Isabella’s parents spearheaded the campaign to Save Acorns Black Country Hospice. In honour of their daughter, the craft room has been renamed Isabella’s place and is undertaking a major refurbishment.
“We always had hope that Acorns wouldn’t be closing because how on earth could it? How on earth could any other family go through what we’ve been through, and not have the support and love you feel as soon as you come through those doors?” – Mark Lyttle, Isabella’s dad.
When she was just three years old Mark Lyttle and Jen Dalton’s daughter Isabella was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer.
Isabella and her family used Acorns in the Black Country for a number of years, and the Walsall hospice became like a second home.
Sadly, in April 2019, after a long and incredibly brave battle with the condition, Isabella passed away, aged just 11.
Less than two months later, Acorns had to announce the potential closure of the Walsall hospice due to funding concerns.
Isabella’s parents were determined this would not happen and spearheaded the campaign to save the Walsall hospice.
Their passion for Acorns, their belief and their tireless commitment to championing Acorns cause galvanised the community, brought our plight to local and national media and caught the attention of local MPs and Westminster decision-makers.
They recognised on a deep and personal level how important the service is to local families like theirs. A vital service of love, care and support that the local community simply couldn’t afford to lose.
“The support Acorns has given to Isabella and to us as parents over the years has just been incredible and without them, we just don’t know what we’d have done. When times are tough and you don’t know where to go or what to do, Acorns knew what we needed even before we did.” – Jen and Mark, Isabella’s parents
A new arts and crafts room at Acorns, Isabella’s place
One of the places Isabella loved to spend many happy hours was in the craft room at Acorns. In honour of this wonderful brave girl, and in gratitude to the extraordinary efforts of her parents in saving our hospice, we have named the Arts and Crafts room “Isabella’s Place” in her memory. We have also drawn up plans for a major refurbishment of key areas within our Black Country Hospice. Central to these plans is the new Arts and Crafts room.
“Isabella always had a smile on her face despite what she went through. She loved the Arts and crafts room at the Black Country Hospice. She was a very arty girl and there was always glitter in my car and in my beard.
“We’ve got so many happy memories there. Having the Arts and Crafts room named after Isabella is so touching. I can’t wait to see it.” – Mark, Isabella’s dad
Our current craft room is the hub of the Black Country Hospice but the room is outdated and cramped meaning activities are limited. With your help, we can transform this space. Isabella’s Place will have floor to ceiling bifold windows allowing direct access to the gardens bringing the outside in. The space will give more children the chance to take part in arts and craft activities.
Why are arts and crafts important?
Many of us have our children’s or grandchildren’s artwork proudly displayed. We keep them up because we know when they made it, they were happy.
For our families, these mementos can be even more precious because the time with their child to create these treasured memories is often shorter. So we create as many fun and happy memories for families as possible. Isabella’s Place will help us do this.