Firefighters from Green Watch at Moss Side Community Fire Station were cooking on gas at Francis House Children's Hospice's family garden, as they joined youngsters and care staff to launch the charity's Big BBQ fundraiser.
Throughout August, Francis House, which supports children and young adults with life-limiting conditions from across Greater Manchester, is asking people to invite their friends around for a BBQ in exchange for a donation to the charity.
Showing off their barbecuing skills, the fire crew served up some tasty and safe BBQ treats to the children and families to in a bid to help raise awareness of the campaign as well as passing on BBQ safety tips.
Moss Side Community Station Manager Pat Johnson said: "We're more than happy to support a local charity and recognise the fantastic work that Francis House does with very sick children and young people. We are delighted to help raise awareness of the Big BBQ for Francis House."
"Barbecues in the summer months are a great idea for families to get together however we want to ensure that people do it safely. Keep your barbecue flat, a couple of metres away from a shed, fence or bushes and a bucket of water to hand," said Pat.
Francis House provides a fun and relaxing environment for children and young people with life-limiting conditions to spend valuable time with their families.
Andrea Brookshaw and her three daughters tucked into the homemade burgers and sausages, kindly donated by Wheildons Family Butchers in Didsbury.
Isabel 9, has an undiagnosed neurological disorder leukodystrophy and is partially sighted.
Andrea from Ashton-under-Lyne, described how the support provided by Francis House benefits the whole family.
"We can all really relax when we come here, with Isabel's epilepsy we never really know when she might have a fit. We all count down how many sleeps there are until we come to Francis House, "While Isobel is being cared for we can go bowling and do things we're not normally able to do, even just sitting around the table having lunch together, and Isabel gets so much from coming here," said Andrea.
Francis House's own mascot Francis Mouse, was also on hand to entertain the youngsters.
David Ireland, Chief Executive of Francis House, said: "One of the most important things that we can do for the families who use Francis House is to help them to make memories, good memories that will last far beyond the stress that surrounds debilitating illness and the sadness that comes at the end of life. Francis House specialises in helping create these good memories regardless of the young person's different abilities. We hope lots of people will support the Francis House Big BBQ, have fun and help raise vital funds."
Pubs and businesses are also being asked to get involved with the barbecue theme that last year raised over £4,000 for the hospice.
A BIG BBQ fundraising pack including recipe ideas and tips on how to raise funds is available by visiting http://www.francishouse.org.uk/bigbbq/ or calling Chris on 0161 443 2200
Barbecue safety advice can be found at http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/seasonal_safety/barbecue_safety/
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