In January 1990 Sister Aloysius (Sister Aloysius A Woman Whose Faith Moved Mountains...) called a meeting of like minded people to discuss how to provide help to the many families around the Northwest who had children with life limiting conditions, the Rainbow Family Trust was born! Never one to let grass grow under her feet Sister drove the project on and it is a great tribute to her tenacity, faith and strength of purpose that on the 25th of November 1991 the late Princess Diana opened a fully operational Francis House and ever since the Francis House family has continued to grow.
Our service is founded on a belief in the sanctity of life and respect for the dignity of every person. Francis House values the understanding, visions and attitudes to life and death of all of the children and families who allow us the privilege of being alongside them through their times of stress, pain and confusion.
Francis House provides care for children and young adults with life threatening conditions. We also provide support and friendship for the whole family. The families teach us and humble us in their courage, commitment and strength of spirit. When they are at a low ebb we endeavour, through our flexible child centred service to support them through their difficult times.
Caring for someone, often for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week can put an impossible strain upon families. Relationships can suffer, careers are abandoned, brothers and sisters feel neglected, family activities and holidays are rare. Families can feel isolated, alone and afraid.
In spite of their desperate need many shy away from seeking help from the hospice, their expectations are that it will be a sad place, and some may not feel ready to face the true nature of their child’s condition. Stepping across the threshold seems so final. When they do come to Francis House they find a place of comfort, rest, fun and enjoyment. All of our care is offered in a comfortable home from home environment. Families come for periods of rest and recuperation along with treatment of distressing symptoms, end of life care and support.