Mum’s Message of Thanks as Ex-Colleagues Donate a Weekend of Care for Charity in Her Honour


A grateful Gloucestershire mum has issued a heartfelt thank you to former colleagues who helped raise enough money to pay for a weekend of care at a charity that gave her family vital support.

Kirsty Murray’s daughter Ella was diagnosed with rare genetic condition Miller-Dieker Syndrome and died when she was just two years old. Her family received specialist care and bereavement support from Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Her moving story inspired fellow employees at Cheltenham-based Spirax Sarco to make Acorns their Charity of the Year for 2019.

Employees at the manufacturing company aimed to raise enough to pay for a day of care worth £7,000 at one of Acorns hospices.

But on Thursday 16 January, staff unveiled a cheque for over three times that amount – enough to pay for more than a weekend of care at the charity’s Worcester-based hospice, Acorns for the Three Counties, where Kirsty and her family received support.

In a video message to her former colleagues, Kirsty Murray, who now works at Acorns as Events Coordinator, said: “This time last year I was working for Spirax and I nominated Acorns as Charity of the Year. Being a bereaved mum of Acorns I’ve always been passionate about the work they do and hoped that by sharing my story and encouraging others, we could raise enough money to pay for a day at the hospice, which costs an incredible £7,000.

“I found out that they have raised not only enough for a whole day, but a whole weekend and more. The total for 2019 for all of the fundraising efforts for Spirax comes to an incredible 31,020.03.

“Sunday the 19 January marked the 5th anniversary of my daughter’s passing and Spirax have decided to dedicate this weekend in her memory. I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts and all of your support over the last year and from my family and all the staff here at Acorns as well as the children and families that use it, thank you!”

Throughout 2019, Spirax Sarco staff held a series of fundraisers, joining events including the Cheltenham Half Marathon. Their efforts were match-funded by the company.

Employees also donated 60 large bags to Acorns retails shops and two teams volunteered their time at Acorns for the Three Counties.

On top of what employees raised themselves, Acorns was also awarded a £10,000 grant from Spirax Sarco, bringing the total amount donated to Acorns to £31,020.03.

Stuart Jessop, General Manager for Market and Business Development at Spirax Sarco, said: “Spirax Sarco is delighted to have been able to support Acorns hospice during 2019. The charity offers an amazing service to our local community, supporting children, young people and their families during their most difficult times.

“While a significant amount of money was raised, it is just a small proportion of the funds needed by the charity annually to be able to continue to provide the level of care and support that it offers today. We hope that the work we have done to raise awareness of Acorns will encourage our employees, and others, to continue to look for ways to support this excellent organisation in the future.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care to babies, children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions, as well as support for their families.

It costs Acorns £7,000 per day to run each of its three hospices, based in Worcester, Birmingham and Walsall, and the charity relies on generous donations and fundraising by local businesses and the community for the majority of this amount.

To find out how you can support Acorns, please visit


Photo caption: Selection of images of Ella and mum Kirsty. Image of Spirax Sarco staff with bags of goods they donated to Acorns shops.

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

David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 /
Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 /

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