September 2022 - East Cheshire Hospice

New in-memory fundraising assistant at East Cheshire Hospice

Volunteering at East Cheshire Hospice gave Amy Williams an idea about a change of career.

The mother-of-three only joined the charity in March, helping day care patients every Tuesday in the Sunflower Centre.

Weeks later she saw that the Hospice were advertising for an in-memory fundraising assistant and decided to give up her teaching job.

Amy Williams, the new in-memory fundraising assistant at East Cheshire Hospice.

Amy, who taught English part-time at All Hallows Catholic College in Macclesfield, has just started her full-time role in the Hospice’s fundraising team.

Amy, from Bollington, said: “I fell in love with the Hospice and when the job came up here it felt like a really good opportunity to develop the relationships I’d built up in the Sunflower Centre.

“I taught for nearly 20 years and loved the job, but was ready for something different. Coming to the Sunflower Centre helped me understand I’ve got transferable skills and can adapt and change.

“I’m still working with people, helping support those who use the Hospice and making a difference for them. For me, helping people is a massive part of my career.”

Amy will continue holding her weekly Sunflower sessions, running activities such as baking, crafts, painting and sewing.

That will help develop relationships with patients and families, a fundamental aspect of her newly-created fundraising role.

Amy, who has sons Gethin (12), Evan (9) and a daughter Megan (7), will also attend meetings with ward colleagues, bringing her closer to inpatients and their relatives.

She said: “Hopefully, I’ll become a face families will recognise and know. If they value the experience and service they’ve had, they may want to give something back and do something in someone’s honour.

“For many, fundraising in memory of a loved one and celebrating that life is part of the grieving process. For some that may come two years later, or two months later.

“When that time comes people may want to get involved. It could be through a funeral donation, a fundraising challenge, holding an event, creating a tribute page, joining our lottery, or volunteering their time.

“The idea is that I meet those families on their journey, so we can tailor their relationship with us. Every family will be different and they might not know quite what to do, or how to approach it. I can give them that guidance.”

* To contact Amy email To set up a Sunflower Tribute visit

Winter Ball is back for 2022!

Black ties and sparking ball gowns will bring a touch of glamour to a Winter Ball, organised by East Cheshire Hospice.

The glittering event makes a long-awaited return to the social calendar after a Covid-enforced absence.

The dinner will be held in a luxury marquee in the grounds of Macclesfield Rugby Club on Friday, November 25, from 7 pm.

Top DJ Darren Proctor is host, with entertainment including a performance from String Infusion, an all-female electric and acoustic string group.

Party time at East Cheshire Hospice’s last Winter Ball in 2018.

Tickets are £70 or £700 for a table of 10, with VIP tables priced at £1,000.

Hospice Events Manager Beth Candy said: “It’s going to be an amazing night and we’re hoping as many guests as possible can come along to enjoy a fabulous occasion.

“The timing is perfect for a pre-Christmas works do, or any kind of celebration. Even if you just fancy having a special night out, then please join us.

“It’ll be an exclusive evening of indulgence, fine dining, wonderful entertainment and a few magical surprises.

“With an incredible reputation as Cheshire’s charity ball of the year, we pride ourselves on the relaxed, charming and entertaining evening we deliver.

“We’ve chosen a venue virtually on the doorstep to the Hospice. We wanted it to be local and it also means we can accommodate more guests.”

The last Ball in 2018 was attended by 350 guests and raised £95,000 for the Hospice.

*To buy tickets visit

Energy Costs at East Cheshire Hospice Shops

East Cheshire Hospice is reminding the public of the availability of its charity shops as a possible way of dealing with the cost of living crisis.

The charity is aware customers have less to spend on clothes and other items because of the sharp rise in energy prices.

It is therefore inviting the community to grab a bargain by visiting one of its four shops.

The Hospice has stores at Chestergate and Thornton Square, plus outlets in Poynton and Handforth.

Lindsay McDonald, manager of the East Cheshire Hospice shop on Chestergate.

Commercial manager Louise Delany said: “Times are tough for people and we’re well aware of that.

It won’t be easy to afford things like clothing, furniture and electricals in the same way.

“So perhaps it is timely to remind customers that we have some great offers available, both in our shops and online at our Facebook pages.

“We’re lucky to receive some wonderful donations – from sofas to designer clothing, to homeware and electricals. You really could kit out your whole house with items from our shops.

“By buying from us, our customers are also helping care for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

It’s also worth remembering that recycling goods is also good sustainable practice.”

At the same time, the Hospice itself is having to closely monitor its own energy costs with its premises on Millbank Drive and the four shops facing steep price hikes in future.

The Hospice reopened its Chestergate shop in May, a move that has proved popular with customers.

The shop is managed by Lindsay McDonald.

The Cinema Show

Mixing music with memories is the key to success for family band The Cinema Show.

The synth rock group blend sound and film archives – played on an old-style theatre cinema screen – with songs to create a unique show.

The electronic group, based in Macclesfield, rounded off a series of gigs with a charity show at MADS Theatre, raising £1,742 for East Cheshire Hospice.

The Cinema Show performing. From left, Dave Skelton, Jacqui Skelton, Beth Moss, Amy Leech and Doug Skelton.

It included a look back at the London 2012 Olympics, the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the Manhattan Project.

Founder Doug Skelton, a guitarist and keyboard player, usually performs as a duo, with Dave Skelton on drums.

Added to the line-up for this show were Doug’s older sister Jacqui, old school friend Amy Leech and local musician Beth Moss.

Dave Skelton and Doug Skelton.

Main sponsors were Intersafety, owned by Doug’s parents Tony and Julie. The 20-year-old local company distributes personal protective equipment and clothing. Arighi Bianchi were the other sponsors.

The Cinema Show bring moments of historical significance to the stage.

Doug said: “I’ve been working on the project for five years since a music tech project sparked the inspiration.

“We mix historical samples and commentary with modern music and lyrics, creating the songs.

A few years ago we acquired a cinema screen for the stage backdrop.”

Doug’s first album This Is the One featured famous sporting events, including the 1966 World Cup and Red Rum’s Grand National triumphs. His second Discovery was about inventions of the last century.

Dave and Doug as a duo perform a track about Eddie the Eagle.

He is currently working on a new project based around 1980s nostalgia. He said: “It was nice to evolve our gigs to a larger band set-up for this show.

“It’s always been a passion and something we really enjoy. My sister got roped in on acoustic guitar after watching rehearsals. On vocals were Amy and Beth, who also plays piano.”

Doug works in marketing for Intersafety, who are keen Hospice supporters. He said:  “All the family have had a connection to the Hospice in the past and two family members were patients there.

“It’s a nice way to engage with the community and have a charity the business can support. The Hospice will stay in the mind of our charity efforts.

“The band and sponsors want to thank everyone who contributed to an amazing night at MADS Theatre where we hope to perform again.”

* Follow the band via

Will Week is Almost Here

East Cheshire Hospice hopes Will Week (Oct 3-7) will persuade supporters to make arrangements for their financial future.

Solicitors are waiving usual fees and donating time and expertise to help the Hospice.

They will write a single or mirror Will, or update an existing Will, in lieu of a donation.

Complete a form at to register interest and access contact details for participating solicitors.

GPW Tax and Law, which has a Macclesfield office, is taking part. Estate Planning Consultant Gavin Prideaux-Williams said:  “It’s never too early, but often too late to make a Will.

“If you put it off until it’s too late, this poses all sorts of problems for the people left behind. Not making a Will could mean that some, or all of your inheritance, either goes to the wrong person or even to the State.


“Will Week is also a great opportunity to get advice on all those questions you have, but don’t know who to ask.”

Gavin Prideaux-Williams, from GPW Tax and Law,  who are taking part in Will Week.

Beth England, Individual Giving Fundraiser for the Hospice, said: “Will Week is the perfect time to make or update your Will, especially if your marital status has changed, your financial circumstances have altered, or if you’ve moved house.

” There’s no obligation to leave a gift to the Hospice in your Will, but if you’d like to do so, your solicitor can help. Legacy gifts provide care for one in three of our patients.”

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

Polly Booths Cheshire Ring walk

No wonder Polly Booth felt like she was going round in a circle on her fundraising challenge.

That’s because she was, walking 110 miles over six days around the Cheshire Ring, a circuit of historic canals.

The route from Manchester to Marple, Northwich and Warrington, was all in a good cause.

Polly has raised more than £2,000 for East Cheshire Hospice which cared for her mum Linda.

Polly Booth with her mum Linda.

Linda, from Alderley Edge, died of bowel cancer last November, less than a week after her 70th birthday. She was looked after by the charity’s Hospice @Home team.

Polly said: “Mum was diagnosed in December 2020 and we struggled to get some health care services because of the knock-on effect of Covid.

“Her decline was rapid with her needs changing all the time, so getting care was quite hard and stressful.

“She wanted to stay at home and the women at the Hospice were just amazing. They came out to her every day for the last three weeks. They were there when we needed them most.

“That’s why I wanted to raise money for the Hospice to say thank you and to help other people benefit from their service.

“Our family will forever be indebted to the Hospice for their dignified care and even emotional support.”

Linda was a primary school teacher before she went on to teach children in care in non-mainstream schools for most of her career.

Polly and Linda Booth, who was cared for by Hospice @Home.

The Cheshire Ring takes in six canals – Macclesfield, Bridgewater, Trent and Mersey, Rochdale, Peak Forest and Ashton.

Polly, a project manager with the Environment Agency, said: “The walk was long and challenging, especially as I’m not used to hiking, but I wanted to do something quite hard.

“It was very peaceful, but I could barely walk for the last couple of days because of blisters and achy feet.

“The canal ring is 97 miles, but I covered 110 in total, including going to accommodation each night.

“Six days of walking along canal tow paths was a bit boring and samey after a while, though Marple Aquaduct was beautiful and I enjoyed visiting Anderson Boat Lift, near Northwich.

“I’m proud I completed this challenge for my lovely mum.”

* To donate visit

Bon voyage for Canoe Against Cancer brothers!

Bon voyage to brothers Tom and George Bentham who take the plunge on their coast-to-coast canoe challenge on Monday (Sept 12).

The pair have spent six months preparing for their gruelling 184-mile paddle in memory of their late father Mark, a keen sailor.

The Bentham brothers are hoping to raise £15,000 for East Cheshire Hospice and Macmillan which cared for Mark, from Broken Cross, who died of cancer in September 2019, aged 58.

Tom (left) and George Bentham who are canoeing across the country.

Neither had even sat in a canoe until they launched their ambitious Canoe Against Cancer challenge which saw them buy a second-hand vessel.

Their nine-day adventure starts at Glasson Dock, near Lancaster, where their dad learned to sail as a boy. He became a chef, cooking on private yachts around the world.

The itinerary includes Preston, Burscough, Manchester, Rochdale, Halifax, Wakefield and into the Humber.

A complex route involves four tidal rivers, canals, bridges, tunnels and aqueducts.

Tom, from South Park, Macclesfield, said: “Our training’s gone well and we’re up to doing the distance.

“We’ve had a few emotional training days learning about battling currents and head winds. I broke a paddle but manufacturers Bending Branches, who’d already donated two new ones, kindly sent a replacement.

“A tandem canoe needs synergy to balance up power and steering. We swap over in the front and back every 90 minutes.

“The front is effectively the engine and needs to put in a steady stroke rate, while the back does the steering.

“We’ve put in countless hours and miles of practice training on local canals and two blokes in a canoe in all weathers do draw attention.

“Lots of people have stopped for a chat, including two ladies last weekend who donated to the Hospice.

“It’s been nice hearing other stories about how the Hospice has been important for their loved ones and the feeling of community hospices create.

“It shows just how well-loved and how valued the Hospice is within the community and why it’s so important to make sure it’s there for everyone else when, or if, they need it.

“The hardest thing is going to be keeping up momentum day after day as fatigue builds up. We’ll be paddling for eight to nine hours each day, covering 22 miles on average.”

*  To sponsor the brothers email or visit


Alpha Mortgages sponsor Canoe Against Cancer brothers

Mortgage adviser Alison Darby will never forget how East Cheshire Hospice helped her family shortly after it opened in 1988.

Her auntie Jeanne Gleave, from Prestbury, was one of the charity’s first patients and died of breast cancer, aged 51.

So when Alison heard about Tom and George Bentham’s canoe challenge she decided to sponsor them through her company Alpha Mortgages.

Tom Bentham with Alison Darby, sponsor of a canoe challenge.  

Alison, from Adlington, said: “I’ve got a special place in my heart for the Hospice which was new and quite tiny when my auntie was there.

“I go walking by Macclesfield Canal and my mum’s from Morecambe, near the start of their canoe trip. I’ve also had family members affected by cancer, so it rang a lot of bells for me.

“I had to sponsor the brothers and am proud to do so, even though I don’t know them. Good on them for doing this challenge.

“I lost a parent myself and to have some good come out of it and do something in their honour is great. I know how proud their father would be. He obviously lives on in them.”

Alpha Mortgages is a corporate supporter for the Hospice, with Alison undertaking fundraising activities for several charities.

Other sponsors of the canoe adventure are Card Industry Professionals, Pacific West, MHM Pensions and Renforth and Goddard.

* An afternoon tea will be held at Hollin House Hotel, Bollington, on Sunday, Oct 2, to mark the end of the trip. For more details contact Hannah Bentham on 07964 701027.