Proud Grandfather joins Acorns ‘Celebrate your Star’ Initiative to Support Local Families

George Nicholson (photo credit: Jo Hanley)

A proud grandfather is among those remembering their loved ones this December by joining a special festive celebration from Acorns Children’s Hospice.

This Christmas, Acorns is running a ‘Celebrate your Star’ initiative and in return for a small donation is inviting people to celebrate loved ones by submitting a dedication to a virtual Christmas tree.

A physical version of each dedication, in the form of words or a photo, will be hung on a Christmas tree at one of Acorns three hospices, and one will be posted to the person paying tribute – to display at home in time for Christmas.

Among those celebrating a star this Christmas is George Nicholson who will be remembering a ‘very special little girl’ – his granddaughter Emily Hart.

Emily was referred to Acorns aged two, after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. Her family were supported by Acorns in the Black Country, based in Walsall. Sadly, Emily passed away in December 2006, aged just five.

George said: “Acorns has had a huge impact on my family. They provided wonderful care and support for Emily and my family and it is something we will never forget. I always wish I could have done more but this is my way of saying thank you.”

Over the last 15 years, George – who is based in the North East – has dedicated his time and efforts to raising funds to help Acorns continue caring for families like his, who rely on the charity’s vital support.

With the help of many ‘wonderful’ friends and family, George has raised a staggering £30,000 towards the charity’s care from a whole host of fundraising events, including an incredible 40 Great North Runs and more recently, Acorns Virtual Everest Challenge.

He is sharing his story as a way of honouring Emily and celebrating her life.

Ben Gilchrist, Acorns Legacy and In Memory Manager, is inviting people to join George and celebrate their own stars by supporting Acorns this Christmas.

He said: “For many people Christmas is a time of celebration, but we know it can be difficult when you’re missing someone special, especially when Covid restrictions mean you’re unable to get together with family and friends.

“We wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate the lives of the people they love and miss with our virtual tree.

“By dedicating a decoration, you’ll be helping us shine over local families and as a thank you for your donation, we’ll create two special shining stars – one for you to display at home and one to hang on one of our hospice Christmas trees.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions, as well as support for their families.

It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorns services providing care for children and support for their families. The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities. 

Anyone wishing to celebrate their star and support Acorns is encouraged to make their dedication before Wednesday 16 December to ensure their stars are ready in time for the last Christmas post.

For more information or to make a dedication, please visit