June 2023 - East Cheshire Hospice

Hospice IPU Sister completes Skydive

Sky diver Pippa Williams hopes other nurses aim high like her by joining East Cheshire Hospice.

Macclesfield-born Pippa raised almost £900 when she leapt out of a plane over Shropshire in a tandem parachute jump.

Pippa about to take the plunge.

Pippa is ward sister at the charity which is on the lookout for qualified nurses and health care assistants/support workers.

Daredevil antics are optional, but Pippa’s plunge with 23 other Hospice staff and supporters who raised £14,000 shows the family atmosphere there.

“It’s a privilege and an honour to work at the Hospice. It’s a warm, friendly, calm environment and we can give time to patients in their final days or weeks and support their families.

A leap into the unknown … Pippa on a mission to raise funds for the Hospice.

“We have vacancies at the moment and I would recommend joining a nursing team brilliantly supported across all areas, with phenomenal backing from the community.

“I did a sky dive for the first time as I wanted to give something back to a Hospice hopefully there for years to come for all of us if necessary.

“A parachute jump was on my bucket list. It was a glorious day and the only time I got nervous was when the door opened.”

Pippa after her sky dive.

Pippa has worked at the Hospice for nine years, the last six in her current role.

Husband Adam, son Marcus (7) and daughter Anya (2) saw the jump, along with mum Helen, who works at the Hospice, and mother-in-law Joy.

* To apply for a vacancy at the Hospice visit www.echospice.org.uk/our-current-vacancies

Hazel Buckley and her handmade goods story

Great grandmother Hazel Buckley is one of the oldest East Cheshire Hospice volunteers and one of the youngest at heart.

Hazel was 90 in February, but shows no sign of slowing down her knitting which she has done since she was seven.

Hazel, from Tytherington, helps by making handmade goods which raise funds for the charity through donations.

Knitter Hazel with great granddaughters Poppy (left), Amber and Olive (front).

Hazel said: “I’ve got a badge that says ‘When I’m sitting I’m knitting’ and that describes me perfectly. I knit whenever I’m watching television.

“I couldn’t not knit. My age is just a date on a piece of paper isn’t it? My brain is just as good as ever.

“My fingers are a bit arthritic and going a bit knobbly but they keep working. I’ll keep knitting because I enjoy the challenge.

“I don’t need a pattern and can make them up. I can crochet but prefer knitting and anything that involves using my fingers. I also paint and won second prize in a show in Sutton.”

Hazel was encouraged to knit by her mother Alice and was taught the craft at school.

Hazel Buckley with a selection of her handiwork.

She has volunteered for the Hospice for three years since going to a lunch there. Her handiwork used to be sold in a Macclesfield shop, earning enough to pay her grocery bills.

She makes gifts of all shapes and sizes, including matching Grief Bears and hearts, Easter humpties and festive designs and knits bespoke items to order.

Hazel said: “The Hospice does such a wonderful job. I don’t know how people can possibly manage without them.

“Staff are so nice and I’ve met quite a few of them. They’re lovely and devoted.”

Hazel and daughter Claire covered a bike with knitting to promote a bikeathon at Just Drop In, a centre where her other daughter Jain raised funds with a Kilimanjaro climb.

The bike Hazel and daughter Claire knitted over

Hazel has five grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and was a GPO telephonist. She also worked as a summer temp on the main switchboard at Manchester Airport, situated in the Ops tower.

Hazel added: “It was the best job I ever had. It was exciting, especially with the buzz of working at the airport.

“The switchboard room was right on the side of the runway. We saw the planes coming in and dealt with flight inquiries as well as emergencies.”

S&G Response take on charity challenge

Four cyclists riding through four countries in as many days covering a distance of 444 kilometres.

No wonder Nick Stone, Jonathan Spencer, Sean Harper and Tom Healey have been dubbed the fantastic four.

They are aiming to raise £10,000 for East Cheshire Hospice in memory of Tom’s uncle Brian who died of oesophageal cancer in 2009, aged 59.

Tom, from Sutton, said: “My uncle spent his last few days in the Hospice and my parents know friends who’ve been in there.

“Mum organised coffee mornings in aid of the charity, so as a group we decided to support them as they’re local and have such a big impact.”

The quartet start in Calais on July 1 before cycling to Bruges, Maastrict and Cologne.

The cyclists work for S&G Response, a Wilmslow-based outsourcing insurance company founded by Nick, from Adlington, who won a ‘Giving It Back to Charity’ award at a recent insurance industry event.

Cyclists (from left) Nick Stone, Tom Healey and Johnathan Spencer. 

Nick said: “It’s going to be physically and mentally draining, but will be well worth it, especially knowing Tom’s story and why we’re doing the ride.

“We’re all semi competent cyclists and it’s a pretty cool thing to do together.”

Father and son Chris and Bradley Gibson, and Glenn Taylor, who all work for S&G, make up the support team, while colleagues are also travelling across the Channel to cheer on the group.

Sean Harper who is undertaking his fifth long-distance ride.

Motor vehicle engineer Jonathan devised the route. He said: “One thing I’ve discovered is that Google maps doesn’t work in Germany. We’re using tried and tested cycle paths where possible and have chosen a scenic route.

“We’ve all still got the fire in our bellies from our last charity ride from London to Amsterdam in 2019 and it’s great that our company is very charity oriented.”

This will be Sean Harper’s fifth long-distance ride. He said: “I started cycling after a football injury in 2010 and didn’t fancy running.

“The furthest was Blackpool to Paris and they were all organised rides but this could be tougher.”

Office manager and Executive Assistant Erica Boland said: “Cycling 280 miles in four days will be an epic challenge after a train and ferry to Calais.

“It’s a charity close to our hearts with family and friends of several employees benefitting from Hospice support. Every penny donated will help us reach our ambitious fundraising target.”

* To donate visit justgiving.com/page/fantasticfourfundraising.

Second Pie and Pint event this September!

A tasty pie and a traditional pint – the perfect ingredients for a scenic stroll with East Cheshire Hospice.

The Hospice is holding its second Pie and Pint walk, sponsored by Holdcroft, on Saturday, September 16, from 10 am.

The 10k walk starts and ends at Macclesfield Rugby Union Football Club, visiting Over Alderley, Mottram St Andrew, Prestbury and Dale Brow.

Early bird tickets available until June 30 are £25 for adults and £15 for under 18s who must be accompanied by an adult, or have written permission. Tickets provide a non-alcoholic drink for those under age.

Walkers at the first Pie and Pint event.

Challenge Events Coordinator Bethan Wade said: “The event is back by popular demand after we ran it for the first time last year.

“Walkers are urged to wear suitable clothing and footwear such as walking boots and waterproofs and not trainers as the route is challenging.

“Well-behaved dogs are welcome although there are multiple stiles on the route which some dogs may struggle with. The route isn’t accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Fundraiser Claire Gorton (left) and volunteer Catherine Atkinson.

“The entrance fee only covers the cost of the event, so we ask that everyone tries to raise at least £50 sponsorship or make a donation when booking.

“All entrants receive a custom pint glass, hi vis jacket and, of course, a pie and a pint at the end. There are three flavours – meat and potato, chicken balti and cheese and onion – plus vegan, gluten free options.”

* To enter visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/pie-and-pint/

East Cheshire Hospice nurse becomes a video star

One of the newest nurses at East Cheshire Hospice has become a video star.

Lucy Roberts features in a ‘Day in the Life’ film explaining what it’s like to work on the ward.

The five-minute story is being sent to businesses to promote the charity’s 500 Club in which members pledge to raise £500 a year.

The camera started rolling within weeks of Lucy starting her job in January, shortly after she qualified.

Nurse Lucy Roberts during filming for an East Cheshire Hospice video.

Lucy studied a two-year masters degree at Chester University after working in care homes and getting a degree in health care.

Lucy said: “I did a 12-week placement here and fell in love with the Hospice. I quickly realised I wanted to work here and nurses and health care assistants encouraged me to apply when a vacancy came up.

“I seemed to fit in, they knew me and I felt supported. Ward clerk Julia Wild then put my name forward when the video idea came up.

“I wasn’t sure I could do it at first but knew it’d be good experience and really enjoyed making the film away from my shifts.”

Lucy narrates the film, giving an insight into her job. She said: “If you ask a nurse what a typical working day is like they’d probably just laugh at you.

“No day is typical in the health care world. Every day is different.

Morning briefing… Lucy with one of the student nurses.

“Most people enter the nursing profession to help heal patients, but for me it’s an honour to care for patients with terminal illnesses so they can pass away comfortably surrounded by their family.

“My shift starts early at 7.30 am and can finish 14 hours later. Our building is light, airy, full of smiles with a feeling of being at home.

“It can be a really stressful time for families so when we welcome a new patient and their family to the hospice our aim is to take as much anxiety away as possible.

“A big part of my day is talking to patients and family members about the care we provide.”

* For more details on joining the 500 Club and to watch the video visit  eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/500-club

Email queries to lisa.ball@echospice.org.uk.

Lucy Roberts tells an emotional family story

Lucy Roberts tells an emotional family story in the promotional video.

East Cheshire Hospice hope the powerful personal account encourages businesses and other groups to join its 500 club.

Lucy said in the film: “Today a really lovely family has just lost their grandpa. Charlie had four lovely grandchildren who all came to visit.

Lucy checks a patient’s medication chart.

“They were so thankful and pleased he could spend his last few days at the Hospice. We gave the kids one of our special memory teddies and books to help with their grieving process.

“The teddies are handmade by our volunteers and Charlie had a matching one that will be buried with him.

“This didn’t just comfort the children but it also helped the parents who were nervous about bringing their children to visit their poorly grandpa.

“We care for families like Charlie’s daily and without the support from our local community we simply couldn’t do this.

Arriving for work… Lucy prepares to go on the ward.

“We help them make those special memories in a calm and peaceful environment, whether it’s a phone call to the concerned carer, a difficult question answered compassionately, or a final uninterrupted and peaceful conversation with a loved one.

“The Hospice know every single minute counts when facing an illness and we’re dedicated to enabling families to spend those precious moments together.

“Your donation of £500 could provide a weekend of care to families likes Charlie’s, making all the difference at a time when it matters the most.”

Dementia Companion John Gray shares his story

Volunteer John Gray is hoping others follow in his footsteps by becoming a dementia companion for East Cheshire Hospice.

The retired engineer spends two hours a week going for a walk and a coffee with a dementia patient.

The Hospice needs more volunteers and John has a simple message for anyone tempted to help.

East Cheshire Hospice volunteer John Gray.

He said: “Give it a go. I find it extremely rewarding and it’s nice to give something back.”

John only started six months ago once renovations on his new home in Macclesfield were finished. He and wife Susan moved from St Helens to Macclesfield to be closer to their daughter.

He said: “When we were finally settled in the house I thought it was time I did some volunteering and contacted the Hospice.

“The man I go out with has become a friend. His short-term memory isn’t good but we manage fine and he brings his dog along. We always fit a coffee stop into our route.

“The break gives his wife who cares for him valuable respite and an opportunity to do something else for a couple of hours.

“I’d recommend getting involved and I know the Hospice are keen to recruit more dementia companions.

“The support from the Hospice is fantastic. They help you every step of the way.” John is also a ward volunteer for the charity.

Angela O’Mahony, from the Hospice volunteering team, said: “We’re looking for friendly, caring people willing to give a few hours every week to offer companionship to someone experiencing dementia. Volunteers are given full training and support.

“Caring for someone can be a tough job and wearing no matter how much we love them. Both the carer and the person experiencing dementia will benefit from a change of scene once a week.

“Every case varies with different circumstances, but it’s about connecting with that person. Our volunteers love working with people, it’s interesting and rewarding.

“We rely heavily on our volunteers and without them the Hospice wouldn’t be here.”

* Contact Angela on 01625 610364, or email angela.omahony@echospice.org.uk

National Volunteers Week has been running in the first week of June. The Hospice has a team of 375 volunteers who do a range of roles working at the charity’s headquarters and in the community.

Prestbury Pharmacy fundraises for East Cheshire Hospice

A chemist shop has joined forces with craft makers to come up with the right prescription for East Cheshire Hospice.

More than £7,600 has been raised from customer donations at Prestbury Village Pharmacy over three years.

Angela Ball, dispenser at Prestbury Village Pharmacy, which supports craft makers.

In exchange, shoppers pick one of countless items made by crafters with proceeds donated to the charity.

The volunteers started off as a group making scrubs for healthcare professionals in Covid and then turned their attention to face masks.

Founder Sheila MacLaren said: “When the need for face coverings diminished we decided it would be nice to stay together as a group.

“We could also meet face-to-face after restrictions were lifted, only ever having waved at each other from a distance previously.

“With the help of Ruth Moyes and Angela Raval, we morphed into a craft group and broadened it to more than just sewing. We now also knit, crotchet, make cards and patchwork. We also make novelties at Easter and Christmas.

Sheila MacLaren (left) with fellow members of Prestbury Craft Group.

“We’re extremely grateful to pharmacist David Wood and his staff for allowing us to put items on display with proceeds collected in a tin.”

Around 15-20 of the group meet every Wednesday from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm at the Legh Arms. Coffee, tea, cake, crafting and chatting are on the agenda.

David said: “We’re a community pharmacy, so are delighted to help how we can. The craft group make some amazing designs all for a good cause which is our fantastic Hospice.”