Stagecoach story time for Francis House

21 Aug 2014

Children at Francis House can now enjoy the tales of Bobby Bus, Stanley Supertram and Molly Megabus, after Stagecoach Manchester donated thirty copies of the specially commissioned book - ‘A Very Special Family Party’ to the children’s hospice.

The book was created to celebrate co-founder and chairman, Brian Souter’s 60th birthday and tells the story of his birthday party, with the different methods of transport provided by Stagecoach.

Stagecoach Manchester’s managing director, Christopher Bowles, visited the children’s hospice to donate the books to mascot, Francis Mouse, and Sandeep, who uses Francis House with his family for short breaks of respite care.

The books have been donated as part of the leading local bus company’s continued support for the local hospice, after it was chosen as its charity of the year.

Talking about the donation, Christopher Bowles, said: “We are always looking for ways to support Francis House, so when we heard about the creation of this children’s book we were keen to donate some to the children at the hospice.

“Our drivers and staff are taking part in numerous fundraising activities throughout the year, but this book gave us the opportunity to give something directly to the children of Francis House. We hope they enjoy reading about the adventures of the different methods of transport.”

Emma Siddle, fundraising officer at Francis House, said: “Reading books is a great way of giving one-to-one attention to the children, plus it gives siblings and family members valuable time together. The children will no doubt enjoy the book.

“We were delighted to welcome Christopher to the hospice to receive the book donation and hear of Stagecoach’s future fundraising activities.”

The Stagecoach children’s book is available to buy online at priced at £4* for a paperback copy. At least £1.50 from the sale of each book will be donated to the National Literacy Trust** which works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK's most disadvantaged communities, where up to 40 per cent of people have literacy problems.

*Excludes shipping fee as set by Amazon
**The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 (England and Wales) and SC042944 (Scotland). More information is available at