September 2021 - East Cheshire Hospice

Will Week News 2021

Support from legacies has helped East Cheshire Hospice overcome a challenging financial  period. Gifts from wills make up about a third of the Hospice’s fundraising income. Donors usually leave either a fixed amount, or a percentage of their estate, in their will.

The Hospice wants to thank donors for their loyal support during the Covid crisis and hopes others will help them in the same way.  The request comes as the charity prepares to host its Will Week from Monday, October 4, until Friday, October 8.

Beth England, Individual Giving Fundraiser, said: “There’s no doubt that legacies have helped get us through the last year. “We’ve had to cancel fundraising events, but the one thing that hasn’t changed has been gifts left in wills.

Beth England, Individual Giving Fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice.

“Fortunately, that income has been stable and hasn’t fluctuated and we’re extremely grateful.

“The last 18 months have shown how hard it is to predict the future and your gifts help secure the future of the Hospice enabling future generations to access our vital care.

“Around only a third of legacy donors let the Hospice know in advance that they intend to leave a gift.


However, Beth would prefer that potential donors inform them a gift will be on its way eventually, hopefully later rather than sooner.

She said: “We realise it’s a sensitive subject and understand completely that many people prefer to keep their wishes private.

“However, if possible we’d like to be made aware of people’s intentions since it allows us to plan accurately for the future.

“Importantly, it also means we can say thank you and offer people the chance to see the Hospice and precisely how their donation will provide future care.

“By supporting Will Week, people can also learn the most tax-efficient way to make a donation if they wish to do so.”


Participating solicitors are GPW Trusts, Moneybox Wills and Trusts, Stratford Solicitors, and Poole and Alcock. Appointments can be booked directly and solicitors will waive fees in return for a donation to the Hospice. Solicitors will write a single or mirror Will, or update an existing Will. Any other services are chargeable at the solicitor’s usual cost.

Some solicitors have limited availability for Zoom appointments which can be requested on booking.

* For more details on legacies email Beth at or call 01625 433477.

Geoff Gittins walking challenge

Business partners Geoff Gittins and David Baker are turning their walking challenge in aid of East Cheshire Hospice into an annual event. Their latest adventure saw them tackle the demanding Limestone Way over the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales.

Keen walkers Geoff Gittins (left) and David Baker.

A year ago the pair undertook the Gritstone Trail to support the Hospice where Geoff’s late father Harold and late uncle Leslie Singleton were patients. Geoff and David are directors at The Switched On Solutions Group (SOSG), with the company part of the charity’s 500 club in which members raise at least £500 a year over a three-year period. They were also honouring the memory of fellow walker Sandra Baran who was also cared for by the Hospice. Sandra, who died in 2020, was a colleague of Geoff at AstraZeneca.

Geoff, from Macclesfield, said: “We spread the walk over three days and it was tougher than our previous walk. The limestone was craggy and had steep climbs and descents, but we enjoyed the challenge and will attempt another walk next year.”

Geoff is a Hospice lottery volunteer and an authorised partner for multi-service providers UW (Utility Warehouse). The Hospice benefits from Geoff’s donations from his commission payments.

Geoff said: “We offer free online reviews so businesses and home owners can lower costs by getting the best deals and benefit themselves and the Hospice at the same time.”

* To sponsor their challenge visit

Macclesfield Probus Club

A thriving Probus club which is just getting back to normal after Covid-19 has raised £1,700 for East Cheshire Hospice. The donation was made by club President Dr Gordon Archer on behalf of fellow members of The Second Macclesfield Probus Club. The funds were raised from his President’s Day last month which included a bowls tournament at Siddington Village Hall, won for the second year in a row by Ray Coyne.

From left, The Second Macclesfield Probus Club Secretary David Potts, President Dr Gordon Archer and East Cheshire Hospice Community Fundraiser Claire Gorton.

Dr Archer, a retired medical consultant, nominated the Hospice as his chosen charity. He said: “I’d like to thank all our members, relatives and friends for their generous support and we’re delighted to have raised this significant amount for such a worthwhile cause.

“I know from my long experience in the medical profession the vital role the Hospice plays in providing end-of-life care.

“Over the years some of our members have received that care and compassion from East Cheshire Hospice, which is an essential part of our community and relies heavily on donations to keep going.”

Club members were able to get together again last week for the first time in almost 18 months. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at St. Thomas’ Church Hall, Henbury, but have been taking place online during the pandemic.

Club secretary David Potts – himself a past president – said: “We have more than 50 members and had a good turnout for our Zoom meetings. “It wasn’t quite the same, though, as getting together again when we made sure we took strict Covid precautions.”

David, a retired civil servant, helped set the lottery at the Hospice in 1995, a task which included door-to-door visits to recruit members.

He became lottery manager for a while, helping make the scheme the success it still is today. The lottery funds three days of care each week in the charity’s Sunflower Centre.

The group was founded in 1992 by members of the original Macclesfield & District Probus club, hence the use of the word Second in the club title.

The club is open to retired professional and business people and has an active social side involving  wives and partners. Probus has a keen walking group, plus bowling and bridge sections.

* For more details visit the website or email David Potts

Hannah George Manchester Half Marathon

Nurse Hannah George and her mum Clair will attempt to run further than they have done before in the Manchester half marathon on Sunday, October 10.  The pair train together regularly and will be put through their paces raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice where Hannah works on the inpatient unit.

Clair and Hannah George

Hannah, from Macclesfield, said: “We’ve only run 10ks so this will be quite a challenge for us. Mum  says I’m always a little bit ahead of her so that spurs her on and I’m sure we’ll encourage each other.”

Clair has worked at John Lewis & Partners at Cheadle for more than 20 years, while Hannah is involved in front-line care at the Hospice.

Hannah said: “I love working there and obviously the job has ups and downs. There are good days and bad days, depending on what the situation is in the Hospice with patients.

“People might think it’s a sad place, but actually it’s a lovely environment  with a family atmosphere.

“We want to raise funds for the Hospice, especially as things have been difficult there with Covid so it’s good to give something back.

“We also want to get the word out there and get people back to doing fundraising activities for the Hospice.”

They will run in memory of Hannah’s grandmother Gillian Riley (82) who died early last year and was cared for by the Hospice @Home team.

Hannah and Clair have already raised more than £500 and to sponsor them visit

In memory of Ollie Wheelton

Family and friends have paid moving tributes to the courage and character of Ollie Wheelton who died of cancer in June. The popular sportsman, from Macclesfield, died in East Cheshire Hospice, aged just 21.

Older sister Laura joined a 100 kilometre bike ride to honour his memory on Sunday (Sept 5), while Ollie’s pals tackled a Tough Mudder challenge the day before. They started fundraising to ensure Ollie’s legacy lives on and to thank the Hospice for caring for him.

Ollie Wheelton with sister Laura.

Laura said: “Ollie was such an inspiration and was so brave. He was my cheeky little brother and it’s hard to believe he’s gone.

“He was very strong throughout his illness. He never complained and always had a positive attitude. He gave us advice, saying that we had our health when he didn’t and we should take advantage of that good health and enjoy life.”

Laura was joined by partner Matt Ward, uncle John Slack and cousins Helena and Tim Slack on the bike ride which followed the route to The Christie which Ollie undertook for treatment during his two-year illness.

Ollie, a big Manchester United fan, bought a club season ticket with his first bonus from work at Barclays Bank at Radbroke Hall.

Close friend Hugh Milner undertook a Tough Mudder at Cholmondeley Castle with brothers Zach and Aaron Widdowson, Jack Green, Elliott Broadhurst and Brad Draper, all Barclays colleagues. Brad’s father Sean Draper also took part

From left, Ollie, Hugh Milner and Brad Draper with Zach Widdowson (standing).

Hugh said: “Ollie was a lovely generous guy and the most welcoming of people. I met him when we were all part of the same Barclays apprenticeship intake and our friendship grew.

“We became best friends and we all want his legacy to continue.  He was such a big character in the Macclesfield community and is greatly missed.

Ollie was an all-rounder at Langley Cricket Club and starred as a junior at Macclesfield Rugby Union Club and both clubs have supported fundraising which stands at more than £8,000.

Hugh said: “He loved playing sport and we’d like to thank everyone for their sponsorship.

“He was a fit young man and the cancer came out of nowhere. I remember going into Manchester with him one night in 2019 and he thought he’d got a bladder infection which turned out to be the cancer which spread.”

Ollie with dad Andrew, mum Jill and sister Laura at her graduation at the University of Central Lancashire in 2016

The family of Ollie Wheelton have thanked East Cheshire Hospice for caring for him in his final days. Much of his two years undergoing hospital treatment for cancer were spent under strict Covid restrictions. But they were finally able to spend precious time together as a family once Ollie went into the Hospice.

Sister Laura said: “The Hospice were just amazing and let all of stay together for the three days Ollie was there.

“They were really accommodating and just made everything really gentle, taking the pressure of mum, dad and me.

“We all got to stay with him and didn’t have to worry about anything else. We really appreciated that special time together at the end.

“That’s why we wanted to raise money. I hadn’t realised the charity relies so heavily on donations and needs £7,500 a day to keep going.”

Laura will always cherish the time she spent with her brother and their parents Andrew and Jill. She said: “We always went away together as a family on holiday and were all really close.

“Ollie was full of life and would do anything for anyone. He was a hard worker and every Saturday night you’d find him out in Macclesfield or Manchester.”

* To donate visit or

The Proseal Wing opening

A new wing at East Cheshire Hospice entirely funded by the amazing generosity of Proseal uk Ltd has officially opened. The extension at the charity’s site on Millbank Drive, Macclesfield, will be known as ‘The Proseal Wing’ honouring the name of the company co-founded by Steve Malone and Rob Hargreaves.

Ribbon cutting – Steve Barnett, Karyn Johnston, Derek Barrett (Proseal Technical Director), Will Spinks (Hospice Trustee), Robbie Hargreaves, David Briggs, Lee Hodson (Proseal Head of Business Intelligence)

The building will act as a Co-ordinated Care Hub for the charity’s ‘Hospice @Home’ service, which has been an overwhelming success since it began almost four years ago, and the new Coordinated Care service, developed to help to guide both the patient and their family through the complexity of end-of-life care.

The clinical leadership team and some support services will also be based in the new two-storey block which is sited at the back of the Hospice and links the clinical ward with the administration unit.

Hospice Senior Management Team – Debbie Alexander, Sarah Dale, Shelley Seabourne, Karyn Johnston, Rachel Allcock, Sandra Jones

Contractors finished the 10-month project on schedule without causing any disruption to the charity’s day-to-day care provisions. ‘Hospice @Home’ and the Coordinated Care Service has been funded by so-called ‘Hospice Angels’ who pledged to support the service over its first five years.

East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We’re delighted and proud to be able to open this new building which provides such a valuable and significant resource to our community and is an essential part of our plans for the future. “It’s only been possible thanks to the generosity of Proseal’s co-founders Steve Malone and Rob Hargreaves and we thank them sincerely.

Steve Barnett, Will Spinks, Lee Hodson, David Briggs, Robbie Hargreaves, Karyn Johnston, Derek Barrett

“The Proseal wing allows the Hospice to move into the next stage of our ‘Hospice @Home’ project, putting East Cheshire Hospice at the centre of co-ordinating palliative care in our community.

“It means that more people than ever before will be able to access end-of-life care and support at home, and receive specialist care if needed at the Hospice.”

Steve and Rob co-founded Adlington based tray sealing specialist Proseal in 1998 and say the donation made in 2019, is on the behalf of all Proseal employees, whose hard work and dedication enabled them to make this important contribution.

They said: “We have enjoyed immense success and growth in the 23 years since Proseal was established, and none of this could have been achieved without the fantastic support and commitment of everyone within the business.”

“Proseal therefore wanted to give something back to the local community. We chose the Christie Cancer Centre and East Cheshire Hospice as the recipients because of the vital work they do, which any of us at Proseal, as well as our families and friends, may have to call on at some point.”

Proseal has been a global success, receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 in recognition of its international trade exports. Proseal became part of the Chicago-based JBT Corporation two years ago and employs 400 people at Adlington, part of a 6000-strong global workforce. Steve and Robbie are long-standing supporters of fundraising group ‘What Women Want’ and their £1m donation to the Hospice came via their link with that fundraising committee.

What Women Want – Jayne Carter, Jill Harding, Julie Barnes, Elaine Burgess, Jo Millward

In addition, ‘What Women Want’ have funded a car so Hospice @Home staff can visit patients at home as part of their on-going support, dating back many years.

‘Hospice @Home’ extends end-of-life care into people’s homes providing hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of- life care and care after death.

* East Cheshire Hospice is the second lowest funded in the country, receiving 17 per cent of the income it needs to keep going from government. It costs £7,500 a day to provide palliative care for patients, their family and carers.

Newest member of the marketing team at the Hospice

Netball coach Becky Sidwell has become the latest signing for East Cheshire Hospice by joining its marketing team.

She already knew a lot about the charity having raised funds for the Hospice with Macclesfield Netball Club where she is a coach, umpire and committee member.

Unfortunately, Becky’s playing days are over at the age of just 23 after two serious knee operations, injuries sustained playing netball. Becky began playing the sport at 10 and volunteered through the club when she studied at The Fallibroome Academy.

Becky (centre, back) with fellow members of Macclesfield Netball Club.

Becky graduated from Staffordshire University just over a year ago, completing her Graphic Design degree with a First Class, after Covid-19 curtailed her studies.  She has been working as a freelance designer while coaching juniors at the club where she also looks after publicity.

Becky said:  “I’m excited to have joined the Hospice which is local to me as I live five minutes away. I’ve always known about the Hospice and the important role it plays in the community.

“I always like to give something back to the community which is why I wanted to apply for the marketing role.

“I’d played about four games after my first knee operation and had gone through all my rehab when I tore the cruciate ligament in my other knee.

“Psychologically I’m reluctant to play again but enjoy coaching all age groups.  The netball team has hardly played because of the pandemic but hopefully we’ll be back in action in September.”

Hiking 88 hills in the Peak District

Hiking up 88 hills in the Peak District in record time was always going to be a tall order for Lucy Coppack.

Especially when she dislocated her knee near the end of a challenge undertaken in memory of her mother Lynne. But Lucy was on top of the world after completing her epic tour of trig points in the space of 85 gruelling days.

She raised more than £8,000 for East Cheshire Hospice which cared for her mum 25 years ago. The last leg of her adventure was the path up to Shutlingsloe, which has sentimental value for the Langley family. Lucy’s mum, a landscape architect, designed the route to the summit and her dad, a council ranger, partly built the path.

Lucy was a toddler when Lynne (38) died of breast cancer.

Lucy with her mum Lynne.

Lucy said: “I had mixed emotions when I reached the top at Shutlingsloe. I was so happy that I’d finished my challenge and I was so tired, aching and exhausted.

Lucy celebrates reaching Shutlingsloe after her epic Peak District adventure.

Family and friends meet Lucy at the top of Shutlingsloe.

“I was ecstatic to reach my fundraising target a couple of days later too. It felt amazing to give something back and achieve something so special and which I’ll always remember.”

Lucy had set out to raise £7,500 – the equivalent of the cost of a day’s care at the Hospice – and donations went up after she featured on BBC regional television.

Lucy said: “I had a lot of support from family, friends and met so many amazing new people along the way which is something I’ll cherish forever.”

She was even laid up for 12 days with a dislocated knee, an injury suffered  jumping off a wall in darkness after visiting four trig pillars in one day near Bakewell.

Lucy said: “When I landed and knew I’d dislocated my knee. I could feel it was out of place and was in a lot of pain. I had to pop it back in myself and get to safety.

“I went straight to hospital and had a brace for a few days and then a support.  That put me massively behind and I ended up having to fit in 22 trig points in the last two weeks of the challenge.”

Lucy, a financial services coach with Royal London, has not had much of a break – she was soon back climbing Helvellyn in the Lake District.

To donate to her trig challenge visit