July 2022 - East Cheshire Hospice

LGBTQ+ development facilitator

East Cheshire Hospice is involved in a pioneering project aimed at providing patients from the LGTBQ+ community with better support.

The charity is one of the three Cheshire hospices benefitting from a £22,000 grant from Cheshire Freemasons, in partnership with Hospice UK.

St Luke’s, Winsford, and Hospice of The Good Shepherd, Backford, are also involved in the 12-month scheme.

The project improves accessibility to hospice services for LGBTQ+ people by ensuring support is fully inclusive and meets the needs of all patients.

LGBTQ+  development facilitator Ellen Coleman offers support and training for staff across the three hospices to improve their approach and make them more accessible.

Her role includes providing additional resources, making policy changes and ensuring databases and  paperwork are inclusive.

From left, Ellen Coleman with Kate Estcourt from St Luke’s Hospice and Simon Palfreyman, Harry Wright and Steve Simpson  from Cheshire Freemasons.

East Cheshire has also trained five champions to raise the level of staff knowledge around how best to support LGBTQ+ patients.

Ellen said: “The fact I’m hired purely to work on this project is quite a new thing and hopefully other hospices around the country will adopt a similar approach soon.

“Initiatives focused on equality, diversity and inclusivity are often combined with other roles in  many organisations in health care and social care settings.

“East Cheshire Hospice have fully embraced the project and part of my role is to deliver training so  when staff engage with patients, families and colleagues they are confident about using the right language. During recruitment the right questions must also be asked.”

Research by the charity Stonewall shows many LGBTQ+ people avoid accessing health and social care services due to a fear of discrimination, or a history of negative experiences.

Ellen said: “The three hospices in Cheshire want to remove this fear for LGBTQ+ people. The response has been fantastic and we aim to provide continuity after the initial 12-month project.”

Sarah Dale, Director of Quality, Innovation and Collaboration at East Cheshire Hospice, said: “We’re extremely grateful for this grant from Cheshire Freemasons, which will help members of the LGBTQ+ community who want to access our services feel like they have a safe, supportive, and welcoming space to do so.

“Palliative and end of life care is about having one chance to get it right, so it’s really important that people from all communities feel comfortable and are able to talk about everything that’s important to them, including their gender identity and sexuality.”

The grant from Cheshire Freemasons is through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Harry Wright, from Cheshire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased that we’re supporting this vital project which is working hard to help more members of the LGBTQ+ community feel like they’re welcome to access health services and support.

“Although it’s a great shame that there is still a need for this kind of work, I’m very glad that these three hospices are reinforcing their commitment to treat all patients with respect, regardless of their sexuality or gender.”

Prestbury Golf Day success!

A golf day with a long-standing tradition easily achieved its target of meeting the cost of a day’s care at East Cheshire Hospice.

The event at Prestbury Golf Club raised a record £10,910 net, well above the £7,500 the charity needs daily to run its services.

East Cheshire Hospice community fundraiser Carley Macey (second left), receives a cheque from golf organisers (from left) Nigel Preston, John Davies, Vicky Devon and  Mandy Cross.

At stake was the 35-year-old Mactex Trophy which had not been won for three years due to the pandemic.

However, the stableford team competition returned in style with 21 teams taking part.

It was again organised by John Davies, Director of Mactex Properties Ltd, and ex-golf professional Nigel Preston, from Interflex.

John, who was involved in the first tournament, said: “It was great to be back and we’d like to thank everyone for their generous support.

“The valuable work of East Cheshire Hospice, a facility at the heart of our community, continued unabated during the pandemic so it was wonderful to support the charity.

“Our aim was to raise at least the amount the Hospice needs each day, while having an enjoyable day’s golf and dinner we achieved all those aims, with many familiar supporters supporting the charity.

“Volunteers and contributors helped make it such a successful  day and in particular, we’d like to thank Amanda Cross, director of Sphere UK, Claire Gorton and Carley Macey from the Hospice, Victoria Devon and our main sponsors estate agents Holmes Naden.”

Ethics Leisure won with 89 points, four clear ahead of Martin Allmand-Smith’s team and Arighi Bianchi 1.

East Cheshire Hospice Flower Arrangers are back!

The last volunteer team is now finally back at East Cheshire Hospice after the pandemic.

Flower arrangers were the final helpers to return, more than two years after Covid-19 forced volunteers to be laid off.

Reception staff had been among the first wave back, weeks after lockdown began in March 2020.

Helena Smith, the Hospice’s Voluntary Services Co-ordinator, said: “The return of the flower volunteers is quite a big thing, since it feels like the final piece of the jigsaw is now back in place.

“We want to thank all our flower arrangers for their patience over the last couple of years. The flowers make quite a big difference and are greatly appreciated by patients and visitors, so it’s great that we’ll have them again.”

Flowers from donations decorate individual patient rooms and generally brighten up the Hospice.

The floral team were welcomed back with a workshop at the Picturedrome, organised by Sarah Hinchliffe, a new Hospice volunteer.

Sarah Hinchliffe points out a few floral techniques during a workshop. 

Sarah, a floral designer, opened her business North & Flower in Macclesfield last year when she moved back to the area to be close to family. Husband Adam is from the area.

Sarah said: “The floral industry isn’t very kind to the environment. I pride myself on being environmentally conscious and love telling people about it.

“This workshop with volunteers was a chance to demonstrate sustainable techniques, especially as the Hospice is moving towards becoming more eco-friendly.”

The Hospice is on the lookout for volunteer gardeners. That team has been busy helping create a Serenity Garden in the courtyard at the Hospice.

The eco-friendly project has seen an open patio space at the back of the Hospice transformed into a year-round floral retreat for patients and visitors.

The gardens surrounding the Millbank Drive complex also need regular maintenance.

Helena said: “Anyone who can spare a few hours each week is most welcome. Some of our flower arrangers are also part of the gardening team as well.

“We couldn’t do without our volunteers who help out in so many different ways. Even when they couldn’t be here during challenging times, many were still involved in various fundraising activities.

“It’s an amazing team and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment.”

* Call Helena on 01925 664984 or email hsmith@echospice.org.uk for more details.

Elaine completes her head shave for East Cheshire Hospice

Elaine Taylor kept her promise to get her head shaved as a show of support for East Cheshire Hospice patients.

One patient in particular who had lost all her hair inspired Elaine, a health care assistant, to face the chop at the hairdressers.

Daughter Jade and daughter-in-law Lorri Taylor were there to witness the big moment.

Elaine, who is part of the Hospice @Home team, said: “I was nervous before and didn’t know what to expect. It was emotional because of why I was doing it and the meaning behind it.

Before…..Elaine Taylor preparing for her head shave.

“It felt liberating and was a bizarre feeling. I didn’t think I’d feel quite as good as I did when I came out.

“My partner Steve O’Neill was pleasantly surprised and said it really suited me. I went into the Hospice to show my colleagues and they were also blown away by it.

“Our dog Eva didn’t flinch when she saw my new look and just wagged her tail.

“I’ve had a lot of support from people at work who understand why I’ve done it because of the patients we care for.

After ….Elaine is congratulated by daughter Jade.

“One lady I’d cared for of similar age, with children and a dog like me, had quite an effect on me. Sadly, she didn’t have any choice whether she lost her hair.

“I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Elaine has easily beaten her initial fundraising target, raising more than £1,700 so far.

*  To support Elaine visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Elaine-Taylor40

Befriending Service at East Cheshire Hospice

East Cheshire Hospice has launched a new befriending service for those in the last year of life who feel isolated and those who care for them.

Users do not need to be a Hospice patient to take part and they can ask their nurse, doctor or social worker to refer them.

The Hospice is also looking for more volunteers willing to befriend those in need.

The pilot project, funded by Cheshire East Council, is run by the Hospice Voluntary Services Co-ordinator Helena Smith.

Helena Smith who has set up a new befriending service at East Cheshire Hospice.

Helena said: “Isolation and loneliness, which have a real impact on health, are the key themes here. People might not use other Hospice services and might need only this from us and that’s fine.

“It’s for those with palliative care needs and is a really effective way to support their non-medical needs, which we increasingly recognise should have parity with physical health.

“The mental health benefits you get from social contact, and knowing someone cares, are really important.

“It is worth stressing that carers can also feel isolated and this project is also for them.”

Users need a referral from a health or social care professional, like a GP or district nurse.

Helena is looking not just at the medical network of palliative care teams and GP surgeries to find users.

She said: “In addition, I’m also contacting social prescribers, social workers, churches, community groups and food banks. I want to see who can benefit.”

In her spare time Helena is a befriender for Pure Insight, a charity supporting care leavers.

She said: “It gives me great pleasure watching the young person I see in an evening flourish. I know I’m making a difference and know befrienders will get that same feeling from this service. I know it can be done.”

Helena already has a dozen volunteers and wants more, hoping flexible arrangements at weekends and evening will not dissuade full-time workers.

She said: “Volunteers have different skills, whether it’s offering advice, setting up a computer or referring to other organisations, in addition to kindness and caring.

“Basically, it’s doing what you or I might do for someone we care about, but if people are isolated they don’t necessarily have someone to fight their corner like that.

“Volunteers need to be patient, kind and good listeners with a couple of hours a week to give.”

* Call the team on 01925 664984 or email volunteers@echospice.org.uk for more details.

Hospice to Hospice hikers celebrate

Nurse Charlie Guerin has walked countless miles on the ward at East Cheshire Hospice.

Now the Disley mother-of-three has been pounding the streets raising funds for the patients she cares for.

Charlie joined fellow fundraisers on a Hospice to Hospice hike – from St Rocco’s in Warrington to East Cheshire in Macclesfield.

Hikers (from left) Richard Laverick, Anna Hazel and Andrew Dethick, all teachers at The Macclesfield Academy, with Rebecca Markwick and Charlie Guerin (centre). 

The 26-mile walk took eight hours, while others covered half that distance from Knutsford and St Rocco’s supporters went the opposite way.

Charlie is a bank nurse at East Cheshire, having been a ward volunteer originally.

She is in her second spell at the Hospice as a qualified staff nurse, having also worked at The Christie and the local hospital.

Charlie said: “There are few places on earth that do to you what the Hospice can. I remember walking in as a volunteer thinking this is not going to leave me. This is in me now – it runs in your veins.

“When I came back to work one day a week in January and it was like coming home. It’s the values of real nursing and why I set out to be a nurse.

“You’re also aware it’s a charity and has suffered a huge loss of income because of Covid and this was my opportunity to help.

“Working here gives me a privileged perspective which many people don’t get to witness.”

Husband Nick, along with Alby (9), Isla (6) and Sonny (3), greeted Charlie after her exhausting walk.

* To sponsor Charlie visit justgiving.com/fundraising/charlottesguerin

Shrigley hall Golf day success!

Shrigley Hall staff got into the swing of a charity golf day by joining members on their home course.

Head bartender Andy Gaskell – usually more at home serving drinks in the bar than on the fairways –  was among competitors.

His latest cocktail Shrigley Sunflower, created in honour of East Cheshire Hospice’s floral emblem, is a hit with hotel guests.

Andy said: “The cocktail is a mix of vodka, peach snaps, pineapple, orange, lemonade and Blue Curacao and has been extremely popular. It’s a nice way to acknowledge our support for the charity.”

The golf day raised £3,500 for the Hospice, the nominated charity of the year for the hotel, with around 70 members and visitors competing for spot prizes.

The Shrigley Hall team preparing to tee off.

General manager Vicky Marshman said: “There’s been an amazing reaction in terms of support for the Hospice from guests, golfers and staff. It just shows how much affection there is for the charity across Cheshire and we’re delighted to play our part.”

Other initiatives to help reach the £5,000 target include a cake bake, 70s and 80s party night, spa day and a Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge for staff on September 20. To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/fundraising/vicky-marshman1.

The stunning views at Shrigley Hall.

Shrigley Hall, with 155 bedrooms, opened a new spa facility with an outdoor infinity pool in 2020.

The historic hall, built nearly 200 years ago, was converted into a hotel, spa and golf resort in 1989.

Firefighter Adam Davies takes on golf challenge

Firefighter Adam Davies chose a flaming hot day to tackle a gruelling golf challenge.

Adam played 72 holes in a single day at Shrigley Hall Hotel and Spa to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

Firefighter Adam Davies who played golf continuously for almost 15 hours.

He teed off at 5 am and did not sink the final putt of his four rounds until 7.45 pm before dashing off for a meeting of his explorer scout group.

Adam joined around 70 fellow members in a Longest Day tournament organised by Shrigley Hall as part of its support for the Hospice.

The 18 handicap golfer, from Macclesfield, said: “I was glad it was a hot sunny day rather than wet and was tired towards the end after almost 15 hours on the course. The challenge took 44,281 steps to complete.

Adam Davies on his 72-hole marathon.

“I usually take on a sporting challenge for charity every year and when I found out the club was supporting the Hospice decided to walk and play 72 holes to raise money for them.

“My aim was to take fewer than 400 shots and thankfully only needed 388, losing eight golf balls in the process.”

After little rest, Adam was back at Macclesfield fire station early the next morning for his shift.

He said: ” I love being a firefighter and it’s a great job. It can be seen by some as brutal, but it’s very rewarding.”

The night before he played golf, he even led explorers from 1st Sutton St James’ on a seven-mile hike from the Cat and Fiddle pub back to their scout hut. Wife Rebecca Clulow and cocker spaniel Chester joined them.

Adam said: “I’m a busy person and like being busy. In fact, I hate sitting down so golf and walking is the best of both worlds for me.

“I played at Macclesfield as a junior and then fell out of love with the game before getting back into it, joining Shrigley in March. The course is in great condition and the green staff do an excellent job.”

* To sponsor Adam visit justgiving.com/Adam-Davies72.