A Christmas Message from Acorns Chief Executive Toby Porter
“It’s probably a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t think we’ll get to go on a plane with him again,” said the happy mother of a little boy on December 11, while in the sky somewhere between Birmingham and Wales.
Her family were one of a few dozen supported by Acorns who were able to enjoy an hour-long special ‘Santa flight’ laid on for us by the airline Flybe and Birmingham Airport.
I was able to go with them that day, and it was probably the most wonderful few hours I will ever spend in my role as Chief Executive of this fantastic charity.
For many children, it was the first time they had been on a plane.
It was a gift that combined the spirit of Christmas with one of our guiding beliefs at Acorns – the importance of helping create special memories for families of children who, sadly, may not have long lives.
You could see the smiles everywhere, most importantly on the faces of children and their families, but also on the delighted faces of people from the airline and the airport, who worked so hard to make this flight happen.
In the run-up to Christmas, there will be many other children and families at Acorns whose feet won’t touch the ground either.
By Christmas Day, Acorns will have welcomed players from Aston Villa to visit children and families in our Birmingham hospice, and players from West Bromwich Albion to our Black Country hospice.
We will have welcomed players from Worcester Warriors, Cheltenham FC and Worcestershire Cricket Club to meet children and families at our Three Counties hospice.
Children cared for by Acorns have been enchanted by the cast of The Nutcracker from Birmingham Royal Ballet and some Disney’s best-loved characters at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. And families supported by Acorns were given an exclusive day out at Santa’s Winter Wonderland at SnowDome in Tamworth.
In each of the visits and treats, with countless smiles and tears, they will create joyful moments and precious memories. Something unique and fragile, like a snowflake, the name we have given to this year’s Christmas Appeal.
We love Christmas at Acorns and celebrate it both as a special time for families, and a very important time of the year for giving.
We will especially celebrate it this year. Over the last 12 months, Acorns has received so much kindness and generosity from the local community in our own time of need. (See some of our Appeal highlights here).
Thank you and a very happy Christmas to everyone who has allowed us to be there for children and families who need Acorns.
There are over 780 children like Jess and their families relying on Acorns this Christmas and in turn Acorns is relying on people like you to fund its vital care.
Help us create precious moments for children and families this Christmas that will last a lifetime.