Francis House Children’s Hospice is situated in Didsbury, South Manchester, and borders onto the Masonic Province of Cheshire, where RWBro Stephen Blank was recently appointed Provincial Grand Master. The Childrens Hospice was founded in 1990 by the foresight and drive of Sister Aloysius who had previously formed the Rainbow Trust to care for children who had life threatening diseases. The nuns in Sister Aloysious’ convent gave their building to the Francis House Trust and after a £1.25 million conversion the childrens hospice was opened as Francis House Children’s Hospice in November 1991 by the late Princess Diana.

The present Chief Executive Officer, Rev’d David Ireland, was the architect who worked on the original plans for the Hospice conversion and 25 years later he is still the main driving force behind the continued development of the Hospice and it’s wondeful facilities. Very recently a brand new wing, Francis Lodge,designed by David, to accomodate young adults, has been added which, together with the rest of the Hospice, was shown to the public at an Open Day on November 7th

The ELMC has joined in a unique partnership with the Province of Cheshire to make a £1,000 donation from each Province to the Hospice in memory of Kirsty Howard.

Kirsty died peacefully at 1.38am on October 24th at the Intensive Care Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary surrounded by her family and friends. She was just 20 years old

Kirsty made a huge impact as a fundraiser for Francis House, raising over £7.5m for the hospice where she received respite from 3 ½ years of age. Despite being born with a rare heart and lung condition, and given only 6 weeks to live, Kirsty endured many operations and inspired countless people with her bravery and determination.

Everything Kirsty did she did for Francis House and the hundreds of children, teenagers, young adults and their families that rely on the hospice in their times of greatest need. Kirsty continued to enjoy respite stays in the new teenage and young adult wing (Francis Lodge) with staff and other young people who had become close friends over the years.

David Ireland said “Francis House had struggled to meet its running costs for many years, Kirsty’s fundraising changed that and gave us a measure of security that allowed us to expand and develop our service. Hundreds of children, young people and their families owe a tremendous debt to the young lady whose face made Francis House a household name.”



The Cheque Presentation


Mark Davis, the secretary of the ELMC; the Rev’d David Ireland, C.E.O. of Francis House; Mark Abson, representing the Master Masons Forum of the Province of Cheshire and Colin Ross, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Province of Cheshire

You can read more about Kirsty Howard HERE