Birmingham & Black Country

Under-threat Acorns Children's hospice receives £100K donation

Erica (far right) with staff, volunteers and children at the hospice Image copyright Acorns Children's Hospice
Image caption Erica Brown (far right) donated £100,000 after an inheritance from her mother

A bereaved mother who dedicated her life to helping children with life-limiting illnesses has donated £100,000 to an under-threat children's hospice.

Acorns Children's Hospice is aiming to raise £2m to keep its Walsall centre open after funding issues put it at risk of closure.

Erica Brown, 69, donated the money after an inheritance and said Acorns was "an absolute and utter lifeline".

The charity's chief executive said he was "overwhelmed" by her generosity.

Image caption The charity cared for about 800 children and their families across the West Midlands last year

Ms Brown's twin children, Jonathan and Juliet, died in 1973.

In 1999, after working in children's palliative care, Ms Brown, from Droitwich, joined Acorns as its head of research and continued working for the charity for 10 years.

"I know the support the charity gives to children and families across the region," she said.

"Acorns not only enables children to have a 'good death'... but is able to continue supporting families."

There was a public outcry when the charity, which also runs hospices in Worcester and Birmingham, announced proposals to close its Walsall centre.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mark Lyttle lobbied MPs to save the hospice after his daughter Isabella, who was cared for by Acorns, died in April

Acorns cared for about 800 children, plus their families, across the West Midlands last year - including 200 children at the Walsall hospice.

A cash injection from NHS England in July meant the charity could keep the branch open until at least March 2020, however it is aiming to raise a further £2m to protect its future for longer.

Ms Brown's donation is "a significant step in helping us secure the long-term future for families across the Black Country," chief executive Toby Porter said.

"Her legacy will be felt for many years to come through the lives of countless people across the region."

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