Care for children

Our hospices provide a happy homely environment where children can experience all kinds of great activities, meet new friends or relax and enjoy some quiet time. Our experienced, skilled staff specialise in children’s palliative care and take time to understand each child’s individual requirements, listen to any concerns and adapt activities according to their needs.

Acorns multi-sensory room at the Three Counties Hospice. There is a pink light in the room and pieces of sensory equipment including string lights and noise shakers are around the room

Making every moment count

We aim to make every day a child spends with us at a hospice a special day. This could include:

  • Enjoying a splash in our hydrotherapy pool or spa complete with coloured lights and music, which can be used for physiotherapy and fun. Family members are often able to join in making this a fun activity for all.
  • Experiencing the sensations evoked in the multisensory room with coloured lights, projected images, textured surfaces and sounds piped in to stimulate or soothe.
  • Creative sessions and workshops such as arts and crafts, drama, puppet shows, dance and a variety of different music types. We also have occasional visits from magicians, circus performers, petting zoos and theatre groups.
  • Each of our hospices, like most family homes, has somewhere for our older children and young people to relax watching flat screen TVs or playing on consoles like the Wii, Xbox and PlayStation with games galore!
  • Themed weekends are popular and have included pirates, beach party and James Bond as well as the main festivals and seasons. We’ve also been known to have pampering and makeover weekends.
  • Outdoor fun – Acorns gardens are well tended by volunteers and full of character with loads of different spaces to explore and enjoy. Children can potter with a little light gardening, play with toys or simply sit, chat and enjoy being outdoors.
  • Relaxing with some complementary therapies, including massage and other techniques.
A boy and his dad play on soft play mats at an Acorns hospice. The boy has an NG tube in his nose
Child's bedroom at Acorns. The room is bright and welcoming with decorations on the walls

Space and time to call their own

As well as fun and sociable activities, when children stay at Acorns they have their own private bedroom and time to call their own. Bedrooms have their own TV and DVD player and each hospice has a wonderful selection of different DVDs and CDs for all ages. There is also plenty of space for those seeking a quiet spot plus storybooks and willing storytellers for those who enjoy a good book. Find out more about how we provide a safe and comfortable environment for children during short breaks.

A great place to socialise and make friends

Often young people will book stays with their friends but don’t worry if they don’t know anyone yet – they soon will! They are also occasionally allowed to choose some well deserved treats (just like at home) such as a long soak in the bath, a late night film and pizza or a lazy lie in the following day. Children are also able to use their mobile and laptop in the hospice or our child protected computers so they can keep in touch with their family and friends.

A young boy sitting in his mum's lap meets a Pets As Therapy dog at an Acorns stay and play session. The dog is a black and tan King Charles Spaniel
A baby's yellow and black striped jumper lies on a bed. Two bee cuddly toys are also on the bed

Caring for newborn babies

We understand that the needs of newborn babies and the support their families require may be different. Which is why at each of our hospices there is a dedicated nurse with special responsibility for the delivery of antenatal and neonatal palliative care.

Dietary considerations

Our kitchen staff pride themselves in providing really tasty food to cater for all different and varied tastes. Our staff will of course tailor meals to vegetarian, halal and the children’s specific requirements.

Feeding tubes are a very normal sight at Acorns as many children in our care are unable to get their nutrition orally. Acorns care staff are highly trained and able to manage various different kinds of tube feeding.

Find out more about…

A boy in a wheelchair sits with his mum and looks at a tablet screen. They are both smiling. Shelves of books and DVDs are in the background

Our hospices

A boy in a wheelchair sits next to his mum, who has her arm around him. Both are smiling at the camera. Shelves with books and DVDs are in the background at the Acorns hospice

Care services

Home support

End of life care


Supporting the whole family

To find information about how we support the wider family including siblings, parents and grandparents please view our family services area.