June 2024 - East Cheshire Hospice

The first garden party to mark the new Memory Tree at East Cheshire Hospice

The first garden party to mark the new Memory Tree at East Cheshire Hospice was a major success.

Guests honoured the memory of lost loved ones as they enjoyed afternoon tea while relaxing in the Hospice gardens.

Even the rain stayed away for an event destined to become a regular occasion on the charity’s calendar.

Almost 80 names are now engraved on leaves dedicated to the memory of someone special, even if that person has no link to the charity.

The Hospice is encouraging more people to join the scheme. Subscription 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 memorial, attended the garden party.

Guests at the Memory Tree garden party at East Cheshire Hospice.

Rachel Allcock, the charity’s Income Generation Director, explained to guests that it now costs £9,362 a day to run the Hospice which receives 21 per cent of funding from government.

She said: “The Hospice continues to expand and we’ve recently broadened our dementia and Hospice @Home services.

“The new Sunflower Living Well Centre has also just reopened and it is thanks to the generosity of supporters like you that we’re able to make such improvements.

“Thank you to the loved ones who you honour on our Memory Tree. They would be proud to see their names up there and I’m sure they would be proud to know that your support will help others just like them.”

The Memory Tree, which was unveiled last October, is situated in a discreet peaceful setting and easily accessible without entering the main Hospice building on Millbank Drive.

Amy Williams (left) and Beth England from the Hospice beside the Memory Tree.

The metal tree, made by sculptor Christopher Townsend, was created as a way of marking the 35th anniversary of the charity which cared for its first patient in February 1988.

* 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.

St Dunstan’s have been busy fundraising for East Cheshire Hospice

Drinking beer was optional for walkers taking part in a traditional pub crawl across Cheshire countryside.

But having a good time in aid of a worthy cause was compulsory for hikers in the popular Langley 11.

With 100 tickets sold, more than 140 walkers raised £1,321 for East Cheshire Hospice from the latest trek which started at St Dunstan’s Inn in Langley.

Ticket holders enjoyed bacon baps giving them energy for a 15-mile hike through Macclesfield Forest, with a shorter route preferred by some participants.

The longer hike visited 11 pubs, including the Stanley Arms, Wild Boar Inn and Crag Inn which are now closed.

St Dunstan’s has been owned for the last 13 years by husband-and-wife William and Sarah-Kate Cantlie.

Sarah-Kate said: “The walk takes place twice a year and we usually have between 100 and 160 walkers with many picking up tickets in advance and contributing £11 which is donated to the Hospice.

“The route still goes past the three pubs no longer open. Stops are made at the Leather Smithy, Hanging Gate Inn, Ryles Arms, Sutton Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Church House, Sutton Hall and the Kings Head.

“Many people buy a drink en route and it’s a nice way for them to support these businesses and the Hospice.”

AstraZeneca will match fund the donation, bringing the total to £2,642.

The next Langley 11 is on Saturday, September 7, although walkers can get more fresh air – and alcohol – by undertaking the Sutton 8 which starts at the Church House on Saturday, June 29.

Family and friends of the late Brian Barker kept their word by raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

Family and friends of the late Brian Barker kept their word by raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

Brian was a long-standing volunteer for the charity, helping at its Christmas tree collection.

His last involvement in January came two months before he died, aged 77.

Son-in-law Darren Smith cycled a million metres – around 660 miles – in May to raise funds.

Cyclist Darren Smith with wife Sammy, son Seb and daughter Abi.

Business partner Carl Atkinson ran the Manchester half marathon, while other donations brought the total for the Hospice to £3,231.

Darren, from Macclesfield, said: “Brian loved helping the Hospice and enjoyed his role with the tree collection every year. He asked us not to forget about the Hospice and we don’t break promises.

“I cycled 1,000 kilometres within three weeks across parts of Cheshire served by the Hospice. It was a massive effort, but worth it.”

Darren fitted his cycling around work for Manuka Money, a Gawsworth-based mortgage broker where he is director.

Carl Atkinson, Manuka Money head of marketing Alison Barber and Sammy Smith and husband Darren prepare to hand the cheque to East Cheshire Hospice.   

“I was so saddle sore I felt like John Wayne at the end of it. The longest ride was 120 kilometres in one day.

“I had booked a family holiday in the Lake District for the last week of May and didn’t fancy cycling up steep hills there, so that was an incentive to complete the challenge early.”

From left, Carl Atkinson and fellow fundraisers Emma Wilkinson-Hall, Chris Hughes and Sam Corlett at the Manchester Run.  

Darren intended cycling to Belgium but cancelled the trip after Brian’s sudden death. Instead, he covered the same distance locally.

* To donate visit www.justgiving.com/page/manukamoney-eastcheshirehospice

Newspaper photograph captures a unique moment

An old black and white newspaper photograph captures a unique moment in the lives of grandparents Christopher and Christine Jones.

The couple were babes in arms on the image taken in a maternity unit on Christmas Day 1954.

But not only was Chris there on the day his future wife was born – he was also by Christine’s side when she died 69 years later.

A remarkable twist of fate for a couple who were married for 49 years, mostly spent living in Macclesfield.

Christine and Chris Jones celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

Christine died of bowel cancer at East Cheshire Hospice in January, two years after diagnosis.

Her life will be celebrated by close friend Kathryn Cronin, a florist who has a special installation at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park from Wednesday, July 17, to Sunday July 21.

Her display called ‘Threshold – On Life and Living’ will raise awareness of the Hospice’s work and its motto ‘where people come to live.’

Flashback to Christmas Day 1954. Christine held by her mum Margaret on the right of the picture. Husband Chris is held by a man with an eyepatch in front of the tree.

Christine appeared in the local paper because she was a Christmas Day baby, like her younger sister Carol.

Husband Chris was born prematurely three months earlier in the same Aberystwyth hospital and was still in the baby unit because his brother had mumps, preventing him from going home.

Dr Jones said: “I think it’s quite unusual that I dovetailed Christine’s life. The photograph shows I was there the day she was born and I was there the day she passed, holding her hand in the Hospice being looked after wonderfully by the staff there.

“We went to the same secondary school and met at a sixth form dance. About two years later we had a chat about Christmas Day babies and that’s when the story came out.”

Christine helped at a playgroup at St John’s Primary School and became a classroom assistant when she joined Westlands and Eaton Bank in Congleton.

Son Paul and daughter Kathryn, and grandchildren Frankie (12), Florence (9), Violet (6) and Eden (6) were also grateful for the way the Hospice cared for Christine.

Christine and Chris with grandchildren (from left) Florence, Violet and Frankie in 2022.  

Dr Jones said: “The Hospice were superb and made you feel like you were the only patient there.

“What brought it home was when we went to collect Christine’s belongings after she passed. Another patient arrives like we did two weeks earlier so the system carries on, but also you feel like family; they were so kind, calming and reassuring.”

The countdown is under way to Art Fair Cheshir

The countdown is under way to Art Fair Cheshire which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

The biennial event in aid of East Cheshire Hospice runs from Thursday Sept 26 until Thursday Oct 3 at Macclesfield Town Hall.

The exhibition, sponsored by AstraZeneca, will showcase work from more than 50 artists who donate a percentage of sales to the Hospice.

Art Fair Cheshire is looking for volunteers to help run the exhibition which has raised around £450,000 for the Hospice.

They will continue the good work started by grandmother Anna Rains who had the idea for an art exhibition.

Volunteer Anna Rains who helped inspire Art Fair Cheshire.

Back in 1998, she chaired a fundraising appeal to mark the Hospice’s 10th anniversary.

The dedication of Anna and her fellow pioneers provided the financial help to build the Sunflower Centre which remains an important hub for patient care.

Indeed, it was fitting that Anna and her original fundraisers attended the reopening of the refurbished centre a few weeks ago.

Their vision and drive provided the inspiration for the initial project with the art exhibition a key fundraiser.

This year’s displays will be organised in-house by the Hospice after previous co-chairs Georgie Johnson and Steven Dalton stepped aside after running the last two exhibitions on a voluntary basis.

Hospice Community and Events Fundraiser Claire Gorton said: “Georgie and Steven did a wonderful job with the support of volunteers and we’re so grateful to them all.

Macclesfield artist Francesca de Campora with her work at Art Fair Cheshire.

“Art Fair Cheshire has established a superb reputation and our aim is to build on that success. We want to organise a unique event which showcases art and celebrates community and giving.

“We want to further strengthen its links to the Hospice and what is happening here, including involving our Memory Tree unveiled last year.

“In addition to a fantastic exhibition, we’ll have a pop up café, artist tours and talks. Artists of all ages will hopefully take part, including school and college students.

Visitors enjoy works of art at the last exhibition in 2022.

”The Assembly Gallery will feature original art and sculptures, while the Capesthorne Gallery will exhibit jewellery, photography, glassware, ceramics, millinery, willow weaving as well as paintings and prints.

“We want it to be accessible and will need plenty of volunteers to get involved with the many different aspects of such a large project.”

The event is open from 10.30 am until 4 pm each day. For more details and to find out how to exhibit or volunteer visit www.theartfair.org.uk

The Hospice has retained its Navajo Charter status

East Cheshire Hospice has received further approval for its work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (plus) community.

The Hospice has retained its Navajo Charter status, an equality mark supported by LGTBQ+ community networks across Cheshire and Merseyside.

The Hospice partners with two other charities – St Luke’s in Winsford and Hospice of The Good Shepherd in Backford – to ensure end-of-life care is fully inclusive.

They appointed Ellen Coleman as lead focusing on equality, diversity and inclusiveness for staff and volunteers.

East Cheshire has now been re-issued with its Charter mark following a detailed review which showed it successfully met the needs of patients, staff and volunteers.

The Hospice trained five champions to increase staff awareness of barriers to health care.

Sarah Dale BEM, Clinical Director of Quality and Innovation at the Hospice, said: “We were given an action plan two years ago and had to show that we’re an organisation which is invested in making change and ensuring our services are more accessible.

Sarah Dale BEM, Clinical Director of Quality and Innovation at East Cheshire Hospice.

“We needed to show we had a clear equality and diversity strategy which links in with the Hospice aims and objectives.

“Ellen has been pivotal helping us achieve our goals.

“This new endorsement signifies good practice, commitment and a knowledge of the specific needs, issues and barriers facing the LGBTQ+ community.

“One such challenge is use of the right language in an appropriate way.

“Our progress has been recognised and equality, diversity and inclusivity remain at the top of our agenda.”

A determined family honour their memories and raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice

The last 12 months have been a year to forget for Viv Denny and her siblings after losing their brother and mother.

But they were determined to honour their memories by climbing Mount Snowdon with friends, raising £3,460 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Gary Paluk, a self-taught software developer and programmer, spent a month in the Hospice where he died on Christmas Eve, aged 45.

Their mum Christine Barnett, a retired retail assistant, passed away four months earlier, having suffered heart failure unexpectedly.

Viv said: “We did the walk to remember them both. It was an awful year and we never really had a chance to grieve mum’s loss because we were on this journey with Gary.

“It was a huge shock when he was diagnosed with colon cancer in August 2021. He survived emergency surgery and had a further operation to remove tumours from his liver.

Gary with wife Neung, sisters Sharron and Viv and brother Ash at East Cheshire Hospice.

“It was his wish to return to Thailand, his second home, for a holiday. However, once the cancer spread he wasn’t able to travel. His wife Neung is from there and he wanted to say his goodbyes to her family.

“We didn’t think he’d be here for his birthday last November, but he proved us all wrong again. He then went into the Hospice and they gave us all another month together.

“What an amazing place. You don’t realise it until you’re in their care and see exactly what they do.

“They’re incredible. His wife and nine-year-old son Isaac were able to stay overnight in an adjoining room to be with Gary. The Hospice make a difference to the whole family, not just the patient.

“Nothing was too much trouble. The weekend before Gary passed away they laid on a buffet and drinks in the family room with a visit from Father Christmas.

“The memories are precious to us all. Isaac also received three bears with his dad’s voice recorded in them, which will forever be a precious gift.

Snowdon climbers (from left), Neung Paluk, Jenny Smallwood, Isaac Paluk, Jayne Woosey, Viv Denny, Sharron Whittaker, Ash Paluk and Donna Denny. 

“Once Hospice staff know your name, they don’t forget you. Many people must pass through those doors, but they know who you are and who you’re connected to. The care is personal.”

Friends joined Viv’s sister Sharron, brother Ash, Neung and Isaac for the Snowdon challenge. Isaac did not make it to the top, but he has promised to do so when he is older to make his dad proud.

* To donate visit justgiving.com/page/vivian-denny-1711287669619

Next stop half a million pounds!

Next stop half a million pounds! That is the promise from fundraisers What Women Want after a triumphant and emotional fashion show.

The five girls raised £7,000 from the event, taking the overall total donated to East Cheshire Hospice over the last 15 years to a staggering £410,000.

Models who have all experienced cancer took to the catwalk to entertain guests at Tytherington High School.

There was a special surprise too for the WWW quintet who received a lifetime achievement award from the then Macclesfield mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock.

The What Women Want group with Cllr Chris Wilcock. From left, Julie Barnes, Jayne Carter, Jo Millward, Jill Harding and Elaine Burgess.

It was a deserved reward for Julie Barnes, Jo Millward, Jill Harding, Elaine Burgess and Jayne Carter whose amazing dedication has raised such a prolific amount for the Hospice from various fashion shows, balls and bingo nights.

Jayne, the group’s chair, said: “Our fourth fashion show was another fabulous occasion. It was so humbling to see all the models in action. They all either have cancer, are in recovery from the disease or have someone who has passed away from it.

“Their courage was amazing and thank them for putting themselves in the spotlight.”

Olliers Photography captured the models strutting their stuff in clothing provided by SOS Fashions and John Douglas. The event was sponsored by Lynne Stevens from STD Developments.

The work goes on for the WWW women. Jayne said: “The next stop is half a million pounds and we’ll continue doing our fundraising events.

“We were thrilled to receive our civic award from the mayor to cap a wonderful night.”