Acorns Children’s Hospice statement regarding temporary offer of support from St Giles Hospice
At all times, our purpose at Acorns is to provide life limited and life threatened children and their families with the highly specialist care and support they need. It is our Mission to deliver these services in partnership with others, working in close collaboration with our partners across the health and social care system and the community.
With the long-term future of Acorns in the Black Country now secured, now is the time to modernise the spaces where local children spend precious time with their families. Our hospice in Walsall will be temporarily closing for six months between May and October 2022, to enable a major refurbishment to take place.
We are thrilled to announce that Acorns will be working with St Giles Hospice during this time to continue to provide our children’s hospice care to families who access services at Acorns in the Black Country.
St Giles has offered the use of three Inpatient Unit bedrooms at their site in Whittington, from which Acorns care teams will continue to deliver symptom management stays, end of life care and planned short breaks – all of these services will be managed by Acorns teams 24/7.
We are extremely grateful to St Giles for their support as we create a Black Country hospice for the future for every local child and family that needs it, and we welcome this wonderful opportunity for our two charities to unite in the provision of palliative care. We are working closely with the team at St Giles to ensure the smooth transition of our services.
We want to know your views on the type of short breaks you will want from us from May to October 2022. This will help us plan and meet the wishes of the families to the best of our ability. You can let us know by either filling in the survey, contacting the hospice or arranging a time to discuss with one of the Family Team Workers.
It has always been our vision to unlock the potential of our Black Country hospice and create a place where local children will get the specialist care they need for generations to come.
With the long-term future of the hospice now secured, now is the time to modernise the spaces where local children spend precious time. Our goal now is to further enhance the experience of children and families visiting our hospice, by undertaking a major refurbishment project, with the primary focus being to upgrade all of the children’s bedrooms.
The level of nursing care and emotional support we provide is of the highest quality, and with this exciting refurbishment project, children and families will enjoy the highest standards of décor and facilities to match.
Our dedicated teams have worked together to deliver Acorns lifeline care and support across all three of our hospice sites and in families’ homes throughout the pandemic.
During the refurbishment of our Black Country hospice, families who would normally use our Walsall facility will still be able to access therapeutic services from our Birmingham hospice.
Where there is more demand for planned short breaks than we can meet from St Giles’ three Inpatient Unit bedrooms, we will consider availability at our Birmingham and Worcester hospices.
St Giles is very generously providing the three Inpatient Unit bedrooms that children and families at Acorns will access during this six-month period free of charge. We want to reassure families that the care team at Acorns in the Black Country will continue to provide the same highly specialist care and support to children and young people, either at St Giles in Whittington or in families’ own homes.
Any additional costs to relocate equipment will be met by Acorns by a planned budgeted resource.
While we welcome this unique opportunity to unite in the provision of palliative care, Acorns and St Giles are not merging. We will each remain independent charities.
The changes will come into effect from 1st May 2022 and will last for six months. We are working closely with the team at St Giles to ensure the smooth transition of our services.
The changes are a temporary measure to enable this exciting refurbishment project to take place and will last for the duration of the redevelopment works.
We understand what a special place the memorial garden at Acorns in the Black Country is, and how much it means to families who visit the garden to remember their loved ones. But due to the scale of the refurbishment, the site at Acorns in the Black Country will be closed for the duration of the works, including the memorial garden. This is to ensure everyone’s safety. But we would like to reassure families that we will be protecting the garden during the building work.
The Appeal has got off to a fantastic start and people have told us they are planning activities right the way through to March 2023. We are delighted to see this strong show of support and it gives us belief, together with applications we have made to donors, that we can start the building work with strong pledges of support.
Whilst that doesn’t give us the full sum we need yet, fundraising appeals can take 12 months to raise the full amount. We are committing to the project with belief that our wonderful local businesses, communities, funders, and private individuals have all shown enough support to take us to this stage but we do need more supporters to come forward with their brilliant ideas for fundraising to help us reach the finish line.
We are so grateful to every single donation, large or small towards the modernisation of our hospice. The work itself is being funded through a combination of our own funds, money raised through private funders who have made significant pledges, and kind donations to the Appeal. Only with the support of local people, individuals, groups, work colleagues and businesses will we be able to reach our target and transform the facilities that bring so much love, care and support to local families.
St Giles patients and families should be reassured that they are the absolute priority of St Giles, and these temporary measures will have no impact on the high quality care and support St Giles will continue to provide. The same number of Inpatient Unit bedrooms will remain available for St Giles Hospice patients
The children and families who use our hospice in Walsall for short breaks will be advised they will be able to continue to book planned short breaks and that this service will be provided from the three Inpatient Unit bedrooms at St Giles Hospice in Whittington.
Acorns care teams will be providing the same specialist care and support they deliver at the Acorns in the Black Country at St Giles Hospice.
Children requiring symptom management and end of life care will continue to be prioritised for in-hospice care.
Acorns specially trained Family Services Team will continue to provide psychosocial support to families and siblings in their own homes and over the telephone. We are also considering sites local to the Black Country area from which to base our Family Services Team, where families and siblings will be able to access a range of support groups.
Acorns will also be delivering increased Clinical Outreach services, providing support to children and families in their own homes, throughout this six-month period.
St Giles staff and volunteers should be reassured that the assigned bedrooms will be managed 24 hours a day by Acorns team and there will be no impact on roles and responsibilities. St Giles are working closely with Acorns to ensure the smooth, temporary transition of our service to their hospice in Whittington from May, but the team at Giles will be kept up to date and fully supported during this period of change.
Acorns employees and volunteers have demonstrated remarkable resilience and flexibility throughout the pandemic. We will be working with our incredible teams to ensure they are all kept up to date and fully supported during the temporary relocation of our services.
We really appreciate every donation, however big or small. Donations received in support of the Acorns Room to Grow Appeal will be applied to the overall refurbishment project. Although not an exhaustive list, your gift will help fund elements such as construction costs, associated project costs including professional fees, mechanical and electrical costs, decoration and soft furnishings, communal areas. Thank you.