We've done it! Acorns Children's Hospice saved after £2 million fundraising success

We've done it! Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall has been saved almost two years after a major appeal to secure its long-term future was launched.

Staff members at Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall celebrate after the hospice was saved from the threat of closure
Staff members at Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall celebrate after the hospice was saved from the threat of closure

The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal launched in July 2019 after proposals to close the much-loved Walstead Road centre were put on hold.

It led to an outpouring of support from across the Black Country and further afield as donations flooded in to help the hospice meet its £2 million target.

Now Acorns has today revealed the donations, together with other funding they received amid Covid-19, means the vital Walsall hospice has been saved.

Acorns chief executive Toby Porter said: "We are truly overjoyed to be able to share this wonderful news, which we know will be celebrated across the Black Country.

Staff members at Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall celebrate after the hospice was saved from the threat of closure

"In our darkest hour in 2019, the local community responded immediately and showed their determination to safeguard the long-term future of their local children’s hospice in Walsall. We simply wouldn’t be here today without the generosity that so many individuals, families, and businesses have shown. Thank you!

"What I think those who have supported the appeal can be proudest of is that, thanks to their generosity from day one of the appeal, Acorns nurses, care teams and volunteers have been able to continue to support children and families at the Walsall hospice and in the community every single day of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our doors have never closed, and we have had children staying with us every single day.

"The local community has shown such generosity and determination. Thanks to you, the only children’s hospice in the Black Country has kept its doors open. It’s thanks to you that we can now look to the future with certainty."

Donations

More than half of the £2 million appeal, backed by the Express & Star, has been raised through public donations despite the coronavirus pandemic, with emergency funding from the Government during Covid-19 helping to take the fund to its target.

The appeal saw collections in pubs, workplace collections, sponsored walks and lemonade stands among other fundraising activities – with messages of support from the likes of Dame Julie Walters, Beverley Knight, Noddy Holder and others.

Acorns supporter Steven Knight CBE, creator of Peaky Blinders, said: "This is such fantastic news, especially in these difficult times. A truly good news story which will mean so much to so many people. Well done to everyone at Acorns."

Now, with the long-term future of the hospice safe, Acorns has called on people who rallied behind their appeal to continue supporting them as they can now safely look to the future.

Toby added: “The goal of the appeal was to raise the funds needed to secure the long-term future of our specialist care service at Acorns in the Black Country. We can now be confident about the future and once again plan our future services at the hospice with confidence in the long-term future.

"Like all charities, we rely on the ongoing generosity of the local community, so please keep supporting Acorns, so we can be there for every child and their family who needs us, now and in the future."

The charity has also revealed its arts and crafts room at the Walsall hospice will be named in memory of 11-year-old Isabella Lyttle who died in April 2019 – with her story inspiring so many people to donate.

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