Acorns superstar supporter Tony Frobisher

Tony Frobisher is a man who needs little introduction – he is a dedicated father, fundraiser and a fierce Ambassador for Acorns Children’s Hospice and our care for families just like his.

The 55-year-old dedicated his life to raising vital funds and awareness of Acorns after his family received lifeline support at our hospice in Worcester.

Tony and wife Rini’s triplet daughters Jewel, Louisa and Milla were born 16 weeks premature in 2006. Sadly, Jewel died after 17 days. Milla and Louisa survived against the odds, coming home after six months in hospital.

Within a year Milla was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, meaning she required 24-hour care. She was unable to walk, talk and needed a feeding tube into her stomach.

The family was referred to Acorns for the Three Counties, with Milla and Louisa both enjoying short breaks initially. After Louisa was discharged, Milla continued to visit Acorns where she would take part in different activities, sensory play, hydrotherapy and receive one-to-one care.

Tony explained: “Acorns gave my wife and I the chance of a break from the constant 24-hour-a-day care for Milla and Louisa. Broken sleep, illness, feeding regimes and medicines all took its toll on our physical, mental and emotional well being.”

“To see the happiness of all the children in Acorns, to see Milla smiling and relaxed, being so well cared for by the amazing, dedicated staff and volunteers was very important to us. To know she was safe, but happy, cared for and being treated not as a patient, but as a child.”

Support every step of the way

Sadly, Milla passed away unexpectedly from a sepsis infection while abroad visiting family. Acorns was there to support Tony and his family through the unimaginable.

Tony said: “Acorns were one of the first to reach out to us. They were there to support us every step of the way.”

A man wearing a Commonwealth Games top, holding the games baton

It’s thanks to this support that Tony has taken on numerous challenges to help raise funds to enable us to continue our vital care for children like Milla.

Among the feats have been the Acorns Triple Run in 2014, a 200-mile cycle in 2016 and a 12-hour sing and guitar-a-thon in 2020, all of which have seen him raise thousands of pounds for Acorns.

A keen poet, Tony also published a collection of poetry, with all proceeds going towards our care.

In 2020, he became an Ambassador for Acorns as a Parent Carer Champion, advocating for children’s hospice care on a regional and national scale.

Tony’s efforts to keep Acorns in the spotlight reached yet another high in 2022, when he flew the flag for our care and support as one of 2,000 inspirational people from across the West Midlands who took on the role of Batonbearer in the Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Commonwealth Games Baton Relay.

“Whenever I’ve done fundraising or awareness raising activity it’s always been for a number of reasons; obviously the motivation to try and raise as much as I can for charities, in particular Acorns for their help and support, but also I made a promise to Milla when she passed away that I would always fundraise and do what I could to keep her memory alive.

“So, it’s a really special way to remember both Milla and Jewel.”