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VIS­I­TORS were treated to sneak pre­view of the up­graded fa­cil­i­ties at Fran­cis House Chil­dren’s Hospice at a pub­lic open day.

Sup­port­ers, school groups and busi­nesses got to hear from mem­bers of the care team as they were taken on be­hind-thescenes tours of the fa­cil­i­ties.

State-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, on show for the first time in­cluded a Snoeze­len multi-sen­sory room, pro­vid­ing sooth­ing ● sounds, tac­tile ex­pe­ri­ences and gen­tle move­ment.

Colour­ful bed­rooms are equipped with new wardrobes, gam­ing, tele­vi­sions and full room cover hoists.

There is a soft play room for chil­dren and sib­lings, and a new home cinema cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

The chil­dren re­ferred to the Dids­bury based hospice have a range of con­di­tions.

These in­clude neu­ro­mus­cu­lar, meta­bolic and neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases.

Fewer than 10 per cent of the chil­dren have can­cer-re­lated con­di­tions.

Built in 1991, the home-from-home en­vi­ron­ment needed ad­di­tional dig­i­tal equip­ment to cater for the grow­ing needs of the chil­dren and fam­i­lies it now sup­ports.

David Ire­land, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Fran­cis House said: “Through the gen­eros­ity of so many peo­ple, we have been grad­u­ally up­grad­ing the build­ing at Fran­cis House.

“All of this work is be­ing care­fully phased to al­low the respite care to con­tinue with as lit­tle im­pact on the fam­i­lies as pos­si­ble.”

Along­side the build­ing work and gen­eral main­te­nance, the hospice care team is be­ing de­vel­oped with new ● struc­tures to im­prove emo­tional and be­reave­ment support and in the near fu­ture, de­vel­op­ments in the Home­care team.

Fran­cis House sup­ports more than 460 fam­i­lies from across Greater Manch­ester with a large team of reg­is­tered nurses, nurs­ery nurses, so­cial work­ers and ther­a­pists.

David said: “Fran­cis House is 26 years old and we still need peo­ple to support us just as we did in the early days.

“Each year we rely on pub­lic do­na­tions to fund 88 per cent of our in­come.

“We are truly grate­ful to ev­ery­one out there who sup­ports us.”

To find out more about the work of Fran­cis House visit www.fran­cishouse.

Sen­sory room equip­ment at Fran­cis House

Vis­i­tors at the Fran­cis House open day

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