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The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Judith Chapman visited our new respite home in Bradford for children from across Yorkshire with learning disabilities on Friday 7 August to show her support for Catholic Care, and the Charity’s first new Children’s Home in nearly 20 years.

Francis House has been opened to plug a gap regionally for respite care for local parents and carers of six to 17 year olds with learning disabilities, especially those on the Autistic spectrum, who often have to wait weeks and even months for a place to become available.

Cllr Chapman says: “Respite breaks are a vital lifeline for families and carers of these children and young people, which is why the opening of Francis House is so significant.”

Francis House is open all year and admission can be applied for directly by individual families where Catholic Care can provide advice about how to fund the visit, or via local authorities.

Carol Hill, Director of Catholic Care says: “The breaks we offer are invaluable in giving families and carers some much needed respite whilst also providing a safe, caring and supportive environment where young people can enjoy themselves and learn new skills that help them work towards leading full and independent lives.

“Because we are charitably funded and don’t have the long waiting lists associated with other centres locally, we can be there for people when they really need us, such as in times of crisis, as well as when they want to pre-book short or longer-term respite visits.”

The care team at Francis House is highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic. As well as providing respite care, they also offer family support in people’s own homes and community and non-residential care for those who don’t need or want to stay overnight, plus general advice and information.