August 2020 - East Cheshire Hospice

Spall Clark and Will Week

A Congleton/Wilmslow solicitor says Covid-19 has led to a rise in the number of people making wills.

Paul Clark, Managing Director of Spall Clark Solicitors, says as a result of Covid-19, concerns among the public over planning for the future has increased the demand for wills.

Paul is encouraging people to sign up for Will Week, run by East Cheshire Hospice from October 5-9, when solicitors waive fees in return for a donation to the Hospice.

He said: “The pandemic has brought home that sadly we do lose people and anyone can catch a serious illness such as Covid. It’s made people reassess their plans to make sure they’re fully covered against whatever the worst brings.

“There’s been an increase in people making wills simply because people are finally getting round to dealing with it, realising that one day tomorrow will be here and sadly something is going to happen to all of us. They’re now making preparations to cover what happens in that worst case scenario.”

Solicitors from Spall Clark will make home visits if requested during Will Week, an offer which may suit those unable to leave their home or are uncomfortable going out.

Many wills have been written remotely during the crisis with final documents signed on car bonnets or passed through windows to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Paul, who is also legacy officer at the Hospice said: “I get to see all the good work that legacies do and the benefit they provide to the Hospice. I’d therefore urge people to consider making gifts to charities such as the Hospice because they’ve always been there for us when we need them and it’s a small way we can give back.

“Supporting Will Week is a very good way of giving back to the local community while at the same time giving you peace of mind knowing that whatever happens in life, your wishes will be carried out and you’ll be making things as easy as possible for your family when you’re not here.”

“Everyone has an image of a Hospice, however it’s an uplifting place to go and provides such great support for people going through the most difficult time of their lives.”

A full list of participating solicitors during Will Week, is available on the Hospice website

Participating solicitors can write a single or mirror Will, or update an existing Will, in return for a donation to the Hospice. Any other services are chargeable at the solicitor’s usual cost.

Paul Clark, Managing Director of Spall Clark Solicitors.

ECHO – Opening September 5th

East Cheshire Hospice opens the doors to its new charity shop ECHO in Poynton on Saturday, September 5.

Poynton was chosen as the location because the Hospice is keen to build a greater presence in the village to reflect the number of patients, volunteers and supporters who live there.

The opening has been delayed by four months because of Covid-19 and the Hospice has already been encouraged by the public response, even before the first item is sold.

The Park Lane shop will sell ladies, men’s and children’s clothes, shoes, handbags, toys, bric-a-brac and furniture.  Opening hours are Monday to Saturday (9 am – 5 pm).

Shop manager Emma Lloyd said: “This will be a charity shop like no other, selling good quality clothing and furniture at affordable prices.

“Value for money is even more important at the moment with the retail sector facing such a difficult time because of Covid-19.

“We wanted a presence in Poynton and believe the timing is right to open and in an ideal location in the centre of the village.

“We’re confident we’ll attract lots of customers whose support will benefit our patients.  All profits go directly to fund patient care.

“Poynton is in our catchment area, although some people mistakenly believe it’s served by our friends from St Ann’s Hospice.”

ECHO shop manager Emma Lloyd (left) and volunteer Dee Waters.

The shop is the charity’s fourth, with others at Thornton Square and Chestergate, Macclesfield, and Handforth.

ECHO, which prides itself on its eco-friendly approach, will be plastic-free. Hangers will be wooden and reclaimed timber boards have been used as part of this recycling project.

Emma said: “Our customers will be saving money and saving the environment by buying our second-hand goods, some of which are designer items.

“The feedback from the public as we’ve been preparing the shop and receiving donated items has been extremely positive. We want to thank our donors.”

Staff and volunteers have been recruited and the Hospice is asking for any unwanted items to be delivered to the back of the premises where parking is available. Items will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Furniture collections can be arranged by calling furniture co-ordinator and assistant manager Michele Slack on 01625 409647 or visit the Hospice website

Income from its charity shops provides a vital source of regular income for the Hospice, especially as fundraising revenue has dropped significantly because of the pandemic.

Local Businesses Back New Hospice Shop

Kind-hearted businesses have come to the rescue of East Cheshire Hospice by renovating its new shop.

Several firms including Bruntwood Properties, Ceiling Solutions, Cheshire Flooring and Andrew Delany Cabinet Makers and Carpenters supplied labour free of charge.

Caddick Construction donated £5,000 for fixtures and fittings at the Poynton shop while Richard Johnson, Director of Chestergate Properties, provided voluntary conveyancing advice.

Hospice Commercial Manager Louise Delany said: “The shop looks amazing and we’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who gave their time and skills to make it happen.

“The shop is spacious and stylish and without the generous support of different trades we wouldn’t have had the budget to open it.

“They offered to help us before Covid-19 and kindly honoured that agreement, even though businesses have obviously faced their own challenges because of the pandemic.”

Louise’s husband Andrew made a bespoke reception desk, while Dean Broad and sons Ethan, Connor and Jordan, from Ceiling Solutions, provided building and plastering expertise.

That they are all from the same family meant they could continue working at the height of lockdown.

Andrew Delany with the reception desk he built.

Dean Broad with sons (from left) Ethan, Connor and Jordan.


A team from Bruntwood at Alderley Park helped with painting and also supplied the vital contacts needed to complete the work.

Louise said: “The slogan is ‘rediscovered treasures’  summing up the feel of a shop packed with great quality hand-picked pre-loved clothes and furniture.

“It offers sustainable shopping for you and your home and will be an exciting addition to the village  experience.”

Maccplas Take on the Corporate Challenge

Business has been booming for builders merchants Maccplas despite challenging trading conditions.

The family firm even took on two new drivers during lockdown to cope with demand.

Maccplas is one of six teams to so far enter the Virtual Corporate Challenge run by East Cheshire Hospice.

Their aim is to raise as much money as possible for the Hospice during September. The fun competition had to be delayed four months because of Covid-19.

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.

Maccplas is running a football results prediction competition as part of its fundraising. Visitors to its yard on the Hurdsfield Industrial Estate have also been donating.

In addition, the company will make a £1,000 donation to the Hospice which it supports on a regular basis.


Maccplas is owned by husband and wife Paul and Lynn Carter, with son Scott and daughter Shell also involved in running the business.

Shell said: “We were able to carry on trading during lockdown because we’re classed as an essential business. We’ve been so busy and employed a couple of extra staff who’d been laid off from other jobs to help with deliveries.

“Getting supplies has been a nightmare and we’d like to thank our loyal customers for their continued support during this difficult time. We’re delighted to support the Hospice and know lots of people who’ve been patients there.”

Maccplas driver Andy Watt.


Other entrants are health care communications agency Bioscript, winners in 2018 when they made a £2,000 profit; Ivy Leaf pub; recruitment firm Leap29; Equilibrium Asset Management and The Tytherington Club.

There is still time to enter an event which last year raised £9,000, including £3,240 from winners McCann Health Medical.

All funds raised from this campaign will go towards our emergency Now More Than Ever appeal to recover lost income due to Covid-19.

Hospice Corporate Relationships Manager Kate Bowmar said: “It’s been a tough year for everyone, including businesses and we’d like to thank them for supporting the Hospice.

“We’d welcome more entrants and companies can raise money in any way they like as long as it complies to current government guidelines on social distancing etc.”

To enter visit

AstraZeneca Go the Extra Mile

Employees from AstraZeneca went the extra mile once again as Macclesfield took on Gothenburg in a fun charity challenge.

Some 84 staff based at the Macclesfield site came out on top against their Swedish colleagues in a competition to cover the furthest distance.

The Cheshire team covered 1,065 kilometres compared to 795 by their Scandinavian rivals.

Employees could walk or run 5k or 10k and the Macclesfield group raised around £1,000 from their efforts for East Cheshire Hospice.

The fastest local runners were Kristy Gill and Paul Thompson (5k) and Billy Hicks and Angela Jordan (10k).

Fundraisers during the AstraZeneca challenge. From left, Nick Markley, Peta Sinclair and Angela Jordan.

The challenge was organised by the company’s Pharmaceutical Technology and Development graduates.

Global Graduate Associate Harriet Hampshire said: “The event created a sense of togetherness for employees when working from home, and encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors while contributing to a great charity.

“It was great we won the distance challenge and our Swedish colleagues won a photography-based challenge, donating to their local charity.”

AstraZenaca  has raised more than £60,000 for the Hospice in the last two years alone.

The company has supported the Hospice since it first opened its doors in 1988 and was an original founding business contributing to building costs.

Gemma Thomas

Helping care for patients at East Cheshire Hospice left a lasting impression on nurse Gemma Thomas.

So much so that Gemma has donated a £200 student prize to the charity as a thank you for its part during her student training.

Newly-qualified Gemma received the accolade from Chester University for  ‘outstanding commitment to the community’ for helping train dementia champions.

Gemma said: “I’d never been to a hospice before and wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s a beautiful place, the patients and staff are gorgeous and completely different to the way of life in a hospital.

“It left me with some lovely memories and I wouldn’t rule out working at a hospice later in my career.

“It was such an honour to be here and all students should spend some time at a hospice as part of their nursing degrees.

“When someone takes their last breath the family, even are in the darkest moments, are very grateful. It’s not a sad place – it’s a happy place. My nine-week placement here changed my outlook on life.”

Gemma, who has a 10-year-old daughter Maisie, now works in A and E after she was rushed on to the front line during the final year of studies because of the pandemic.

She also volunteers with the North West Ambulance Service.

East Cheshire Hospice Community Fundraiser Carley Macey (left) with nurse Gemma Thomas. 

Pour Moi Charity Edit

Sales of lingerie, swimwear, sportswear and loungewear have resulted in a staggering £26,750 donation to East Cheshire Hospice.

The Hospice is one of four charities sharing £107,000 – half of two months of sales from a Charity Edit collection run by Pour Moi.

Pour Moi Head of Operations Rachel Kirk Lockley (left) with Kate Bowmar, Corporate Fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice.

The company, with its main distribution centre on the Hurdsfield Estate, was set up in a small office in Macclesfield 15 years ago and is now an established global brand.

It was founded by owner Michael Thomson, from Macclesfield, who wanted to help the charities recover from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

Age UK, Samaritans and RISE, a domestic violence charity in Brighton where the company is now based, have also received the same amount.

Michael said: “At a time when everything is a little uncertain, it’s been amazing to raise such a fantastic sum of money for four very worthwhile charities with our first charity campaign. We know it means so much to them and it will help to provide vital funds for these charities in their greatest hour of need.

“Our customers have really supported us throughout the whole two months of this campaign and we really can’t thank them enough. It made me think how we can do more going forward to support good causes in the future and help vulnerable people when they need it most.”

Hospice Chief Executive  Karyn Johnston said: “East Cheshire Hospice has been extremely proud to partner with Pour Moi and be part of their Charity Edit campaign.

“Thank you to all of the staff and customers who have gone above and beyond to help those in need at a time of national crisis, the funds received by the Hospice will help us to make a genuine difference to local people living with life-limiting illnesses.”

Sisters Holly and Danielle Dover know all about the Hospice because their father Dave is a driver there.

Sisters Holly (left) and Danielle Dover from Pour Moi.

Head of Operations Rachel Kirk Lockley has personal experience of the Hospice after her father Alan died there in 2010.

Pour Moi Head of Operations Rachel Kirk Lockley (left) and Danielle Dover.

Face Coverings

Talented seamstress Shelagh Julian has made a variety of items since she started sewing more than 80 years ago.

Her highlight was making the dress she wore when she married her late husband John 69 years ago.

Now she has added a new product to her hobby by creating face masks for East Cheshire Hospice.

Shelagh is part of a 35-strong team of volunteers making masks which are in big demand and raising vital funds.

Shelagh Julian with her customised East Cheshire Hospice face masks.

Shelagh (89) has already made more than 200 masks which are sold in exchange for a suggested £3 donation to the Hospice.

She has helped the Hospice since moving from Plymouth to Macclesfield 13 years ago.

Shelagh, who has four great grandchildren and was a registered nurse, said: “Sewing gives me a great deal of pleasure and I’m lucky to be healthy enough to do it.

“I probably spend three hours a day on average sewing and enjoy watching things materialise. It’s a lovely feeling when you can make something that’s wanted and raises funds for the Hospice.

“Friends and neighbours have been extremely generous donating materials and the masks have been even more popular now they must be worn in shops.”

* Masks are available at the Hospice reception; The Poachers Inn; The Tytherington Club; Kelley’s Dry Cleaners, Broken Cross; Macclesfield Golf Club; St Alban’s Church; New Life Church, Congleton and St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield.

More outlets have said they will sell masks once the Hospice has further stock.

Annie’s legacy

Helen Dimmick inherited her love of jewellery from her late grandmother Annie, a gem who twinkled in her eyes.

The wedding ring Annie gave her before she died at East Cheshire Hospice in 1994 is the most precious thing she owns.

Helen, now a leading jewellery specialist, is passing on her expertise to thank the Hospice for caring for Annie all those years ago.

She is donating 15 per cent of profits on all work undertaken in memory of a loved one. This includes resizing rings, remodelling jewellery, recycling gold for cash, or even creating bespoke items.

Jewellery expert Helen Dimmick.

Helen, from Macclesfield, has fond memories of weekend visits to her grandmother.

She said: “I’d play with her treasure box full of costume jewellery – the decorative effect and fun we had dressing up together was priceless.

“Nana also loved precious jewellery and having worked in a mill all her life she saved and appreciated the finer things in life.

Helen and brother James  with their grandmother Annie Dimmick.

“Accompanying her to antique fairs, I recall her keen eye spotting a bargain or unusual jewel. By far the most important thing to her was her wedding ring.

“Sadly she was widowed at an early age, but the love and memories contained in this simple 22ct yellow gold band mean it’s the most precious thing I own.”

Helen will be offering advice at Arighi Bianchi on Wednesday afternoons by appointment. Zoom calls are also available. Her email is, or call 07939 047056.

Helen, a qualified gemmologist and diamond grader, said: “I’m passionate about people and jewellery which has a sentimental value higher than its material value, though that’s increasing as gold prices rise.

“Jewellery can also be given a new lease of life. For instance, one lady had her husband’s ashes put in a locket and for another client we adapted a signet ring to include a wedding photograph.

“We’re only ever guardians of jewellery for a fleeting moment in time, as precious metals and gemstones have a durability ensuring they’re passed through generations.

“My nana is my guardian angel and I appreciate and respect the special care and dignity only a hospice can provide and which she received at East Cheshire Hospice.”

Annie Dimmick pictured in 1968 at the wedding of Helen’s parents.