An exceptionally kind couple, Ken and Linda Acott, have donated a flat to the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.
Frankie’s Den’ will become the third PPBF compassionate housing apartment for Bailiwick of Guernsey families, whose premature baby or critically ill child, require off-island treatment at Southampton General Hospital or Princess Anne Hospital. The fully equipped flats, on the doorstep of the hospital are vital for these families. The flats provide a safe-haven, a home-away-from-home, and offer privacy and comfort to families during immensely difficult times.
Ken explains why they decided to make this generous donation; “Over the past few years my wife Linda and I met Jo and Andy Priaulx (Founders of the PPBF) on a number of occasions. As far back as 2015 my company, the First Central Group, sponsored their son Seb to drive in the Ginetta Racing series. We were aware of the PPBF on a rather superficial level, but in March 2022 were involved in the sponsorship of the PPBF’s Blingo event in support of the Foundation. We were lucky enough to be seated with Jo during the evening and learned so much more about the fantastic work and support they provide. In particular, the crucial importance of the two apartments made available to families and couples whose babies need care in Southampton General Hospital. Jo is a real dynamo, full of enthusiasm, drive and determination and having heard how Aggie’s Burrow and Isaac’s Pad were in almost constant use, even before the evening was over the germ of an idea to provide a third apartment was taking shape.”
“We formally floated our proposal with Jo a few days later - if a suitable property could be found, we would buy it, have it refurbished and furnished and gift it to the Foundation. The Foundation team quickly clicked into action and very soon, the ideal property was found, perfectly located in the same block and on the same floor as Aggie’s Burrow and the purchase process commenced.”
“That, as they say, was the easy part. From the acceptance of the purchase offer to completion took eight agonising months. All through this prolonged purchase process we have been ably supported by Anna Douglas and Alistair Hargreaves of Ferbrache and Farrell who generously provided their services at no cost. We are hugely grateful and indebted to them.”
Anna Douglass, who leads Ferbrache & Farrell UK Real Estate Team, advised on a pro bono basis on all of the conveyancing aspects of the transaction.
Anna said; "I'm so immensely thrilled that that we've been able to be involved and support this truly wonderful cause. The charity has worked tirelessly since its inception to make a difference for our community, local families and children. This cause is very close to my heart, having had the worry of a premature baby myself some seven years ago. I’ve also witnessed the traumatic times my close friends experienced in having to unexpectedly deal with an emergency of a medevac flight from Guernsey to Southampton, with all the serious implications of neonatal complications and uncertainties. This recent fantastic addition of a third flat will mean the world to local families in need of a peaceful and comfortable place to stay while their preemie babies undergo vital hospital care”.
Managing partner Alastair Hargreaves said: “Congratulations PPBF. More amazing PPBF news with the addition of further compassionate housing to Jo and Andy Priaulx’s Foundation. Our UK Real Estate team at Ferbrache & Farrell have been very privileged and delighted to help with the process and to work alongside some truly wonderful unsung heroes on the journey. We are really looking forward to supporting the PPBF in the future, and helping those that make the magic happen”.
Ken adds; “We finally completed the purchase on 16th February 2023 and at last gained access. Redecoration and refurbishment has commenced and Linda and I are very much looking forward to seeing it when it is ready for use.”
“It gives us enormous pleasure to gift this apartment to the Foundation and to enable them to support even more Guernsey families at what is the most worrying and stressful of times. We fully appreciate the concerns and difficulties those couples and families face having had personal experience of the same issues in the past.”
“We are also delighted the Foundation has agreed to our suggested name for the apartment. It will be known as ‘Frankie’s Den.’ Frankie was the most beautiful, loving and gentle black cockapoo. She loved children and babies; she loved everyone but sadly, in May 2021 we lost our little girl at just 4 years of age. We miss her every day and to name the new apartment in her memory is a joy. It will keep her name and image in our hearts and those of the many others using Frankie’s Den for many years to come.”
Jo Priaulx comments; “We can’t thank Ken and Linda enough for their generous and much needed gift. Aggie’s Burrow and Isaac’s Pad are in constant use. The addition of Frankie’s Den to the PPBF family is key. We will now be able to offer vital comfort to even more families whose child needs longer term treatment, like cancer.”
“I’d also like to thank our Property Manager, Dean Allen who is amazing at managing and maintaining the PPBF flats and is also doing a tremendous job of refurbishing Frankie’s Den.”
Jo continues; “We’re looking forward to opening the doors to Frankie’s Den and welcoming families sometime in June. Look out on our social media for up-dates on how we are progressing with the refurbishment.”
PPBF Needs Your Help
The PPBF needs your help more than ever, to safeguard the future of its compassionate housing for Bailiwick of Guernsey families for years to come. The PPBF provides 1,095 safe and cosy nights for families each year. Around £66,000 of funds must be raised to run and keep the flats up to standard. If you’d like to sponsor a night to support a family in Frankie’s Den, Aggie’s Burrow or Isaac’s Pad and give them peace of mind, please go to: www.ppbf.org.gg/buy-a-night