A Malvern school girl who ticked off a ‘bucket list’ for her baby brother has been awarded for her bravery.
Tilly Barker, 11, has won the Child of Courage Award at the Pride of Birmingham Awards, held this Thursday night (8 March) in a star-studded event at the University of Birmingham.
With help from specialist staff and volunteers at Acorns Children’s Hospice, Tilly Barker 11, made sure the last day of her brother Henry’s was filled with lasting positive memories as she spent the final few hours with him and mum Kelly.
Henry was born with a serious genetic disorder in April 2016. The family was referred to Acorns for the Three Counties, Worcester and Tilly planned how she would spend her last day with her baby brother with a special list.
The list included having a picnic with Henry in the hospice gardens, a swim in the hospice hydrotherapy pool and a cuddle in a rocking chair.
The family told their story in last year’s Acorns Christmas Appeal, which aimed to raise vital funds towards the nearly £10 million it costs to provide Acorns services, every year.
Tilly still receives support from the Acorns Sibling Group, a group in which she offers support to other brothers and sisters in similar situations.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, mum Kelly said: “When Tilly found out she had won she was lost for words for the first time. She was like a little bottle of champagne ready to explode.
“I can’t describe how proud I am of her. It just melts my heart. She’s always been so selfless, and she is always the first person to offer help if someone is in need.”
Pride of Birmingham will be hosted by Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh in the historic Great Hall at the University of Birmingham and will be attended by a number of celebrities including Acorns Patrons Ian Bell and Adil Ray.
Carly Leigh, Sibling Support Worker at Acorns: “Tilly is truly an inspiring young lady who is thoughtful, caring and supportive of others.
“Tilly is always there for children that attend the Sibling Support Group at Acorns and makes time to listen and share her thoughts and feelings.
“In the face of her own bereavement, Tilly has shown nothing but care and compassion for others in letting them know they are not alone.
“I for one am extremely proud of her and am blessed that she is part of the Sibling Group. She truly deserves this award.”
The awards will be covered as they happen at www.birminghammail.co.uk in a live blog.
For more information about Acorns and how you can support the charity, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/30years
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Note 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 anniversary year. 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 www.acorns.org.uk/30years
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 care services providing care for the child and support for families. Acorns relies heavily on the community to fund the majority of its activities.
To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/30years