In 2009 Stephen wrote a letter to the Trustees requesting more respite care for the older users of Francis House.
Stephen’s letter told of his need to spend more time at the hospice because he was becoming increasingly isolated as his neuro muscular condition deteriorated and he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep in touch with friends using his computer.
Sadly Stephen died in November 2009 but by October 2010 his sister Tanya was able to cut the ribbon declaring Francis Lodge open.
Stephen’s letter had focused on the changing needs of young people as they get older as their conditions deteriorate and their lives begin to be affected as education, social support and health provision change from children’s to adult services.
Francis Lodge provides an age appropriate environment for young people to mix with others of a similar age where they can be supported as they cope with major changes in their lives.
We now have over 90 users over the age of 16, the oldest of them over 30. Each has different care and emotional needs.
The Lodge is a temporary solution and has been used to develop the brief for our new seven bed unit adjoining Francis House. It provides a unique opportunity to trial different types of finishes and equipment and to inform decisions on the brief for the new building.
Our young people and their families have taken part in Independent Research commissioned through Manchester University to determine the best way of providing support for young adults with life limiting conditions.
This research will inform the mix of professionals recruited to join the Care team and the types of support offered.
Francis Lodge was established to help meet a growing need and our new building will further develop this work.
The new building will cost 3.5 million pounds to construct and our annual running costs for the whole of Francis House will rise to 4.6 million pounds per year when the new building opens in 2013.
Our appeal is doing really well thanks to the generosity of people from all around the North West and beyond but we still need 1.5 million pounds to meet our Capital Target and we are looking to young people – the peers of our Francis Lodge users to come up with new ideas to help us provide care to people of a similar age.