March 2020 - East Cheshire Hospice

East Cheshire Hospice on BBC North West and ITV Granada

This week, news teams from both the BBC and ITV have been filming at or in contact with the Hospice.

As the UK is currently encouraged to stay indoors and practice social distancing, many Hospice fundraising events among other things have been cancelled or postponed, leading to a significant loss in funding.

In the segment on BBC North West, Annabel Tiffin explained that “Only a fraction of their money comes from the NHS and donations are drying up as fun runs and other sponsored events are cancelled.”

In her interview, Hospice direction Karyn Johnston said “All 26 Hospices in the North West need your help, now more than ever.”

View the full BBC North West segment at

East Cheshire Hospice Director Karyn Johnston speaking on BBC North West Tonight

The Hospice is now calling on its community and supporters to donate, spread the word and help reduce the damage the Coronavirus outbreak is causing to the Hospice’s funds and the work and support it provides.

The BBC’s Stuart Flinders reported that “This Hospice is now budgeting for a loss of one third of its income this year. It’s going to be relying on public generosity more than ever in the months ahead.”

The response to the media coverage has been fantastically generous and reassuring, but unfortunately more is needed.

In video call on ITV Granada, Hospice supporter Carl Lamptey set an ambitious challenge. He said “This goes out to the footballers and celebs, anyone. This is my challenge to you – we need to raise as a community one million pounds for the Hospice to keep going.”

When asked by ITV’s Sarah Rogers “What would it mean to you to make that million pounds?” Carl replied “I’d cry… it means so much to me.”

ITV Granada’s Sarah Rogers interviews Hospice supporter Carl Lamptey

See the full ITV Granada report at

Carl has now set up a JustGiving page to raise funds and is asking for people to donate and share the message. He hopes to reach professional footballers and celebrities in the area who have the capability to really boost the campaign.

If you are able to donate or help spread the word, please go to

Hospice on Lockdown

East Cheshire Hospice has suspended some of its services and postponed fundraising events because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Hospice has been forced to take the drastic measures to comply with government advice to prevent the spread of the virus.

Outpatient appointments at its Sunflower Centre are suspended until further notice along with Hospice day programmes.

The Hospice will use telehealth technology to look after its patients remotely.

Meanwhile, the Hospice @Home service and inpatient wards will use extra screening questions to protect patients and staff.

Families are being asked to limit visiting whenever possible to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

Reception and ward volunteers aged under 70 are being asked to report for their normal duties.

However, all other volunteers are being requested to stay away from the Hospice for at least two weeks from when the guidelines were issued (Tue March 17).

Non-clinical staff have been set up with equipment to enable them to work from home.

The Hospice has cancelled some of its fundraising activities which is a major blow to an organisation which needs to raise £7,500 a day to keep going.

The Hospice said it is experiencing financial challenges like many other charities and has thanked its donors for their ‘continued support during this exceptionally difficult time.’

Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We must adhere strictly to government guidelines while doing our utmost to ensure our patients continue to receive the best possible care.

“That care continues during this pandemic, ensuring that our patients and their families still receive the same support which is so essential during end-of-life care.

“Our patients and families have been so accommodating in these are unprecedented times and we sincerely hope these measures will have the minimum impact on all those affected.

“They have been most understanding and so too have been our supporters and volunteers. We have received many messages of support which will provide us with great strength in the challenging weeks ahead.

“During these uncertain times it’s important that our local community continues to support its local Hospice. The loss of revenue from fundraising events is a severe blow, but our expertise and care will be needed more than ever, and we sincerely hope that our supporters will help us as much as they possibly can.”

East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston.

Hospice Events on Hold

East Cheshire Hospice has called off several major fundraising events because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Activities have either been postponed or cancelled, leaving the charity without the funds on which it normally relies.

Next month’s Light Up The Night memory walk at Adlington Hall is one of the casualties and has been put back until Friday, September 11.

This year’s Splash Out event scheduled for July has been cancelled altogether.

Splash Out action from 2019. This year’s event has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the charity’s Spring Ball which was on Friday (March 27) has been delayed to a future date.

Organisers will wait to confirm whether Tough Woofer at Capesthorne Hall on Sunday, October 18, goes ahead.

Hospice event organisers said: “Unfortunately, due to the current situation and Government advice, some of our important fundraising events have had to be cancelled or postponed.

“This is the last thing we want to do as so much hard work and organisation goes into these events and, of course, the money raised through them is essential in keeping the doors of your local Hospice open.

“However, the safety and well-being of our patients, staff, volunteers and our community is the highest priority and with this in mind we’ve had to make changes.”

Registrations for postponed events will be valid for the new date.

Those unable to attend, or who have registered for a cancelled event, are asked to consider leaving the money to the Hospice as a donation. Refunds are available via

Who Are The Women And What Do They Want?

East Cheshire Hospice has been part of Jill Harding’s life since her late mum was a patient 18 years ago.

Jill held her wedding reception there shortly after Mary Barber was admitted. A few days later her mum died of stomach cancer, aged 58.

Jill became a volunteer and for the last decade has worked there as a health care assistant.

She said: “I always say mum’s gift to me was introducing me to the Hospice. Mum loved Matt and really wanted to see us married.”

Fellow What Women Want member Julie Barnes remembers the Hospice caring for her late mother-in-law Maureen Barnes.

Julie, a Placement Officer for Total People, said: “The Hospice were unbelievable, it was the highlight of Maureen’s week visiting the Sunflower Centre.”

Julie and Jo Millward call the numbers at disco bingo nights at Tytherington School which loyally supports the fundraisers. Julie’s mum Sheila Gilman is a staunch WWW supporter after the Hospice lovingly cared for her best friend Marlene.

Retired microbiologist Elaine Burgess runs the group’s finances. She said: “They all have marvellous ideas and I’m the sense checker and rein them in if they get carried away.

“It’s about raising funds for the Hospice, giving people value for money, having a good time and friendship. We’re all there for everybody.

“We’ve had a brilliant time and done some mad things with the odd embarrassing moment, like the belly dancer who couldn’t dance and a snake charmer with a snake the size of a worm.”

The What Women Want logo designed by artist Sarah Smith.

What Women Want Continue Fundraising For The Hospice

The drinks flow freely when the What Women Want girls are together.

Raising £300,000 for East Cheshire Hospice over a dozen years is thirsty work.

It’s hard work too, so having fun is key for Jayne Carter, Julie Barnes, Elaine Burgess, Jo Millward and Jill Harding, all from Macclesfield.

The girls enjoying one of their events. From left, Jo Millward, Julie Barnes, Jayne Carter, Elaine Burgess and Jill Harding.

Catch ups to organise future WWW fundraising events are social occasions with conversation always centred on how they can help Hospice patients.

Jayne, the group chair and owner of a packaging business, said: “The Hospice is such a special place where people are allowed to die with dignity. We try to provide extra things that are little bit special to hospice care.”

They bought a car for Hospice @Home staff, a service which had been launched two years earlier with the help of a £25,000 donation from the group. Equipment and many other practical items have also been purchased through their generosity.

The WWW link also led to a staggering £1m donation to the Hospice from Steve Malone and Robbie Hargreaves, co-founders of Proseal.

Jayne said: “Their company always sponsored our winter balls and Steve called as I was driving, asking if I was still fundraising for the Hospice and were we looking for anything.

“We were trying to fund a car and Steve, with Robbie on loudspeaker, said they’d like to give the Hospice a million pounds. I nearly crashed the car and was crying. It was just amazing.”

The girls’ families also help out, serving drinks and selling raffle tickets at various balls, bingo nights and fashion shows.

Jo, a long-serving HR director at AstraZeneca, recalls a fashion show in which cancer patients were models. She said: “The atmosphere and love for those models was so powerful.

“The group’s incredibly special to me. We’re all pretty strong personalities and you have to be fairly comfortable to get up on stage and corral lots of women who’ve all had a glass of wine.

“We’ve never had a fall out in all the years because the bigger picture always in our mind is what we’re doing it for.”

* WWW are holding a themed ball at Cranage Hall on Friday, November 13.

What Women Want fundraisers (from left) – Jo Millward, Julie Barnes, Jill Harding, Jayne Carter and Elaine Burgess.

Lucy is a Challenge Champion!

Lucy Coppack is taking part in #ChallengeEastCheshire this year and absolutely smashing it!

Lucy was ready to run the Wilsmlow Half Marathon at the weekend… until it got cancelled! But that didn’t stop Lucy as she decided to brave the weather and run it on her own anyway!

At a time when so many of our income streams from fundraising events are running dry, it’s really important that people like Lucy find a way to keep fundraising for us. Thank you Lucy!

Please sponsor Lucy on JustGiving at

This is how her day went…


“I was all prepared for the race, mentally and physically, had all my kit laid out, breakfast prepped, eaten and drank lots in preparation the days leading up to the half marathon. But when I woke up on Sunday morning at 7am I saw the text from the Wilmslow running festival team saying it had been cancelled due to Covid-19.

I was so gutted as I was so prepared, so I messaged my family and decided I was going to do it anyway.

So I posted some videos on social media explaining my plan…

So off I set on my 13.1 mile run, through Langley and Sutton and on the canal to Congleton and back!

The conditions were awful! It started hailing and raining on the way and the canal was sooo muddy (see pictures) I was soaking wet, then it was time to do it all again… so on my way back I was trying not to fall over… didn’t succeed as I fell over 3 times!

I was fine. Just muddy. Very muddy and wet.

Finally came to the canal in Sutton and jumped off and back up a big hill home!

I managed it though and am uploading my race, time and distance to Wilmslow running festival website so I still get my medal and t-shirt.

More to the point, whilst I was running I had people messaging me and donating as I continued the run!

I’m now at £970 for this race alone plus a £250 cheque from my work.

So, with this and my other JustGiving account and my other cheque from work last year I’m at £2301 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Needless to say, that’s not it as my aim is to raise £7500 – a day’s running cost for the Hospice. So, a bit of rest now as my other races have been postponed until autumn which is good – more time to train.”


If you are able, please sponsor Lucy at:


Light Up The Night’s NEW LOCATION!

We are reminding supporters that the venue for Light Up The Night has changed this year.

Our popular memory walk will be staged at Adlington Hall instead of Capesthorne Hall, venue for the last six years.

* From left, Nicky Holmes, Ollie Stubbens, Georgie Vaughan and Toby Beesley at the 2019 Light Up The Night.  

The event will be held on Friday, April 24, starting at 7 pm.

An Early Bird offer of £16 for adults and £11 for children (aged up to 18) has been extended until Thursday, March 19.

The dusk-time woodland walk, sponsored by Ford dealers Sidney Jackson, is over a one-kilometre course.

Participants can complete the route as often as they wish before 9 pm.

* Army Cadets who acted as marshalls at last year’s Light Up The Night walk.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “We’ll have the usual music, entertainment and refreshment stalls and this year there’s a few additions to the evening, including our Memory Tree.

“Bring a picture or momento with you that you can tie to our Memory Tree along with a special message for a beautiful tribute to those we love but are no longer with us.”

Gates open at 6 pm and walkers can also take decorated lanterns, or collect them from the Hospice on the evening.

* For more details visit


Corporate Challengers Get Ready to Compete

A gym, a pub and a builders merchants are among the first entrants for this year’s Corporate Challenge.


So far eight teams have signed up to raise as much money as possible for East Cheshire Hospice during May.


We are still looking for more groups to take part and join in the fun!

Each group receives a £100 start-up loan and all profit made by teams from that investment at the end of the month is then donated to the Hospice.

The Ivy Leaf pub has entered, with licensee manager Gavin Wolstenholme asking regulars for ideas in a competition on the pub’s Facebook page.

Gavin and wife Melanie, who have sons Luke and Jake and daughter Kathryn, only took over the pub in the autumn.

Gavin said: “We’re new to the area after moving from Wigan and our priority was to find a local charity to get involved with.

“We want to give the pub a real community feel and lot of our customers recommended the Hospice because they knew people who’d been treated there.”

Hospice Corporate Relationships Manager Kate Bowmar said: “Basically, the challenge is to take £100 and make it grow.

“It isn’t just about raising money for the Hospice. It’s also a team building opportunity and creates a community spirit.

Ivy Leaf licensee manager Gavin Wolstenholme.

“Fundraising is also great way for employees to gain new skills, develop confidence and give something back.

“Obviously, it has to be legal but it’s a chance to use your imagination and business brain and at the same time help our patients.”

Other entrants include health care communications agency Bioscript, winners in 2018 when they made a £2,000 profit.

The Corporate Challenge raised almost £9,000 last year, including £3,240 from winners McCann Health Medical.

The award for the most creative ideas went to digital publishing company Pan European Networks with a Game of Thrones dress down day as part of its fundraising.

The company has also entered this year along with Maccplas builders merchants; recruitment firm Leap29; car finance and loan company Zuto; Equilibrium Asset Management and Silk Fitness Therapy who are undertaking a Born Survivor event.

Prizes will be awarded at a gala evening in June.

* To enter go to or call Kate on 01625 433477 or email


Anna Rains

Grandmother Anna Rains has moved home an incredible 46 times, living on boats, a converted bus, in a caravan and a haunted Cheshire farmhouse.

Her nomadic lifestyle is long gone and she is a permanent fixture at Art Fair Cheshire which she set up in 1998.

Anna was chair of the Hospice 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal to build the Sunflower Centre. Her team raised £300,000 and one of her ideas was to hold an Art Exhibition.

Friend Liz Taylor-Webb, mentored by L.S. Lowry, was the first artist Anna asked to exhibit.

A signed print of a painting by HRH Prince Charles fetched £3,000 at auction at that first Fair. Overall, nearly £400,000 has been donated to the Hospice.

Anna said: “I’ve moved into the background now and love talking to the artists.  A new generation have taken over successfully and I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on artwork.

“With dedicated helpers, I’ve made thousands of canapes since the first exhibition.  We handed out about 1,500, which flew off the plates, at the last Art Fair.”

Anna has lived locally since 1983 and still helps the biennial exhibitions.

She has seen tremendous changes and professional advancements.  “I’ve always enjoyed art, especially traditional work, but I’m a better writer than an artist.”

She wrote a book entitled Will You Take the Dogs or the Diamonds? chronicling her life and family history.  The title was inspired by a remark between her grandparents before a long train journey.

Anna Rains with the book about her life.

“The book is about my mad family.  My mother was pretty eccentric.  She sent me off with a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, waving goodbye and telling me to go and see the world.  I was 19 then.

“Born in London, we moved to Wales when I was three weeks old to escape the War and moved into a remote cottage without sanitation, running water or electricity.  Wishing to travel to Sussex, my parents bought a bus.  I was four and we were moved on by the police because we weren’t bona fide showmen.

“Joining a funfair and a circus sorted that and we put posters up at night on other people’s properties.”

In 1969, Anna moved to California at the height of hippies and flower power. “My life hasn’t always been easy – but it has been interesting,” said Anna, who was convinced she shared one of her homes with a ghost.

Anna Rains at last year’s Art Fair.