A devoted mum is taking the plunge to support an urgent fundraising appeal by a charity that provides crucial care for her son.
Charlotte O’Neill will leap from a plane at 10,000 feet on Friday 18 October to raise money for the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal.
The 26-year-old, who is mum to Oscar-Ray, is backing the £2million appeal in a bid to keep the Walsall-based hospice open, saying she’d be ‘lost without Acorns’.
Charlotte explained: “When I got the letter to say that Acorns in Walsall might be closing down I was absolutely devastated. Then when I found out there might be a chance to save it with the public’s help, I knew I had to do something.
“I wanted to be able to do my bit because they’ve been a lifesaver for me and Oscar and when I looked on Acorns website for ideas, the skydive stood out to me.”
Charlotte and her son Oscar-Ray have been using Acorns in the Black Country for the last year, benefitting from respite stays, hydrotherapy, sensory play and support groups.
Oscar-Ray has a genetic condition which causes severe epilepsy and results in the 22-month-old having up to 200 seizures a day.
Full-time carer Charlotte said: “Oscar’s condition means he has developmental delays. He’ll be two next month but he’s unable to sit or hold his own head and he is tube fed. I can’t leave Oscar with just anybody because he needs 24-hour round-the-clock care. I’d be lost without Acorns. It gives me the chance to unwind which is really needed and he gets to do so much there.
“Acorns doesn’t get enough recognition. But if we’re going to save it, everybody needs to do their part. I don’t think people realise how much families will be affected if Acorns has to close this hospice. So please start fundraising!
The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal follows a commitment of significant new NHS funding from Black Country healthcare commissioners and an earlier announcement by NHS England that they would double their central funding support to the country’s children’s hospices over the next five years.
The appeal sets out to raise £2 million to towards the Walsall hospice – which the charity had proposed for closure – until the full amount of new Government funding is reached.
For more information and to donate towards the Appeal, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal
Photo caption: Charlotte O’Neill, pictured with son Oscar-Ray, is taking the plunge for the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal.
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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.
• To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk