Six of Birmingham’s Brilliant Business Minds Join Acorns Ambassador Scheme

More Birmingham business moguls have joined Acorns Children’s Hospice to champion the lifeline care and support the charity provides for local children and families.

Six of the second city’s biggest industry figureheads have joined the charity’s growing list of Business Ambassadors, playing a key role in raising awareness of Acorns within the business community and vital funds towards its children’s hospice care.

Among the new Ambassadors are Emma Neale, Associate Professor and Employability Lead for Birmingham City University Business School; Giles Rowley, Brand Director for Rybrook Specialist Cars; Matt Jones, Founder and MD of Oxbridge, the online college; Joanne Morgan, Director of Ethics and Compliance at BT; Stewart Ward, Business Development Director for Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking in the West Midlands; and Yiannis Maos, Founder and CEO of Birmingham Tech.

They each join the charity in a two-year partnership and have committed to raising £5,000 per year.

Libby Kaluna, Senior Partnership Fundraising Manager at Acorns, said: “We are thrilled to welcome some of Birmingham’s best industry experts to our growing list of Business Ambassadors.

“The impact of their support cannot be underestimated – not only are they playing a significant part in raising awareness of our care and support, but also much-needed funds, enabling us to continue to be there for every child and families that need us.”

Acorns Business Ambassadors will represent the charity at various events during their tenure, from cheque presentations and networking groups to attending public engagements within the business community. The group will come together for quarterly meetings chaired by Paul Cadman, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Birmingham University and Acorns Vice President.

Libby added: “We’re so grateful to have such an enthusiastic network of supporters within this business community and we can’t thank our new Ambassadors enough for joining Team Acorns!

“Acorns Ambassadors have a wealth of knowledge and experiences which will help us to reach even more people and raise awareness of our vital care and support.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for life limited and life threatened 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 cost Acorns £27,000 per day to provide its lifeline care and support, the bulk of which comes from fundraising and donations.

The charity relies on generous donations and fundraising by the public and local businesses for the majority of the funds it needs.

To find out more about becoming one of Acorns Business Ambassadors, please email the Partnerships Team at or call 01564 825037.

Acorns Business Club Ambassadors

Stewart Ward

Stewart Ward is the Business Development Director for Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking in the West Midlands. Stewart grew up in Worcestershire before moving to London at 21 to begin a career in Banking.

He said: “The role that the charity undertakes is one that has always found a place in my heart. Acorns ability to support families at times of such need, coupled with the work they undertake is literally life changing for so many, I couldn’t think of not wanting to be part of such an amazing charitable organisation.”  

Emma Neale is Associate Professor and Employability Lead for Birmingham City University Business School. Emma lives in Sutton Coldfield with her husband and 17-year-old twin girls.

Emma said: “Having children myself, Acorns has always been close to my heart. I have always admired how Acorns provides a vital lifeline for families within our local community.

“The amazing team and volunteers go above and beyond, and the range of services Acorns offers is phenomenal. It really is inspiring to see the amazing work and support Acorns provides. I am honoured to be a Business Ambassador and I look forward to supporting Acorns and further enhancing the fantastic work they do.” 

Emma Neale

Giles Rowley

Giles Rowley is the Brand Director for Rybrook Specialist Cars and has worked in the Motor Trade for over 30 years.  

Giles said: “I believe in making a positive difference so could not be more proud to be associated with such a deserving and worthy cause as Acorns Children’s Hospice.”

Yiannis Maos is the Founder and CEO of Birmingham Tech CIC, a community initiative designed to inspire the next generation, help businesses ScaleUp, and create an environment where people can collaborate and celebrate success.

Yiannis said: “Upon hearing about Acorns, I was immediately in awe of the incredible and amazing work they do to support families whose child have been diagnosed with a life limiting or life threatening condition.”

Yiannis Maos

Joanne Morgan

Jo Morgan is the Ethics and Compliance Director at BT, based in their brand-new building in Snowhill in Birmingham. Jo is a lawyer and started her career with Pinsent Masons in Birmingham in 1997, and Birmingham has been her home ever since.  

Joanne said: “It is really important to me to be able to give back to this wonderful city and surrounding area and so I am grateful for the opportunity to become a Business Ambassador for Acorns. The work Acorns does is vitally important to the children and families that they support, and I am so proud to be part of that.”  

Matt Jones is the Founder and MD of Oxbridge, the online college. A Birmingham-based EdTech entrepreneur, NED, angel investor, and charity ambassador, Matt has bootstrapped several multi-million GBP revenue industry-leading organisations. His hobbies include travel, learning to fly and recording music.  

He said: “Acorns Children’s Hospice is the most incredible charity. You only need to spend a short amount of time in one of their hospices to realise this. What particularly strikes me is how cheerful everyone is; in tough circumstances, it’s a place of joy and smiles. I admire how Acorns generously supports both service users and their wider families at such difficult times.” 

Matt Jones