us to do that.”

The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal was launched by Acorns last July as the proposed closure of its hospice in Walsall was put on hold following pledges of additional NHS support, that should ensure the hospice is adequately funded from 2023/24 onwards.

The urgent call for donations has seen the local community mobilise into action, with numerous individuals, celebrities, businesses and sports teams all stepping-up to support the charity.

To support the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal

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