FOR almost two-and-a-half years, the people of Worcestershire have been showing their support in no uncertain terms for the campaign to set up an Acorns Children's Hospice in the Faithful City.

We have dug deep in our pockets to buy lottery tickets, dropped into the Hospice's shop to see if we can find a bargain or two, and followed the campaign through the regular reports in the Evening News.

Now, thanks to the generosity of 76-year-old June Sayce and her late husband Willie - and the decision of Worcester City Council planners - the dream of having the much-needed hospice in the city has come a big step nearer.

We should all applaud the Sayces' decision to resist the blandishments of several developers for their land and, instead, sign it over to Acorns.

Their vital choice has set in train a sequence of events which will see many children suffering from life-limiting illnesses - and their families - given the support they so desperately need.

In our experience, those families don't want, or require, pity. They simply need somewhere to go for help, somewhere close to home which will be there for them come what may.

Of course, there is still a long road to be travelled before the hospice is built.

But, as Mrs Sayce says: "Although it's going to take a lot of money to build it, I know now that what Willie and I set out to do will be accomplished."

Indeed, wherever Acorns has spread its arms to welcome families and give them a moment, an hour, a day or a week of respite, we've seen communities respond with imagination, compassion and commitment.

So far, that's proved to be the case in Worcestershire, and we're sure that the people of our county will continue to rally round to make sure the challenge of building the hospice is achieved.