August 2022 - East Cheshire Hospice

Camino Trail

A famous pilgrimage through the hilly landscapes of Galicia in northern Spain is the latest event organised for East Cheshire Hospice supporters.

The five-day Camino Way trek explores cultural and historic landmarks before ending at Santiago de Compostela.

The 115-kilometre walk from Oct 14-21 next year covers the eighth and final section of the French Way, the most traditional and best known of pilgrim routes.

Hospice Challenge Events Co-ordinator Bethan Wade said: “Thousands of people, known as ‘pilgrims’, walk the Camino for spiritual, cultural and adventurous reasons.

Destination Camino Way for supporters of East Cheshire Hospice.

“This is not a religious tour. The Camino is about the journey and to most it symbolises a time of reflection, learning and fresh starts.

“We’re hoping our supporters can join us for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trek is graded moderate to challenging, covering long distances in varying weather conditions.

“It’s essential walkers are fit enough to trek for at least seven to eight hours at a time for multiple consecutive days. They’ll stay in basic hotels and guesthouses.

“Regular breaks are taken, but long days of walking, sometimes uphill, are inevitable. You can’t be too fit for this challenge so you should train well before your departure.”

A £355 registration fee is payable upon booking, with participants asked to fundraise at least £2,600 for the Hospice. Support and fundraising ideas will be provided.

A self-funded option is also available. Visit or contact  Bethan on 01625 789102; email

Generous gift of picnic benches for the Hospice

Patients and their families can relax on picnic benches in the grounds of East Cheshire Hospice thanks to a generous gift from four long-standing supporters.

Three large picnic tables, plus two benches, are dotted around the gardens providing the perfect retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the Hospice.

The benches were bought by Thelma Jackson MBE, Anna Rains, Margaret Pettener and Hazel Offer who raised more than £1,600 from a spring lunch.

Fundraisers (from left) Anna Rains, Margaret Pettener and Thelma Jackson with Hospice staff April Green and Jean Chaddock.

The benches cost £3,800, with the balance met by a kind gesture from Ford dealers Sidney Jackson & Son Ltd. Thelma’s father-in-law Sidney set up the successful car business over a century ago.

Anna hosted the lunch for 50 guests at her cottage with the four organisers cooking dishes and serving food.

Thelma said: “We had a wonderful afternoon and would like to thank everyone who came and generously supported the lunch and bought raffle tickets.

“The Hospice said they’d like to buy the benches, so it came into my mind to put the money raised from our lunch towards buying them. The girls also thought it was a fantastic idea, especially as we were buying something specific.”

Sidney Jackson & Son then stepped into make up the difference, their latest gesture as part of the firm’s long-standing support for the Hospice.

Thelma Jackson (left) and Anna Rains try the benches for size, watched by Liam Riley, General Manager at Sidney Jackson, and Margaret Pettener.

The company sponsored the charity’s Memory Walk earlier this year and provide both cars used by  the Hospice @Home service.

Thelma – the last Mayor of the Borough of Macclesfield in 2008 -has been fundraising for the charity since before it opened in 1988.

She said: “I’m proud to have supported the Hospice since day one and was there when the first sod was dug.

“It was nice to be there at the beginning and although I haven’t been able to visit as much recently, I still support the Hospice.

“It’s been difficult for them in the last couple of years because of the pandemic when everyone’s had a tough time.”

Anna has also been a fundraiser since the start and chaired the Hospice’s 10th anniversary appeal to  build the Sunflower Centre.

A total of £300,000 was raised and it was Anna’s idea to hold an art exhibition. She set up Art Fair Cheshire in 1998, a biennial event still thriving today.

The benches allow visitors to have a quiet time and remember friends and relatives.

Linda Tute

The family of Linda Tute believe she lived longer because of the care she received from East Cheshire Hospice.

Husband Martin and their three daughters feared the worst when Linda, who had oesophageal cancer, was admitted to the Hospice just before Christmas in 2016.

She went into hospital after her condition had deteriorated and was quickly transferred to the Hospice as an inpatient.

Linda, from Bollington, was given only hours, or at most days, to live.

Linda Tute who was cared for by East Cheshire Hospice.  

Eight weeks later she eventually went home where she lived for almost two years before passing away in September 2018, aged 75.

Daughter Kerry said: “The whole family honestly believe that because of the Hospice’s care at that critical time we had almost another two years with mum.

“We genuinely believe they gifted us those 22 months that we never expected.

“It was just their attention to detail. She wouldn’t have received that level of care if she’d been in hospital, or had been discharged to be looked after at home.

“Don’t get me wrong they were a turbulent 22 months to say the least in terms of her illness, but we made it a beautiful family time for her.”

Linda was a hairdresser many years ago and proud mum to Sheona, Meryl and Kerry.

Kerry said: “Initially, mum had suddenly been taken very poorly and went into hospital briefly, before she was admitted to the Hospice for end-of-life care.

“She accessed a range of Hospice services while she was at home. Hospice @Home were briefly involved and she was also an outpatient at the Sunflower Centre which was somewhere she loved going every week.

“It was her choice to die at home and we’ll be forever grateful to the wonderful staff at the Hospice.

“Without their meticulous care, we’d have had to say goodbye to her far sooner than any of us were ready for.”

* The Hospice needs £7,500 a day to provide care free of charge to patients, families and their carers. Only 17 per cent of its income comes from government.

Atlas Mountains Challenge

Special needs teacher Kerry Tute climbed Northern Africa’s highest mountain in memory of her mum Linda to raise money for East Cheshire Hospice.

Kerry undertook a three-day hike up Mount Toubkal in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.

On top of the world…Kerry and her group on the summit of Mount Toubkal.

  She said: “It was the most amazing, intense and terrifying thing I’ve ever done.

“Day one was like climbing Ben Nevis in 40-plus heat and half way up you hit altitude. That day was okay.

“We camped on rock floors and I got about an hour’s sleep. We started day two, our summit day, shattered and deprived of sleep and I felt drunk because of altitude sickness.

Kerry Tute flying the flag for East Cheshire Hospice in the Atlas Mountains.

“It was tough and there were tears. The Atlas Mountains are truly majestic and it’s worth the fear to get to the top, but isn’t for the faint-hearted. It was mind over matter.

“Few tourists have been trekking mountains due to Covid and with bad winters the terrain has changed.

“At one point on the descent, we were sliding down on our bum. It was the only safe way with no secure footing. If you get it wrong, it was a sheer drop!

Kerry (left) with fellow climber Beth.

“I’d trained on boulders in the Peak District, but that was nothing. While I went out on my own, I was surrounded by truly inspirational people and have made friends for life.

“I start a new job as a headteacher in September and suddenly I’m not scared of that because this has overridden any fear of anything.”

* To sponsor Kerry visit

Canoe Against Cancer Afternoon Tea (postponed)

Please note that this event has been postponed with a new date pending.

An afternoon tea is being organised to give two brothers a rousing send-off before their amazing canoe challenge.

Tea, cakes and a glass of fizz will be served at Hollin House Hotel, Bollington, at noon on Sunday (Aug 21).

The gathering, which is open to the public, will toast Tom and George Bentham and wish them bon voyage for their 184-mile paddle almost three weeks later.

Aiming high…canoeists George and Tom Bentham are hoping to raise £15,000 for charity.

Proceeds will go towards the brothers’ fundraising appeal for East Cheshire Hospice where their father Mark, a chef, died of cancer in September, 2019, aged 58.

They hope to raise £15,000, with funds split with Macmillan.

The brothers are aiming to canoe coast-to-coast in nine days. They start at Glasson Dock, near Lancaster, ending at the Humber.

Canals, commercial waterways, small rivers, tidal rivers and seaways all feature in the complex route.

The pair had never sat in a canoe until they bought a two-man vessel earlier this year.

The informal afternoon tea is organised by Tom’s wife Hannah. She said: “Tom and George will give a brief outline of their challenge. They’ve done a lot of training and have been extremely dedicated.”

Two young singers will provide entertainment. Tickets are £25 for adults, £20 for children. For more details contact Hannah on 07964 701027.

Tom Bentham getting ready for his canoe challenge.

Holly Thompson’s 600km Spanish Trek

Student Holly Thompson prepared for her graduation ceremony by walking across northern Spain in scorching temperatures.


Student Holly Thompson who raised funds in memory of her friend Alex Boyle.


The heatwave that affected Europe did not cool Holly’s enthusiasm for a trek in memory of close friend Alex Boyle, from Macclesfield.

Alex died from a rare form of bone cancer in 2019 and was a patient at East Cheshire Hospice.

Holly, with four friends, walked part of the Camino del Norte, a route along the Bay of Biscay from Santander to Santiago de Compostela.

A journey of almost 600 kilometres was crammed into three weeks as one of the group had to be back to work.


Holly Thompson on her Spanish adventure.


Holly, who raised more than £1,000 for the Hospice, said:  “The walk’s been popular with pilgrims since medieval times, ending at the cathedral in Santiago.

“We were walking in temperatures of 38 degrees some days, so started at 5.30 am when it was much cooler. Thankfully, there were water fountains along the route and one day the elevation was 1,800 metres.

“I really enjoyed the experience and all we did was wake up, walk, find shelter and food. But because I’m vegan that was challenging at times.

“My knees started giving away near the end and were pretty painful, but it was worth it in memory of Alex.

“He’d beaten cancer once and unfortunately it came back a lot stronger a few months later. He tried to stay at home as long as possible and then went into the Hospice.

“His family said how good the Hospice were and I know it runs on 80 per cent donations which is absolutely insane, so I decided I wanted to do something to help.

“Other families who’re going through the same thing will need their support and I know how important it was for his family.”


Alex Boyle who was a patient at East Cheshire Hospice.


No sooner had Holly returned than she was graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in physics. Further studies can wait as she is travelling to south east Asia and then Australia.

Holly said: “There are different walking routes in northern Spain and I’d recommend it to anyone. It was lovely meeting different people and we’ll  do it again next year, but another route.”

* The Hospice is organising a five-day trek on the Camino way in northern Spain from Oct 14-21 year.

For more details about the 115-kilometre walk visit

Heather Broadbent Completes Her Round-the-World Voyage

Round-the-world sailor Heather Broadbent has finally finished her epic voyage – almost three years since she first set sail!

Heather was one of only two crew members who completed every leg of the 48,000-mile journey on board the yacht GoToBermuda.

She has raised almost £31,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where her late husband Adam (45) was a patient.

Heather is still hoping to get close to her fundraising target of £40,000 for the Hospice @Home service.

Home at last…Heather Broadbent completes her round-the-world voyage.

The Disley landscape gardener travelled to the Philippines in February to resume a race delayed for two years because of the pandemic.

Before the break, she had sailed to South America, South Africa and Australia.

Once the race resumed, she raced across the Pacific to Seattle, through the Panama Canal to Bermuda and on to New York before Derry/Londonderry and finally finished in London.

Heather said: “I’m so relieved it’s all over. I was wary about going back after such a long break due to the Covid outbreak, but am so pleased I did.

“I would have kicked myself if I’d not finished it off. I enjoyed the second half of the race better than the first and the sailing more after I went back.

“Crossing the North Pacific was the highlight, it covers so much of the planet, while the Panama Canal was an adventure in itself.

“We came second on the leg to Bermuda which until then was our best finishing position. It was our team homecoming, we were greeted like conquering heroes. The buzz and vibe was amazing.

“We then came first on the Atlantic leg, recording the fastest time in the history of the Clipper Race for that crossing which took us 13 days.

“Lastly, we sailed over the top of Scotland to London through the Pentland Firth, a strait near the Orkneys which can be quite treacherous.”

Heather will now enjoy a well-earned rest. She said: “I’m going to press reset and spend some time in my garden and have a think about what’s next.

“At the moment I’ve no great plans to go sailing again, but never say never.

“It would be great to get closer to my fundraising target and I’ve had a few more donations with the race ending.

” Supporters can still donate because Hospice @Home is such a wonderful service.”

Heather Broadbent covered 48,000 miles during her epic voyage.

* To sponsor Heather visit


Do you count how many steps you walk each day?

East Cheshire Hospice is asking supporters to take one step a day for every £1 needed to run the Hospice.

The Steptember challenge – in September – involves 7,500 steps a day, reflecting the amount of money needed to keep the Hospice going daily.

To sign up visit the Hospice website where walkers can also set up a JustGiving page to help with fundraising.

Challenge Events Coordinator Bethan Wade said: “In the 30 days of September, we’re asking you to strap on your walking boots for this fun, fitness, fundraising challenge.

“Everyone who registers receives a pack including a t-shirt, wristband and a step totaliser to help you keep track of progress, plus other handy items.

“If 7,500 steps a day sounds too much, don’t worry. Taking part is the main thing and if you’d prefer to set a lower target that’s fine.

“We’re not asking people to raise £7,500 with their challenge because that’s an awful lot, but every penny helps.

“So we’d encourage participants to tell everyone what they’re doing and why, and ask them if they’ll sponsor them. Our web page has a quick guide on using a smartphone to track steps.”

* Visit

Step this way…Hospice @Home team members  (from left) Sue Milligan, Rachel Barker, Tess Cleaver and Denise Unwin join the Steptember challenge.

Aqua park fun this summer

Fancy splashing your way round an aqua park to support East Cheshire Hospice?

The Hospice has organised a trip to Wild Shore Aqua Park at Delamere for its next fundraising adventure.

Bookings cost £18.50 a person and include a 55-minute session, at either 10 or 11 am on Friday, August 19. All kit hire is provided.

Splash down at Wild Shore Aqua Park for East Cheshire Hospice.

Wild Shore is a giant floating playground on a lake with various obstacle courses and slides.

Hospice fundraiser Bethan Wade said: “It’s the first time we’ve organised such an event and we’re hoping as many of our supporters can join us there.

“It’s a fun, safe and exhilarating experience for a range of ages and abilities. There are also steps which allow easy access from the water back on to the aqua park.”

An ability to swim 25 metres is needed to take part.

Children must be six or over and those under eight must be accompanied by an adult (ratio of one adult to three children). Children aged 8 to 15 must be accompanied by an over 18 on site, but not necessarily on the activity.

The Hospice suggests participants set a target of raising £25 in sponsorship to support them.

Visit the Hospice website to book or to reserve a group email or call 01625 666998. Both time slots can be booked by completing two registrations.

Ali Mitchell’s Wingwalk experience

Thrill seeker Ali Mitchell has vowed to return to the skies for more after her wing walk debut.

Next time the district nurse will be attempting loop-the-loops on to the top of a biplane.

Ali, from Hurdsfield, joined other daredevils at an airfield in Gloucestershire, all raising money for East Cheshire Hospice.

Ali said: “It was amazing and something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve done a sky dive before and I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie, so it was on my bucket list and have ticked it off now.”

She said: “It was a pleasant experience, but I was waiting for an adrenalin rush and didn’t get one.

Wing walker Ali Mitchell.

“Maybe it was because pilot was fantastic at what he was doing, or that it was such a beautiful day and very calm up there.

“I didn’t even feel the plane landing. Next time I’ll do the loop-the-loop for a bit of a tummy flip. They’re only allowed on a second flight.

“The experience is so safety conscious and you’re so well strapped in. A couple of others chose a more thrilling ride with the plane on its side, but I wanted it more sedate for the first time.

“The instructors were fantastic and I can’t praise them enough, they were brilliant.

“I was also wearing shorts so next time I might wear long pants as my skin was wobbling a bit and the worst part was climbing on to the wing.”

Ali has close ties with the Hospice. She said: “I work out-of-hours as a nurse so liaise very closely with the Hospice @Home team and that’s how I know how amazing they are.

“It’s a fantastic resource that we’ve got in our area and we’re so lucky to have it. I had a friend who passed away in there unfortunately in her 40s.

District nurse Ali Mitch (centre) with fellow wing walkers from East Cheshire Hospice and their pilot Dave.

“I think it’s appalling they have to rely on charity to fund them and we should all try to do as much as we can to support the Hospice.

“I know money is tight at the moment and people are being generous with sponsorship.”

Husband Joey saw Ali take to the skies, promising to join her next time.

Meanwhile, Ali is signing up for a sky dive organised by the Hospice on Saturday, May 13, with full details announced soon.