West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is urging Willenhall people to get behind Walsall’s Acorns hospice, describing the community’s response to an urgent appeal for money as ‘truly inspiring’.
Mr Street, who heads up the West Midlands Combined Authority, became a patron of the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, after it was announced that £2million was needed to stop the Walsall site from closing.
A long-standing supporter of the much-loved charity, Mr Street says he has been amazed by the way local people have reacted to the appeal - but is urging them to keep fundraising until the £2million is raised.
Mr Street said: “Over the years I have seen how vital Acorns specialist care is across the West Midlands so it was an honour to give my backing as official Appeal Patron for this very important campaign.
“In just a few short weeks since the appeal was launched, the response from the community has been truly inspiring.
“Already around £300,000 has been raised, which I think illustrates just how much people in Walsall and the Black Country care about the hospice – but there is a long way to go and we need people to keep raising that cash to ensure the future of the Walsall site.”
Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive, said: “Andy Street has been a generous and loyal supporter of Acorns for many years, including running half marathons for the charity. We are delighted to be able to count on his expertise and support as Patron as we look to build on the encouraging early response to the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal.
“His involvement will be a huge boost to families and staff at the hospice.”
The Save Acorns Black Country Children’s Hospice Appeal was launched by Acorns on 19 July, following the lifeline provided by new funding commitments from the NHS locally and nationally.
The appeal needs to raise £2 million to safeguard the long-term future of the Walsall hospice, and to fund the care provided there to children and families until the full amount of new Government funding is reached.
The lifeline for Acorns in the Black Country follows a commitment of significant new NHS funding from Black Country healthcare commissioners and an earlier announcement by NHS England that they would double their central funding support to the country’s children’s hospices over the next five years.
This means the Acorns children’s hospice in Walsall can stay open to Black Country children and families until at least the end of March 2020.
For more information and to donate towards the Appeal, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal