“When it was first mentioned about coming to Acorns, my initial response was ‘definitely not'”

Elaine’s daughter used Acorns before she passed away. For Elaine the decision of whether to come to Acorns or not was a difficult one, but she’s glad she did. Here she explains…

“When it was first mentioned about coming to Acorns, my initial response was ‘definitely not’. I had a preconceived idea that I would come in and it would be a really depressing situation, with lots of really ill children lying in beds. But when I came along and got shown around it was actually a complete shock how different it was from my preconceived idea.

“The staff were very jokey, and it was really bright, airy and positive. A lot of the children did have quite severe disabilities, but they didn’t seem to be really ill or unable to do anything, they were whizzing around the hospice in wheelchairs. There was also a room for teenagers, with just normal teenagers hanging around together, and there was a lot of banter between the staff and the children.

“Although our child was really ill she was happy to come, whereas when we used to go to hospital it was quite an ordeal for her. In the car the shutters would come down and she’d look a little bit agitated and a bit upset, but when we used to drive into the Acorns car park her face would light up and she’d be really excited about going in.

“We’ve got a lot of lovely memories of her there, for example at Christmas time when Santa came she was just so excited. Everybody made her feel really special and her true character came out more when she was there.

“One day she had the energy to come from her bedroom down to the sitting room, but someone was sitting in her usual place on the sofa. So she gave this hard stare and the person got really unfcomfortable and moved, so she got her special place in front of the tele.

I think the staff make the children feel part of the family.

“Since then we’ve continued to keep in touch with Acorns. Cathy comes to take part in the sibling group and she always looks forward to it.”

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