Parents and staff say farewell to Gorleston respite care unit Little Acorns after 15 years

PUBLISHED: 15:20 17 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:20 17 September 2017

Parents and staff say farewell to Little Acorns in Gorleston. Picture: Archant

Parents and staff say farewell to Little Acorns in Gorleston. Picture: Archant


Staff members, parents and children have said farewell to a service that has helped hundreds of families over the past decade and half.

Little Acorns in Gorleston has offered respite care for children with complex needs for the past 15 years, however, it will close its doors for the last time at the end of the month, following funding cuts.

The home, on Castle Green, has provided short breaks and residential stays to hundreds of children in the Great Yarmouth borough since it opened, however it is now in its last month.

On Sunday, staff members held a farewell party, inviting families and staff members past and present to say thank you for their support over the years.

A staff member said: “The event was all about giving the staff the chance to say their farewells to the people they have come to know and care about over the years.

“It will take a long time for many of us to get over the loss and the decision was one that was very difficult to take.

“We had such a fantastic team and working in this environment you do become close with the families that come through here, so we really wanted to say thank you.”

The closure has been met with much disappointment and frustration from parents that use the services to get much needed respite from the busy lives that come with having a child with complex needs.

Mum-of-three Jennie Ives, whose 16-year-old son Jamie suffers from a variety of difficulties, including epilepsy, autism and ADHD, has attended Little Acorns for a decade.

She said: “It is going to be absolutely devastating for us as a family. We live on Blake Drive so Little Acorns was just minutes away from us and there really isn’t anything like it nearby.

“We trust the staff here - they know Jamie and all of his quirks. They know how to calm him down when he gets upset and how to care for him, so it really is devastating.”

Fellow mum-of-three Lucy Bancroft, of Ormesby, whose 18-year-old daughter Rachel attended, said: “The staff here have become like a second family for us, so it really is going to be a big loss for the community.”

Little Acorns closes on September 30. The nearest unit of its kind ran by the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust is Squirrels in Aylsham.

Other News

22 minutes ago

It was an accident that rocked the speedway world when a Great Yarmouth rider died at the age of 37 after racing for a team from the town 70 years ago.


An MP has written to Greater Anglia asking for explanations following a week of train cancellations and delays.


A major refurbishment project will see a pub in Great Yarmouth transformed into an American style smokehouse bar and grill.

Emergency services are currently trying to evacuate homes in a coastal village.

Most Read

Thu, 06:31

It is the coldest week in February for five years and Norfolk’s otherwise popular campsites should be empty.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Thu, 15:30

Perilously close to the cliff edge this home in Hemsby could be one storm away from oblivion.

Read more
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Youngsters can take part in a Peppa Pig muddy puddle walk at an east Norfolk care home and raise funds for Save the Children.

Read more
Wed, 15:12

Amusement arcade managers in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have expressed their fears over plans by the government to scrap 1p and 2p coins.

Read more
Wed, 17:00

If happiness is in the little things then mini Merrivale must be a huge hunk of joy.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 0°C

min temp: -1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter