The Student News Site of Xaverian College


The Student News Site of Xaverian College


The Student News Site of Xaverian College


Welcome to SNO: A video introduction
March 14, 2022

Respite: Caring for our Carers.

Amna Waheed

Picture a job that is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your tea goes cold and your sleep is broken. That’s the job of parents who have children with severe disabilities. These are the people Francis House saves. Francis house is a Children’s Hospice that is situated in Didsbury, the heart of the Mancunian south. Run by Revd. David Ireland who describes it as a: “lifeline” for hundreds of families across Greater Manchester, allowing parents, carers and children to rest and recuperate through respite care.

The demand

The importance of Francis House is visible simply from its demand with 589 families currently receiving help. Asma Yasin is among one of the oldest and most loyal users of the services they provide, having two daughters that receive care there. Her eldest was just six when she started going, and recently celebrated her 30th birthday there. Asma says that Francis House is: “the only way parents can recharge their batteries.” Her daughters go for 12 nights a year and she finds the respite visits: “very very helpful.”

Limits of other services

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Some people see hospice care as something that should be limited to children, saying that those with disabilities should opt for a more independent lifestyle, using domiciliary (home) care with carers and adapted housing. Brothers of Charity Services are a Manchester based group who offer a range of services including domiciliary care. They believe in: “a dynamic domiciliary support service.” Through their services, they support the ‘independence first’ belief, stating that their services: “maximise independence”. Services like these, though helpful, may not be suitable for those who require full time care and some services may be difficult to access because of benefits and other issues. They may also not have sufficient funds to offer a high standard of care.

Francis House as a lifeline

Often, members of the family are a part of domiciliary care and work as full-time carers. We must remember that everyone needs a break, and as the Francis House website states, they are a: “lifeline” to many families across the Greater Manchester region. Agencies (to access domiciliary care) are easy to get a hold of, but reliable ones are incredibly hard to find, there is certainly a lot of agencies but really, a recommendation is needed to get a high quality one. As a result, often, the caring role is left to family members who may find coping difficult; it is a full-time job. This leaves them requiring respite from the likes of Francis House, proving its importance.

The impact

Asma’s daughters are also enthusiastic supporters of Francis House and the massive impact that it has had on their lives. Maliha Yasin tells tales of the luxury use of a jacuzzi bath and going to Wagamama’s, whereas Zabiha says that her fun consists of staying in bed- even if she feels it’s: “a bit hard”. They both had one message: Francis House is something they look forward to. Despite the many challenges in the life of a care-reliant adult, they get to experience the simple pleasures such as going out, simple pleasures that able-bodied people take largely for granted.

Donate now, save a family

Francis House have been hard hit by the cost-of-living crisis. Revd. Ireland says that they’re: “struggling with rising costs like everyone else.” Their running costs were a whopping £5.5 million last year, most of which came from charitable donations. A small fraction came from a government grant, though the CEO, Revd. Ireland, states that this is something that they can: “never depend on.” Francis House needs your help. Donate on the Francis House website and help by getting involved with other charity events they advertise. 589 families need your donations today.

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    Jacqui Shirley - OrganiserNov 30, 2023 at 6:18 am

    A thoughtful and interesting article , highlighting the importance of respite care