Proud night for Acorns at the Innovation Awards

It was a proud night for Acorns at the Innovation Awards on Friday (27th October) with special recognition for the charity’s groundbreaking Family Portal and a fantastic £8,000 raised towards local families.

Acorns joined nominees from across the region at the event, held to celebrate organisations and individuals who show exceptional dedication to innovation.

The Acorns Family Portal, an online tool for families and the first of its kind for a UK children’s hospice was nominated for the Community Innovator award.

The Portal, launched by Acorns in 2022, gives families access to key information about the care being delivered to their child at one of the charity’s three hospices and allows them to submit hospice bookings from the comfort of their own home, connecting them directly to the hospice admin teams.

Trevor Johnson, Acorns Chief Executive and Jessica Ashe, Programme Manager at Acorns represented the charity on the evening, held at the Eastside Rooms in Birmingham. Acorns was official charity on the night and a fantastic £8,000 was raised from bucket collection, silent auction and raffle.

Local youth charity Free@Last were eventual winners in the Community Innovator charity, but it was a proud night for Acorns in recognition of the charity’s trailblazing work.

Jessica Ashe, said: “It’s an honour to see Acorns and our work celebrated at the Innovation Awards and we’re thrilled that our work has been recognised in this way. The Family Portal has transformed the way in which we engage with families, better supporting the needs of the children we care for.”

“The children who access our services often have complex care needs, and it’s not unusual for short break bookings to be cancelled at the last minute. By using the Portal, families are able to book breaks, change or cancel them in their own time, without being restricted by our office opening times.”

“It’s an amazing resource for our families, allowing them to quickly and easily book stays, so they can focus on providing care to their children at home during the day.”

To help get the Family Portal off the ground, Acorns was awarded funding by Morrisons Community Grants (£54,000) and worked in partnership with Care data platform, AzeusCare. Jessica added: “We’re on an exciting journey with the Family Portal and Acorns is exploring a number of exciting future possibilities. For example, giving families the ability to book on to specific Acorns support groups or giving them access to videos, pictures and messages, helping them feel connected to their child wherever they may be.”

To help get the Family Portal off the ground, Acorns was awarded funding by Morrisons Community
Acorns provides specialist care and support to hundreds of children and their family every year across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire.

The charity provides its care from three hospices, in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester, in the community and in family homes.

It costs Acorns around £11 million every year to continue and it relies on donations and the profits from charity shops for the bulk of that amount.

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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.