Warriors’ annual Acorns Charity Matchday takes place when Harlequins travel to Sixways on Sunday 1 January.
Proceeds from the Charity Matchday will go towards providing vital care for children and support to families like Cheryl’s.
Cheryl regularly uses Acorns for the Three Counties, based on Bath Road in Worcester, for short breaks for nine-year-old daughter Caitlin.
“We started coming to Acorns about a year ago and loved it from the minute we walked in the door,” Cheryl explained.
“We felt comfortable and Caitlin was comfortable. All the staff are so friendly, even if they’re not looking after Caitlin – they’re amazing.”
Caitlin was born without muscle tone so was floppy at birth and couldn’t open her eyes. She can’t talk or walk, is spoon fed and a machine helps her to breathe at night.
Recently her condition was diagnosed as being due to a chromosome abnormality.
“It’s had a massive effect,” Cheryl said, “but over time with physiotherapy she’s built up her muscles.
“Caitlin is such a monkey and so smiley. She’s so sociable and loves interaction with adults and children. She’s a ball of delight and our little girl!”
Cheryl said that while Caitlin was growing up her older siblings would help to care for her, but that this help was becoming less frequent.
“It is hard when you’re at home. When she was younger our older children would keep an eye on her or they would help out doing jobs while we played with her. But now she’s older and they’re older, so it’s just dad and me. We just found we needed a break.
“We knew Acorns was set up to support Caitlin through our community nurse. It just gives us real peace of mind knowing we can bring her and she’s cared for. We can get a break without feeling guilty, which is something we really do need.”
Caitlin stays at the hospice for short breaks of up to a week at a time and makes use of the hydrotherapy pool, the gardens and the multisensory room.
Cheryl added: “Caitlin is really well looked after with one to one nursing care, physiotherapy, a special diet and the outside space which she absolutely loves. It’s just an amazing place to bring your child and to know that she’s looked after as well as we’d look after her.”
It costs Acorns Children’s Hospice nearly £10 million every year to continue providing care for families like Cheryl’s and the charity relies on fundraising and events like the Charity Matchday for most of this amount.
The event is the perfect family day out or fun-filled afternoon with your friends and colleagues so make sure you head down to Sixways for what is sure to be a game to remember.