The Story of Francis House Children’s Hospice: A Mistake with a Meaningful Impact

Last Updated on: 21st November 2023, 08:56 pm

Francis House Children’s Hospice has marked its rich history with the release of a new book, ‘A Worthwhile Error’. The phrase was coined by co-founder Sister Aloysius FMSJ to describe the decision to build the hospice with hardly any money. Fortunately, her gamble paid off, and in late 1991, the hospice opened its doors with a visit from Princess Diana and her eldest son, William, accompanied by wife Kate.

The book details the incredible support the hospice has received from families, volunteers and fundraisers, such as Kirsty Howard, who was born with a rare heart condition and raised over £5m to ensure the charity’s survival when it was struggling financially. Pauline Armitage MBE also gave her all, working a 40-hour week as a bookkeeper for 26 years without pay.

Kyle Wells, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, shared his touching story of how Francis House provided a much-needed escape from his home life. He said: “When I first came here as a child, I was in tears and wanted to go home. The next time I cried it was because I wanted to stay. My mum was a heavy drinker and had an abusive partner. By coming here, I went from domestic chaos to complete calmness and feeling cared for.”

The book, written by author, broadcaster and journalist Andy Buckley, also reveals how Francis House has helped to establish hospice facilities in countries such as Japan, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Latvia.

Chief Executive David Ireland, who has been with the hospice since the start, said: “The book is an in-depth look at the rich history of Francis House. It shares the stories of the many personalities involved including, most importantly, the wonderful families who have passed through our doors.”

‘A Worthwhile Error – The History of Francis House Children’s Hospice’ is available for £19.95 (plus postage and packing). All proceeds will be donated to the care of children, young people and their families.

On Wednesday 8 November, 2023, Francis House Children’s Hospice released a new book, ‘A Worthwhile Error’, chronicling its rich history. The phrase was coined by co-founder Sister Aloysius FMSJ to describe the decision to build the hospice with hardly any money. Fortunately, her gamble paid off and the hospice was opened in late 1991 with a visit from Princess Diana and her eldest son, William, accompanied by wife Kate.

The book details the incredible support the hospice has received from families, volunteers and fundraisers, such as Kirsty Howard, who raised over £5m to ensure the charity’s survival. Pauline Armitage MBE also gave her all, working a 40-hour week as a bookkeeper for 26 years without pay. Kyle Wells, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, shared his touching story of how Francis House provided a much-needed escape from his home life.

The book, written by author, broadcaster and journalist Andy Buckley, also reveals how Francis House has helped to establish hospice facilities in countries such as Japan, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Latvia. Chief Executive David Ireland said: “The book is an in-depth look at the rich history of Francis House. It shares the stories of the many personalities involved including, most importantly, the wonderful families who have passed through our doors.”

On Wednesday 8 November, 2023, Francis House Children’s Hospice released ‘A Worthwhile Error – The History of Francis House Children’s Hospice’, a glossy hardback book exploring the charity’s history. Written by author, broadcaster and journalist Andy Buckley, the book details the incredible support the hospice has received from families, volunteers and fundraisers, such as Kirsty Howard, who raised over £5m to ensure the charity’s survival. It also reveals how the hospice has helped to establish hospice facilities in countries such as Japan, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Latvia. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the care of children, young people and their families.

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