Our Chief Executive Andy Goldsmith has spoken of his ‘immense sadness’ in learning of the impending closure of Acorns Walsall Children’s Hospice.

The visionary volunteers who established Hope House Children’s Hospice in the early 1990s were helped immensely by the Trustees and Senior Managers of Acorns Children’s Hospice, and this was the start of an ongoing strong relationship between the two hospice charities.

Andy said today: “Hope House Children’s Hospices stands shoulder to shoulder with Acorns at this difficult time and we have offered our support to the charity, their staff and to children and families from Shropshire who are affected.”

He added that the financial situation for all hospices remains challenging, particularly with the ongoing uncertainty over NHS funding. Hope House Children’s Hospices receive just 12% of their annual running costs this way, but it still accounts for more than one month’s running costs.

“Each year our costs rise and each year we need to raise more money to pay for the hospices and specialist staff,” added Mr Goldsmith.

“Hope House is grateful that we have so far been able to cover our £6.3 million annual running costs through the fantastic generosity of the local community; individuals, groups and businesses who donate money, leave us gifts in their wills, arrange or take part in fundraising events, play our lottery or donate goods to sell in our shops. It is only this support that enabled us to deliver care and support to 840 children and adults in 2018 and to continue that care today. We send our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supports us.

“Sadly, however, we know that we are not reaching every terminally ill child, or supporting every family that has suffered the devastating death of their child. To do so we need to raise more money and we have set ourselves the ambitious target of raising an additional £2.5 million every year by 2025. We just hope that the local communities, who believe in what we do, will continue to support us and make sure that no one has to face the death of a child alone.”