Catherine Holland, Helen Whalley, Derek and Ojo went along to Francis House where they met Peter Forster who is the fundraising manager.
Although they could not go into the hospice itself Peter explained that at the present time they are in the process of having a 7 bedroom extension built which will double the size of the hospice. They hope that the building work will be completed by September next year and the refit completed to open this time next year. The extension will cost £3.5million to construct.
Francis house is open to all families who have children with a life threatening or life limiting condition who are under 16 at the time of referral.
They are able to provide different support and care options including day care where children and their families can use the facilities during the day. They offer fun days, respite care for short breaks where children can stay on their own and sometimes their siblings will join them to give parents a break. They also have a home care team and they provide end of life care.
There is also Francis Lodge which provides an age appropriate environment for young people to mix with others of a similar age and be supported as they cope with major changes in their lives. Francis Lodge has over 90 users over the age of 16, the oldest being over 30.
Once the extension opens the running cost of Francis House will rise to £4.6million per year and they are still £1.5million short of their capital costs which is why they are always grateful for any donation that will help towards the service they provide.