On Friday 22nd September, we hosted an Open Afternoon for Frankie’s Den – our newly renovated two-bedroom property, located right next to Southampton Hospital. The flat was generously donated by Ken and Linda Acott, and will be used by Guernsey families with a poorly baby or critically ill child needing off-island treatment. The flat was named after ‘Frankie’ – the Acott’s late family dog, and this incredible gesture will help even more parents and children going through the hardest of times, away from home.
The day was full of celebrations and we were joined by Anna Douglass from Guernsey law firm Ferbrache and Farrell, as the team kindly supported the property purchase – free of charge.
We were also delighted to welcome Mandy Walker, Regional Account Manager at Hand Picked Hotels who supplied cupcakes from Rhinefield House for the big day. The luxury hotel collection has been the official sponsor of our Buy-A-Night campaign since we launched in November 2022. Guernsey artist, Ryan Dawe, also commissioned a special painting of Frankie, which was a surprise for Ken and Linda on their arrival to the flat.
Staff from Southampton Hospital including the Channel Island Liaison Team and Lianne Cashmore, Family Card Lead Nurse, joined the Open Afternoon, which was a great opportunity to catch up and discuss the vital work happening from both sides.
Frankie’s Den has been undergoing refurbishments for a number of months, with Dean Allen – the PPBF’s Property Manager – leading the way, and our volunteer Ellie Reid, supporting with furniture ordering and decor.
Here are some before and after shots:
From the living room of Frankie’s Den, you can see one of Southampton Hospital’s main buildings. Between the property’s main building entrance and the Princess Anne Hospital (the city’s neonatal hospital) there are around 100 steps. This means that families can easily move between their ‘home-from-home’ and their baby or child’s ward. Each flat is lovingly decorated, well-equipped and they’re also completely private, unlike the majority of accommodation options in Southampton.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony was a proud moment for all involved, especially as this was the first time that Ken and Linda have seen the finished property in person. The flat is located right next to Aggie’s Burrow, which will hopefully offer some comfort to families, reminding them that they’re not alone.
‘Will’ – the official mascot for the new Frossard Ward and Special Care Unit (formerly the NICU) at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital came along. The PPBF work closely with Guernsey’s healthcare staff and news of this third flat is incredibly important and reassuring for those who need to refer their youngest patients off-island.
The success of this third flat highlights just how vital the Buy-A-Night campaign is. In order to keep Aggie’s Burrow, Isaac’s Pad and Frankie’s Den up and running for years to come, the PPBF needs the continued support of its island community. From just £5 per month, you can choose a date across any of our online calendars and personalise your donation; pick a birthday, an anniversary or a number that is special to you. Your contribution will then help us to continue offering a safe haven to parents and children, whether a baby has been born early or a life threatening illness requires urgent treatment.
Jo Priaulx, PPBF co-founder, says: ‘Although we are called the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation, we continue to support critically ill children and their families. Treatment for conditions such as cancer can be long and intense, so having this third flat will help with those longer-term stays. A lot of work has gone into Frankie’s Den, and I can’t thank the team enough. The flat looks beautiful, and we are often told that walking through our doors offers an instant sense of relief, so we hope that Frankie’s Den will be no different. Thank you to Ken and Linda Acott who have been so selflessly involved.’