Birmingham Walkathon Makes a Comeback for Acorns 30th Anniversary

Fundraising institution, the Birmingham Walkathon made a brief comeback yesterday (19 August) to mark the 30th Anniversary of Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Former BRMB radio presenter and Free Radio CEO, Phil Riley – who took part in the original Walkathons in the 1980s – pulled on his walking boots for the 25 mile trek following Brum’s iconic number 11 bus route.

Yesterday’s walk, which saw Phil setting off from Kings Heath Park at 8am, has so far raised over £4,000 for Acorns and the charity’s work caring for life limited and life threatened children and support for their families.

Mr. Riley, who works as a volunteer Trustee for Acorns, said: “As you can imagine, with such a big anniversary for Acorns this year I wanted to do something personal for the charity. So I thought I might challenge myself to do the Walkathon one, possibly last time!

“It was a fantastic day and my huge thanks to all the friends and colleagues who helped provide logistical and moral support along the way! Whilst my legs may be a little sore, it’s a privilege to raise funds for Acorns and help this wonderful charity continue for another 30 years.”

The Walkathon, which ran from the early 80s, helped raise money for a variety of good causes across the region, including (in 1986) £85,000 towards the building of Acorns first hospice – which at the time was only the third children’s hospice in the world.

In 2012, working as Free Radio CEO, Phil Riley brought the Walkathon back as the Walk for Harry, in memory of Harry Moseley. The event saw 11,000 people raise £420,000 for various charities, including Acorns.

Lynne Carter, Head of Fundraising at Acorns, said: “We’re so grateful to Phil for revisiting such an iconic walk and to everyone who donated – a fitting way to mark Acorns anniversary. I hope Phil has now got his feet up and taking a well-deserved rest, safe in the knowledge that the money raised will make a real difference.”

In the past year Acorns has provided care to more than 870 children and over 1,090 families, including those who are bereaved. The charity relies on fundraising for the nearly £10 million it costs each year to provide its services.

There is still a chance to donate towards this year’s Walkathon by visiting 

For more information about Acorns, please visit


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:

  • 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 £11 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