Take a virtual tour around Acorns Children’s Hospice
Click the play button above to start your 360-degree virtual reality tour to see inside our hospice.
Most people have never visited a children’s hospice. Often people have lots of misconceptions about what life is like in a hospice – here is your chance to see for yourself!
Each of our three hospices are unique, however this virtual tour around Acorns for the Three Counties will give you a taste of what life is like in our hospices.
Here are some things you might notice:
A homely environment – visitors are often surprised at how homely our hospices are. It’s important that we provide children with a comfortable place to be when they come to visit. Which is why we provide a relaxed environment and our staff and volunteers don’t wear uniforms.
Bedrooms – click to go down the corridors and take a look into the bedrooms. When a child comes to stay we make sure their room is just how they like it – including their own bed covers, favourite toys and pictures from home. You’ll notice that they are very similar to a “regular” bedroom, but you will spot some differences too. Specialist medical equipment in our rooms may include adjustable beds, hoists, monitoring machines and oxygen. The specific equipment will depend on the individual needs of the child to make sure their stay is comfortable and safe. Each of our hospices has 10 bedrooms, we always keep a bedroom available for end of life and emergency care.
Specialist medical equipment – we have a wide range of specialist equipment around the hospices. As well as medical equipment we also have specialist play technology to help children of all abilities enjoy fun and therapeutic play. We are fortunate to have some amazing technology such as the Eyegaze which enables non-verbal children to communicate and play using just their eye movements, they can even draw pictures with it to take home to their parents!
Gardens – get a glimpse of our wonderful gardens through the windows as you tour the building. Our gardens are open to all children and families, our wide doors enable children in chairs and beds to access the fresh air. Whether it’s to enjoy family time together on our adapted play areas, or to get some quiet space to reflect. Each hospice also has a memorial garden, which is a special place to remember children. We lay a stone for each child engraved with their name in these gardens and families may place their own mementos too. Families may visit whenever they wish to remember and reflect.
Kitchen and dining room – families, staff and volunteers all sit down to enjoy a home cooked meal prepared by our kitchen staff. We ensure that the special dietary requirements of our children and families are always catered for. Tube feeding is a very normal sight at Acorns as many children in our care are unable to get their nutrition orally. Our care staff are highly trained and able to manage various different kinds of tube feeding.
Hydrotherapy pool – a very popular part of our hospice! Many of the children and families we care for can’t access a normal swimming pool, because the water is too cold and the risk of infection is too high. Families can enjoy time together with a splash session in the pool. Children also receive hydrotherapy with a trained physiotherapist in the pool to relieve their symptoms. Hydrotherapy can help reduce pain, joint stiffness and weak muscles.
Craft and play areas – at Acorns children can be children – which often means playing and getting messy! Our craft rooms are the perfect place for this. We adapt play to suit the abilities of each child, this may include sensory experiences such as feeling paint on their hands. We also make mementos for families to treasure. We have lots of special sensory toys, including textures, lights and sounds. For our young people our adolescent lounge provides a place to hang out with friends, chatting and playing video games.
Family flats – each hospice has dedicated accommodation for families to stay on site. This could be the first time a child comes to stay with us. Leaving a child with a serious condition can be a nerve-racking experience, so being able to stay the night and see how their child is cared for can reassure families. Family flats are also vital at end of life. We ensure families can be together in those precious moments.
Special bedrooms – you will not see our special bedrooms on this tour, but they play a very important part of the service that we provide for families. Each hospice has a temperature controlled special bedroom where a child or young person can stay after their death so they can be cared for and visited by their family before their funeral. These rooms are decorated like a normal Acorns bedroom and families can personalise them as they wish with things like toys, pictures and personal belongings.
Below you can see a video of some of our families and staff testing out the tour on a VR headset. The groundbreaking technology means that we can show families, supporters and people like you what it’s like inside your local children’s hospice.
This pioneering software was created in a collaborative project between Acorns Children’s Hospice, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and developers Owl 360.