The word ‘hospice’ may well imply an indicative and sad meaning, but the word originates from the Latin word ‘hospitum’, ‘a place for rest and refreshment’. While we most commonly see the word hospice used to describe the particular care given to people who are terminally ill, the term is not strictly limited in this respect.
A hospice can also be a place that takes care of the sick, not necessarily only for the terminal end of life care and this is only part of the many services that Francis House Children’s Hospice, located in Didsbury, Manchester offer to their 370 registered, extremely poorly children and their respective families of which the facilities are also used on a respite care basis. The young patient’s families are not means tested prior to admission, children are registered with the hospice and that child’s needs are professionally met.
Francis House was opened in 1991, it was the fifth children’s hospice to be built in the UK and at that time, sick children, along with their families, went to Francis House for support and care from all over the north west of England and other parts of the British Isles.
Francis House currently has 14 bed units for their children and young adult services plus of course accommodation for their respective family members.
The hospice have expanded their services to employ special support services and provide not only the care as described but also bereavement services, counselling, paediatric and young adult care teams, complimentary medicine and therapy services such as physiotherapy.
Mike Adams, Chairman of the South Eastern Group along with Dave Walmsley, Chairman of the Eccles Group, also accompanied by Darren Gregory, the newly appointed South Eastern Group Charity Steward were delighted to be representatives of the Grand Charity and to present a cheque made out in favour of Francis House for £3,338.
Fund raising officer Emma Rapley, was delighted to receive the donation which is only part of the annual Masonic giving from the Grand Charity. Since 1981 a total in excess of £30,000,000 have been donated to non-Masonic charities.
In that time period, and as part of a special Masonic charity grant support program, hospice services have received in excess of £10,000,000 to assist the operational costs of these invaluable services.
As well as the annual Grand Charity donations, it should also be noted that numerous individual lodge’s in numerous groups make their own regular and direct individual charitable donations to the hospice’s too, Francis House being one of those recipients.