Acorns Children’s Hospice has sent out an urgent call for protective masks and gowns as it steps-up in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The charity is continuing to provide much needed care for children and families as well as supporting the NHS during the national health emergency – but needs help sourcing essential equipment.

Acorns is appealing for local businesses to help provide FFP3 filtering masks and disposable gowns for its frontline care teams as they care for some of the most vulnerable children and families in the community.

Vicki Rowles, Head of Fundraising at Acorns, said: “Acorns is continuing to do whatever it takes to support our children and families and the wider fight against coronavirus – but we need help sourcing some essential equipment.

“The Government has instructed healthcare providers to use and more frequently change personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the exposure to Covid-19 for staff and families.

“As there is currently a national shortage of PPE, we are making this urgent appeal to our friends in the business community to help us source this vital equipment.”

Amid the current challenges facing the nation, Acorns is continuing to provide emergency and end of life hospice care as well as emotional and practical support to 600 families who are strictly isolating at home, while caring for a life limited or life-threatened child.

Acorns is also supporting NHS colleagues in the crisis, welcoming children from local hospitals with complex care needs to help acute trusts maximise their intensive care capability.

And, for the first time in its 30-year history, Acorns has temporarily closed its hospice in Birmingham and offered the facility to the NHS for potential use as a Covid-19 facility for patients of any age.

Vicki added: “Please join us in the fight against coronavirus as we continue to support some of the community’s most vulnerable families and our colleagues in the NHS.”

If you can support Acorns and assist with sourcing or providing FFP3 filtering mask and disposal gowns, gloves and aprons, please or email partnerships@acorns.org.uk