ACORNS Children’s Hospice, which has its headquarters in Wythall, is appealing for help in telling its story, as the local charity celebrates 25 years of providing care and support to local life limited children and their families.
2013 marks the 25th anniversary since the first children received care at the Birmingham hospice in Selly Oak. Officially opened by HRH Princess Diana in December 1988, Acorns was only the third children’s hospice in the UK at the time. It has since opened a further two West Midlands hospices in Walsall (1999) and Worcester (2005), helping a total of more than 2,000 local children.
Acorns for the Three Counties (Worcester) currently provides care and support for over 180 children and over 230 families, including those that are bereaved. It has cared for over 370 children from across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire since it opened in 2005.
David Strudley, chief executive, said: “Acorns exists because 25 years ago, the West Midlands community made it happen - and we have been able to continue to exist and grow because that same community has chosen to keep supporting us.
“This milestone provides an opportunity to remember loved ones and thank those individuals and organisations that have supported us along the way – as well of course to remind the community that we still need their support more than ever.
“As part of celebrating 25 years of caring, we want to tell our story through the voice of all those people that have been a part of Acorns.”
It is appealing for individuals and organisations - families, staff, volunteers and supporters past and present - to share their experiences and memories.
They can submit photos and film footage, whether it’s time at a hospice or a fundraising event, for example. Or they could write a short piece about what Acorns means to them or simply give three words that they think best sums Acorns up.
The submissions will help tell the story of Acorns throughout the anniversary year. They will all be recorded in the Acorns archive and potentially feature on a multimedia timeline on the Acorns website, which will remain live and continue to be added to after 2013 as a living history of the organisation.
Stories can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to 25 years of caring, Acorns Children’s Hospice, Drakes Court, Alcester Road, Wythall, B47 6JR.
The anniversary year also marks the culmination of the charity’s current ‘Now is the Time’ campaign, which aims to raise funding for 25,000 days of care by December 2013.
A series of fundraising events, from dog walks, skydives and cycles to ladies luncheons, balls and concerts; have already been planned. The charity is also encouraging the community to organise their own activities to help them reach the target.
Mr Strudley added: “Sadly, the need for a children’s hospice is even greater now that it was when we first opened. It is estimated there is currently over 2,000 children in our region that could benefit from our care. It costs over £8million a year to run our services, the majority of which comes from voluntary donations and fundraising. I urge people to support us in whatever way they can to help ensure we can be here for another 25 years.”
For more details, call 0845 120 6892 or see www.acorns.org.uk.