January 2020 - East Cheshire Hospice

Branch Manager’s ‘tree-mendous’ help for Hospice



LEEK United’s Veronica ‘Ronnie’ McNeil gave East Cheshire Hospice (ECH) a ‘tree-mendous’ helping hand after becoming a ‘Branch Manager’ of a different kind for the day…

Ronnie, who runs the Society’s Macclesfield Branch, joined other volunteers for the Hospice’s annual Christmas Tree Collection this month (January).

Now in its 20th year, the collection and recycling event raises vital funds for the Hospice by putting householders’ unwanted old ‘living’ festive trees to good use.

People make a donation to the ECH when they register their tree for collection, and teams toured the postcode areas in and around the Hospice picking up over 7,000 trees for shredding.

“This is the second year that Leek United has sponsored one of the collection vans, and I wanted to join them again by helping on the rounds,” said Ronnie.

“Many of the old trees we collect would otherwise end up on rubbish dumps, so this is a great, fun way to raise funds for the Hospice – one of the Society’s main charity beneficiaries – and the amazing work it does in our community.”

Each year, the Christmas Tree Collection raises over £100,000 and last year ECH reached the cumulative sum of £1million raised since the collection started.

Kate Bowmar, Corporate Fundraiser at ECH, said: “We are extremely grateful that Leek United offered to sponsor a van for our annual Christmas Tree Collection for the second year in a row, and were delighted that Ronnie volunteered to join us again.

“Every year we rely heavily on the generosity of local businesses such as Leek United to cover the cost of running the collection, meaning all donations received will go directly to supporting the Hospice.”


Leek United’s Macclesfield Branch Manager Veronica ‘Ronnie’ McNeil (far left) is pictured with fellow volunteers Tom Horsfield and Georgina Timson in front of the van sponsored by the Society for the tree collection.

Thank You To Our Christmas Tree Stars!

Our Christmas Tree Collection was yet another major triumph breaking more records.

More than 7,200 trees were collected and recycled, with the overall income predicted to reach £140,000 which will pay for nearly three full weeks of Hospice care.

The 20th year of the service, sponsored again by AstraZeneca, saw the total raised for the Hospice exceed £1.1m.

Organisers were delighted with the success of the scheme in which more than 250 volunteers took part earlier this month.

A push to encourage the public to buy real Christmas trees due to their environmental credentials also paid off.

Trees were taken to the Ansa recycling plant in West Park for recycling. ANSA Environmental Services Ltd were major partners in the project.

A fleet of vans were provided by transport sponsors Cheshire Vehicle Rentals and Enterprise Rentals, along with owner drivers John McPherson, Creative Kitchens, Harry Newton, Darren Taylor, Lee Fisher Plastering, Alan Potts, John Hirst and We’re Moving.

Other sponsors included Avanti Signs, FDR Law, Flour Water Salt and other local businesses.

Co-organiser Richard Raymond said: “It was another record year on all fronts and we’d like to thank  everyone who worked tirelessly in many different ways to make this annual event such a success.

“We rely entirely on public support and thank everyone for their kind donations in lieu of collecting their trees.

“The Hospice benefits greatly from their generosity, allowing them to continue to care for patients, their families and carers.”

Christmas tree collection volunteers ready for action

Hospice Focus Groups

We want to hear feedback on our services from members of the community, even if they have never used our services.

The Hospice is making the appeal as part of a plan to shape its services for the future.

The Hospice’s Governance Co-ordinator Claire Duncan, who leads the Engagement and Insight Programme, said: “Feedback is central to service improvement here at East Cheshire Hospice, and we already collect feedback from our patients, their families, volunteers and members of staff.

“We have internal focus groups for departments such as the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre, our in-patient unit, Hospice @Home and our volunteer service. We monitor all the feedback we are given to make sure we’re learning from it and providing the best services we can.

“However, now we want to spread the net wider, including getting the opinions of those who may not have even heard of the Hospice and the services it provides.

“It’s possible that there are unmet needs that we are unaware of, or that some of our services are not as well known as they might be, but we won’t know that unless we talk to our community.

“We hope that this additional feedback will help us learn how we can improve our services, or create new services, based on the needs of the community.

Claire Duncan, Governance Co-ordinator at East Cheshire Hospice.


“I’d love to make contact with people who have used our services in the past, may never have heard of, or used, East Cheshire Hospice and who would be willing to join and participate in a focus group so we can extend our feedback and insight channels.”


if you’d like to join a focus group or are interested in finding out more information, please contact us on 01625 610364 or email admin@echospice.org.uk or via our website eastcheshirehospice.org.uk

Swapping Lbs for £s!

Generous patients bringing chocolates and other sweets into the Sunflower Centre at East Cheshire Hospice has not helped Angela Dooley’s waistline.

A less active lifestyle since she semi-retired four years ago has also seen the Macclesfield nurse put on a few pounds.

Hence her decision to join Lbs 4 £s – a three-month fitness, weight loss and well-being programme run by the Hospice.

Angela (63) works as a bank nurse at its Day Care centre after retiring from her job as a theatre sister  at Macclesfield District General Hospital.

She said: “Work is a little more sedentary than when I was dashing round in the hospital and I’m only at the Hospice around six days each month.

“The Hospice patients are so generous with chocolates and gifts and it’s hard to resist, whereas in an operating theatre you’re obviously less visible.

My husband Peter and I also love holidays when it’s hard to watch what you’re eating and we love food. I’m looking forward to Lbs 4 £s and I’m sure it’ll make a difference.”

To sponsor Angela visit justgiving.com/fundraising/angela-dooley2


Nurse Angela Dooley aiming to get fit.


A DESIRE to lose weight also prompted Natalie Catterall to sign up.

Natalie, a school business manager, is indebted to the Hospice for the care it provided for her late mum Hilary Woolliscroft who died in November 2017.

Hilary (71) was a primary school swimming teacher in Macclesfield, an avid Macclesfield Town fan and attended the charity’s Living Well programme before she became an inpatient.

Natalie said: “Mum’s visits to the Sunflower Centre were of huge benefit and so important to her. The Hospice is an amazing place and I can’t begin to describe how well she was looked after and the after-care we received.

“When she died it was very difficult to walk away from the hospice building because we’d developed a huge attachment to both the staff and the whole hospice ethos.  Since mum’s death we have taken part in several fundraising events as we felt it was important to try to give something back.”

“I’m not fit and need to lose some weight. Dieting for a week or two wouldn’t be enough and the 12-week focus of this fitness programme is perfect. I can’t wait to get started.”

To sponsor Natalie go to justgiving.com/fundraising/natalie-catterall2

To take part visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/lbs4pounds/

Natalie Catterall and her late mum Hilary.

Gathering – The Perfect Valentines Gift

Forget a red rose for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Instead, buy a red velvet decoration which will last forever.


East Cheshire Hospice is selling the final pieces of Gathering, a unique installation which was on display at Tatton Park last year.


Demand for the item has already been high with the striking designs adorning many homes and offices.


The hope is that with romance in the air on February 14 it will persuade more people to take up the offer and at the same time treasure memories.


The art work was created by international artist Susie MacMurray as part of Art Fair 2019. She said: “The rich red colour symbolises the body and its preciousness and the barbed wire isn’t about conflict but facing difficulty and struggle.


” The making of this work reflects the whole idea of the piece which is a gathering of people to support each other and treasure memories.”

Individual elements cost £30 with larger arrangements also available. All proceeds support patient care. Elements can be bought from the Hospice on 01625 665692 or via www.gatheringattatton.com/store


Camilla Crockett, the Hospice’s Relationships Manager, said: “Gathering is a unique, meaningful Valentine’s gift.”

“People have been purchasing them because they love the design and the elements are more than just decoration. They have a meaning behind them and provide funds to the Hospice.”

Small sculptures are £500; large sculpture £1,500 and a painted watercolour of Gathering is £225. Each is signed and numbered by the artist.


Gathering in a decorative display.

Reaching New Heights for the Hospice

Sisters Jemima and Annabelle Jordan have been reaching new heights with their latest fundraising challenges.


Annabelle (11) climbed Mount Snowdon, while Jemima (13) tackled two Snowdonia passes, Crackstone Rib and the Wrinkle, both of which are rated as severe.


The King’s School pupils, from Henbury, presented a cheque for £2,050 to East Cheshire Hospice from their adventures.


From left, April Green, Key Relationships Manager at East Cheshire Hospice, with Annabelle, Jemima and Katie Jordan.


The donation will support the charity’s Childhood Bereavement Service which has already benefitted from the family’s generosity and Dream Beams, a charity established last year by the girls’ mum Katie to support children’s causes.


It was inspired by Jemima and Annabelle baking cakes to help buy Christmas presents for a children’s home in Barbados.


A charity Ball raised £102,100 for the Hospice and Katie’s team will tackle the National Three Peaks Challenge in June as part of their next fundraising challenge.


Katie has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Jemima and Annabelle have also raised funds for the Hand on Heart charity to provide defibrillators for local schools.

Ward Volunteers Needed!

Jackie Wayman has been helping out on the ward at East Cheshire Hospice for less than six months and wishes she had started sooner.


East Cheshire Hospice is looking for new ward volunteers like Jackie and will explain more at an open evening in the Hospice chapel on Millbank Drive, Macclesfield, on Wednesday, January 22 (5-7 pm).


Jackie, from Lyme Green, helps at lunchtime once a week and also does an afternoon on reception.


She said: “The Hospice is so well-loved by the people of Macclesfield and surrounding areas, I thought I’d apply to volunteer there.  I wish I’d tried to fit in a shift before I retired 18 months ago as it’s so rewarding.”

“I really enjoy it. I serve drinks when the patients have lunch, help them if they need assistance, have a chat with them and make their family a drink if required. I then clear up and log what they’ve eaten.  This all saves the time of the nurses and kitchen staff who’re always so busy.”


“I had very good training and there’s always someone to help if you need it. Everyone I’ve met at the Hospice has been kind and helpful because everyone is there because they want to be, not because they have to be.”


“The nursing staff are brilliant and make you feel valued and appreciated as a volunteer.

I know the Hospice are looking for men as well as women and it’d be nice for the male patients especially to hear and see another man on the ward volunteering.”

Volunteer Co-ordinator Helena Smith said: “We’re looking primarily, but not exclusively, for weekend and evening ward volunteers.”


Jackie Wayman with fellow volunteer David Black.


“Hopefully, people will think it’s a nice way to give something back at quieter times. The shifts can fit around people’s working lives and run from 9-11 am; 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm. It can be as little as once a month, or as much as once a week.”


“The role has a huge impact and we have volunteers from all backgrounds. We offer training and support and men and women are welcome to contact us.”


For more details contact Helena Smith (HSmith@echospice.org), go to the Hospice volunteers web page or Facebook page, or just turn up on Jan 22.

East Cheshire Hospice Lottery Wedding Favours – Available now!

Wedding favours from East Cheshire Hospice can provide the ideal gift for your guests on your big day in 2020.

Scratch cards launched a few months ago are proving popular with couples getting married.

The £1 cards offer a one-in-six chance of winning and bring much-needed funds for the Hospice.

Carol Frain, Supporter Care Manager at the Hospice, said: “The cards are inexpensive and because of the odds of winning they create quite a buzz among guests at a wedding reception… There’s been an encouraging response to the cards since we introduced them as wedding favours and it’s nice way to provide vital care within the community.”

At East Cheshire Hospice we also have teddy bears, badges and pens among its range of items for those planning to tie the knot.

For more details go to eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/support/wedding-favours/

Beth Candy, Events Manager at East Cheshire Hospice, with the wedding favour scratch cards.

Katie Porter Talks Christmas Tree Collection

Kate Porter who is part of the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection team.


Kate Porter is following in the footsteps of her late father by visiting homes to support East Cheshire Hospice.

The Macclesfield mum-of-two is a van driver for the charity’s Christmas Tree Collection service which swings into action again this weekend (Jan 11/12).

Her dad Oliver Hanson (71) was also a Hospice volunteer and collected lottery money for the charity right up until his death in 2006.

On his weekly rounds he would be offered tea and cakes by customers who enjoyed a chat as much as he did.

Kate said: “The Hospice and his lottery round were dear to his heart and I felt like I needed to carry on his legacy.”

“It was only when I saw how many of his lottery customers were at his funeral that I realised just how much the role meant to him.”

“He was out in all weathers knocking on doors collecting the £1 lottery subs and was well known at the Hospice, though he never made a song and dance about it.”

For the last 14 years, Kate has helped with the tree collection, starting as a crew member before becoming the first female van driver a few years ago.

Kate works as a PA for HealthCare 21 Communications and toy and game inventors Carterbench, both based in Macclesfield.

Her partner Chris Nixon has helped with the tree collection for the last eight years after son Sam and daughter Bex assisted early on.

“When you do it once you get hooked. It’s such a positive day and the organisers and everyone else is so welcoming and make you feel part of it.”

“I’m proud of my female van driving role and I usually do the pick-ups which are furthest from Macclesfield.  I like driving and there’s probably as many women who help out in various roles as men.”

“The collection keeps getting bigger, so every year we need more help. There’s a great team spirit even when it’s pouring with rain.”

* The collection covers Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford.  Post codes CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

Review of the Year 2019

Fun and fundraising brought lots of smiles for East Cheshire Hospice supporters over the last 12 months.

Another packed colourful calendar of events meant the charity benefitted in many different ways.

Music, art, sport, fashion, travel, leisure and business were all thrown into the mix by generous donors.

Families were out in force at Light Up The Night at Capesthorne Hall, a poignant occasion which saw many walkers remember loved ones.

Community events included Splash Out! when young and old faced a series of water challenges, while dogs and owners tackled a testing obstacle course at Tough Woofer.

Taking a dip at Splash Out.

Mayor Janet Jackson in her charity shop outfit which she wore at Buckingham Palace.

Mayor of Macclesfield Coun Janet Jackson is a regular customer at the Hospice charity shop at Thornton Square where she picked up a bargain for a Royal appointment.

When she received the MBE from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, she wore a dress and matching jacket she had bought from there for £25. Her hat cost £10.

Nick Robinson gives his speech at the Hospice’s Business Briefing

BBC journalist Nick Robinson gave a keynote speech at the Hospice’s annual Business Briefing at Alderley Park. Nick’s late father Robbie was cared for by the Hospice.

Round-the-world sailor Heather Broadbent.

Hospice supporter Heather Broadbent starts 2020 sailing off the coast of Australia.

She is aboard GoToBermuda competing in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race.

Heather is going from Freemantle to the Whitsunday Islands on the latest leg of her 11-month voyage.

She is raising £40,000 for the Hospice where her late husband Adam  was a patient.  To donate go to dreamitnowdoit.com

Heather said: “I’m loving every minute and wouldn’t change it for the world. At sea I’m making memories and friends for life.”

Mother and daughter Kim and Nina Bennett with cockapoo Elsie at Tough Woofer.