(Picture: Mark Lyttle and Jen Dalton join Acorns CEO Toby Porter at Acorns in the Black Country, along with friends and supporters from the community)
A fundraising appeal to save Acorns Children’s Hospice in the Black Country has reached an important milestone thanks to the impressive efforts of the local community.
The Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal has hit £500,000 thanks to the combined efforts of a group of generous fundraisers who have raised an incredible £46,428.52 towards the hospice since the charity launched their Appeal in July.
The fundraisers – all with a deep and personal connection to Acorns and the care the charity provides – revealed the amount to staff in a presentation at the Acorns in the Black Country, in Walsall last Friday (29 November).
Walsall based Mark Lyttle and Jen Dalton, whose daughter Isabella used Acorns in the Black Country for many years, before she passed away in April this year - joined supporters at the hospice at the presentation.
Mark paid tribute to everyone who had supported the Appeal so far and praised the community for their generosity. He said: “We always had hope that Acorns wouldn’t be closing because how on earth could it? How on earth could any other family go through what we’ve been through, and not have that love and that support - that you feel as soon as you come through those doors?
“We all have a duty to protect this amazing place for generations to come – for all the families across the Black Country that need it. The local community has stepped up and shown we are ready for the fight, and it’s inspiring to see.
“There’s still a long way to go, but we hope that everyone keeps on going until we reach the target. And now we’re getting close to Christmas so this is the perfect opportunity to give – so if you haven’t already, please dig deep!”
A diverse range of supporters from across the region joined Mark for the presentation, including representatives from local fundraising groups, families and businesses.
Acorns Chief Executive, Toby Porter, praised the response from local people. He said: “It’s difficult to find the words to describe what the local community has achieved so far for all the Black Country families who need Acorns. It’s a deeply moving display of solidarity with Acorns.
“Whether it’s sponsored car washes, bucket collections or fundraising fetes – the efforts of everyone towards this Appeal have been phenomenal.
“We are overjoyed to have reached this milestone and my sincere thanks to everyone who has donated. Everyone across the Black Country - whether they have first-hand experience of Acorns or not – understands so clearly that this hospice must stay open. With Christmas around the corner, there’s no better time to donate – so please keep on giving.
Toby paid special tribute to Isabella’s parents, Mark Lyttle and Jen Dalton, for the important part they had played towards the Appeal. He said: “I don’t think we would be where we are today without the tireless support of Mark and Jen, and their determination that other children and families who are referred to Acorns should be able to count on the same care and support that they and Isabella received at the hospice.
“They are two of the bravest and most inspirational people we know – for many people, they have been the face of the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, sharing their experience in the media and at fundraising events, and lobbying extremely effectively in Parliament and with the NHS.
“Nothing can be said to adequately describe the admiration and gratitude we have for them, and of course for everyone trying so hard to help Acorns reach our £2m target.”
The fundraising milestone comes hot on the heels of a video message from Peaky Blinders creator and Acorns supporter, Steven Knight who urged the public to keep donating to the Appeal.
To support the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal
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