“Without Peter, there would be no Acorns.” – A Tribute to Peter Wildblood

I am very sorry to share the news that Peter Wildblood MBE, our friend and founder of Acorns, died earlier this week.

I have spoken to his daughter Anne and conveyed our sympathy on behalf of everyone at Acorns, as well as our profound gratitude and appreciation for his remarkable determination and achievement in establishing the children’s hospice charity that became Acorns.

Peter was Headmaster at Calthorpe school, where he witnessed first-hand the need for what we now understand as a children’s hospice service for children and families in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.

You can read in his own words here where and when he started to have this realisation, before recruiting others around him at the school and the wider community to pursue that dream of a children’s hospice serving his local community.

That dream became a reality when in December 1988, Princess Diana opened the first Acorns Children’s Hospice in Selly Oak.

Peter served on and Chaired the Board for many years, during which time Acorns opened our second hospice in Walsall and started to expand the service in ways that we would recognise today. Peter was awarded the MBE in the 2006 Birthday Honours for services to the Prostate Cancer Support Group and to the Acorns Children’s Hospice and remained a Vice President of the charity for the rest of his life.

We were truly privileged to witness the incredible joy it gave Peter to return to the Acorns Children’s Hospice in Selly Oak at the start of our 30th Anniversary Celebrations, accompanied by his daughter Anne. He was delighted to see the hospice again, and to be reunited with so many friends and former colleagues.

On behalf of past and current Board Members and Chief Executives, I would like to say we will always remember Peter with enormous respect and gratitude. John Overton said to me very simply this week, “Without Peter, there would be no Acorns”.

Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive