Sir Alex Ferguson was on hand to add an important piece of the jigsaw to the building extension at Francis House Children’s Hospice last week, with Jonny Evans and stars of Coronation Street also there to lend their support.
The United boss laid a cornerstone in the wall of the new £3.5million building extension alongside Reds fan Nathan Sturgeon, 20, who comes to the hospice for respite care. Both were joined by Evans and Corrie actors Antony Cotton, Cath Tyldesley and Ben Price.
Built in 1991, the original seven bedroom hospice, which is one of the club’s charity partners, is to be retained with construction work progressing well on a new two-storey, seven-bedroom extension and administration block. Each bedroom in the new building will be fitted with specially adapted PS3s, self-lowering wash basins and their own balconies overlooking a garden area. The new facilities, that will also include a recording studio, cinema room and communal lounge, will provide a place of relaxation for teenagers and young adults with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, and give their parents a break from their role as carers.
Sir Alex was only too happy to lend his support to a charity he has always given up a lot of time for.
“I first came here over 25 years ago with Sir Matt [Busby] who was involved in a big way,” Sir Alex told MUTV and ManUtd.com. “The hospice do such fantastic work for both the children here and their parents; the great thing about Francis House is the fact the parents can stay here as well.
“We’re delighted to be able to give our support to the hospice – it’s one the club have been involved with for a long time and we’re very proud to support the great work they do.”
Sir Alex has continued the club’s close association with the hospice following on from Sir Matt who was involved from the very beginning and present at the opening of phase one back in November 1991. The appeal for the new building was launched at Manchester Town Hall in July 2011 with the help of Kirsty Howard who continues to fundraise for Francis House