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Welcome to the latest edition of the Together Newsletter

Keep reading to find out more on how you can have fun this summer, by holding your own Great Big Kids Party, fundraising, volunteering your time or taking part in one of our fantastic events.

But first find out what is new at Acorns since our last newsletter and learn more about the care we provide for children like Malachi.

Since our last Together Newsletter, Acorns has reached another important milestone.

together-newsletter-tobyWe are now working with more children and supporting more families than at any time in our history. We think this is mainly because of the reputation we have for providing high quality care. More and more doctors, social workers and friends of families are recommending Acorns. You have hopefully heard many times now from parents about what Acorns care has meant to their son or daughter, and to their family. But we think the increase may also in part be because parents of life limited and life threatened children are finding it harder to access other services.

It is thanks to the enduring commitment and generosity of our volunteers and supporters across this region that Acorns is able to continue to welcome children that require our services while some other doors are closing. For every £1 we receive, the vast majority – two thirds – comes directly from the donations of supporters like you.

In this edition you can read the first-hand account of one of the families you are helping to support. Laine’s son Malachi is limited physically in many ways but at Acorns he is offered a wealth of opportunities – a place where our staff, volunteers and specially designed facilities have a real influence on Malachi’s growth and development. Laine paints a vivid picture of Acorns as a place of fun, joy, brightness and laughter. There are aspects that may not naturally spring to mind when people think of the word ‘hospice’, but I think the smile on Malachi’s face as he plays in the hospice gardens tells a different story!

On behalf of everyone here at Acorns and families like Laine and Malachi, a big and heartfelt thank you for your support.

Toby Porter
Chief Executive

 

Our care

Malachi is a lively three year old with a cheeky sense of humour and although he’s limited physically in many ways, Acorns lets him do some of the things he loves! When he was six weeks old, Malachi contracted a severe chest infection and was rushed to hospital. Whilst spending time in intensive care, tests revealed that because his blood pressure had been so low, his brain had been deprived of oxygen.

The family were given the news that would change their lives; that Malachi had permanent brain damage and it was possible he might not be able to do many things by himself – things like walking, talking and feeding himself

Malachi’s mum, Laine, says: “It was heartbreaking. It had been a difficult pregnancy and he’d come through that healthy. It was heartbreaking because he’d survived everything else. The prognosis was grim, but the great thing about Malachi is – since then he’s proved us all wrong.

“He feeds through a bottle, he sits up, he chats – all things they said he wouldn’t be able to do. He has intensive speech therapy, so now he can say two or three words together. He started with little noises that sounded like words and now he can tell you if he wants tea or if he’s hungry. Every day he’s showing us something more that he can do.”

The family were referred to Acorns as a place where the family could have respite and support but also as a home-from-home where Malachi has the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of activities, specially designed for his needs.

Read more of Malachi's story

“We were quite nervous about going to Acorns. People says things like ‘oh no, not a hospice’. But it was nothing like we expected. Everyone is so nice and chats to Malachi when we visit, which is one of the nicest things about it.

“Malachi loves Acorns, he thinks it’s amazing. As soon as we get to the hospice, he knows where he is and he’s happy. He’ll always want to go in the gardens when he gets there or he’ll ask to go in the hydrotherapy pool.

“He’s a proper cheeky chappie. He’ll go round in his chair and say ‘hello’ to people because he thinks that’s hilarious. He loves interacting with people, staff, volunteers, other children, everybody. If he sees some children playing with a ball or toy he’ll say ‘ball ball’ and he’ll sit next to someone he’s never met before and join in.

“His favourite activity is swimming and he likes going outside in the garden and playing with the musical instruments. He has a great time banging the drums in the garden.

 “He loves spending time in the multisensory room, which is good for his senses and helps him express himself. Because he’s visually impaired, he loves seeing the lights and coloured bubbles.

 “Acorns has opened up so many opportunities for Malachi and there are loads of things that have a real benefit. The best thing about it is, he doesn’t realise it’s beneficial, he just thinks it’s fun. He’s having a whale of a time, he thinks he’s on holiday!

“When Malachi’s at Acorns I can relax. I can go and do something fun and not feel guilty. I can do the boring things and not worry that Malachi has got to come with me and he might not be able to manage it.

 “If there was no Acorns, it isn’t just Malachi that would miss out, but the whole family would miss out. They support all of us.”

Great Big Kids Party

The Acorns Great Big Kids Party returns for another year! It’s your chance to hold a party, big or small, have fun and raise money with your friends to help support local life limited children and their families this summer.

It’s the perfect excuse to get your friends, family or colleagues together and behave like big kids for a good cause. Whether it’s retro fancy dress from your childhood era, an old school disco or recreating iconic children’s party games; no matter how big or small your party, you can help make a real difference.

Request your FREE Party Pack here!

 

Earlswood Garden Centre’s Family Fun Day
“As our nominated charity for 2016/17, we decided to host a Great Big Kid’s Party at our centre last year to kick-start our fundraising activities. Know the money raised is going to such a worthy local charity makes all the planning, organising and running of these events a pleasure.”

Brett, Centre Manager

Helen’s Pink Picnic Party

“We chose a day when the local cricket team were playing and the theme was we each had to bring something pink; pink presecco, pink cakes, pink sweets or wear something pink – all for a small donation! I chose Acorns as it’s a cause close to my heart and we are passionate about helping children locally.”

Helen, Acorns supporter

Our events

Join the bubble revolution!

Saturday 24th June Hatton Country World, Dark Lane, Warwick CV35 8XA

Attention all Bubblers – the Pink Wave has nearly SOLD OUT! Register now to avoid dissapointment.  

The perfect event for all of the family, enjoy a fun-filled foamy fundraising experience as you run, jog or walk your way through colourful bubble stations along the 5k route.

Birmingham Marathon

Join #TeamAcorns and take part in the first ever Birmingham International Marathon on the 15th October 2017! By raising money every step you take will make a real difference to local life limited children and their families.

Skydive for Acorns

Dare to do something different? Take on an exhilirating 10,000ft tandem skydive. Join #TeamAcorns and take the jump at our next organised skydive date is on Saturday 16th September!

Volunteering at Acorns

Our volunteers tell us that giving their time to Acorns is a rewarding experience; in fact many volunteers enjoy what they do so much that they support us for many years.

 Volunteer Terri explains why she is still volunteering at Acorns 20 years on…

Read more of Terri's story

Terri, 79, has been volunteering in Acorns shop in Hereford for 20 years, since the very day it opened!

Terri said “I never thought when I started I’d be here this long but I love the job and we’re a real family here. I’ve worked with Amanda the manager since the shop opened.

“The customers are really friendly and everyone knows you. They often come in for a chat. Local people have been extremely generous over the years and regularly come in to donate their unwanted items.

“The shop has recently had a makeover and the new-look is wonderful. It’s so clean and airy and inviting!

“We’ve visited the hospice in Worcester and it’s a lovely cause. It’s wonderful to be aware of what you’re volunteering for and we know it’s all about raising money to help support the families and children who need Acorns.

“I’d say if you’re considering volunteering, it’s well worth it. It helps keep you mind active!”

Could you spare a few hours?

We have lots of volunteering opportunities across our 55 retail shops and stock sort. To find out more email retail.volunteers@acorns.org.uk or call 01564 825 026.

Click here to volunteer

Our shops

Retro treasures in Acorns furniture shop

We opened our very first furniture shop back in January and with a fantastic range of high quality, pre-loved furniture available the shop is proving very popular. Dining table sets, sofas, wardrobes, dressers and more can all be found in the shop based at Becketts Farm in Wythall.

However, the shop also stocks an eclectic mix of home décor pieces and accessories. We’ve been searching for the retro treasures in our furniture shop and this is what we found…

Star wars Lego 10019 Spaceship

To the untrained eye this may just look like a kids toy, however this limited edition spaceship is not something you find every day. In fact it is a rare and sought after collectable, which sold for £450!

Spitfire print

We love this Spitfire print because the iconic plane played such a big part in the history of the West Midlands! In fact, World War II Spitfires were built in a factory in Castle Bromwich – that’s just 11 miles from our Birmingham hospice.

Vintage cameras, lenses and accessories

For the budding photographer Acorns Furniture shop is well worth a visit, providing a treasure trove of vintage cameras and accessories, to explore! You may also find the perfect retro camera case or lens.

Subbuteo cards

These retro Subbuteo cards got the footy fans at Acorns excited and are certainly something you wouldn’t stumble across in all furniture shops.

Be sure to pay a visit to our new furniture shop at Acorns Furniture, Heath Farm, Alcester Road, Wythall, Worcestershire B47 6AJ. Open Monday – Sunday 9am to 5pm, you never know what you might find!

Looking to donate furniture?

Acorns now offer a free collection service for high quality, pre-loved furniture*. Email house.collections@acorns.org.uk or call 01564 825 027 for more information or to book a collection.

*Typically we can collection from the following areas: West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and the Black Country region.

Click here to book a collection

Remember a loved one with a Tribute Fund

 Tribute funds are a unique and personal way to remember someone you miss, whilst ensuring that you loved one’s legacy lives on. They are very easy to set up and can be updated and added to whenever you want.

Having an online Tribute Fund will give you the opportunity to:

  • Share memories, upload photographs, videos and music with family and friends, wherever they may be – near or far.
  • Read messages of support from family and friends in a dedicated place where everyone can go to remember and reflect.
  • Light virtual candles of remembrance and make donations on special dates.
  • Promote your own events and collect sponsorship directly to your Tribute Fund.
  • See a running total of all donations made in memory of your loved one in one place.

“Having a tribute page in memory of nan and grandad means so much to me and my family. It gives us a chance to share special memories, remember all those happy times we have together in a dedicated place and at the same time raise money for a good cause.”

To open a Tribute Fund or to find out more contact Janine Miller, In Memoriam Officer, on 01564 825 017 or email inmemory@acorns.org.uk

Find out more

Leave a legacy

Care for a child, with a gift in your Will

together-newsletter-Acorns

Your Will is one of the most important documents you’ll write. It’s a chance to have your wishes considered and be able to leave a legacy to your relatives, friends and charitable organisations of your choice.

“How do I leave a legacy?”

Step 1

  • Choose a solicitor
  • Don’t be afraid to ask several solicitors for quotes

Step 2

  • Write down what you would like to leave
  • For example; furniture, bank accounts, bonds

 Step 3

  • Decide who you like to benefit
  • For example; family friends or charitable organisations

Step 4

  • Keep your Will very safe
  • For example, at home, with your bank or with your solicitor

For more information or if you have any questions please contact Lucy Hobson, Legacy Officer on 01564 825 039 or email lucy.hobson@acorns.org.uk

Find out more about leaving a legacy

Become a regular giver

Help us to continue to provide vital care for local life limited children by giving a regular gift each month.

 Becoming a regular giver is one of the most effective ways to support Acorns It helps us to budget and plan efficiently for the future. Regular gifts of whatever you can afford enable you to make a significant long term difference in a way that fits your budget.

 

How your money could help

£5 per month could help us provide specialist therapies for life limited children such as hydrotherapy and physiotherapy

£10 per month could help us provide short breaks and respite care for families in one of our hospices.

£15 per month could help pay for a specialist nurse to provide vital care in the family home through our outreach services.

Become a regular giver

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