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Acorns 2016 highlights

A few highlights from 2016 as we look forward to next year!

It’s been a busy 12 months at Acorns and there isn’t the space to mention everything, but here are just a few of the many highlights from 2016.

We want to wish everyone a very happy New Year and say a big thank you to those who have supported us this year, allowing us to continue providing care for children and their families

Wednesbury man raises nearly £500

Richard Longmore completed a grueling running challenge to raise nearly £500 in aid of the charity which cares for his nephew. He took part in the Cannock Chase Dirty Duathlon to raise money for Acorns. Richard’s nephew, Ritchie, 6, has spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic neuromuscular condition, which means he requires constant around the clock care.

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£10,000 donation major boost

The impressive amount was presented by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire Freemasons at the charity’s hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham. As well as the presentation, representatives from the Warwickshire-based Five of Nine club for new and young Freemasons, rolled up their sleeves for an afternoon of DIY, helping redecorate rooms and paint a fence in the hospice gardens.

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Report finds ‘Outstanding’ care

Acorns has welcomed recent findings by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that have found each of its hospices to be demonstrating ‘Outstanding’ levels of care in many aspects of the service we provide. Inspectors found staff to be caring and compassionate and the hospices to be well-led, as part of CQC’s new programme of rating all adult social care services.

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Moin wins courage award

Moin Younis, who receives care at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham, took home a Special Recognition Award at the glittering ceremony held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. The teenager, who has a rare genetic condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a season ticket holder at Aston Villa and received a special video message of congratulations on the night from his favourite player, Gabby Agbonlahor.

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Donation centre opens

The donation centre in Halesowen has opened to support the network of over 50 shops. The unit has seen over 2,000 bags a week pass through its doors. The network of shops raises around £1.5million per year, which helps to meet the running costs of the hospices, which stands at nearly £10 million per year.

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New Chief Executive appointed

 Toby Porter has been appointed as the charity’s new chief executive. Toby took his position at Acorns in September and replaced David Strudley, who announced in March that he was stepping down after a decade of service with the charity. Toby made the move from his previous role as chief executive of HelpAge International.

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Community Volunteering

Due to demand Acorns introduced a programme of Community Volunteering to widen the impact of our volunteer base. The main motivation for many volunteers is the desire to give something back and know that they are making a huge difference to the children and families at Acorns.

Read more about volunteering


Worcestershire Cricketer stumps up support

Alexei Kervezee, 26, has signed up for a volunteer role at Acorns for the Three Counties on Bath Road, to help in the vital care for life limited and life threatened children and young people and support for their families. He said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world with the Holland cricket team and I’ve seen the best and worst of a lot of those places so I’ve always thought that I’d like to go into looking after children.

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“It’s about living, not dying” – Staff Nurse

Anna Page, 36, lives in Lichfield and is a staff nurse at Acorns in Birmingham, based in Selly Oak. Anna, who works night shifts, explains that whilst children are asleep overnight, there is still lots of important work to be done, with staff making checks every 15 minutes. When children visit Acorns for short breaks, this gives their parents the chance to have a good night’s sleep, to relax and feel reassured that their child is being cared for just as well as if they were at home.

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Fundraisers Hit Quarter of a Million Milestone

A Gloucestershire based fundraising group has hit a jaw-dropping £250,000 milestone in aid of local children and their families in just 10 years. The group, which is made up of volunteers, set a target of £25,000 each year, the group fundraise primarily by operating soft toy tombolas at various events including village fetes and agricultural shows across Gloucestershire.

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Former Apprentice Star ‘blown away’

Former Apprentice star Gary Poulton has said he was “blown away” following a visit to the Birmingham hospice. The Solihull based businessman, who reached the final five in the BBC 1 show, was given a tour by head nurse Lindsey Homer to see first-hand the vital work providing specialist palliative care for children and young people and support for their families.

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Dudley MP highlights vital work

MP for Dudley South, Councillor Mike Wood visited Acorns in the Black Country based in Walsall for a tour of the facilities and to see first-hand the work providing care for life-limited and life-threatened children and young people and support for their families. He expressed how invaluable the support of local people was, to help Acorns continue its work

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Challenge brings Mother and Daughter closer

A mother and daughter who live 200 miles apart have teamed-up to take on four marathons together this year, all for a good cause. Lucy Pritchard, 30, from Bentley Bridge, Wolverhampton and her mum Josie, 63, who lives in Devon, put on their running shoes to raise money for Acorns. The pair took on the Black Country Half Marathon in July, the Torbay Half Marathon in June, the Plymouth Half Marathon in April and the Great Birmingham Half Marathon in October. 

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Children take on bubbliest race

Youngsters who have seen first-hand the care provided to their 15-year-old severely disabled friend and relative joined together to raise vital funds. The group of six children aged three to 12 took part in the Acorns Bubble Rush on Saturday (25 June) for Josh Carless and his family who live in Pelsall. Josh uses Acorns in the Black Country, Walsall, for short stays, to give his family a break from providing round-the-clock care. Writing on the team’s JustGiving online fundraising page, six-year-old Abigail said: “When Josh goes to Acorns he always has lots of fun.”

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‘Allsorts’ of fun for Mondelez

20 Staff from Mondelez volunteered at our new distribution and sorting centre in Halesowen. They managed to sort through a staggering 590 bags of donated goods. These bags were sent to be sold in our retail stores across the region to help raise the vital funds we need to care for children with life limiting or life threatening conditions and support for their families

To volunteer in 2017 visit here


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