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

Yesterday, 21:52

A Norfolk MP has called for urgent action after claiming people with mental health issues are still being unlawfully detained and transported in police vehicles.

Yesterday, 18:10

Figures have revealed the streets in Norfolk and Waveney which have access to both the fastest and the slowest broadband speeds, after a report has shown that more than a quarter of UK homes do not have fast enough broadband to cope with a family’s typical internet needs.

Yesterday, 17:02

Traffic lights which have been disrupting journeys at a key roundabout have been taken down.

Yesterday, 16:23

A pub has released CCTV footage of what appears to be an older woman lobbing white paint all over its front door.

Most Read

Mon, 18:00

School trips usually involve taking children to see one of Shakespeare’s great plays or visiting a historic museum.

Read more

Plans for a former pub to be turned into a luxury tobacconist have been put under fire by a nearby health centre, with bosses arguing it would “give out entirely the wrong message”.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:34

A 46-year-old shop assistant was racially abused by a customer in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Mon, 11:42

Would you like to play a major part in restoring one of Great Yarmouth’s most historic tourist attractions to its former glory?

Read more
Barry Coleman
Wed, 11:17

Tributes have poured in to a stalwart of the Great Yarmouth borough after he died following a short term illness.

Read more
Graham Plant

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy