Generous county folk dig deep for Acorns over last 25 years

Worcester News: AMAZED: Acorns’ chief executive David Strudley is thrilled at the amount raised in Worcester for the children’s charity. AMAZED: Acorns’ chief executive David Strudley is thrilled at the amount raised in Worcester for the children’s charity.

AS a year of special celebrations draws to an end, Acorns Children’s Hospice has thanked people living in Worcestershire for raising more than £10.5 million during the charity’s 25 years.

From taking part in the Triple Run, to dropping a bit of loose change in a donation tin, the mammoth amount is the equivalent of more than 14,000 days of care for life-limited children in the county.

The charity is celebrating 25 years since Princess Diana officially opened the first Acorns hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

In that time, 159 Worcestershire children have received care and support from the charity and it also opened the hospice in Bath Road, Worcester, in 2005.

More than 260 people living in the county have also donated their time for free to join the children’s charity’s army of volunteers.

Chief executive of Acorns, David Strudley, said: “Acorns relies on voluntary donations and fund-raising for the majority of the income needed to provide specialist palliative care so we simply wouldn’t have been able to help those 159 children and families without the ongoing support of the local community.

“We know from our re-cords that in the last 25 years individuals, groups, organisations and businesses in Worcestershire have helped us to the tune of over £10.5m.

“This could have been via loose change in a collection tin, a bake sale in the church hall, dress down day in the office, a school concert, running a marathon or even trekking across a desert.

“The ways that people find to support Acorns are endless and amazing and never cease to amaze and humble us.”

People living in the county have also supported the children’s charity by shopping or donating to its charity stores in Worcester city centre, St Peter’s, Upton upon Severn, Droitwich, Pershore and Barnards Green.

Mr Strudley added: “It’s not just financial support that we want to recognise and say thank you for.

“Acorns depends on an army of volunteers giving up their time to help out in the hospices, shops and out and about in the community.

“Without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to do so much valuable work.”

The reflection on its past 25 years comes as Acorns enters the first full calendar year of its ambitious five-year growth strategy, which aims to help to provide palliative care and support to the 2,000-plus estimated life-limited and life-threatened children in the region.

The five-year strategy aims to increase the numbers that may use the services by 50 per cent to 960 and 1,290 respectively by 2018.

The extensive increase in provision will mean an overall increase in annual care costs of about £4.2 million by the end of the five-year plan period which will require an increase in overall income of almost 50 per cent by 2018 to meet costs.

“On behalf of everyone at Acorns, I extend a big thank you to the Worcestershire community and appeal to supporters past, present and future to make Acorns a part of their plans for 2014 in whatever way they can,” Mr Strudley added.

For more information about Acorns Children’s Hospice, visit acorns.org.uk, e-mail info@acorns.org.uk or call 01564 825000.

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