Acorns Children's Hospice patron Benjamin Zephaniah hails partnership

Well-known poet and patron of Acorns Children's Hospice Benjamin Zephaniah has hailed a move by Morrisons to help a charity which supports hospices.

Benjamin Zephaniah during a visit to Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall where he read poems to the children in 2019
Benjamin Zephaniah during a visit to Acorns Children's Hospice in Walsall where he read poems to the children in 2019

Morrison's chiefs revealed it has teamed up with Together for Short Lives (TfSL) – a national charity which supports children's hospices across the country.

And it supports Acorns which, in turns, offers help to children and their families across the Black Country, Birmingham and Worcester over its three sites.

The partnership between the two will aim to raise around £10 million across three years for the 54 children's hospices the TfSL represents.

Mr Zephaniah, speaking in a video message, said: "This is amazing news, I am over the moon! I want to say thanks to Morrisons for choosing Together for Short Lives as your next charity partner. Your support will make a lifetime of difference to thousands of seriously ill children and their families right across the UK.

“As Patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice, I have seen first-hand the amazing support that children’s hospices provide for families, helping them make the most of every moment together. Morrisons, from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of Acorns and all the hospices across the country, we say thank you.”

Together for Short Lives will become Morrisons’ new charity partner from February, when the company’s current partnership with Young Lives vs Cancer comes to a close.

David Potts, CEO at Morrisons said, "It's been a privilege to support Young Lives vs Cancer for the last five years and I'd like to thank our colleagues, customers and suppliers for their efforts in raising over £17m - in particular our Community Champions who’ve worked so tirelessly.

"We’re looking forward to teaming up with Together for Short Lives and providing vital support for children's hospices across our local communities."

Each Morrisons store and site will be connected with their local children’s hospice – including Acorns – and it will see much-needed funds to help them provide families with vital care.

Andy Fletcher, chief executive at Together for Short Lives, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as Morrisons’ next charity partner. Their support is going to help us make a lifetime of difference in communities up and down the UK. Families of seriously ill children are pushed to their limits every day.

"This incredible partnership will help to ensure that lifeline children’s hospices who are there for these families, aren’t pushed to theirs. The partnership will also kick-start an exciting new project to help us reach every family who needs our help in local communities."

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and support for their families from its three hospices, based in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester, and in the community.

In the past year the charity has cared for more than 700 children and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved. It costs Acorns £27,000 per day to provides its lifeline care and support, the bulk of which comes from fundraising and donations.

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