Acorns chief executive to step down

Toby Porter

The chief executive of Acorns Chidlren’s Hospice, Toby Porter, is to step down after six years in the role.

Porter, who has been CEO of Acorns since 2016, will be taking up a role as chief executive of national charity Hospice UK in mid-September, to lead the charity’s work with the country’s entire network of adult and children’s hospices.

Porter said: “It has been a total privilege to lead Acorns, and its wonderful team working and volunteering here. Acorns is an incredibly special charity and I have been completely inspired by the courage, compassion, and generosity I have witnessed during my time as Chief Executive.

“What will remain with me above all as I depart, will be the feeling of being humbled – every single day – seeing firsthand the countless ways Acorns makes a difference to children and families across our local community.

“Acorns is deservedly loved and supported across the West Midlands and Gloucestershire. I am incredibly proud that today, despite the upheaval and challenges of the past few years, this charity is stronger than ever, and able to provide the same love and children’s hospice care it always has done. I know that in the future, Acorns will reach more families than ever.

“Although it won’t be easy to say goodbye, it’s the right time to hand the reigns to someone else who can lead the charity with new ideas and fresh perspectives and help this vital children’s hospice service continue to flourish over the coming years.”

“I feel very honoured to be asked to lead Hospice UK and I look forward to joining its highly respected team and support the hospice and end of life care sector nationally.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice chairman, Mark Hopton, said: “Whilst all of us connected with Acorns will be sad to see Toby go, my fellow Trustees and I can think of nobody better qualified to represent and champion the hospice sector nationally.

“Toby has provided truly inspirational and outstanding leadership to Acorns over the past six years, a period characterised by some extremely serious challenges, including the potential risk of closure of our Black Country hospice in 2019. This was then immediately followed by the two years of the pandemic. Despite these unprecedented threats, Toby and our wonderful team of employees and volunteers have guided Acorns to a position today of real strength and stability.

“Acorns today reaches more children and families than any other children’s hospice in the UK with our care service. The charity’s financial stability has improved substantially over the past few years, to a point where three years since facing closure, our hospice in Walsall is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

“It is heartening to know that Toby will continue following his passion for hospice and end of life care on the national level and on behalf of everyone at Acorns, we wish him all the very best.”

Porter will continue in his role at Acorns until 9 September. The Acorns Board of Trustees will shortly begin the process of recruiting his successor.