Live updates

Children's hospice under threat due to lack of funding

The head of Acorns Hospice, which supports children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, says the future of the charity is under severe threat unless more is done to secure funding.

Chief Executive David Strudley has warned that the number of children needing hospice support is increasing - but the amount of money available isn't. Balvinder Sidhu reports.


Holiday snaps and war shots found in mystery shoebox

Holiday snaps, family photos and war shots were among more than 100 pictures found in a shoebox donated to charity by accident.

The shoebox was donated along with five others, which all contained shoes, to the Acorns shop in Castle Bromwich, Solihull.

Holiday snaps were among the photos Credit: ITV News Central

The woman who handed over the boxes left without giving her name - and volunteers at the store are now appealing for help in tracking her down.

Acorns spokeswoman Katy Mendes said volunteers had kept the box over the holidays in case anyone came in to collect it - but said they were now keen to track down the woman and return the box to its owners.

Four children shown smiling in one of the pictures found Credit: ITV News Central

She urged anyone who recognises the pictures, or knows who may have lost the family memorabilia, to call the store on 01564 825000.

The pictures seem to range from the early 1900s to the 50s and 60s.

There are a lot of family photos in there and some pictures of men in First and Second World War uniforms as well.

We assume it must have been given away by accident - perhaps in a house clearance - and it would be really nice to find out who it belongs to.

This wrinkled picture appears to show a soldier in uniform Credit: ITV News Central

Mystery over WWI memorabilia donated by accident

Volunteers at the Acorns Children's Hospice are searching for a woman who accidentally donated a shoebox full of family memorabilia dating back around 100 years.

Workers at the charity's Castle Bromwich store in Solihull were delighted when a woman made a donation of old dancing and ballet shoes in the run-up to Christmas.

The shoebox which was donated by accident Credit: ITV News Central

But as they worked their way through the boxes of shoes, they discovered one actually contained more than 100 old photographs dating back decades, as well as other priceless family relics.

These include a reference letter for a man named William Cater, who worked as a chauffeur and handyman for the family at Bodenham Manor in Herefordshire.

One of the family photos found in the box Credit: ITV News Central

A rent book and old memorial cards from funerals were also found in the box, as well as a photobook detailing the Manor's transformation into a school during the 60s.

The donation of around six shoeboxes was made anonymously.

Another of the decades-old photographs accidentally donated Credit: ITV News Central


Claims men stole money from fountain in Redditch

Credit: News Team

Police say they're looking into claims two men took money from a fountain destined for sick children in Redditch.

Officers were shown these pictures taken by a member of the public on Monday. The police say no crime has been reported to them as the fountain is not specifically for charity.

Locals say money is thrown into the fountain and once a year it is removed by the council and given to the nearby Acorn's Children's Hospice to help terminally ill children.

Credit: News Team

Exotic animals in Worcestershire in need of a new home

A woman from Worcester is struggling to find a new home for her family and 40 exotic animals.

Lynda Blake, who takes her meerkats and raccoons to the Acorns Children's Hospice, says she fears that she may be forced to stop as she has to move from her rented house by April 1.

Lynda runs Wildlife Furry Exotics in Fernhill Heath, Worcestershire, with her husband Drew Blake.

The couple are now looking for a new home after the landlord of their rented house died.

They currently have a range of animals including skunks, sugar gliders, raccoons, raccoon dogs, meerkats, a coatimundi, a genet and a kinkajou.

Lynda with one of her meerkats Credit: ITV News Central
Raccoon Credit: ITV News Central
Meerkat Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds of Santas run in Birmingham for charity

Santas warming up to run from Brindley Place Credit: James FX - Twitter

The streets turned red today in Birmingham City Centre, as hundreds of people took part in a fun run dressed as Father Christmas.

The charity race began and ended in Brindley Place, where runners started their 5km at 11am, and walkers lined up at the start line at 12pm to complete their 2km stroll.

The charity event was organised by Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, who are raising money this Christmas for local children with life limiting or life threatening conditions.

Another event is organised for tomorrow (Sunday December 9), where the Santas will leave and return to the Walsall Arboretum.