Gloucestershire Mum Delivers Petition to Number 10


A Gloucestershire mum visited Number 10 Downing Street today (12 September) to deliver a petition on behalf of a national children’s charity.

The petition, which was signed by 6,670 people, was handed over by Quedgeley resident Kirsty Murray and calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to increase funding for children’s hospices across the country.

Kirsty, whose family received specialist care from Acorns Children’s Hospice, was joined at Downing Street by Acorns CEO, Toby Porter and representatives from petition organisers Together for Short Lives, the  the UK charity that’s making life better for seriously ill children and their families.

Kirsty, said: “Acorns were amazing and helped us to get the most out of our daughter Ella, whilst supporting us as parents. They guided us through the most difficult time in our lives and without them I wouldn’t have known where to start.

“But the funding that services like Acorns receive has been falling in real terms. If this continues, I am deeply concerned that other families like ours will not receive the vital care and support that will keep them going as well as being forced to limit their end of life choices.”

Kirsty’s daughter Ella was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, Miller-Dieker Syndrome and died when she was just two years old. Staff from Acorns hospice, based in Worcester, provided vital care and bereavement support to the family.

Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive, said: “Welcome medical advances mean we are caring for more children and young people with more complex health issues over longer periods of time, and families are relying on children’s hospices more and more.

“Hospices are the only places families can turn to that bring together the facilities and experience they need to cope with the huge medical, physical and emotional challenges they face, every single day.

“In the light of the welcome news about the increased investment in our NHS, we hope and expect NHS England to recognise that children’s hospices face exactly the same cost pressures as the wider NHS, and to therefore take the opportunity to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant at its next renewal in April 2019.”

Signed by 6,670 people, the petition calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to use some of the 3.4% NHS funding boost she announced in June to:

  • Increase the NHS England Children’s Hospice Grant to £25 million a year
  • Bring about parity of funding between children’s and adult hospices in England
  • Develop a funded, cross-departmental government children’s palliative strategy for England

Acorns cares for children and families across the Midlands, including Gloucestershire. It costs the charity nearly £10 million every year to continue, and it relies on fundraising for the bulk of that amount.

For more information, please visit www.acorns.org.uk

ENDS

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

David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 / david.chamberlain@acorns.org.uk

Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 / nicki.robinson@acorns.org.uk

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 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 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 acorns.org.uk