November 2020 - East Cheshire Hospice

Victoria and Jake’s 70 Mile Run

A taxi ride home after running for almost 17 hours was welcome relief for Victoria McKibben and Jake Crabtree.

The couple had run 50 miles from their Bollington home to Cannock Chase in Staffordshire to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

They had intended to keep going for 24 hours but fatigue took over so they reluctantly completed the last part of their journey by taxi from Stoke, having completed 70 miles.

Victoria, a primary school teacher, said: “We’d set off at 10 am and ran most of the way along canals and country lanes, stopping only for short walking breaks.

Victoria McKibben and Jake Crabtree setting off on their 17-hour run.

“We tried to get all the way back to complete 100 miles but our bodies suddenly started to seize up at 2.30 am when the cold hit us. I could feel my eyes closing as we were running.

“We were chuffed to run 20 miles further than we’ve done before and beat our fundraising target by raising £1,025 for the Hospice.”

They had entered a challenge to run from Meriden in Warwickshire, but that was cancelled because of lockdown so they joined a substitute event in which runners attempted to run for a day from home.

Hospice Marketing Manager Amy Chatwood said:  “What an amazing effort by Victoria and Jake and everyone at the Hospice sends them our heartfelt thanks. They pushed themselves to the limit and we’re humbled and surprised at the lengths fundraisers go to raise money.”

* To sponsor Victoria and Jake visit

Virtual Light Up A Life Service

East Cheshire Hospice invites you to join its Light Up A Life service from the comfort of your own home.

The online ceremony, led by Hospice Chaplain Margaret Lillis, will be streamed via Zoom and Facebook Live on Saturday, December 5, at 3 pm.

The annual Light Up A Life service is by tradition an opportunity to remember lost loved ones.

However, because it has been such a difficult year for so many, the Hospice hopes others will also join the Christmas service to pause and reflect on an extraordinary 2020.

The remembrance event cannot take place at the usual venue St Michael and All Angels Church, Macclesfield, because of restrictions.

Instead, it will be held virtually at the Hospice Chapel where a Tree of Memories will be on display. The symbolic tree is decorated with personalised baubles dedicated by supporters to someone special.

Last year’s Light Up A Life service.

Bethan Wade, Challenge Events Co-ordinator, said: “The Light Up A Life service is one of the highlights of our calendar and this year takes on added poignancy because of Covid-19.

“People have suffered in so many different ways and Christmas is a special time to reflect and remember.

“I’m sure that this year we all hold those treasured times even closer to our hearts and we’re extending an invitation to as many people as possible to join us.”

Supporters can register  for the Zoom link by visiting A recording of the service will be available for those unable to watch live.

A Light Up a Life at Home pack can also be ordered via the website for £5.

The pack includes an order of service, candle, LUAL bauble, two festive tea bags, a mince pie recipe and a vegan and gluten-free mince pie recipe.

Bethan said: “The packs enable supporters to capture the full experience of this special service. Packs can be ordered on the web page in return for a donation which helps us continue to care and support patients, not just at Christmas but whenever they need it the most.”

People watching via social media can visit the Hospice Facebook page at the time of the service.

Bethan Wade from East Cheshire Hospice with one of the Light Up A Life packs. 

Rob Gorton – Challenge Man!

Accounts Assistant Rob Gorton has almost lost count of his challenges cancelled this year.

He signed up for a dozen fundraising events in aid of East Cheshire Hospice, completing just two before lockdown.

Rob, from Macclesfield, had organised seven 10ks and three trail runs until the pandemic spoiled his plans.

He did run several events as virtual races and has signed up for them all again in 2021.

His most exciting adventure is a trek across the Sahara Desert next November (13-20) in the Hospice’s next overseas trip.

Another unusual challenge is a 39-mile cliff-top coastal walk next June around Guernsey where he lived for three years.

Rob said: “I want to raise as much as I can for the Hospice and am hopeful I can do this in 2021, along with Born Survivor at Capesthorne Hall with other members from RISE, a fitness centre in Macclesfield.

“A number of family and friends have been cared for at the Hospice in the last few years, including a school friend Sam Burt who raised a lot of money for the charity himself.”

Rob, who works for Lennards Chartered Accountants, has helped out behind the bar at Hospice quiz nights at Marlborough School.

Rob added: “I’m really excited by the Sahara trek. I kept seeing the Hospice advertise an information evening and got more tempted, especially as I wanted to tackle something more active.”

* To support Rob’s running challenge visit For his Sahara trek visit

Rob Gorton who is tackling a series of challenges for East Cheshire Hospice.

Pandemic Postpones Heather’s Yacht Race

Sailor Heather Broadbent will have to wait until next August to resume her round-the-world voyage because of Covid-19.

The landscape gardener has already raised a staggering £29,000 for East Cheshire Hospice from her epic adventure.

Heather is taking part in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race which was suspended in February after reaching the Philippines.

Organisers hoped the race would resume early in 2021 but a resumption has been delayed because of the on-going pandemic.

Heather, from Disley, is determined to carry on with her aim of raising £40,000 – a pound for each mile of the race – to support the Hospice @Home service. Her late husband Adam (45) was a patient at the Hospice.

Heather Broadbent on her round-the-world voyage.

She said: “I’m excited for the re-start and I’ve kept in touch with other members of  our crew, including the skipper.  I met up with some of them in Scotland after coming home.

“The challenge was to try to complete the race in one go and that can’t happen because of the strange circumstances but I still feel very proud and privileged for what I’ve achieved.”

Heather, from Disley, took up mountain biking after getting home. She set sail from the River Thames in September 2019 on board GoToBermuda, one of 11 yachts in the fleet.

As things stand, she will eventually reach the UK finish line early in 2022 -almost two and a half years after she departed on what should have been a single 11-month journey.

Heather was a novice sailor before she entered the race. She said: “The crew have been keeping up with our sailing skills and learning as much as we can through online courses.

“My log book shows I travelled 27,000 miles. I’m staying positive and want to thank everyone who’s kindly donated so far. Hopefully, I’ll still reach my fundraising target and any further help would be fantastic.”

Heather went to South America, South Africa and Australia, where she spent last Christmas, before reaching the Far East before the interruption six months into the race.

The race once it resumes will have three Chinese stopovers before crossing the North Pacific to Seattle, then Panama and Bermuda before the final Atlantic leg to Britain.

* To sponsor Heather visit

Heather Broadbent on her round-the-world voyage.

Second Lockdown at the Hospice

Bedside visits to patients at East Cheshire Hospice are still being allowed during the new national lockdown.

There are already limited restrictions in place for visitors to the inpatient unit and these will continue over the four-week period.

The Hospice will also carry on with limited outpatient services at the Sunflower Centre, while the Hospice @Home service continues as normal.

Hospice shops at Thornton Square, Wilmslow and Poynton have closed until the lockdown ends on December 2, although online sales will continue via the shops’ Facebook pages.

Volunteers will continue to work on reception and staff will work from home where possible.

Meanwhile, the fundraising Firewalk event has been postponed from last Friday (Nov 6) to Friday 5th February 2021.

The Christmas tree collection will still go ahead on January 9/10 while complying to government restrictions.

Income Generation Director Rachel Allcock said: “We thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these difficult times.

“We will continue to deliver our services and will monitor the situation daily. If there is a change we will adapt accordingly to ensure we operate in a way that meets all Covid safety requirements. Our priority is the care of our patients in a safe and secure setting.”

The Hospice has not been able to hold a fundraising event since the last Christmas tree collection in January. A terrific community response has eased the financial strain and the hope is that the public will continue to support the Hospice during this latest lockdown.

Rachel Allcock, Income Generation Director at East Cheshire Hospice.

AstraZeneca’s Drive-in Cinema

Volunteers at the drive-in cinema.

From pharmaceuticals to films – AstraZeneca brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to their latest charity event.

Grease was the word for the Macclesfield company which staged a drive-in cinema, raising almost £1,200 for East Cheshire Hospice.

The 70s musical classic was shown after family cartoon favourite Trolls World Tour in the AZ Campus car park on Charter Way.

Around 75 drivers – each making a suggested minimum donation of £15 – enjoyed the entertainment with the sound played through car radios.

Covid restrictions meant the staple cinema diet of popcorn could not be sold so families took refreshments. Temporary toilets were provided and cleaned regularly under strict safety precautions.

Guy Camm, AZ’s Macclesfield Campus FM Development Manager, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with East Cheshire Hospice and wanted to carry on supporting them during the pandemic.

“A lot of our normal fundraising events and initiatives on the Campus have been put on hold so we’ve had to think of alternative ways of raising money for the Hospice in a Covid secure way.

“Employees had the option to watch Grease or Trolls World from the comfort of their car, ensuring the event could be completely Covid secure and socially distanced.

“We’ve had excellent feedback from the evening and can use it as a platform for future fundraising during these challenging times.

“The Hospice does a fantastic job supporting Macclesfield and surrounding areas with its support for people with life-limiting illnesses and we’re proud to support them.

“They’re an inspiration to us all and we’ll continue to work in partnership with them to make the most of the fantastic fundraising capabilities we have within AZ.”

AZ also raffled DVDs of the films to boost fundraising.

The drive-in cinema at AstraZeneca.

Remembrance Day 2020

Let Us Remember

We come to Remembrance Day this year, as a different kind of disaster is affecting the whole world, making our act of remembrance more poignant. Whether loved ones died 50 years ago, 20 years or 10 years or just a few months ago, the feeling of loss goes very deep, and the desire to remember never diminishes. In fact, the events of this year, have perhaps highlighted the importance of remembrance, respect, and gratitude.

Last week, the Queen made a solo journey to the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, marking the centenary of that monument, which commemorates the memory of all the fallen from all walks of life, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. This serves as a reminder to us that every single person matters, every single person deserves respect, every single person deserves care and consideration. If there is any lesson to be learned from war, it is that it is destructive. We show respect and gratitude to those who suffered and died in the wars of the 20th & 21st centuries, by striving to be constructive, aiming to build a better world where everyone is treated with the respect and consideration which is their due. This is the point of REmembrance, which is all about RE-establishing, RE-building, RE-storing… always within the context of community – family, neighbourhood, nationally and internationally. This is why, year after year, we have the solemn duty of remembering and honouring the memory of those who  sacrificed their lives in the hope of building a better world for everyone, of every colour, nationality, race, and religion.

And even though we are unable to physically gather together this year – because of a different enemy in our midst, and in spite of any differences there may be between us, we can still be deeply united by our joint desire to remember and give thanks for those who have suffered and died on our behalf. Today, we are brought together by remembrance – and in this remembrance lies our hope for the future. That is the greatest tribute we can pay to those we remember on this day.

– Hospice Chaplain, Margaret Lillis


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them…


Poppy display in the Hospice chapel

Tom’s Cycling Challenge

Learning how to ride a road bike has inspired teenager Tom Escott-Smith who is determined to help others.

The Fallibroome Academy pupil raised more than £950 for East Cheshire Hospice after cycling 440 miles.

Now the 13-year-old from Prestbury, who has dyspraxia, is showing two youngsters fostered by his mum Lesley how to ride as well.

Tom’s feet have hardly touched the ground since personal trainer Richard Storer gave him the confidence to get into the saddle.

Mum Lesley said: “Tom’s quite proud of his achievements because he only really started riding two years ago. He wanted to do something useful and helpful during lockdown and the racing bike has transformed him and developed his physique.

“He was committed and cycled every day. His school was very supportive and awarded him a certificate in recognition of his community work.”

The challenge equalled the distance to the family home of Lesley’s father at Findochty, near Cullen Bay, Scotland, where the local hotel fully supported and sponsored Tom.

Lesley and Tom had intended to join the Light Up The Night memory walk, organised by the Hospice.

Tom said: “We’ve done the walk each year so when it was called off, I looked for an incentive.

“I wanted to keep fit and active and do some good for charity and the Hospice does a brilliant job. I did some of the challenge from my own lounge during lockdown.”

* To sponsor Tom visit

Tom Escott-Smith who raised £950 from a cycling challenge. 

Virtual Quiz Winners

A former winner of the BBC Mastermind programme was among contestants in the latest quiz in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

Liz Horrocks, who won the prestigious TV show in 1974, teamed up with husband Shaun for the online quiz.

The couple came third behind winner Ashton Davies and Torside Queens as the event raised £800 for the Hospice.

It was run again by the ECH Quiz Team which has held five virtual quizzes during lockdown, raising an impressive £6,456.

It is the most donated by the group in a single year since regular quiz hosts Paul Morrissey and Mark Watson asked the first question seven years ago. There have been some 23 quizzes, raising just over £37,000.

The top three teams are members of Macclesfield Quiz League which is on the lookout for new members (

Liz plays for the Dolphin Dragons, one of two teams based at the Dolphin Inn pub on Windmill Street.

The retired teacher enjoys writing poetry, while Shaun is chairman of the Macclesfield Model Railway Group, hence the Poetic Puffers for their team name.

Liz has her own Wikipedia page and wrote an Arthurian Trilogy, the first of which The Edge of Doom was set near her Alderley Edge home.

Liz said: “I like quizzes and was thrilled to win Mastermind a long time ago. I’ve got what my daughter calls a sticky mind, although I trail behind quite a few quiz members in our league.”

Former Mastermind winner Liz Horrocks and husband Shaun.

Mark said: “The online quizzes were multiple choice with the quickest answers earning more points.  We try to strike a balance with questions. It’s a bit of fun for a good cause and we’d like to thank everyone for supporting us.”

Ashton, an English teacher from Poynton, took part by himself and normally plays for Church House, Bollington. He said: “It gave me an advantage because I didn’t have to confer with anyone!”

Last year Ashton took part in the BBC Radio 4 general knowledge quiz Brain of Britain, appearing in the same heat as Alice Walker from runners-up Torside Queens.

Ashton Davies, winner of the East Cheshire Hospice quiz.

Alice and partner Haydn Thompson play for the Queens Hotel in Waters Green and they have been on the TV quiz show Eggheads plus other shows, including Fifteen To One and Countdown.

Alice Walker and Haydn Thompson, runners-up in the  Hospice quiz.