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Francis House launches new film

A new film featuring families from Greater Manchester who receive respite care and support at Francis House has been launched.

The video had its first screening at a Hollywood themed ball held at The Mere Resort and Spa on Friday December 1.

More than five hundred guests attended the black tie fundraiser, which annually raises more than £100k, and were the first to view the moving film produced by Manchester based Doodledo Motion.

One family who feature are the Brookshaw’s from Ashton-Under-Lyne.

Mum Andrea, describes the morning almost four years ago, when the eldest of her three daughters Isabel, awoke in a critical condition.

“Isabel was fine up to being seven-years-old. A normal kid going to primary school and just about to do her Sats in year 2. She just woke up one morning and couldn’t breathe, couldn’t talk, couldn’t move,” said Andrea. “She went to A&E and was put on a ventilator for 16 days.”

Although no formal diagnosis was given, it was suspected that Isabel had suffered a serious inflammation of the brain. She remained in hospital on a rehabilitation ward for 6 months with Andrea by her bedside.

“I remember one day they turned up with a wheelchair for her. I just thought it was for while she was in hospital, I had no idea it would be a long-term thing.”

In spite of their desperate need, many families find it difficult to accept that their child could be eligible for the help and support from their local children’s hospice.

“We looked around Francis House and it’s not what you think it would be like at all. All you hear is laughing, it’s a really happy place. You forget it’s a hospice, it’s just somewhere that we all come to as a family and we make lovely memories.”

Gill Bevin, Director of Care at Francis House explains: “Families come expecting rows of beds with children who are dying or very poorly. It takes time for families to get to know Francis House and to trust us with the most precious thing in their lives and that is their children.”

The video is presented by Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor (pictured with Gill Bevin and David Ireland from Francis House).

Sally describes filming at Francis House as a ‘privilege’.

“I am very pleased to be taking part in this video,” she said. “Every time I come I meet children who are very poorly, but here they are supported with their families. It’s a wonderful charity and I’m just so pleased to be part of it.”

David Ireland, chief executive of Francis House said: “We are really grateful to Sally for helping us with our new video and to the families who took part. We hope people will watch it and support their local children’s hospice.

“Francis House is 26 years old this year and we still need people to support us just as we did in the early days. We’d like to thank Sally and are really grateful to everyone out there who supports us.”

Louise and Sam feature in the new Francis House video

Francis House relies on public donations to fund 88% of its income. Based in Didsbury, it supports over 1200 people at any one time from across Greater Manchester, including Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Manchester, Salford and Trafford.

View the new video here FRANCIS HOUSE VIDEO