Francis House fundraising officer Kate Puc kicked off the Didsbury’s children’s hospice’s 25th anniversary with her first cheque collection of the year following Loreto Preparatory School’s Christmas campaign.
The girls at the top Altrincham preparatory school raised £620 through the sale of the Christmas soft toys and were eager to hear that they are part of the wider community’s ‘Herculean’ effort to raise £3.6m every year.
Kate, who has been covering the region for Francis House raising funds for over 20 years, said: “Francis House provides vital care for over 320 children and young teenagers also providing facilities for their families which means we are looking after over 1,000 people at one given time.
“At the moment we have to raise £3.6 million every year and receive less than 12% from central Government which pays for 43 days meaning that we have to find funding for the other 322 days of the year.
“From 2017 the amount we need to raise will be a staggering £4.6 million when Francis Lodge becomes fully operational which is our new facility for our teenager and young adults.
“We take children from right across Greater Manchester and beyond and have a policy that we will never say no to anyone.
“Schools such as Loreto Preparatory School are an instrumental part of our fundraising drive.
“The money raised is absolutely vital to help keep the doors of Francis House open, but just as importantly it is about educating the youngest generation about Francis House and the work that is carried out there and that’s why speaking in assemblies to the children is so important so they understand why they are raising money.
We want children to help other children less fortunate then themselves not just now but as they grow older as well.”
Loreto Preparatory School Headteacher Helen Norwood said: “Francis House does incredibly important work and is cherished by all members of the local community whether they have a direct connection with its service or not and we want our girls to learn about its role and and help the staff like Kate and the team take responsibility for its future.”