October 2021 - East Cheshire Hospice

New patron of East Cheshire Hospice

One of the country’s top medical experts Professor Alistair Burns CBE has been appointed a Patron of East Cheshire Hospice. Prof Burns is the National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Widely regarded as the country’s senior expert on dementia, Prof Burns, formerly of Macclesfield,  hopes his extensive clinical experience will benefit the Hospice. He is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He was awarded the CBE in 2015 for contributions to health and social care, in particular dementia, an illness which affects more than 850,000 people in the UK and could reach one million by 2025.

 Professor Alistair Burns CBE who is the new Patron of East Cheshire Hospice.

The Hospice, which has already developed some specialised dementia services but wants to do more, is thrilled to have such an eminent clinician on board.

Prof Burns said: “It’s a privilege to be involved with such a landmark organisation as East Cheshire Hospice which is taking a fantastic initiative with its dementia care. “I’ll be doing all I can to promote East Cheshire Hospice’s work and that of the hospice movement in general.

“Medical practice is partly about sharing experiences, and examples of good practice, nationally and internationally and I’ll make sure people are aware of the work in the Hospice and encourage others to do the same. “I’m also sure there are ideas from the recent information and research into dementia which I can bring into discussions with the Hospice.”

Prof Burns has published more than 350 papers and 25 books about his research into the mental health problems of older people, in particular dementia and Alzheimer’s, its most common cause. Cheshire has been home for Prof Burns for the last 30 years. “It’s got the best walks, the best pubs and the best restaurants – it’s a great place to live,” said the Glasgow-born father-of-two whose work drew him to Manchester. He was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2016 and for 20 years was editor of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We are honoured that Professor Burns has agreed to become a Hospice patron. He is hugely respected within the clinical profession for his outstanding contributions towards dementia and the well-being of older people.”

Professor Alistair Burns CBE joins BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson and actor Charlie Lawson as patrons of East Cheshire Hospice. Prof Burns offers a fascinating insight into dementia’s effects on society.

Nick Robinson, one of the patrons at East Cheshire Hospice

He said: “There’s no doubt dementia is more recognised than it was 20 years ago when symptoms like memory loss were put down to normal ageing. “Dementia is the most feared illness for over 50s, probably because of the uncertainty around the condition and people losing the ability to care for themselves.

“There’s still a stigma about dementia that cancer has overcome very dramatically through improved treatments and public awareness. “People were reluctant to come forward for assessment and treatment because of a perception that nothing more could be done.

“However, over the last 10 or 20 years there’s been a huge interest in dementia and the positive things being articulated that you can live well with dementia.

“The parallels between cancer and dementia are quite stark in a way. As a medical student, part of my training was that you shouldn’t say the ‘C’ word because it’d frighten people talking about a tumour or a growth.

“There was a fear of the ‘C’ word and in some ways dementia is where cancer was a generation ago.

“Dementia is called by some a terminal illness because it can shorten life significantly. Like cancer it affects people in different ways and hospices’ end-of-life palliative approach to cancer is also applicable to dementia.

“The hospice movement has articulated that person-centred personal approach for cancer for many years and now it’s something we’re trying to emulate in dementia care.

“We know that caring for someone with dementia is just about the most stressful thing you can do. It’s not just the person themselves, it’s the effect that it has on the family as well.

“The numbers for those affected by dementia can easily be multiplied by two, probably by three and possibly by four when you consider the effect on families and carers.

“Connection is vital for people with dementia. It’s an illness that cuts you off from your families, cuts you off from your community and, at the end stages, will cut you off from yourself because of difficulties with memory.”

Mental health among older people is part of Prof Burns’ remit. He said: “The message we try to put forward for depression and anxiety in older people is that it’s a treatable condition similar to dementia.

“The idea that ‘I’m old and, of course, I’ll be depressed’ isn’t true. Treatments such as medication, counselling and talking therapies are important and effective in dealing with common forms of mental health such as anxiety and depression in older people.

“It’s not a case of the stiff upper lip – people should recognise there is support and treatment available.”

John Jones Milestone

When musician John Jones MBE dropped off his latest collection at East Cheshire Hospice he reached a £100,000 milestone of fundraising. The accordion player has been busking outside the Hospice shop ECHO in Poynton since it opened just over a year ago after taking six months off during the pandemic.

John also performed last month with Stockport Accordion Club for a 20th annual concert at Broken Cross Club in aid of the Hospice. His support for the Hospice stretches back over many years, hence the six-figure sum he has raised. Amazingly, he has also raised a similar amount for the intensive care unit at Macclesfield and District General Hospital which cared for his wife June who died last year.

John Jones performing at the 20th anniversary concert.

John, from Macclesfield, said: “It was a fantastic concert and such a great thrill. It was like a big family reunion after Covid and it’s been a privilege to be part of it over the years when I’ve made so many friends.”

John enjoys entertaining residents at care homes, playing their favourite music and songs from yesteryear. The retired structural engineer said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their kind donations towards the Hospice and hospital which are both close to my heart.”

 John delivers his collection box to East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston (left) and Community Fundraiser Carley Macey (right).

He has raised about £330,000 for local charities during more than 30 years playing his accordion. He still has the antique accordion which belonged to his father Edgar who inspired him to play.

John received the MBE for charitable work in 2012.

Finley Foot chases his ambitions

Kind-hearted runner Finley Foote has set a fast pace as he chases an ambitious £10,000 fundraising target. His total already stands at an impressive £7,000 – an amazing achievement for the Bollington schoolboy who became a teenager several weeks ago.

Finley sprang into action 18 months ago when the first lockdown forced East Cheshire Hospice to cancel several fundraising events, including a Splash Out day his family had intended to take part in. When Finley heard about the charity’s plight, he ran two and a half miles every day to raise  sponsorship while his school was shut. Many others members of the community also undertook similar fundraising challenges, generously helping out the Hospice.

Finley Foote on one of his runs.

Except that Finley has never stopped running or raising funds since, rarely taking a day off from exercise and clocking up 848 miles in the process. He has long since returned to Tytherington School where teachers and class mates have supported his efforts.

Finley received a Macclesfield Mayoral youth commendation for his community contribution after a nomination by teachers. He is also due to receive a similar civic award in Bollington.

Finley receives his Mayoral award from Cllr Sarah Bennett-Wake, watched by Emmanuel Botwe, Headteacher at Tytherington School.

Proud mum Sarah said: “Finley was self-motivated to go out and do the fundraising himself. I also think the running helped his mental health during lockdown because he’s so active and was gutted that all his sport stopped.

“It was his way of keeping himself going and now he’s decided he wants to raise £10,000 for the Hospice.

“He ran every day during both lockdowns and decided himself that he’d run again when he couldn’t go back to school after Christmas.

“It has required a lot of stamina, especially with all the sport he plays, and he’s been out running even if he’s not quite felt 100 per cent.

“Finley still goes off and does his runs and is keen to enter some organised runs to keep trying to raise more money.

“I’m also proud that he’s aware people have already given him money for the fundraising and so he can’t keep asking them. He’s sensitive to that and realistic and knows a lot have sponsored him. ”

Finley, and friend Matty Dowd, were among the youngest to tackle a gruelling Tough Mudder last month, and thanks to more donations, the total is creeping up.

* To sponsor Finley visit justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-latham22

Finley taking part in a Tough Mudder to raise funds.

Charity Bike Ride Success

Getting lost on a charity bike ride was just one of the setbacks Carl Henshall and his fellow cyclists had to overcome. Carl also had a bad back and was carrying heavy camping equipment for the trip from Macclesfield to Southport.

Older brother Anthony and work colleague Declan Turner joined him on the ride which raised almost £500 for East Cheshire Hospice. They were inspired to raise money after Declan bought a bike through a work scheme at Sodexo. He and Carl work for the company on the AstraZeneca campus at Hurdsfield. Carl’s mum Margaret King volunteers in a Hospice shop, so the trio felt it was a good idea to help the charity.

Carl Henshall (front) with brother Anthony (centre) and Declan Turner.

Carl said: “The bike ride was pretty tiring and the week before I had a bad pain in my back but didn’t say too much on the ride, although it was a bit worrying.

“We also went off track and lost our way so rode well over 60 miles to Southport. We stayed there overnight and carrying the camping gear made the journey even harder but it was well worth it and we want to thank everyone for supporting us.”

Carl has his own YouTube channel called Exploring with Carl which traces abandoned places such as air raid shelters and has more than 2,500 followers.

Final delivery made by postman Robin Emery

The final delivery made by postman Robin Emery before retirement was a giant cheque for East Cheshire Hospice. The donation of more than £2,000 was his kind parting gift to the charity after 28 years on his  rounds in Macclesfield where he was a familiar face.

Robin’s final patch for the last eight years of his career was Gawsworth where he even held a farewell party to thank villagers for their friendship and support. Robin, of Hurdsfield, said: “For me the last eight years were probably the most enjoyable. Delivering in Gawsworth was a match made in heaven. The villagers and I just gelled, so it was almost a pleasure to go to work every day.

Robin Emery outside Gawsworth community shop with East Cheshire Hospice fundraiser Claire Gorton (far right) and villagers Elsa West and Russell Burgess.

“I hosted a party with more than 150 invited guests and was overwhelmed with the support I was given.

“It wasn’t my first choice of career. I joined thinking it was a stop gap and I’d be there for six months and then some 28 years later I was still there!”

Party guests were invited to make a donation to the Hospice instead of retirement presents. Gawsworth villagers had earlier raised about £1,400 when Robin sportingly turned up for work in fancy dress as part of a charity initiative among postal colleagues.  Robin is still making plans for his retirement, but it will include more golf at Macclesfield Golf Club where he is a member.

Waving farewell…Robin Emery who has retired after 28 years as a postman. Picture courtesy of Paul Woods.

He said: “I was 66 in August and it’s nice to have a lie-in after all those early mornings of getting up at 4.30 am and being in the sorting office at Jordangate at 5.30 am. I’d then walk nine or 10 miles a day on delivery.

“I felt it was the right time to call it a day, although I’ll miss the day-to-day contact with work colleagues and the village, but otherwise I’ve no regrets about retiring.

“I have no personal connection with the Hospice, but everyone around Macclesfield and the wider community really appreciates it.

“It’s based in Macclesfield and everyone has heard of it and knows what a fantastic job they do, so I wanted to put any funds raised towards the Hospice.”

Newest member of Hospice @Home team

Senior nurse Sue Milligan is the latest addition to the specialist East Cheshire Hospice team which provides patients with palliative care in the comfort of their own home.

Sue – known as Millie – has joined the charity’s Hospice @Home team as a sister after spending her entire career in health care.

That vast medical experience further strengthens a Hospice service widely acclaimed for its vital role within the Macclesfield community and beyond.

Sue previously worked for NHS Cheshire Commissioning Group as an individual commissioning nurse.

She assessed patients in community settings and advised on whether they met the criteria for continuing health care, a role which brought her into contact with the Hospice.

Sue Milligan who is part of the Hospice @Home team at East Cheshire Hospice.

Sue said: “The contact increased over the years and I was lucky enough to be involved in discussions to expand the Hospice @Home service. This was the catalyst to finally make the leap to become part of the team.

“I’m enjoying being part of the development and expansion of the service and the team have made me most welcome, just as they did  when on the end of a phone. I hope to make a small but positive difference here.”

Sue’s partner Iggy worked at Macclesfield District General Hospital as paediatric consultant for 16 years before retiring a couple of years ago.

The couple, who have three children, moved to Macclesfield 18 years ago when Sue switched from paediatrics to become a district nurse.

She later joined the hospital as part of the integrated discharge team, assisting patients to either access rehab units, return home, or stay in an appropriate community setting.

The Hospice @Home service has had a huge impact since it was launched in October, 2017, initially covering ‘out-of-hours’ and weekends before expanding early last year to cover 24 hours a day.

Essentially, it extends the end-of-life care provided in the Hospice inpatient unit into people’s own homes, thereby reducing unwanted hospital admissions.

The service provides hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of-life care and care after death.

Nurses and co-ordinators work closely with other health care agencies, including GPs, district nurses, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

That collaboration is seen as key to the success of Hospice @Home which has been well received by patients, their families and carers.

* For more details on Hospice @Home visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk.

Drive in Cinema excitement!

Volunteer Julie Candy is bringing a touch of Hollywood glamour to her 50th birthday celebrations.

The film fan will be in the audience for a Drive-In Cinema at Capesthorne Hall on Sunday, October 17. Family favourite Moana and the 80s classic Dirty Dancing are being screened by East Cheshire Hospice. Gates open at 6 pm for Moana (6.30 pm start) and at 9 pm for Dirty Dancing (9.30 pm start).

Tickets are £25 per car for one film, or £35 for both.  To book visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/drive-in-cinema/

Julie said: “I’ve never been to a drive-in cinema before, so it’ll be nice to try new things for my 50th birthday which is three days before.

“My husband Chris and our friends are coming along and we’ll take a picnic, have a few drinks and enjoy both films. I like going to the Cinemac in Macclesfield and I’m looking forward to seeing the new James Bond film.

“I volunteer in the Sunflower Centre at the Hospice. That means I see first-hand the incredibly dedicated staff and services provided to different groups in our community and realise the importance of supporting Hospice fundraising events.”

Julie Candy (right) and friend Nicola Darlingtonn getting in the mood for the Drive In Cinema.

Pizzas, popcorn and candy floss will be available and cinema goers can take their own snacks and drinks. Social distancing measures will be in place.

Hospice Marketing Manager Luke Brightmore said: “Guests can choose to watch either film, or stay for a full movie marathon at a discounted rate, all from the safety and comfort of their own vehicle.”