Acorns Project to Record its Groundbreaking History Wins National Lottery Boost

The fascinating story of Acorns Children’s Hospice will be preserved for future generations thanks to a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

In an exciting project launching this week, Acorns will record groundbreaking moments from its rich 30-year history to display in an exhibition for members of the public.

The Acorns Story Box Project, made possible with £34,700 raised by National Lottery players, will form the lasting legacy of the charity’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Acorns 30th Anniversary Campaign Manager, Sarah Bowron, said: “We’re very excited to reveal that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful. I believe it is vital to capture our history and we’re delighted that we’ve received the support of National Lottery players.

“Not only will the Acorns Story Box project help others understand our historical significance as pioneers in the children’s hospice movement, it will also enable us to share our learning and show the impact of our work over the past three decades.”

A team of dedicated staff and volunteers will collect 30 oral history interviews with key individuals past and present who represent Acorns varied and remarkable family.

Acorns unmissable bright orange Story Box caravan will also be touring the region, with the charity inviting members of the public to share their own favourite memories of the last 30 years.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we are pleased to support Acorns to explore and record these important personal stories to mark its 30th anniversary.  This oral history project will show the impact their work has had on people’s lives and promote a better understanding of the children’s hospice movement in the wider community.”

Acorns provides a network of specialist care to children with life limiting and life threatening conditions, both within its three hospices, based in [Birmingham, the Black Country and The Three Counties], and in family homes.

It costs the charity nearly £10 million every year to provide its services and it relies on fundraising for the bulk of this amount.

2018 marks 30 years since Princess Diana officially opened the first Acorns Hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham. To celebrate, the charity wants to hear your favourite memories from the last three decades.

Acorns Story Box caravan, which was generously donated by a supporter, will visit towns and cities across the West Midlands, collecting your childhood stories. These will be shared on the charity’s website, alongside the oral history interviews. The very best memories will be displayed at a special 30th Anniversary exhibition in early 2019.

For more information about Acorns Story Box project or to find out when the caravan will be coming to a town or city near you, visit


Photo caption: Acorns Children’s Hospice is preserving its rich history for future generations… Pictured is Sarah Bowron, Acorns 30th Anniversary Campaign Manager.

For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team:

David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 /
Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 /

Notes to editors:

About Acorns Children’s Hospice

  • 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.
  • This year Acorns is celebrating its 30th Acorns in Birmingham, Selly Oak was opened in 1988 by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales. Acorns in the Black Country, Walsall opened in 1999 and Acorns for the Three Counties, Worcester opened in 2005. To find out more about this year’s 30th celebrations and how you can get involved, visit
  • Acorns is currently the UK and the world’s largest children’s hospice charity, as measured by the number of children who we are helping to care for.
  • It costs nearly £10 million a year to run our services providing care for the child and support for families. Acorns relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities. 
  • To find out more about Acorns, please visit

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
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