Birmingham & Black Country

Acorns Children's Hospice plans £4.2m care boost

David Strudley, from the Acorns Children's Hospice
Image caption Mr Strudley said the charity planned a new At Home service to support children and their families

Hundreds more children and families could be supported as part of expansion plans by a West Midlands hospice.

Acorns Children's Hospice, which has bases in Walsall, Selly Oak and Worcester, said it also planned to create up to 140 jobs.

The charity currently supports 640 children, most of whom have long-term and life-threatening conditions, often requiring 24-hour care.

It hopes to help 960 children around the region by 2018.

'Very ambitious'

Chief executive David Strudley said the plans would see its annual care costs rise by £4.2m, requiring a 50% rise in its income.

He said he was convinced the "very ambitious" plans were achievable, despite the tough economic climate.

"The purpose of Acorns is to help these children and families who can't afford to wait," Mr Strudley said.

"Their time is now and we must do all we can to meet their needs with a degree of urgency that reflects the huge challenges they face."

The hospice, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, said it hoped to increase fundraising through a range of sources, including its existing and new charity shops, as well as attracting more statutory funding.

It currently earns about £3m a year by providing services to the NHS and local authorities.

Acorns plans to increase that, partly by creating a new service that would see staff providing care in families' homes.

The charity said the number of children and young people suffering life-limiting or life-threatening conditions was far higher than previously thought and that its long-term vision was to ensure that they could all access the services they need.

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