Bent lends support for inspiring Acorns spring appeal
Bent made an immediate impact on the field with a goal against Manchester City on his debut but he showed his caring side off the field too.
The day after his record-breaking move to Villa, he elected to visit the charity partner's hospice in Selly Oak instead of putting his feet up following the high-profile transfer.
The plight of the children and the work done by carers really hit home to the 26-year-old and he was only too happy to support the charity's latest fundraising effort.
He said: "I've visited Acorns with the rest of the Villa team and we've seen for ourselves the amazing work the charity does to support children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
"Acorns wasn't what I expected - the place was bright and happy and full of smiles and laughter.
"The children are well cared for by professionals and given lots of opportunities to experience new things and make the most of the time they spend there."
One particular girl - Juwi - really made a big impact with Darren, as he checked out the fine work done by the charity.
Juwi was born with hydrocephalus. Often referred to as 'water on the brain', a build up of fluid creates increased pressure inside the skull, which impairs brain development and results in severe disabilities.
As a result of her condition, Juwi has very limited mobility so is confined to a wheelchair and is fed through a tube in her stomach.
She is also epileptic, visually impaired and has profound multiple learning disabilities. Her extremely complex condition means she needs constant care and can never be left alone.
Acorns has been providing support to Juwi and her family for the last three years.
Darren continued: "I was lucky enough to meet Juwi and the rest of her family and chat with them.
"I heard first-hand about just how important Acorns is to them in caring not just for Juwi but also in looking after the whole family."
Acorns provides care and support for children and young people who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions - and their families.
The hospices provides short break, emergency and end-of-life care with a community team to support the family, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With three 10-bed hospices in operation Acorns has helped over 1,500 families in the last 21 years. It currently costs £750 per day to care for a child - that adds up to over £8m-per-year to support the children and their families.
Thanks to the close relationship with Villa, Acorns families like Juwi's have been able to benefit from some amazing experiences and create some lasting special memories.
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