A new children’s hospice in the West Midlands is to be built on land donated by a local donkey breeder and her late husband.

The site for the new hospice was given to the Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust by former donkey breeder June Sayce, 78, and her late husband Willie, who passed away three years ago, aged 75.

The three-acre plot was worth an estimated £1.4 million and property developers had been keen to acquire the site for some time, however Willie was adamant that the land where he lived his entire life was not going to becovered in houses.

“My husband and I had a wonderful marriage and enjoyed the outdoor life,” explains June. “We didn’t want houses built on the land as it was very special to us.

“Unfortunately we were never blessed with our own children, so we decided to donate the land to the Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust so it would benefit the whole community.

“Planning permission for the hospice was granted before Willie passed away and he died happy in the knowledge that the land would be used to benefit children with limited life.”

The last two donkeys bred by June, a member of the Donkey Breeders Society since 1970, have temporarily moved home into her garden while the building work takes place. Once the hospice is completed 28-year-old Dotty and 27-year-old Sally will settle into their new home in a new purpose built stable and paddock within the grounds.

The long-term plan is for two donkeys to remain permanently in the donkey paddock for the children and their families to visit and enjoy.

The hospice is due to open in 2004 and will provide care for terminally ill children and their families.

“We had been looking for a site for some time,” said John Overton, chief executive of Acorns. “The Sayces’ offer gave our project a fantastic start. We couldn’t have found a better location as the site has good road links and lovely views out to the Malvern Hills.

“The couple’s generosity means we are that bit closer to turning our dream of a new hospice into a reality for the many local children and families who so urgently need the care and support the new hospice will provide.”

For more infomration about the Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust clcik here to visit thier website.