Walsall Mum Makes Passionate Plea on Behalf of Local Hospice


A Walsall mum has made a passionate plea on behalf of the Black Country hospice that delivers vital care to her son.

Rachel O’Donnell’s seven-year-old son Charlie has a chromosomal deletion – a rare, life limiting genetic condition which causes a number of serious health complications.

The family have been using Acorns in the Black Country, based in Walsall, for five years and receive services Rachel says the family cannot live without.

“Acorns is an absolute lifeline.” Says Rachel, who lives with partner Jonathon and Charlie’s younger sister Isobel, 4.

“Acorns helps in so many ways – they support us emotionally and mentally, and without the respite we’d be run into the ground.”

Charlie’s condition means he cannot do what most children his age can do. He has problems with every part of body, suffers from seizures, has chronic lung disease, has limited sight and vocabulary, is unable to walk or feed on his own, and relies on his parents for all his care needs.

In a video message in support of the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, Rachel urged local people to do what they can to help raise the £2 million the Acorns needs to prevent the hospice from closing.  

“The difference that this hospice makes to us is huge. There is nothing in the West Midlands that would support us anywhere near to the extent that Acorns does because they have a personal bond with the child, but not just the child the family as well.”

As well as a fun, therapeutic, home-from-home for Charlie – which helps give his family a break – much-needed emotional and practical support is provided by Acorns dedicated Family Team.

Rachel added: “It helps me get back on track. There is somewhere I can turn to and it’s often the only way we can get any sort of peace.

“Charlie has just had a stay at the hospice. If it wasn’t for these short breaks, we wouldn’t be able to cope. We can go on for so long but then we need that extra help. It’s a massive help.”

“We need this hospice to stay open to support us and the other families. Please just consider everything that you can to keep this hospice open, thank you.”

The Appeal, which was launched in July, has reached £400,000 of the £2 million needed over the next two years to safeguard the hospice’s future and the 233 families who use its services.

To support the appeal, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal




Photo caption:  Selection of photos featuring Rachel O’Donnell, Jonathon Waring, Charlie Waring and Isobel Waring.

For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team:

David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 / david.chamberlain@acorns.org.uk
Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 / nicki.robinson@acorns.org.uk
Notes to editors:

Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words ‘terminal’ or ‘terminally ill’ in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the conditions that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words ‘life limited’, ‘life limiting’, or ‘life threatening’. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your communications when referring to Acorns Children’s Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.

  • It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorns services providing care for children and support for their families. The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities.