By Ian Dipple Friday 27 December 2013 Updated: 27/12 10:39
MORE than 700 days of care and support have been provided to children with life limiting illnesses thanks to the generosity of the Redditch public.
Acorns Children's Hospice released the figures to mark the end of the charity's 25th anniversary year.
Over the last quarter of a century since Princess Diana opened the first Acorns hospice in Selly Oak in Birmingham, residents, businesses and individuals in Redditch have donated more than £500,000 to fund the charity's work.
At a cost of £750 per child per day that means more than 710 days of care have been paid for.
The hospice also revealed over the last 25 years a total of 45 life limited and life threatened children from Redditch had received care and support.
Hospice chief executive David Strudley said: "Acorns relies on voluntary donations and fund-raising for the majority of the income needed to provide specialist palliative care, so we simply wouldn’t have been able to help those 45 children and families without the ongoing support of the local community.
"This could have been via loose change in a collection tin, a bake sale in the church hall, dress down day in the office, a school concert, running a marathon or even trekking across a desert. The ways that people find to support Acorns are endless and never cease to amaze and humble us."
He also thanked the 13 volunteers from Redditch supporting the charity's work.
During its 25th anniversary year, Acorns has supported over 640 children and almost 900 families, including those bereaved. It is also formed the first year fo an ambitious five year growth strategy by the charity to provide palliative care and support to the 2,000 plus estimated life-limited and life-threatened children in the region.
To do so will require a 50 per cent increase in the numbers using the hospice's services to 960 children and 1,290 families by 2018 and will require an increase in income of the same amount as annual care costs will increase by about £4.2million.
"It's more important than ever to look forward and make sure we can continue to provide a lifeline to families facing the huge emotional, physical and financial challenges that come with caring for a life limited or life threatened child. Ensuring we can offer these children specialist palliative care has always been our priority," Mr Strudley said.
"On behalf of everyone at Acorns, I extend a big thank you to the Redditch community and appeal to supporters past, present and future to make Acorns a part of their plans for 2014 in whatever way they can."
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