Acorns Children’s Hospice cares for life limited children and their families from across the heart of England.
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Since Aston Villa FC announced a ground-breaking partnership with Acorns Children's Hospice in 2006, this special relationship has gone from strength to strength as their recent activity demonstrates.
We’re delighted that as official charity partner of Aston Villa FC, our ‘Acorns 25’ logo will be displayed across the front of shirts worn by the Villa youth team during the 2013-14 campaign. An ‘Acorns 25’ logo will feature on both the home and away youth match shirts and junior replica shirts next season as part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, thanks to Dafabet, the Club’s new official main sponsor.
Villa Chief Executive Paul Faulkner said: “We’re delighted to now be able to confirm that, thanks to Dafabet, the Acorns logo will be able to be used on our junior shirts this season. Everybody knows how special the Club’s relationship with Acorns is and that was something we emphasised to Dafabet when we entered into negotiations with them. It’s great that they have embraced Acorns in this way and that together we are able to give additional awareness to the charity during their 25th anniversary.”
Acorns Chief Executive David Strudley added: “The ongoing support shown by the club and fans for Acorns is immeasurable and clearly demonstrated by their efforts to include us in their discussions with Dafabet. We are extremely grateful to both Aston Villa and Dafabet in what is a crucial year as we celebrate 25 years of caring and look to a future where we can help to provide care and support to each of the 2,000 plus life-limited and life-threatened children in the region.”
Villa’s Acorns ambassador Gabby Agbonlahor said: “The support for Acorns by Villa fans and the wider community has been incredible over the years and we want to make sure these efforts are continued. Acorns is very much part of who we are as a football club and raising awareness and raising funds for the children and families is vital. As players, having responsibilities within our community is good. There is more to life than football and Acorns is a very real reminder of this to us. The work carried out by the staff, the nurses and the volunteers who come in and help is inspiring and it’s great we will have the ‘Acorns 25’ logo on all junior shirts.”
Last year at the first Acorns Day v Fulham, we raised a phenomenal £54,000 and this year we hoped the three points against QPR will meant we have done the same! Totals are now in - Villa fans, club, staff and volunteers have surpassed themselves. Read more.
After our appeal for votes we are delighted to announce that we have won ‘Best Use of Mobile Fundraising’ in the 2012 Digital Fundraising Awards, following a hugely successful text to donate challenge with partner, Aston Villa FC.
The challenge, which took place during Villa’s home game against Newcastle on Saturday 17 September 2011, was for football fans to raise the most amount of money using text donations during a premier league match.
Villa legend and fan favourite, Paul McGrath, took to the pitch at half-time, to ask the crowd to get their mobile phones out and donate using the first ever free text donation service, JustGivingText by Vodafone. Every penny donated went directly to the charity and the service also allowed people to claim Gift Aid to increase their donation and help Acorns raise even more money.
£7,500 was raised during the game, a record amount collected by Acorns through a match day collection.
Acorns and Aston Villa are delighted to announce Gabby Agbonlahor as the official player ambassador for Acorns for the second year running.
Agbonlahor assumed the role at the start of the 2011-12 season and has been closely involved in activities and fundraising initiatives with the children and families.
The star striker will continue to encourage team-mates and fans to help out Acorns.
To mark taking on the role for another season, Agbonlahor has made a donation to our ‘Now is the time’ campaign, contributing a week of care to the target of reaching 25,000 days of care by our 25th anniversary in December 2013.
“For me it is a big thing, especially having kids of my own. It is always nice to help these children.” said Agbonlahor.
“When you see what these children go through on a day to day basis it makes you want to help them and be there for them.”
“It is nice to show that you can help them and when us as players make the trips to the hospices it can make their day or even make their year.”
David Strudley, chief executive of Acorns Children’s Hospice, said: “The strong relationship between the club and Acorns is well known but people aren’t as aware of the players’ involvement with the charity, behind the scenes as well as in the public eye.”
“Gabby is a local lad and has visited the hospice on several occasions and, as a father, he really relates to the needs of our children and families.”
“Working with him as ambassador is a step in Aston Villa’s support of Acorns of which we are hugely appreciative.”
“We so look forward to working with him even closer over the coming year.”
To find out more about our ‘Now is the Time’ campaign, click here.
AVFC have been Acorns children's heroes by initially providing a financial donation to cover the urgent costs of 77 days hospice care to keep beds open at Selly Oak hospice. Over the past few years, Villa players have also taken the time to visit the children and families who use Acorns, bringing smiles to their faces and those of our hard working staff. Most memorable for all was when Villa became the first Premier League club to forego a main shirt sponsor fee and place a charity name on its shirts for free.