Established in 1990 to support families across Greater Manchester
1990 / 91
Rainbow Family Trust set up as a charity by Sister Aloysius and Father Thomas Mulheran who were concerned about the lack of palliative care for the families of children with a short life expectancy. With Sister’s vision, determination and drive in less than two years the seven bedroom Francis House was opened in November 1991 by Diana, Princess of Wales. Only the fifth children’s hospice to be built in the UK and the World.
1990’s & 2000’s
Thousands of children and their families come through the doors of Francis House for support, friendship, fun and a place to recharge their batteries. Children sleep in one of seven colourful bedrooms and there are flats for their parents to have a well-earned rest and time together. Siblings can also stay with their brother and sister enabling them to spend valuable time together.
Sister Aloysius retires, however her compassion for the children and their families who will suffer the loss of their child remains. She continues as a member of the Council of Management for many years. Revd David Ireland becomes Chief Executive. As architect for the Rainbow Family Trust, he oversaw the conversion of a former convent into Francis House Children’s Hospice in 1990.
Emotional support service starts providing support to young people with life-limiting conditions who due to medical advances are living longer. The service offers them the opportunity to talk about their feelings, fears and share their thoughts with a trained member of the care team. Margaret Hickie announces her retirement as the Head of Care.
A temporary four bed house close to Francis House opened following a request to the board of trustees by Stephen Ryan, born with a muscle wasting condition asking to be cared for in a more adult environment. The house for teenagers and young adults was the forerunner for a £3.5 million building extension to meet the growing need for respite care for older users. January 1st Gill Bevin becomes the Registered Manager.
Sister Aloysius the founder of Francis House dies in August aged 85 years. Construction work on the seven bedroom extension begins. The first of five cornerstones are laid by Sir Alex Ferguson and Nathan Sturgeon. Celebrating five years of partnership with Manchester United. The Rainbow Family Trust changes its name to Francis House Family Trust.
Francis House celebrates 25 years of providing care and support to families across Greater Manchester. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened Francis Lodge, 25 years to the month since Princess Diana opened Francis House. 463 Parrs Wood Road, operated by Francis House Families Limited, opens providing a place of permanent residence for young people with life-limiting conditions.