March 2021 - East Cheshire Hospice

Coming soon… Memory Miles 2021!

At long last East Cheshire Hospice can finally look ahead to its next mass participation event!

A Memory Miles walk is scheduled for Friday, August 27, at Adlington Hall, some 16 months after it should have been held there.

Walkers enjoying the memory walk two years ago.

The event will bring to a close a Virtual Memory Miles  campaign between May 1 and August 31.

That same initiative during the first lockdown last year raised over £10,000. Except this time the climax will feature a walk bringing everyone together.

Before then supporters are invited to undertake their own challenge, either walking, running, cycling, skating, swimming or any other way of getting around.

It is also a chance to honour lost loved ones, though anyone can take part.

The same applies to the Memory Miles walk – formerly Light Up The Night –  which is one-kilometre woodland route at picturesque Adlington Hall.

Walkers can complete the course as often as they wish, with entertainment, stalls and refreshments, from 4 pm, adhering to any government guidelines.

Registration details for  the walk will be announced soon on the website, along with the free-to-enter Virtual Memory Miles.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “It’s great to be back with an actual event at which we can all get together again after such a long time.

“Our supporters have been loyal and patient over the last year or so and Memory Miles is a celebration of lost loved ones and the frustrating time we’ve spent apart from family and friends.”

The last memory walk in 2019.

Barbara Horry

Harold Horry only spent 15 hours as a patient at East Cheshire Hospice but it was long enough to leave a lasting impression on his family.

They have never forgotten the care the former AstraZeneca employee received in those final precious hours before he died in 2012, aged 86.

So much so that wife Barbara has donated proceeds from a book of family memoirs to the Hospice as a thank you.

The hardback, entitled The Mad Midwife of Mobberley, was written by granddaughter Lydia, a keen writer.

It is an affectionate account of Barbara’s nursing experiences over almost 40 years and was Lydia’s present to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday in November.

Barbara Horry with her book of family memoirs.

The Mad Midwife of Mobberley, written by Barbara’s granddaughter Lydia.

Family and friends bought copies for £10, raising £350 for the Hospice where Barbara admits she would have liked to have worked.

Harold was a leading figure in the scouting movement, spending 20 years as Alderley’s district commissioner. Barbara has raised more than £200,000 for the scouts over five decades.

Harold worked in package design for ICI and later AZ, spending more than 50 years with the company, based at Alderley Park and then Macclesfield.

Barbara said: “Fortunately, the Hospice found a bed for Harold and we just managed to get him there from the hospital in Manchester in time. He arrived after lunchtime and died early the next morning.

“He was only there for 15 hours but we were so grateful for the care he received in that short time.

“The Hospice do a wonderful job and I admire the work they do there not only for patients, but also for the families who’re so well looked after as well.

“We were so grateful for the Hospice’s compassion and understanding during our time of grief and will never forget their kindness.

“Lydia enjoys books and writing and her book contains tales of funny incidents in my life, including my early experiences as a district nurse and midwife.

“It’s been popular with family and friends and we’re all glad to have raised money for the Hospice which will always be close to our hearts.”

Barbara celebrating her 90th birthday.

Hospice Trustee Rob Barrow Receives University Honour

Internet pioneer Rob Barrow MBE DL has been honoured by the university where he took a degree in computer science more than 50 years ago.

Rob, a trustee of East Cheshire Hospice, has been made an Honorary Doctor of Technology.

The award, which recognises his inspiring role in the development of internet technology, comes after he survived a major cancer scare.

Rob, from Macclesfield, said: “The award from Staffordshire University came as a total surprise and I’m hugely grateful and humbled. It’s a great honour for anyone to be recognised in this way.”

Rob founded software company SurfControl in the late 1980s and it was ahead of even Microsoft and Apple in the early days of internet technology.

The company was headquartered in California for easy access to the rapidly-emerging US online computer market and employed more than 600 staff worldwide, and was valued at more than £1bn on the London stock market, its cutting-edge software allowing major corporations to regulate staff access online.

Its operations included a research and development facility in Congleton which employed graduates from local universities including the one he had himself attended.

Rob’s computing career began at North Staffordshire Polytechnic, which later became Staffordshire University, in 1968 after studying Mathematics at Warwick University.

He spent his third year in industry at the British Railways Board where he was offered a job and where he cut his teeth on technology. He joined computer giant ICL before launching his own company.

Rob retired at 53 in 2003 to focus on philanthropy, taking up several charitable roles including chair of the Hospice’s board of directors. He also became vice president of Cheshire Community Foundation and President of Congleton4Congleton.

Karyn Johnston, Chief Executive of East Cheshire Hospice, said: “Rob’s forward view has modernised how ECH operates, and other charities are looking to emulate what he started at our Hospice. We are pleased his contribution to technological innovation has been recognised with this prestigious doctorate and delighted that he continues to add value to our Board of Directors.”

He was awarded an MBE for services to charity in 2019, having become a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire in 2015. He is also a Patron of the National Trust.

Rob was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer in 2017 and, following major surgery, learned it had spread to his liver and lungs and was given a prognosis of just one year. His commitment to helping others and being at the leading-edge in all aspects of his life meant that Rob volunteered to be part of an immunotherapy clinical trial, which included a six-month inpatient stay at The Christie fighting the side-effects of the pioneering treatment.

In January 2019, he was told the cancer had disappeared.

Rob should have received his honorary doctorate in 2020 but the pandemic meant the ceremony was postponed until this year when he will hopefully finally don his well-deserved cap and gown.

Rob Barrow with wife Pam, daughter Fiona Hobbs and grandson Kit Hobbs when he received the MBE at Buckingham Palace in 2019.

Louise Brown’s Sunflower Cupcakes

A bouquet of colourful cupcakes whetted the appetite of East Cheshire Hospice staff.

They were licking their lips after learning the delicious cupcakes, with buttercream sunflowers, were the prize in a staff raffle.

Cup cakes in the East Cheshire Hospice sunflower logo

Fundraiser Bethan Wade was the lucky winner of the display, delivered by neighbour Louise Brown who runs her own bakery business, Louise Brown Bakes.

Making cakes is a labour of love for Louise, whose legendary chocolate brownies are always a favourite at Macclesfield’s Treacle Market.

Louise said: “I probably spend half my life baking, which drives my family mad as I’m very rarely baking for them and the kitchen is always covered in a cloud of icing sugar.

“I recently perfected how to pipe buttercream sunflowers so thought they’d be just right for the hospice as it’s their emblem.

“A lot of people I know have been helped by the Hospice so I thought it’d be a nice touch to make the sunflower cupcake bouquet as a little morale booster and thank you to the staff for all their hard work.”

Baker Louise Brown who made sunflower cup cakes.    

Husband Richard, sons Harry and Oliver and daughter Abby are never far away from the kitchen, hoping for leftovers.

Louise said: “They get the off cuts and any other bits going spare. It’s funny how many of my friends very kindly offer to be taste testers for me.”

Bethan shared the cakes with her family to thank them for assisting with fundraising initiatives as her colleagues working remotely could not be there to enjoy them.

Fundraiser Bethan Wade with her prize.

Rearranging the Christmas Tree Collection

Does anyone still have a Christmas tree that needs collecting?

True to its word East Cheshire Hospice is keeping a promise to pick up trees registered under its collection scheme.

The service had to be postponed once Cheshire went back into lockdown at the start of the year.

The vast majority of donors refused the offer of a refund to help the Hospice financially.

Some even contributed even though they were not among more than 6,000 registrations for the tree collection.

The collection is now scheduled for the week of April 19 following the easing of restrictions, though plans would be reviewed if the government road map out of lockdown changes.

The team are contacting supporters asking if they still have a tree for collection. A date will be arranged that week once numbers and locations are known.

Staff at the Ansa recycling plant in West Park in 2019.

Community Fundraiser Carley Macey said: “It’s impossible to tell at this point how many remaining trees need collecting. That’s why we’re sending out an email to figure out how many vans and volunteers we need.

“If you no longer need your tree collecting please do nothing and we’ll assume that anyone who doesn’t complete the form no longer requires collection.

“We want to thank everyone for their patience. This has been an extremely difficult situation for the collection organisers, volunteers and the Hospice. With so many people involved in making the collection happen, the safety of everyone must be our top priority.”

Christmas Tree Collection team are aware that 66 people have disposed of their own tree so far.  The delayed collection is for trees already registered and no new registrations can be taken.

Supporters’ generosity means the tree campaign alone has already paid for 20 days of care so far. It costs £7,500 a day for the charity to provide its services free of charge.

Carley said: “We received such an encouraging response when we announced our decision to postpone.

“While we did receive some requests for a refund, we also saw such generosity from our community from additional donations made towards the collection and the Hospice.

“We’re so incredibly grateful and humbled by these gestures and while we celebrate the amount raised, it also puts into perspective the funds we need to generate all the time.”

* To get your registered tree collected, or make a donation, visit

Volunteers before the2020 Christmas tree collection.

Clinical Director Sandra Wins Prestigious Award

Clinical Director Sandra Jones has received a prestigious award to mark her ground-breaking safeguarding work at East Cheshire Hospice.

Sandra, who has more than 40 years’ experience in adult nursing, has been given a Safeguarding and  Dignity Award from Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board.

Her role as Safeguarding Lead saw her help implement a corporate induction and training plan for  staff and volunteers and establish new practices so information is shared with healthcare professionals involved in patient care.

Database changes also mean the Hospice can audit safeguarding conversations, concerns and processes to meet Care Quality Commission requirements and these practices can be adapted.

Sandra  joined the Hospice as a ward sister nearly seven years ago, having worked as a bank nurse on the inpatient unit and Sunflower Centre  previously.

She has an extensive background in acute medicine, coronary care and cardiothoracics, general intensive care and clinical research.

Sandra set up the first admission unit at Macclesfield District General Hospital and was also ward manager, igniting her passion for palliative care.

She worked with AstraZeneca as a research nurse working mainly with new oncological compounds and was a senior research nurse at The Christie.

Sandra said: “I’m passionate about delivering high quality care to our patients, in the Hospice and in the community. I’m proud of our clinical team and it’s a privilege to work at the Hospice.”

Award winner Sandra Jones, Clinical Director of East Cheshire Hospice.

High Flyer Teresa Recommends Wing Walk

Are you daring enough to do a wing walk just like fearless mum Teresa Pipon?

The high-flyer took to the skies almost two years ago for East Cheshire Hospice.

Her message for the Hospice’s wing walk on Monday, June 21, is to sign up and prepare to be strapped in.

Ready for take off… Teresa prepares for her wing walk.

Teresa said: “I’ve always been a daredevil and wanted to do something big for my 50th birthday.

“I didn’t want presents, so asked for donations instead to the Hospice which did a wonderful job of caring for my dad Lewis Smith who died in 2013.

“I loved the wing walk. It was exhilarating and frightening and I’d certainly recommend it.”

Teresa’s wing walk.

The aerial adventure, organised by AeroSuperBatics, is at an airfield in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, where Teresa did her walk.

Places are limited and the event may extend to a second day depending on demand. Wing walkers must be at least 18, no taller than 6 ft 2 in and no heavier than 14 stone, with a waist measurement of 40″ or less while wearing warm clothing and a jacket.

The cost is a £150 deposit upon registration and a guarantee to raise a minimum of £500 sponsorship.

Like Teresa, wing walkers will be harnessed on top of a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane after getting full safety guidance.

Teresa said: “It was quite nerve-wracking. Staff put you at ease for the whole experience and I remember feeling the force of the wind against me.

“The pilot asked if I wanted to stay on a level but I let him do some dips, dives and banked turns. You aren’t allowed to loop-the-loop on your first wing walk.

“I’d done a tandem sky jump from 15,000 feet in New Zealand, but this was scarier as I was on my own.

“I had intended doing yoga poses, but barely let go and thankfully the whole experience was filmed.

“I must admit I enjoyed the family lunch with a drink afterwards with my husband Nigel, daughter Holly and son Jack.”

Safe landing…Teresa celebrates her aerial adventure.

Teresa, who raised almost £1,000, is a regular at major Hospice events. Her fundraising is match- funded by HSBC UK where she is a Senior Business Development Manager for Mortgage Intermediaries.

She said: “My mum Mary, who lives in Macclesfield, got great comfort and support from the Hospice. Dad had the best possible care.”

* For more wing walk details visit

Teresa with her dad Lewis on a family holiday in Jersey.

Join Our Easter Eggstravaganza

East Cheshire Hospice is inviting supporters to join an Easter Eggstravaganza from March 29-April 5.

A fundraising pack has ideas about how to take part, along with recipes, decorations and scorecards.

It could be a bake-off style competition, or simply spending time with family and friends eating cake and drinking coffee.

There is also an ECH Bake Off on Facebook on Saturday, April 3, when culinary enthusiasts can bake along with the team at the Hospice.

Community Fundraiser Carley Macey said: “Many of our supporters are very creative so we know there’ll be some great masterpieces from the Bake Off.

“We’d love people to do some Easter-themed fundraising for the Hospice with those who mean a lot to you, whether in person or virtually.

“The aim is to get a few people together at a convenient time that week, have some fun and raise money for a good cause.

“It could be family, friends, classmates, or work colleagues and over Zoom or face-to-face, as long as government guidelines are followed.

“It’s open to all ages and every penny helps the Hospice.”

Hospice supporter Charlotte Buckley (5) got in some practice by baking a cake with her mum Jennifer.

Hospice supporter Charlotte Buckley getting ready for the Easter Eggstravaganza.

Corporate Challenge to Fund Bereavement Services

Bereavement services run by East Cheshire Hospice will benefit from the next Corporate Challenge in May.

Firms and other organisations are being urged to sign up for the fun competition in which entrants  raise as much as possible from a £100 start-up loan.

All proceeds will go towards the expansion of the Hospice’s bereavement services for which demand has increased because of Covid-19.

East Cheshire Hospice’s Bereavement Services Lead Helen Wilkinson said: “People are more isolated and their grief compounded by restrictions, meaning they can’t hug, meet a friend, or catch up like they did.

“Some people try to squash their emotions, or keep busy, before realising there’s a problem and they can’t cope. We’re seeing that now and the delayed reaction means we’re likely to see it in the future as well.

“We encourage people to talk about it, be open and seek help. Everyone has different experiences and Covid and lockdown has heightened emotions.

“Those grieving shouldn’t wear a mask metaphorically and friends, relatives and society can help by  listening and offer empathy.  Bereavement is hard anyway.  Now more than ever, people are recognising the need for support.”

Helen Wilkinson, Bereavement Services Lead at East Cheshire Hospice.

Last year’s Corporate Challenge raised £12,226 and was won by Equilibrium Financial Planning which has also entered this time, along with Leap 29. All profit made by teams during May is donated to the Hospice.

* For more details go to

Abi and Kyla Swap Lbs for £s

Sisters-in-laws Abi Lowe and Kyla Eyre have joined forces in a fitness drive to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

The pair are honouring the memory of Abi’s oldest sister Christabel who died of cancer in the Hospice in 2012, aged 27.

The care she received inspired them to sign up to the Hospice’s health initiative Lbs 4 £s.

The Hospice requires £7,500 a day to keep going and provides its services free of charge.

Abi, from Macclesfield, said: “It’s mind blowing that only 17 per cent of funds comes from the government and the Hospice has to rely on the community for the rest of its income.

“When we read that fact we thought it was absolutely crazy so we wanted to make sure we gave something back after they were so amazing with Christabel.

“The hospice provided above and beyond care for her and ensured she had everything she needed, as well as supporting our family during an unbelievably tough time.

“It’s ridiculous that government funding is so low for such a crucial thing. I know so many people in the Cheshire area use the Hospice, or have been touched by it in some way.”

Abi Lowe (left) and Kyla Eyre who are aiming to raise £2,000 for East Cheshire Hospice.

The pair are on course to raise £2,000 before the end of March when the 12-week fitness and well-being programme ends.

Alongside their healthy lifestyle changes, they have organised a virtual raffle in which small local  businesses have generously donated prizes such as hot tub hire, beauty treatments, restaurant vouchers, lockdown birthday celebrations and alcohol packages.

Kyla said: “We’re grateful for all the help and everyone has been so generous – both the local companies who’ve donated products and services and those who’ve bought raffle tickets. We’re blown away by the community spirit and generosity.

“I’ve already lost a stone in weight, helped by healthy eating and online work outs such as yoga sessions. Friends and family have spurred us on for encouragement.

“It’s amazing knowing you’re helping such a worthy cause while helping yourself.”

The virtual raffle is still on- going with plenty more prizes to be won, including party venue hire, photography sessions, afternoon teas, home fragrance packages.

* To get involved visit