10th Jun 2010
Established in 1988, Acorns Children's Hospice Trust is a registered charity which provides a network of care to over 640 children and more than 910 families, including those who are bereaved.
The children who are cared for by the hospice are not expected to reach adulthood and require specialist care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Acorns is the only organisation that provides this level of care whilst offering a range of support services to the whole family; helping them to cope at every stage of their child's life and beyond into bereavement.
The children's hospice trust originally became a charity partner with Villa, as money was raised through a variety of staff fundraiser events.
Then two years later the bond was enforced when Villa dismissed a host of lucrative offers and instead gave Acorns the chance to have their name emblazoned across the claret and blue kit.
This not only cemented the partnership, but also marked the first time a charity had taken the coveted space on a top-flight UK club's team strip.
The tie between the two has since grown stronger through a variety of events including; charity pitch days, auctions, once in a lifetime opportunities and meet and greets with children at the three hospices in Worcester, Walsall and Selly Oak.
The partnership has meant that Villa has helped mark numerous occasions with the local charity including Acorns' 21st anniversary, when Martin O'Neill planted a tree in Aston Park and Marc Albrighton donated £20,000 after scoring the 20,000th Premier League goal.
The Villa players have also donated their time to Acorns, supporting campaigns such as 'NOW is the time' as well as paying surprise visits to the children at the hospices.
Ex-Villa player Paul McGrath also took to the pitch and asked fans to join the text to donate campaign, which raised £7,500 in vital funding and recently won 'best use of mobile fundraising' at the 2012 Digital Fundraising Awards.
The bond between the two organisations has been continually affirmed both off and on the pitch with Villa dedicating their home match against Fulham, during the 2011-12 season, to the charity marking it as 'Acorns Day.
A whole host of fundraising events took place which raised £108,835.14, enough money to fund a hospice for two weeks.
Alongside the fundraising efforts, Acorns announced Gabby Agbonlahor as their player ambassador for the 2011-12 season.
In this role he raised awareness of the local charity and provided support for fundraising initiatives.
Gabby's role proved to be a huge success and he was reappointed as ambassador for the 2012-13 season.
This, along with other key events and major highlights, demonstrates how the relationship has developed and grown from strength to strength.
The club has also been able to inspire its corporate clients to back Acorns with various fundraising events.
For more information on our relationship please visit the Acorns website at www.acorns.org.uk.