October 2023 - East Cheshire Hospice

The first subscriber to the Memory Tree

The first subscriber to the Memory Tree scheme was Susan Washburn who was happy to support East Cheshire Hospice.

Susan will never forget how the charity helped her mum Mae Crandle who died in January, aged 89.

Susan said: “Mum was an inpatient for more than two weeks. She would have liked to have come home from hospital, but it would have been too difficult to look after her.

“Hospital was great, but the Hospice was a big change and staff could spend more time with mum.

“Mum loved looking out into the courtyard here and I think the Memory Tree is a brilliant idea. The gardens are so nice.”

Susan stayed in an adjoining room, supported by daughters Flora and Katie and family friend Nathan Azubuike.

Susan Washburn and daughter Katie by the Memory Tree.

Mae, from Glasgow, worked on the computer help desk at the National Nuclear Corporation in Knutsford.

Susan said: “I could hear nurses talking to her and it was just like she was their mum. It was just incredible and so perfect.

“But it wasn’t just the nursing staff. Everyone was so helpful, including volunteers and cleaners.

“You can take home your leaf after a year, but we’ll keep it on the tree forever.”

Daughter Katie said: “I wasn’t sure I’d want to come back here because it was where my gran died, but I’ve lots of good memories because of how kind the nurses were.

“They got to know her and us and really cared about her. It’s nice to be back.”

Memory Tree official opening

The first names have been engraved on leaves on a Memory Tree in the gardens of East Cheshire Hospice.

Each leaf is dedicated to the memory of someone special, even if they have no link to the charity.

The metal sculpture was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by families who have joined the scheme.

It was held beside the Memory Tree which is located in a discreet peaceful setting and easily accessible without entering the building.

The Hospice is hoping others will follow suit by dedicating leaves to lost loved ones. The subscription cost is £10 a month, or £120 a year.

A total of 400 leaves are available with the name of a loved one engraved along with a message if desired.

Representatives from AstraZeneca, whose employees gifted the new memorial, attended the unveiling.

Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “The Memory Tree is a personal triumph for me. I’ve been with the Hospice for 10 years and when I first came I thought it was something we should have.

AstraZeneca employee representative Katie Morelli cuts the ribbon to open the Memory Tree watched by colleague Guy Camm (left) and Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston and Chair of the Trustee Board Will Spinks.

“I want to thank those who’ve bought inaugural leaves and hopefully their kind gesture will encourage others to do the same to raise vital funds for the Hospice.

“I want to thank the gardeners who’ve created such a special place. We found during Covid that people needed a space to come and enjoy the quiet.

“We couldn’t have a more supportive partner than AstraZeneca who’ve been synonymous with the Hospice since before we existed when we were just a plot of land.”

Guy Camm, AZ’s Macclesfield Campus FM Development Manager, said: “The Memory Tree represents a fantastic long-lasting way to remember those no longer here and we’re privileged to be involved in this project.

“Our relationship with the Hospice goes back many years and there’s a special bond between AZ employees and the charity.

“As charity partners, the Hospice work with integrity and they innovate – the level of care they provide to the local community is unbelievable and we thank you for everything that you do.”

Hospice Chaplain Marion Tugwood said: “Today we dedicate this tree to the memory of those we have loved and lost and we give thanks for those who have facilitated its place here. We rejoice in the memory that our loved ones are still with us.”

* To sign up to the Memory Tree visit www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/memory-tree.

For queries, contact amy.williams@echospice.org.uk or call 01625 665688.

Hospice Chaplain takes on Fire and Ice Walk

East Cheshire Hospice Chaplain Marion Tugwood is the latest to accept the brave challenge of a Fire and Ice Walk.

There are still a few spaces left if you can pluck up the courage to tread on hot coals and broken glass.

There is a choice of one or both challenges on Thursday, November 9, at Macclesfield Rugby Club.

Hospice Chaplain Marion Tugwood who is tackling a Fire and Ice Walk.

Funeral director Richard Morrey persuaded Marion to take part. He said: “I know Marion very well and encouraged her to get out of her high heels and walk on hot coals.”

Marion said: “I’m happy to take up the challenge, especially as the event is about raising funds for the Hospice. In for a penny in for a pound, so I’ll be doing both the Fire and Ice walks.”

Richard did the fire challenge in 2018. He said: “It was wonderful. The coaching instructor was amazing and we felt so invigorated by the end of his talk.

“They explained everything during the safety briefing and said that it won’t hurt and doesn’t burn. The advice is just to follow their simple rules.

Last year’s Fire Walk at East Cheshire Hospice.   


“I’ve watched a couple of You Tube videos of glass walks and trust the staff organising it. I’ll believe everything they tell me.

“It’s a question of mind over matter basically and putting one foot in front of the other and being careful.”

* To enter the Fire and Ice walks visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/fire-and-ice-walk/

Richard Morrey takes on Fire and Ice Walk

Funeral director Richard Morrey sees for himself the care given by East Cheshire Hospice.

The nature of his work with Andrew Smith Funeral Services means he has regular contact with families using its services.

He can also vouch personally, as well as professionally, for the Hospice after his late father Eric was a patient there in 2017.

Plenty of reasons then for Richard to take part in a Fire and Ice Walk in aid of the charity on Thursday, November 9, at Macclesfield Rugby Club, from 6 pm.

Richard said: “The Hospice were very good to me and my family when my father passed away.

Funeral director Richard Morrey.

“He spent three weeks at the Hospice and the care for him, my mum Lynda and the rest of our family was first class.

“I’ve been involved with them since I started in the funeral industry 12 years ago. They’re a wonderful organisation.

“My father was a herdsman and also did a lot of work for the council as a youth leader.

“I also know the care they give to people because I speak to families every day arranging funerals.

“Families who come into the Hospice say the same as me. The care is amazing and I try to encourage as many people as possible to donate to the Hospice or fundraise for them.

“I went to see a gentleman there who wanted to chat through his wishes, and his family were saying how staff rally round and support them. It’s also such a calming environment.”

Andrew Smith Funeral Services is a member of the charity’s 500 Club which means they pledge to raise £500 each year for the Hospice.

Richard Morrey with his certificate after his first Fire Walk. 

Richard, an employee for more than eight years, said: “We’re keen to support the Hospice in every way we can. We know the Hospice is pretty much self-funded for everything that happens there and we want to help.”

Older sister Justine took part in a late-night walk for the Hospice shortly after their father died.

Richard said: “I wanted to up the ante on my sister so I did the Firewalk in 2018 and now I’m looking go one stage further by walking on both glass and fire.”

* To sponsor Richard visit justgiving.com/page/richard-morrey-1690378079152

Rick Pulvertaft’s channel swim success!

Heroic Rick Pulvertaft felt as though he was swimming against the tide for much of his life.

He lost his parents before he was 24 and both older sisters in the last few years.

So swimming the Channel was a personal triumph for Rick, who raised more than £6,700 for East Cheshire Hospice.

His swim from a beach near Dover to headland between Calais and Boulogne almost did not happen.

Full steam ahead … Rick on his 21-mile crossing.  

Bad weather twice left him stranded on shore before he got the go ahead and completed the 21-mile crossing in just under 13 hours.

Rick, from Macclesfield, said: “It was a roller-coaster ride emotionally as I was at the mercy of the weather.

“Twice I went to Kent to be told it was postponed. I was gutted when the organisers said they’d give me my money back.

“In a twist of fate, a window of good weather opened and it was amazing.

“I described it like a victory parade. The sea was like a piece of glass it was so calm.

“I felt so lucky to swim the Channel and was almost in a trance.

Pic 2 – Rick Pulvertaft ready for his Channel swim.

“I didn’t feel any pain despite swinging my arms around for so long. I’d done all the hard work with my training and nutrition over the last two years, so it wasn’t as difficult as I thought.”

The sense of satisfaction was even greater for Rick after his family’s struggle with alcoholism.

His father Dr Tom Pulvertaft (59) died of liver cirrhosis in 1996; he also lost sisters Kate (56) and Janthea (49) to alcoholism, while nephew Kavan died in 2019 after three years in a coma after he tried to take his own life.

Mum Dee (61) was due to enter the Hospice in 2009 but died of skin cancer before she got there.

Rick, a kitchen designer and salesman, said: “Alcohol has devastated my family and it has been hard watching members of my family slowly kill themselves. The feeling of helplessness is even harder.”

Rick turned to drink for many years but will celebrate two years alcohol-free in December.

He said: “I chose to raise money for the Hospice because they were there for us and ready to help. The work they do for the families of loved ones with life-limiting illnesses is a light in this world that needs our help to keep shining.”

To sponsor Rick visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rick-pulvertaft.


East Cheshire Hospice honoured team members at its long-service staff awards

East Cheshire Hospice honoured team members at its first long-service staff awards since Covid.

Lady Alexis Redmond MBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, presented certificates to staff at the celebration event at The Tytherington Club.

Hospice Trustee Board members, including Chair Will Spinks, attended the ceremony, along with Chief Executive Karyn Johnston.

Lady Redmond congratulated staff on their commitment to palliative care, while Will recognised that collectively they had amassed 175 years of service to patients and families.

Sarah Mills, a nurse for more than 20 years and now part of the Hospice @Home bank team, was among recipients.

Sarah Mills (centre) receives her long service award from Lady Redmond MBE, Lord- Lieutenant of Cheshire, and Will Spinks, Chair of the Hospice Trustee Board.

Staff celebrate at the long service awards at Tytherington.

Sunflower Centre nurse Joan-Marie Williams and Loretta Eason, an assistant there after starting as a nurse on the inpatient unit, were recognised for 15 years of service.

Awards for 10 years went to Clinical Co-ordinator Gill Tomlinson; Finance Director Shelley Seabourne and Supporter Care and Lottery Manager Carol Frain.

Reaching five years’ service were:

* Helen Singleton, from the Hospice @Home Rapid Response Service.

* Helena Smith, Voluntary Services and Community Befriending Lead.

* Susan Robinson, Healthcare Assistant.

* Amanda Stell, Finance Officer.

* Hannah George, Hospice @Home Sister.

* Helen Wilkinson, Adult Bereavement Services Lead.

* Jackie Harding, Supporter Care Assistant, Income Generation.

* Caroline Allen, Skills Support HCA.

* Conor Stubbs, Head of IT.

* Lisa Powell, Clinical Co-ordinator.

* April Green, Key Relationships Manager.

* Sharon Hurley, Sunflower Centre development.

* Louise Gorton, Handforth Shop Manager.

Accordionist John Jones was also recognised for fundraising over more than 30 years.

Our new Community and Events team member

Two phone calls the same afternoon brought good news for Sarah Elvin.

First, she was told her application to adopt a puppy Rottweiler had been successful.

Then she found out she had landed a job as a community and events fundraiser with East Cheshire Hospice.

Now she is settled into her new role and 16-week-old Moose is growing quickly.

Sarah Elvin with partner Steven Cox and Moose.

Sarah said: “The Hospice is such a lovely place to work and everyone’s so nice. It’s a lot different to what I thought.

“You think of a Hospice and imagine a dark and sad place, but when I walked in for my interview it was bright and airy with flowers everywhere and pictures and everyone was so smiley and friendly.”

Sarah’s alarm call is her dog. She said: “Moose wakes me at 5.30 am each morning. He’s more than a handful and biting and chewing through everything but easy to train.

“I always wanted a dog and when I worked in hospitality for 13 years the hours weren’t really dog friendly.

Sarah Elvin, who has joined East Cheshire Hospice.

“I saw on Instagram one day that my local RSPCA had six puppies. I thought it was fate, so filled out a form and learned I’d been accepted the same day I had my Hospice interview.

“The Hospice rang me an hour after the RSPCA.”

Sarah was a waitress and became a chef, working in ski resorts and travelled the world before Covid.

She said: “I thought I’d better get a proper ‘grown up’ job so worked in marketing, but realised I wasn’t getting the satisfaction I got in hospitality and that was meeting people.

“I like making a difference to someone’s day. I didn’t want to go back into hospitality as it was too unsociable and when I saw the Hospice job come up and thought this is for me.

“I’m loving my new role. It’s not easy asking people to give up money but when you really believe in the cause it’s not that difficult. People have a lot of emotion for the Hospice and know they’re giving to a good cause.”

Sarah invariably ends her day in her kitchen. “My No 1 hobby is cooking and I spend two or three hours in the kitchen every single night. It’s never just a frozen pizza.

“I make everything from scratch and it’s how I unwind – I love it. Asian food is my speciality. Ramen, dumplings and sushi.”

Pie and Pint Follow Up

A countryside walk for East Cheshire Hospice was blessed with sunshine after a washout last time.

It rained so heavily in 2022 that it resembled a sponsored swim more than a scenic stroll.

But thankfully blues skies greeted this year’s Pie and Pint challenge, sponsored by Holdcroft Motor Group.

 All smiles as walkers prepare to set off.

Organiser Claire Gorton said: “We were lucky with warm and sunny weather after so much rain last time.

“There were so many puddles at the previous event, but it didn’t put off walkers who loyally returned to support us again and we were rewarded with perfect conditions.”

The weather was so severe last time the Hospice switched the event from February to September, with the challenge again ending with a pie and a pint to soothe aching muscles.

Walkers tackle the 10k Pie and Pint challenge. 

Dozens took part in the latest 10k walk, raising more than £6,500, with Hospice mascot Sunny the Dog drawing curious looks from canine friends at the start at Macclesfield Rugby Club.

Claire, Hospice community and events fundraiser, said: “We had all ages taking part and we’re so grateful to everyone – participants, volunteers, the rugby club, Maggie who provided the tasty pies and Holdcroft, our sponsors.

“These events are vital in engaging the local community, raising awareness and funds for the Hospice which receives fewer than 18 per cent of funds from government.

En route through Over Alderley, Mottram St Andrew, Prestbury and Dale Brow.

“That means we must raise more than £7,500 every single day to provide our services free of charge to those in our community.”

Participants were invited to watch Macclesfield’s rugby team in action afterwards.