The original Acorns Children’s Hospice charity shop, opened 30 years ago, has been given a new lease of life thanks to an exciting makeover.

The Cotteridge shop, which helped raise money towards the construction of Acorns Selly Oak hospice, first opened its doors to the local community in 1987. On Monday 2nd July, it closed for two weeks to allow the refurbishment to take place.

On Thursday (19th July) the fresh new modern interior was revealed when daughters of Acorns Hospice Shops founder Ann Cullinan – Fiona Cullinan and Chris Seymour-Smith – officially reopened the favourite community charity shop.

Fiona said: “Mum’s passion for Acorns led her to found the first Acorns shops. It’s a legacy our family is very proud of. She would have been delighted to see how the shops have since grown in number and continue to support the hospices’ work – especially Cotteridge, which is where it all started.

“I’m sure Mum would be very proud and we wish she could be here to see all the changes. It’s definitely a case of ‘from little Acorns, great oaks grow’ – long may it continue.”

Acorns first permanent shop, in Watford Road, was founded by local resident Ann, who led a loyal group of volunteers and fundraisers, affectionately known as Ann’s Army. A commemorative photograph honouring their dedication and determination was unveiled at the reopening.

Val Hammond, Head of Retail for Acorns, said: “As our first charity shop, Cotteridge is very special to Acorns and it’s wonderful to have the founder’s daughters here to help reopen the store.

“It’s thanks to the dedication of their mum, Ann, and her loyal band of volunteers and fundraisers that Acorns is here in Cotteridge. Their hard work helped pave the way for our network of shops and our first hospice in Selly Oak.

“The Cotteridge shop is loved by customers as much today as it was when it opened more than 30 years ago, so I’m very excited to unveil the new-look store. We owe it to them to make sure they continue to have the best possible shopping experience.”

What do Acorns do?

• Acorns provides specialist palliative care to babies, children and young people that are    not expected to reach adulthood and require specialist care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• They offer support to the families of the babies, children and young people.
• In the past year alone, this vital community resource has provided care to more than 870 children and over 1,090 families, including those who are bereaved.

Why is the Cotteridge shop important?

Around £1.1million per year is raised through the Acorns retail shops, this helps to meet the running costs of the charity’s three hospices and care in families’ homes, which stands at £11 million per year.

Of course, the £1.1 million comes from a wider network of acorns retail shops and not the Cotteridge store alone. However, the value of the flagship shop is so much more than financial.

It is a shining example of how a local resident with a desire and unflappable determination can make a positive difference to the lives of thousands in and beyond the local community.

Ann Cullinan planted an acorn and created a forest which continues to flourish and grow, for this, she is an inspiration.

How can I help?

Donating good quality items including clothing, shoes, toys, books, CDs and DVDs and household goods is a quick way to support Acorns and all profits made go directly back to the charity.

Acorns is appealing for more volunteers to put their spare time and talent to good use at one of the charity’s 55 retail shops. For more information about volunteering opportunities, please visitwww.acorns.org.uk/shop-volunteer 

 

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