‘I see exciting opportunities for us to become leaders in learning within our sector’

Kerrie Sprason is Head of Talent Acquisition and Development at Acorns and has been leading an ambitious project at the charity called the Acorns Academy.

Building on ideas she had developed in previous roles – Kerrie saw an opportunity at Acorns with huge potential; to unite the charity’s different strands of learning and development under one umbrella.

It was a lofty aspiration for a charity like Acorns – and would mean implementing something more commonly seen in much larger organisations – where each role has a bespoke learning journey with a clear pathway to development.

However, after much scoping and viewing the possibilities through a wider lens, Kerrie and her team knew there were huge rewards to be reaped for the charity and its workforce.

A head and shoulders image of a lady with blonde hair wearing a yellow scarf and orange lanyard.
Kerrie Sprason, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development

Despite its size, Acorns is a complex organisation made up of three hospices, 45 charity shops and a number of departments all serving vital but very different purposes. To get the Academy concept off the ground in such a multilayered environment was a significant challenge.

Following 12 months of intense analysis, development and implementation across all areas of the charity, the Acorns Academy launched in September last year and has already made ripples across the UK hospice sector.

Kerrie shares how the concept came about and what’s next for this exciting project.

Hi Kerrie, can you tell us, what exactly is the Acorns Academy?

Essentially, the Acorns Academy brings all the learning across the charity, together in one place. It’s made up of around 110 bespoke learning pathways, ensuring all roles are clear in their mandatory learning responsibilities, enabling us to operate above the standard expected according to the regulatory and governing bodies.

There’s also a strong core and developmental element to the Academy. The core training empowers people to become effective in their role and develop to be the best they possibly can be in their day-to-day job. It does this through a blended approach such as scenario-based learning, immersive workshops and learning-transfer methods, all designed to continuously improve behaviours and impact results.

Acorns has a continuous focus on development, so that we can grow our own talent, making us more sustainable for the future. This means that the developmental aspect of Academy is crucial to us achieving the goals outlined in our organisational strategy.

Ultimately, the Academy’s purpose is to ensure the right learning is identified, designed, developed and implemented to all teams, enabling all our people to grow, learn and succeed.

Two nurses wearing scrubs undertake medical training at Acorns on a practice dummy baby.
A lady with brown hair scans items at the counter in an Acorns charity shop.

Where did the idea come from?

It’s hard to pinpoint as the initial concept has evolved over time. Beginning with a mix of successes I have had in much larger organisations such as the pub and restaurant operator, Mitchells & Butlers, Phones 4U and Holland & Barrett. Couple this with a deep analysis of Acorns’ needs, my own ambition, input from my talented team and a very supportive and enabling COO, Matt Bullock.

How much of a challenge was it to implement something like this at Acorns?

Acorns is a complex organisation with a wide variety of departments – from retail, to family and clinical services, fundraising and all the support functions – so yes it was and still is very challenging to meet the needs of such a diverse range of areas and roles.

The approach taken was massively varied across different areas depending on complexity and need. For example, our retail area was less challenging when compared to the clinical side, where extra layers of complexity, governance and CQC regulations need to be considered.

We are still in early days of the Academy with much more to implement and embed, although we are off to an incredible start, having won first place in the Lenny Training Awards 2023 for best training service.

What sort of things have you been doing to help embed the Academy across the care and retail teams at Acorns?

Some of the ways that are helping us embed the Academy is through collaboration and engagement with key stakeholders. We do have an ongoing embed plan which includes activities such as working with our marketing and communications team on the messaging, holding ‘Academy Campfires’ in hospices and shops, where people have the opportunity to talk to us about their specific learning journey or development. We’re also recruiting ‘Honorary Academy Trainers’ and subject matter experts from across the charity to support the creation and delivery of learning and much more.

Are there any others in the hospice sector doing similar things to the Academy?

I’ve had opportunities whilst at Acorns to work alongside and gain insights into other hospices and as far as I am aware we are very advanced in our learning offer within the sector. Saying that, I continue to widen my professional network and have met some extraordinary people with great ideas and practices.

Is this part of an overall trend towards organisations moving all their learning and development in-house?

Not really, we see more organisations bringing consultants and external training providers in house to support with the complexity of learning and development needs. It’s rare in smaller organisations to have this in house and the level that Acorns Academy offers.

Three Acorns nurses wearing blue scrubs undertaking first aid training with a practice dummy.

I hear there’s already been interest in the Academy from outside Acorns?

Yes, that’s right, the Academy has definitely caught people’s attention. A number of children’s hospices have reached out to us already and after some demonstrations of specific content, we are in advanced discussions over contracts for us to manage aspects of their learning through our Academy. We’ve also been approached to speak at a Charity Retail Association event as they’ve seen some of our Academy successes and snippets of the learning offer. I see exciting opportunities for Acorns to become leaders in learning within our sector and hopefully in time, the ‘go to’ place.

Are there any success stories you can share linked to the Academy?

The Academy only launched in September 2023 and we are already award winning – thanks to the Lenny Training Awards I mentioned earlier. We are very proud of this award, however success for me isn’t about that, it’s about the organisational results that come from developing our people. Whilst we often have small wins, I think it’s a bit too early to evaluate the overall success.

Some examples of early successes are that we now have three newly accredited coaches, all with internal clients and six more undertaking their Level 5 accredited coaching qualification. These qualifications will support our aim to have a coaching culture at Acorns and transfer learning into the workplace.

We’ve also been liaising with a leading global glass manufacturer, Nippon Sheet Glass Ltd (NSG) who have pledged an incredible £145,000 in levy funding that will allow us to further ‘grow our own’ nurses through our Trainee Nurse Associate Programme.

What’s next for the Academy? How do you see it developing?

There’s a huge amount of business-as-usual and developmental content being worked on so there’s definitely more to come. We’ll continue to work on the mandatory and core areas but a special focus this next year will be on the developmental learning needs of the individual, department and organisation. To help us meet these needs, we’ve just conducted an organisational-wide Training Needs Analysis (TNA) with a focus on development. Officially, phase two is about creating the volunteer Academy and then phase three is the commercial aspect, in other words – sales and generating income. As mentioned previously, phase three has presented opportunities earlier than we expected.

The next big piece of work is called Am I ready? which is all about empowering people and unlocking their role specific development activity to help them work towards the next stage in their career. We should have an internal talent pool of highly skilled people ready to go and Am I Ready? will deliver this.

There are lots of exciting things on the horizon, so watch this space!

Thanks for your time Kerrie

Kerrie can be found on LinkedIn here: www.linkedin.com/in/kerriesprason

To find out more about a career at Acorns click here.

A state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool featuring multi-sensory light and sound for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions which was officially opened this week is already a splash hit.

The project at Acorns Children’s Hospice for the Three Counties has seen colleagues dive into months of work and the complete renovation of the much-used facility after a whopping six-figure donation.

Alongside a new pool and changing rooms, a hi-tech lighting system and ambient surround sound speakers will enhance hydrotherapy sessions, which are a vital service provided by the Worcester-based hospice.

Ian Smith, Chair of the Kildare Trust at the poolside.
Ian Smith, Chair of the Kildare Trust, at the poolside.

The project – costing around £200,000 – was made possible thanks to a grant from the Kildare Trust which funded the entire scheme, and it will benefit more than 200 children who receive care at the Bath Road hospice every year.

At the pool’s official opening (Tuesday, 20 January), the first family took a dip and were cheered on by representatives from the Trust, contractors and colleagues from Acorns.

Deputy Matron Siega Benwell with Catherine Atkins, and children Jack, Oliver and Maisie.
Deputy Matron Siega Benwell with Catherine Atkins, and children Jack, Oliver and Maisie.

Becky Hughes, Matron at Acorns for the Three Counties, said: “We are thrilled to officially open this amazing pool. The project has totally transformed this important space for children and families.

“Hydrotherapy is such a vital service, actively reducing pain and giving children at Acorns a sense of movement and freedom they may not otherwise get to experience because of the use of wheelchairs or spending a lot of time in bed.

“Our new pool will also help us give families visiting the hospice for family splashes the best possible experience, enabling them to make precious memories together which wouldn’t be possible in a public swimming pool because of infection control and colder waters.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Kildare Trust for the generous donation that has made this project possible.”

Hydrotherapy helps with pain relief and symptom management and can also help a child to develop their play and communication skills. The pool will help children to be as active as possible, both physically and emotionally.

The Kildare Trust, which was endowed by the late Phyllis Richards, a Worcester farmer who died in 2021 aged 100 years old, provides financial support to charities across Worcestershire.

Ian Smith, Chair of the Kildare Trust, said: “The trustees of Kildare were delighted to be in a position to fund the whole refurbishment of this vital facility at Acorns.

“We have supported the hospice for a number of years, but this is the biggest single project we have supported there.

“It was obvious from talking to the staff and parents how incredibly important the hydrotherapy treatment is to all of the users of Acorns.

“Most importantly, after several months of work, the children can benefit from the pool and expert staff support.”

Trevor Johnson, Chief Executive of Acorns at the opening with Catherine Atkins, and her children Jack, Oliver and Maisie.
Trevor Johnson, Chief Executive of Acorns at the opening with Catherine Atkins, and her children Jack, Oliver and Maisie.

Acorns provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and support for their families.

Every year the charity cares for more than 700 children their families across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire, work which relies on donations and fundraising to continue.

Find out more about Acorns by visiting www.acorns.org.uk

It was an epic feat that took friends Matt and George a staggering 40 days, 16 hours and an incredible 3,000 miles.

Without any assistance, the duo successfully rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in a stunning show of support for Acorns Children’s Hospice, which will see the ‘Worcester Buoys’ raise an incredible £115,000 for local children and families in memory of a very special young man.

The World’s Toughest Row

Matt and George launched their bid to conquer the World’s Toughest Row back in 2020.

So moved by the loss of Matt’s family friend Jack Dyer at aged 16, the duo wanted to do something special to celebrate Jack and help raise vital funds for the charity that supported his family throughout his life.

The inspirational teenager was at the forefront of the friends’ minds throughout their journey, from the moment they set off from La Gomera in the Canaries in December to the moment they crossed the finish line in English Harbour, Antigua, on 22 January.

Rowing in shifts of two hours on and two hours off was exhausting and relentless. It was a difficult and often nearly impossible time at sea.

Matt and George faced broken oar-gates, damaged safety equipment, seasickness and some of the worst conditions the challenge has ever seen. But still, they powered through, keeping positive and bringing the infectious energy they’re known for every step of the way.

More than anything, what got them up in the middle of the night to battle 8-metre waves, ‘force 8’ storms or 30-degree heat, was the knowledge that they were rowing for Jack and a fantastic cause.

For Jack

With his infectious laugh and heart-melting smile, Jack was well-known and loved by everyone who met him. Complications at birth led to Jack being diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

He began visiting Acorns for the Three Counties for short breaks when he was just nine months old.

Our Worcester hospice became a second home for Jack, his parents Dale and Sharon, and younger brothers Harry and Charlie.

Sadly, Jack’s health deteriorated in September 2020 and he was rushed to A&E, struggling to breathe. Although he had been in hospital before, it was clear that this time the situation was different.

After a number of weeks in hospital, specialists advised Jack’s parents, there was nothing more they could do for their son and he came to Acorns for end of life care.

Jack and his family spent nearly three weeks together at the hospice making precious memories before saying goodbye at Acorns in November.

Jack’s father Dale remembers those final few weeks:

“We did some amazing stuff. He loved being out in the garden, being able to see the trees and hear the birds.

“It gave us time with Jack. It was like he was saying: ‘I’ve had enough now – I’m going to give you time to get used to me not being at home – then I’m going to take a couple of weeks so it’s just me, mum and dad.’

“I felt it was almost like he made those decisions. It was like he was saying: ‘I’ve had enough now I want to go a different route.’

“The hospice allowed us to have the boys there as a family of five, so we could say our goodbyes.”

For Jack’s family, having Acorns there throughout his life and beyond has been a real lifeline.

Dale says: “There were two places that we felt that Jack was safest and happiest: at home, and at Acorns.

“It would have been a real nightmare with Acorns, I don’t even want to imagine it. If we hadn’t had the respite I don’t know where we would have ended up.

“What Acorns offers is physical respite but also mental respite – not having to think about things or worry – so you can actually go to sleep. In 16 years, I don’t think I ever had an unbroken night’s sleep.”

If Matt and George’s story has inspired you, you too can help us be there for children like Jack and their families

Rowing and race images credit to World’s Toughest Row worldstoughestrow.com

Acorns Children’s Hospice has announced a £145,000 boost towards employee training, thanks to a leading global glass manufacturer.

Nippon Sheet Glass Ltd (NSG) has pledged the generous amount to support Acorns in upskilling its workforce over the coming year, by giving the charity’s employees access to specialist on-the-job training.

Representatives from Redditch-based Pilkington Automotive, part of the NSG family, visited Acorns for the Three Counties in Worcester to announce the funding, which has been made available through the UK’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme.

Stephanie Newell from the Talent Acquisition and Development team at Acorns, said: “We are incredibly grateful to NSG and Pilkington Automotive for pledging such a wonderful amount. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to enhance the training offer for our incredible teams and the vital care and support they provide to hundreds of local families.

“Learning and development is a key priority at Acorns, and we are committed to ensuring everyone at the charity has an opportunity to thrive. Levy gifting allows us to invest in our people and ‘grow-our-own’ talent through a wide range of qualifications, from specialist pediatric palliative care nurses, to accredited coaches that support teams to deliver organisational goals.

“We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to NSG for this continued pledge to support, this gift will be transformational for the future of Acorns.”

The Apprenticeship Levy scheme aims to create sustainable funding for qualifications and apprenticeships across the UK and allows levy-paying employers to transfer up to 25% of their funds to other employers, helping smaller organisations like Acorns invest more in training opportunities.

Emma Neal, HR Director UK and Global Functions at NSG, said: “At NSG, we understand how valuable the Apprenticeship Levy is to develop and upskill workforces to be ready for the future, and are delighted to pledge £145,000 to support Acorns to deliver its 24/25 development targets. This is the first time that NSG has transferred its Apprenticeship Levy, and we are happy that it will make a significant difference to Acorns’ workforce and the children and families they care for.”

Acorns provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and support for their families.

Every year the charity cares for more than 700 children their families across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire, work which relies on donations and fundraising to continue.

Find out more about Acorns by visiting www.acorns.org.uk

‘Make your extra day count and help us ensure lifeline care for local families never stops!’ – That’s the passionate plea from Acorns Children’s Hospice this Leap Year.

The charity is calling on the public to help it fund an additional day of care for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions this February 29.

It costs around £30,000 a day to run Acorns three hospices and provide its vital care and support. To help cover the cost of providing its services this Leap Day, the charity has launched a special appeal.

There are many ways you can support Acorns in the countdown to Leap Day, from running for Acorns at Birmingham Running Festival and making a direct donation, to creating your own fundraiser or supporting Acorns at work.

Acorns Chief Executive Trevor Johnson said: “Our children’s hospice care never takes a day off. The reassurance that we are here for children and families whenever they need us provides genuine comfort. Leap Years are no different.

“For Acorns, this means we must raise an additional day’s funding to deliver our specialist care and support. We only can be there for families with the help of our local communities. So, please, make your extra day count this Leap Year, you’ll be helping us make sure our lifeline care never stops.”

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

In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 750 children across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns needs around £30,000 each day to provide its children’s hospice care, with two thirds of that amount coming from generous donations and fundraising by the local community.

Find out how you can help Acorns pay for the extra day this 29 February by visiting acorns.org.uk/extraday

The shelves were stacked, the signs were up and the lights were on as the biggest ever store for Acorns Children’s Hospice officially opened its doors.

The superstore, on Pershore High Street, will help to raise vital funds for the charity and its vital care for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions.

Gary Pettit, Director of Retail at Acorns, said: “This is a huge day for Acorns and for the first time ever we’re thrilled to open a fantastic new superstore, offering our complete range of items and more bargains than before all under one roof.”

The shop, which features pre-loved fashion, shoes, accessories, toys, books, homeware and furniture, held its official launch on Tuesday, 30 January with colleagues and volunteers.

Acorns has more than 40 shops on high streets across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

The new Acorns Children's Hospice superstore is officially opened on Pershore High Street
The new Acorns Children's Hospice superstore is officially opened on Pershore High Street
Inside the Acorns Pershore superstore
Inside the Acorns Pershore superstore

It’s our biggest shop yet

The Pershore store is open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. You can contact the shop on 01386 555 561 or to arrange a furniture collection email FurnitureSupportPershore@acorns.org.uk

Gary added: “This superstore is our biggest shop yet and will play an essential role in raising awareness of our charity and funds for the lifeline care and support we offer to local children and families.

“The easiest ways to support Acorns is to shop at our stores or donate your pre-loved items, or maybe you could give the gift of time and volunteer. By supporting your local Acorns shop you are helping us to be there for children and families when they need us the most.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and support for their families. In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 750 children across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns needs around £30,000 each day to provide its children’s hospice care, with two thirds of that amount coming from generous donations and fundraising by the local community.

Find out how you can help Acorns be stronger together for local children and families by visiting www.acorns.org.uk/strongertogether

The logo of Acorns Children’s Hospice is taking pride of place on a host of smart new football shirts worn by AFC Wulfrunians ensuring they kick off their matches in style.

The club’s whole Academy section is sporting the new look tops in their games right until the end of the 2024 season to show support for the charity which provides lifeline care for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions.

The club is Acorns charity partner and has been raising awareness and vital funds with a host of activities. To date, they have raised nearly £4,000.

Claire Snape, Area Fundraising Manager at Acorns, said: “We’re thrilled to see our logo on the team kits and to have the support of our friends at AFC Wulfrunians. It’s amazing to see them proudly wearing the tops on the pitch and in their team photos.

“This really helps to raise an awareness with their fans and the community of how Acorns supports its families. With their help we are stronger together and every penny raised enables us to make every day count for the children and families who need us the most.”

The logo is featured on all home and away tops worn by the Academy teams, including under-8 players, right through to the under-18s. The club, based in Wolverhampton, is currently a member of the Midland League Premier Division and plays at the Prestige Midland Arena.

Danielle Cashmore, from AFC Wulfrunians, said: “We’re delighted to help raise awareness of the work that Acorns does by wearing its logo on our team shirts this season. Acorns is an amazing cause, and we are proud to be their charity partner.

“The work they do for children is incredible and by displaying their logo we can help spread the word and help even more local families who may need their help in difficult times.”

Sporting the Acorns logo on their new football shirts - AFC Wulfrunians

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and support for their families. In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 750 children across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns needs around £30,000 each day to provide its children’s hospice care, with two thirds of that amount coming from generous donations and fundraising by the local community.

Find out how you can help Acorns be stronger together for local children and families by visiting www.acorns.org.uk/strongertogether

It is with great sadness we share the news that longstanding Acorns Trustee, Jim McCarthy has passed away, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Jim, a Chartered Accountant by profession, held senior management positions in several market-leading commercial organisations, before in retirement applying his wealth of experience to the voluntary sector.

Introduced to Acorns by former Acorns Chairman, David Butcher, Jim was appointed as a Trustee and prospective Treasurer in 2011. He chaired the Resources Committee for six years before becoming Vice Chairman in 2019. He eventually stepped down from the Trustee Board in 2022.

It was in 2020 that Jim was given the news he had cancer, along with an initial prognosis that gave him just six months. However, through a combination of medical science and his characteristic tenacity, Jim continued to bless Acorns and those around him for several more years.

Jim’s impact on the Acorns Board has been invaluable, his extensive experience helping guide the charity through significant challenges, including a period of financial uncertainty in 2019, and the Covid pandemic. The charity that has emerged from these challenges is undoubtedly one stronger and more resilient thanks to the careful stewardship of people like Jim.

With over a decade of dedicated service to Acorns, Jim leaves a lasting legacy towards countless children and families across our region. He was a tireless advocate for our cause and, to everyone he worked with, a source of wisdom and sound judgement.

Acorns has received a steady flow of heartfelt tributes to Jim since the news of his passing, including from his fellow Trustees, all of whom are unanimous in their reflections of a brilliant friend and supportive colleague.

Four men in smart clothing holding picture frames featuring colourful images created by children cared for at Acorns.
Jim McCarthy (far left) with fellow Trustees Chris Sallnow and Tim Barrett at an event to mark their retirement from the Board.

“Jim had oversight of Acorns purse strings when I first met him and went on to become my choice as Vice Chair. Jim’s counsel was readily welcomed by all his trustee and executive colleagues, his insights were always worth hearing and his quiet and unassuming manner masked an inner strength and self-confidence second to none. I could not have wished for a better confidante. I was proud to count Jim as a friend and he will be sorely missed. I should like to extend my deepest condolences, and those of all his friends at Acorns, to Jim’s charming wife, Lynda, and to his family at this sad time.”

Mark Hopton, Acorns Chairman

Benjamin Zephaniah, who sadly passed away on 7 December, will be remembered for being many things – a trailblazing poet, writer, musician, activist and of course, a proud Brummie. He was thought of so fondly by so many.

At Acorns, one of the things we will remember most dearly is the amount of pure joy he brought to children and families. His visits to our hospices over many years were always filled with smiles and laughter.

During an especially memorable Christmas visit to our Black Country hospice in 2019 he delighted children and families with poems, songs and stories. It was a wonderful to see faces light-up in his presence. Benjamin wrote warmly about the visit in an article for the Guardian.

It was at this visit that Benjamin formed a close bond with Acorns Ambassador, Assya Shabir. The friendship continued and the following year the pair were recorded in conversation for a feature aired on BBC Radio 4.

In 2021, Benjamin accepted our invitation to become a Patron and in 2022 he joined forces with fellow Acorns Patron Steven Knight for a Peaky Blinders themed charity event at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Benjamin was someone who understood deeply our ethos. He understood that at Acorns, not only do families have all their clinical and emotional needs met, but it’s a place where they can create precious, lasting memories – in a world where the future can seem so uncertain.

In his own words, Benjamin said of Acorns: “I am so inspired by the kids, and I also have an enormous amount of respect for the people who work there. I want to hug and kiss them, I want to tell them how much I love them, but I just shake their hands and act normal.

“Not only do they care for these kids, some of whom are not expected to reach adulthood; they also look after their mums, dads, brothers and sisters, even grandparents. The existence of children’s hospices is something many of us feel uncomfortable with – most people tend to associate hospices with older people. I was one of them, until I first visited.

Benjamin Zephaniah and Assya Shabir.

“Those working and volunteering there do everything they can to make special memories for the children and their families. I have rarely been to a place where love, happiness and joy were so abundant. I have never felt a hint of doom or gloom.”

Benjamin had the ability to connect with everyone he met. He had a sincere heart for the vulnerable and saw all others as equals; precious and loved, regardless of ability or social status. This was one of his greatest gifts, and something all of us at Acorns will remember, long into the future.

Inspirational Pride of Britain winner and Acorns Children’s Hospice Ambassador Moin Younis was guest of honour at the House of Lords last week (Thursday 23 November) for a special charity event.

The event, organised by Hospice UK for supporters of the hospice sector, saw Moin share his story in a Q&A with Hospice UK CEO, Toby Porter, before taking questions from the floor.

Moin, 23, spoke powerfully about the vital work of hospices, how Acorns made a huge difference in his life and the memorable moment David Beckham surprised him at the Pride of Britain Awards.

He said: “I don’t think I’d be alive it wasn’t for Acorns Children’s Hospice, because the condition I have, it’s cruel, but every time I was going through something – Acorns was there to support me.

“Whether it was to go there for a week and get my mind off the pain, they were there. I couldn’t thank them enough for what they do.”

Toby Porter and Moin Younis at the House of Lords
Moin Younis and Toby Porter at the House of Lords

A profound effect on Moin’s life

Moin suffers from a rare and agonising genetic skin disorder, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), and up to the age of 18 – Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham was like a second home.

The condition requires Moin to go through a lengthy and gruelling bandaging routine every single day. Despite this, he has dedicated his life to making a difference, inspiring others to make the most of life, regardless of their ability.

Moin has been an Ambassador for Acorns since he was a teenager, sharing at every opportunity how the charity has made a profound difference in his life.

It’s a role that has seen him recognised at the highest level. In 2017 Moin won a Pride of Britain award, through which he met David Beckham and Prince William.

The House of Lords event, a private briefing for Hospice UK supporters, was hosted by Hospice UK Vice President, The Rt. Hon Lord Howard of Lympne.  The event was aimed at highlighting the challenges the hospice sector is currently facing, in areas such as recruitment and the cost-of-living crisis – and share Hospice UK’s plans to address these issues.

Find out more about the campaigning work taking place by Acorns and our partners.