The inspiring story of a charity which provides vital care for children and families is being shared with the public in a powerful, new exhibition opening in Birmingham this week (Tuesday 5 March).

‘Life, Loss and Other Stories’ explores the fascinating history of Acorns Children’s Hospice as told by the people who make up its varied and remarkable community, past and present.

The memories of nearly 130 people were collected and over 40 hours of audio was recorded. Ten of those voices are now being shared in a public exhibition at the Library of Birmingham.

The exhibition, made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery, will run until Thursday 25 March and forms the lasting legacy of Acorns 30th anniversary celebrations.

Sarah Bowron, Acorns 30th Anniversary Campaign Manager, said: “We are beyond excited to share Acorns ground-breaking history through these powerful and moving stories.

“Life, Loss and Other Stories opens the doors to our wonderful hospices, giving people who wouldn’t normally encounter Acorns the chance to find out about how we support children and families and how pivotal the local community has been, and continues to be, in helping us provide that care.”

2018 marked 30 years since Diana Princess of Wales opened Acorns very first hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham – only the third children’s hospice in the world.

Throughout the charity’s 30th anniversary year, Acorns Story Box Project collected memories from the last three decades along with 30 oral history recordings from children and families, staff, volunteers and supporters.

The project’s bright orange Story Box Caravan also toured the region recording childhood memories from members of the public to capture what life was like growing up in the West Midlands.

Sarah said: “We set out on a mission to preserve Acorns story and our incredible community through their memories. The result was a collection of powerful and emotive stories that reveal both the magic and the importance of Acorns.

“Life, Loss and Other Stories shares how we make every single day count for families using Acorns, the challenges they face and captures all the moments in-between; the everyday memories of our families, staff, volunteers, supporters and members of the public.

“We have been on a remarkable journey to bring this exhibition to life. We hope as many people as possible visit the Library of Birmingham, listen to these stories and become part of the story for our next 30 years. Only with your support can we continue our work caring for children and families across the region.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care to children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions, as well as support for their families. In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 870 children and supported more than 1,140 families across the West Midlands, including those who are bereaved.

It costs nearly £10 million a year to run Acorns services and the charity relies heavily on the generosity of the community and local businesses for 70% of this amount.

To find out more about Acorns 30th Anniversary Exhibition ‘Life, Loss and Other Stories’, visit www.acorns.org.uk/exhibition