July 2019 - East Cheshire Hospice

In conversation with Susie MacMurray

See for yourself one of Cheshire’s newest and most amazing pieces of artwork – and meet the artist who created it.

Susie MacMurray will be in conversation during her spectacular Gathering exhibition in the Staircase Hall in the Mansion at Tatton Park.

Her opening talk is Thurs 25th July and further conversations are on Thurs 15th Aug, and Fri 29 Sept (all times 12.30 pm to 1 pm).

Susie will be explaining about the piece, inspired by East Cheshire Hospice, and her influences and practise.

Talks are free though usual mansion entry applies. Spaces are limited and groups are welcome. To register go to www.gatheringattatton.com/visit.

The installation, featuring thousands of hand-stitched elements, is suspended from the  Mansion’s grand rotunda. It is on display until Oct 6 as part of Art Fair Cheshire 2019.

During the exhibition elements can be bought in unique editions, with all profits supporting Hospice care.

Individual elements  are £30; small sculpture £500 (limited edition of 75); large sculpture £1,500 (limited to 15) and a painted watercolour of Gathering is £225 (75 only). Each is signed and numbered by the artist.

For more details go to www.gatheringattatton.com/store.

Pieces will be available for collection from mid October 2019. Postage charges will apply for purchases sent.










Art Fair Cheshire celebrates its 20th year with an exhibition at Macclesfield Town Hall (Thurs, Sept 26 – Thurs, Oct 3). For more details go to www.theartfair.org.uk.

Richard Raymond is Nightrider

Teamwork is usually the key to Richard Raymond’s fundraising for East Cheshire Hospice.

As co-founder of the charity’s Christmas Tree Collection, he plays a pivotal role in a large-scale operation which has so far raised more than £1m.

But his latest fundraising challenge was very much a single-handed effort as he undertook a 50 kilometre night ride through Merseyside.

Richard, from Macclesfield, raised more than £400 from Nightrider 2019 which began at Pier Head and took him through the Mersey Tunnel which was closed to traffic for the event.

Richard said: “I come from Chester originally and had wanted to follow a cycle trail around the Wirral so as an occasional social cyclist couldn’t resist the opportunity.

“My wave of cyclists set off at 11.10 pm when the city centre streets were packed with people partying. When I returned at around 2.30 pm they were still out there enjoying themselves!

“I noticed the Hospice had got spare places in the event and this was my chance to do a bit of personal fundraising for this fantastic local charity.”

Believe it or not but even during the height of summer, collecting Christmas trees is never far from the thoughts of Richard and the scheme’s co-founder Pete Chapman.

The 2019 collection raised £136,000 net which meant it broke the £1m mark overall for fundraising for the Hospice.

The next collection on the weekend of January 11 and 12 will bring another special milestone.

Richard said: “It’s our 20th anniversary in 2020 so we’re already thinking about marketing and promotion around that theme. We’re also looking at routing so there’s a lot to consider even now.

“It’s a major challenge but one we enjoy immensely, especially as we have such a dedicated team of volunteers and generous donors. Once again we’ll be relying on the spirit and enthusiasm of our supporters next year.”

M-Fest made impact

A mortgage business brought the music festival scene to Pott Shrigley, raising £1,511.47 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Visitors to M-Fest, organised by Mortgage Advice Bureau, enjoyed a distinct local flavour at the one-day bash held in a field.

The BBQ food and drink was free, having been supplied by butcher Jeremy Heathcote and the mortgage company, in return for a donation to charity.

Singer songwriter Ellie Grice, soul and funk band Treme and Cheshire-based band Taylor and Co provided musical entertainment.

Carly Green, Senior Mortgage Adviser at Mortgage Advice Bureau in Bollington, had the idea of M-Fest and directors Tom Barrass and Ian Pollock quickly backed the project.

Carly said: “We couldn’t have hoped for a more successful event. Our aim was to bring the local community together and raise money for a brilliant cause and I think we achieved that.

“More than 300 people registered to attend and many more turned up on the day. We’d like to thank the local community for making the day special, but most of all our staff and business partners for getting behind the festival.

“We also made a small donation to St Christopher’s Church in Pott Shrigley for their support in helping organise it.”

Furniture is a big deal!

For our furniture collection service, please click here.


East Cheshire Hospice is looking for volunteers to collect furniture for sale at two of its shops.

The charity wants volunteers willing to drive on Fridays (9 am-4.30 pm) and Saturday mornings and therefore play an integral role within its commercial team.

The Hospice is also asking the public to donate furniture which provides a vital source of revenue to help fund the cost of patient care.

Commercial Manager Louise Delany said: “If enough volunteers come forward, we can draw up a rota therefore it might be someone only helps out once a month. Any time they can spare will be much appreciated.”

“It’s a two-person operation and full training will be given, so we need volunteers who are fit and healthy and able to lift furniture.

“They’ll collect goods from a donor’s property and deliver to our warehouse in Pott Shrigley or our shops at Thornton Square and Handforth where we have furniture for sale and on display.”

The Hospice accepts any good quality furniture that can be sold on, so providing it is not ripped or stained they will accept most items including retro, antique furniture, or items that can be restored.

It will collect sofas, table and chairs, bedroom furniture, side boards and any other miscellaneous items.  It also collects good quality electrical items.

Louise added: “I don’t think many people are aware we collect furniture and other national charities benefit from receiving furniture due to heavy advertisement.  We need to make the public aware we are also in the market for furniture and can arrange free collections.

“Our furniture range is hugely popular with our customers. Therefore, as soon as it arrives in our shops it’s sold within days.

“Our donors are extremely generous, providing us with good quality furniture to sell on to our loyal customers.

“We’re desperate for furniture and volunteers to help us collect the items.”

* To find out more email Louise Delany on ldelany@echospice.org.uk.

To donate furniture, call 01625 408992 (Thornton Square shop); 01625 404104 (Handforth shop).

The rain couldn’t stop Splash Out!

Splash Out! brought more water than East Cheshire Hospice had expected but getting wet was always going to happen.

The first of almost 850 entrants defied the rain before skies brightened for later starters at Alderley Park.

The new-look event, sponsored by RRG Toyota in Macclesfield, saw families tackle five fun water challenges on the five-kilometre course.

Obstacles included a giant slippery slide and a wobbly floating bridge. The event was held in partnership with Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Jo Boyd, Events Manager at East Cheshire Hospice, said: “We’d like to thank everyone for coming along and raising much-needed funds for the Hospice.

“In particular, we’d like to thank Alderley Park for hosting us again and our sponsors RRG Toyota for their kind support. The event wouldn’t have happened without our volunteers and we’d also like to thank stallholders for their contribution.”

The Hospice’s next big fundraising event is Tough Woofer, on Sunday October 20.

Macclesfield Rugby Union FC turned Splash Out! into a pre-season warm up as more than 20 members took part.

Among their group were Jason and Jess Williamson and sons Finn and Monty, both 12, and nine-year-old Woody who plays for the club’s under 10s team.

Jason said: “It’s a good way for everyone from the club to bond before the new season and raise money for such a great cause.”

Claire Mitchell, from Macclesfield, and daughter Amy O’Hara (7), whose grandma Linda Mitchell used to volunteer for the Hospice, also took part.

Parents and pupils from Gawsworth Primary School were there in force with Claire Smith, herself a former teacher, firmly in their thoughts.

Gawsworth Primary class mates Maisie Sinclair and Grace Davis, both 9, also took part. Grace’s mum Miranda works at AstraZeneca, keen supporters of the Hospice.

Claire Hammond and daughter Amy, along with friends Mel Hitchener and Rachel Gilchrist, were remembering late family and friends who were cared for by the Hospice.

Corporate Challenge 2019 was a brilliant success!

East Cheshire businesses have gone head to head in a corporate challenge which tested their money-making abilities.

The challenge was to turn £100 into as much profit as possible over a month by devising and taking part in fundraising activities to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

The winning company, McCann Health Medical, rose to the challenge with a flurry of fundraising activity with employees throughout the company supporting their King Edward Street colleagues to raise £3,240.

Their Global President, Charlie Buckwell, said the company was delighted to win the challenge.

“We are very proud to support such an important cause as East Cheshire Hospice, and the incredible work they do,” he said.

Amongst the employees who took part were Account Co-Ordinator, Lucy Hall and Senior Medical Writer, Chris Whittle.

Lucy said: “It was a really fun way to ignite some friendly competition and be creative, all in honour of raising money for an amazing cause.”

And Chris, who took part in a 10K run to raise money said: “Winning the corporate challenge collectively as a company seems to have been a win-win for everyone, as we raised money for an incredibly crucial and worthwhile cause.”

And Melanie Garfitt from the company’s social events team echoed the sentiments. “From start to finish, we found the challenge very rewarding as a company. We tried to make sure the real winners were East Cheshire Hospice.”

The team award for the most creative ideas went to Pan European Networks, a digital publishing company from Congleton where all 26 members of staff took part in a host of fundraising events from cycling the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats at a gym, to dressing up in Game of Thrones outfits for the day.

Their general manager, Stephanie Davies, helped organise the company challenge which raised almost £1500 for the Hospice.

“By far, I think our most popular fundraiser was the raffle for three-days holiday!”, she said. “As a cancer survivor, I was lucky enough to access the facilities at the Hospice 13 years ago, and many of us in the company were keen to support their work.”

Other businesses that took part in the challenge were Context Public Relations; Bioscript; Chess ICT and Ashfield Healthcare Communications and together all the businesses raised almost £8500.

Who is Sunny??

Just who is Sunny, the East Cheshire Hospice mascot who features in a new comical online video?

Sunny the dog is featured promoting the Challenge Series of events which inspire hundreds of people to push themselves every year to raise funds for the Hospice.

Sunny is seen in the gym, at an aerobics class, weightlifting, swimming, trekking through the snow and even doing some pole-dancing in the three-minute video which is featured on the Hospice Facebook site.

“My cover is blown,” says 26-year-old Jack Layden who can be revealed as (one of) the faces behind Sunny, the Hospice mascot.

Jack, a digital marketing assistant at the Hospice, said the three days of filming certainly took him away from his usual desk job as he worked with the videographer, Richard Weston, at a series of locations around the town.

“It was pretty exhausting work,” he says. “It’s incredibly hot in that costume and pretty difficult to move around. The pole-dancing wasn’t my finest moment – I kept falling over,” says Jack admitting that the out-takes make for some hilarious viewing.

“I don’t think Hollywood will be knocking on my door anytime soon,” he laughs.

The Hospice Challenge Series 2019 features a host of London to Paris bike ride, a week-long trek in  Nepal in November and a host of other races and runs.

If you’d like to do a Hospice challenge you can find out how to “ Be More Like Sunny” on the Hospice website https://www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/campaign/challenge-series-2019/

Could you be a Reception Volunteer?

Warm and friendly personalities are wanted to be the welcoming face of East Cheshire Hospice.

Volunteer receptionists are in demand to help out front-of-house at the Millward Drive facility on an ongoing basis.

Shifts on the reception are four hours during the week and two hours at weekends and evenings and although the Hospice has a team of around 80 people willing to help, they would welcome more helping hands.

Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Helena Smith, says the role is not an onerous one but it is important.

“Our receptionists are the first people that our patients and their families see, often at difficult times so they need to be welcoming and approachable with a willingness to help” says Helena. “We already have a marvellous team but we can always do with some more support.”

“Occasionally we need some help at the last minute but usually shifts are allocated well in advance for our volunteers,” says Helena.

The role entails answering phones and helping out at the small Hospice shop and volunteers should be computer literate.

Anyone who thinks they can help can contact Helena on 01625 664984.

Three Peaks Challenge

A group of work colleagues have raised a magnificent £20,000 for East Cheshire Hospice by tackling one of Britain’s toughest walking feats – the Three Peaks Challenge.

The group of 22 said they experienced nearly every emotion under the sun – from exhilaration to fear – as they embarked on the three tough mountain walks at Ben Nevis in Scotland; Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Mount Snowdon in Wales.

Organiser Natalie Hodgson, 27, said that although many of the group were experienced walkers, they still found the trek tough going.

“We were all in fine form as we started the first walk around midday in glorious sunshine of around 23 degrees at the foot of Ben Nevis,” says Natalie. “We certainly didn’t expect to be crawling over massive snow glaciers at the top of the mountain and we literally had to slide back down to the pathway.”

By teatime the group were ready to confront their second challenge, Scafell Pike, but conditions had deteriorated, and the four-hour hike took place in driving rain.

“That was our toughest climb,” says Natalie. “By the end we just all put our heads down and focussed on getting through the darkness and back to the minivans to head on to our next challenge.”

Five hours later the party arrived at the foot of Mount Snowdon only to be thwarted in their 24-hour challenge by traffic jams at a triathlon in Llanberis.

“But we overcame our exhaustion at this point and pushed hard to complete the challenge in just under 25 hours,” says Natalie.

Natalie was inspired to organise the challenge after her fiancé’s grandmother, Mary Bason from Siddington, was cared for at the Hospice two years ago.

“I will never forget the fabulous support the staff gave to both Mary and her family and whilst it’s never nice to be in these situations, everyone at the Hospice was amazing.”

Members of the group were welcomed back to the Hospice recently as a thank-you for all their support.

Corporate fundraiser, Kate Bowmar, is delighted with the walkers contributions especially as the challenge is so tough.

“The Hospice’s services are free and so we have to fundraise over £7,500 every single day of the year to make ends meet,” she says. “The walker’s efforts are amazing – well done to them all”.

The hikers fundraising sites are still open at https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/19ThreePeaks

Be part of our 500 Club!

East Cheshire Hospice have paid tribute to local businesses who collectively have raised £35,000 over the past year.

The businesses are all members of The 500 Club – a network of companies who have pledged to raise at least £500 per annum for three years.

They include Leek United Building Society whose branch manager, Veronica McNeil, says Club membership provides a win-win opportunity for both the Hospice and her colleagues.

“Staff and customers engage by getting involved in helping a local charity and of course every penny raised helps the Hospice with their great work,” she says.

“This year we raised more than £2000 by taking part in the Hospice events give a donation for every special East Cheshire Hospice that is opened.”

Another Club member, Blunts Solicitors from King Edward Street, raised most of their £4200 total by taking part in Will Week when legal advice is given for free in exchange for a donation to the Hospice.

Paralegal, Tina Phipps, says their company support continues throughout the year.

“I do legal clinics at the Sunflower Centre and the collecting box in our office is topped up when we ask clients for donations instead of charging for minor legal tasks,” she says.

Corporate Fundraiser at the Hospice, Kate Bowmar, says the Club now has 37 members who all benefit from regular networking events.

“Our 500 Club members are part of an engaged and socially responsible group of businesses who bring real benefit to our work,” says Kate.