Challenge Series Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Margaret Steps Out

Margaret Lillis saw her prayers answered when she raised £4,070 for East Cheshire Hospice where she is chaplain.

Her frustration at having to self-isolate during lockdown because she is 72 turned into a mission to help the Hospice.

Margaret’s sponsored walk over 18 consecutive days, using her age as a theme, received huge support as she smashed her £720 target.

Margaret, from Macclesfield, said: “I was gutted to be out of the Hospice at the end of March because of government guidelines and 72 seemed like a punishment.

“I wanted to do something positive so decided to walk 72,000 steps, averaging 4,000 steps a day.

“I walked round the places I know in Macclesfield, but this time there was a real point to my walking and I felt better because I was actually focussed on doing something for the Hospice.

“The good reason behind doing it really urged me on and I was staggered when the money poured in. Suddenly, 72 seemed like a gift rather than a curse!

“I want to publicly thank everyone, near and far, for responding in such an open-hearted way. This has been a hard time for people and money has been short and yet the generosity has been overwhelming.”

Margaret is now back at the Hospice offering the chaplaincy services she has provided for the last six years, the first two in a voluntary capacity.

She said: “It was hard when I was first told I couldn’t visit because I’m in there most days.

“I was concerned about not being able to see the patients and their families but the staff as well because it was a difficult time for them.

“I did write to them every day but obviously I wasn’t able to offer the same kind of support from a distance.

“Chaplaincy is about offering pastoral, spiritual and emotional support to people at the most difficult time of their lives…not only patients but their families as well.

“It was hard not being able to offer that support and be a listening ear for someone  when they were suffering the loss of their loved ones.

“Caring for our patients as well as their families is something we all take extremely seriously at East Cheshire Hospice and I’m grateful to be back there now.”

Chaplain Margaret Lillis who raised £4,070 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Finley’s Fundraising on Foot!

Donations to the Hospice since it was forced to cancel fundraising events have passed the £100,000 mark.

We would like to thank the public for their overwhelming response after revealing we would lose £1m in income due to the national emergency.

However we urge the public to ‘keep up the good work’ with its efforts.

Sports mad Finley Foote, aged 11, is one of many fundraisers showing great community spirit.

Finley Foote enjoying the sight of White Nancy.   

Finley has been exercising during lockdown by running at least two and a half miles each day near his home in Bollington.

He has raised £1,185 for the Hospice in the first week of his challenge, his efforts earning an honourable mention in the weekly Headteacher’s Notes at Tytherington School where he is a pupil.

Finley acted after learning about the cancelled events, including Splash Out which his family were due to take part in again this year.

Mum Sarah said: “It’s such a shame the Hospice is losing this revenue. It’s a wonderful local charity and close to everyone’s hearts.

“Finley hasn’t been able to do many of the activities he enjoys since sports clubs and school closed and he decided to help the Hospice. The sponsorship from friends, teachers and even strangers has been overwhelming and he’ll carry on running until the end of lockdown.

“His stepdad and I have been going out with him and have enjoyed helping him to beat his personal bests on the different routes. He has run a total of 31 miles so far!”

Finley Foote and mum Sarah on one of their runs.

To sponsor Finley visit

Meanwhile, Carl Lamptey, whose wife Sarah died in the Hospice in 2014, has so far raised £11,000 in his fundraising campaign.

Hospice Director Karyn Johnston said: “We’re amazed by the acts of generosity shown by the community during this difficult time. People of all ages are raising funds to help out and our message is to please keep up the good work. We need your support now more than ever.”

The Hospice has streamlined services to cope without the 650 volunteers who normally provide vital help.

It means staff are filling in essential roles while demand for Hospice @Home support has increased. Visits to the inpatients ward are also severely restricted.

If you want to start your own #ECHVirtualChallenge to support the Hospice, go to

Heather Broadbent Home For Now

Heather Broadbent has vowed to complete her round-the-world sailing adventure even though she is now back home on dry land.

The Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race was suspended last month after reaching the Philippines because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Heather’s log book showed she had travelled 27,800 nautical miles and was past the half-way point in her 11-month voyage before the race was halted.

Coincidentally, she has raised just under £28,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where her late husband Adam was a patient.

Heather, from Disley, said: “I’m devastated to have to give up but happy to be back with my family. The race will hopefully resume next February and I can continue to raise money for the Hospice.

“I’d love to reach my target of £40,000 which would be a pound for every mile eventually sailed and it’d be wonderful if people can still donate.

“The first we knew about the virus was when crew members received messages from home asking if we were still going to stop in China.

“We made a detour to the Philippines where we were held in quarantine on a pontoon for three days under armed guard before we were flown home.”

Heather has a host of memories. She said: “It’s been an incredible adventure and more intense and much harder than I anticipated.

“I’ve loved and hated it in equal measures. I was lonely and felt miserable at times and it was physically demanding with a relentless routine. You see people at their most raw and there’s no hiding from it in such a confined space on a 70-foot yacht.

“However, there were so many highlights and I’ve made friends for life, people I’d never have met otherwise.

“Who would have thought that a 51-year-old housewife from Cheshire would become friends with a 31-year-old Scottish rigger?

“As we all ate roast beef out of plastic tubs on deck on Christmas Day with our skipper dressed as Father Christmas some 500 dolphins jumped around the boat. It was absolutely jaw dropping.

“I loved Cape Town. It was vibrant and friendly and I’m looking forward to going back. The best thing about being home was seeing my family, climbing into my own bed and not using a toilet angled at 45 degrees.

* To sponsor Heather visit Funds will support our Hospice @Home service.

Heather Broadbent during her epic voyage.

Stay In And Go All Out!

Running, cycling, baking, dancing or singing…examples of activities that will help East Cheshire Hospice during the virus crisis.

The Hospice is urging the public to join its Virtual Challenge – which has the slogan ‘stay in and go all out’ – as it tries to raise £1m.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to visit its website to register their own fundraising challenges for his new initiative.

The appeal is being made amid the Covid-19 pandemic which will result in lost revenue of around £1m for the Hospice from cancelled events.

Action from last year’s Splash Out which is one of the fundraising events cancelled by East Cheshire Hospice.

Events Assistant Bethan Wade said: “We realise it’s a difficult time for everyone, but with time on their hands our Virtual Challenge is a simple and easy way to raise money for the Hospice.

“It could be a run round the garden, baking a cake, or even a London to Paris bike ride for anyone who might have an exercise bike and can perhaps build their daily outdoor exercise into the journey.

“There are many ways of raising money and it doesn’t have to be a sports activity. For instance, it could be a karaoke session, a danceathon or a quiz.”

Bethan Wade, Events Assistant at East Cheshire Hospice.

Community Fundraising Manager Carley Macey is organising the first Hospice Virtual Quiz on Friday, April 17, (7.30 pm) and has set up a Virtual Balloon Race this weekend.

Balloons, costing £3 each, are launched from Jerusalem on Easter Sunday and the one which travels the furthest in a straight line in a week wins £500. Second prize is an Apple iPad and 10 runners up each collect £10 book tokens.

Balloons will follow a simulated flight pattern based on the actual weather during the race. Supporters can buy as many balloons as they wish and the leading 100 balloons can be tracked via the race homepage. Enter at

The Hospice had received more than £40,000 in donations in the first 10 days since it was forced to cancel its fundraising events.

Bethan said:  “We’ve had an amazing response so far, but this total is just a fraction of the revenue we’ve lost. The virus has had a major impact on the Hospice but we know the community will get behind us.”

Patient care is unaltered thanks to dedicated nursing staff and healthcare assistants who are using tablets and phones to link up patients as family visits are now severely restricted.

Lucy is a Challenge Champion!

Lucy Coppack is taking part in #ChallengeEastCheshire this year and absolutely smashing it!

Lucy was ready to run the Wilsmlow Half Marathon at the weekend… until it got cancelled! But that didn’t stop Lucy as she decided to brave the weather and run it on her own anyway!

At a time when so many of our income streams from fundraising events are running dry, it’s really important that people like Lucy find a way to keep fundraising for us. Thank you Lucy!

Please sponsor Lucy on JustGiving at

This is how her day went…


“I was all prepared for the race, mentally and physically, had all my kit laid out, breakfast prepped, eaten and drank lots in preparation the days leading up to the half marathon. But when I woke up on Sunday morning at 7am I saw the text from the Wilmslow running festival team saying it had been cancelled due to Covid-19.

I was so gutted as I was so prepared, so I messaged my family and decided I was going to do it anyway.

So I posted some videos on social media explaining my plan…

So off I set on my 13.1 mile run, through Langley and Sutton and on the canal to Congleton and back!

The conditions were awful! It started hailing and raining on the way and the canal was sooo muddy (see pictures) I was soaking wet, then it was time to do it all again… so on my way back I was trying not to fall over… didn’t succeed as I fell over 3 times!

I was fine. Just muddy. Very muddy and wet.

Finally came to the canal in Sutton and jumped off and back up a big hill home!

I managed it though and am uploading my race, time and distance to Wilmslow running festival website so I still get my medal and t-shirt.

More to the point, whilst I was running I had people messaging me and donating as I continued the run!

I’m now at £970 for this race alone plus a £250 cheque from my work.

So, with this and my other JustGiving account and my other cheque from work last year I’m at £2301 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Needless to say, that’s not it as my aim is to raise £7500 – a day’s running cost for the Hospice. So, a bit of rest now as my other races have been postponed until autumn which is good – more time to train.”


If you are able, please sponsor Lucy at:


Trek Sahara and Challenge 2020

Scaling Saharan sand dunes in scorching temperatures and camping under the stars.

This Moroccan adventure is the next overseas challenge we’re organising.

The 50 km trek from March 20-27 next year is one of several major events on the our fundraising calendar.

There is something for everyone in a packed events calendar in 2020. Splash Out returns on Sunday, July 6, while a Firewalk is on Friday November 6.

In addition, the Challenge Yourself series lets the public raise funds from their own fundraising initiatives.

Events Assistant Bethan Wade said:  “The events organised by the Hospice are always popular and we’ve drawn up a varied programme to suit all tastes. These community events are a chance for supporters to have a great time and raise money to care for patients.

“In addition, many people do their own thing whether it’s running a 10k or a sponsored bike ride and these Challenge Yourself ideas mean so much to us.” Visit for more details.

A Saharan Trek Information Evening will take place here at the Hospice on Tuesday, March 10, from 6 pm when Different Travel and Bethan will explain more.

The trip costs £1,320, including a £325 registration fee payable at booking to secure a place. Trekkers are also expected to raise a minimum of £995 for the Hospice.

The four-day trek will be followed by two days helping on a community project in Marrakech.

Contact Bethan Wade on 01625 665691 or email to find out more.

The Saharan sands await East Cheshire Hospice trekkers.

Heather Broadbent Forced to Reroute Due to Coronavirus

Sailor Heather Broadbent is making a detour on her epic voyage around the globe because of the Coronavirus in China.

Credit: Matthew Dickens/imagecomms
The Clipper Round the World Race, Portimao.


The outbreak has forced organisers of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race to change the route for the 11-strong fleet.

Heather, who is aiming to raise £40,000 for the Hospice, is due to arrive in the Philippines before the weekend (Feb 15-16) on the Asia-Pacific leg of her adventure.

The fleet had intended to stop there later in the race but the visit has now been brought forward.

It is unclear whether the original destination of Sanya, a port in China, will now feature on the route.

The fleet will have an extended minimum nine-day stopover in the Philippines as organisers work on contingency plans if the route needs further amending.

Heather, a landscape gardener from Disley, is midway through her 11-month trip on board the yacht GoToBermuda and has been at sea since leaving Australia early last month.

Heather wrote in an email: “I’ve been heartbroken to hear the devastating news of the virus spreading across China with many thousands of people affected.

“This has obviously had an impact on our destinations and the Clipper Race office have been working hard to find an alternative port for us to re-stock and re-charge before we set sail across the Pacific to Seattle.

“Life on board is good after we crossed the Equator for my second time and in the close confines of a 70-foot sailing boat strong friendships are soon forged. ”

Heather’s late husband Adam (45) was a patient at the Hospice and she has already raised £25,330 towards her target.  The funds will support our

Hospice @Home service. To sponsor her visit

Heather added: “I’m lucky to have met some incredible people who I now count as lifelong friends. I’ve visited places I’ll always remember and Cape Town and Freemantle in Australia are both highlights.

“Yesterday I saw a pod of about 10 whales blowing hard and splashing their tails, seeming to be herding huge schools of leaping tuna, apparently just for the sheer sport because whales don’t eat tuna.”

Review of the Year 2019

Fun and fundraising brought lots of smiles for East Cheshire Hospice supporters over the last 12 months.

Another packed colourful calendar of events meant the charity benefitted in many different ways.

Music, art, sport, fashion, travel, leisure and business were all thrown into the mix by generous donors.

Families were out in force at Light Up The Night at Capesthorne Hall, a poignant occasion which saw many walkers remember loved ones.

Community events included Splash Out! when young and old faced a series of water challenges, while dogs and owners tackled a testing obstacle course at Tough Woofer.

Taking a dip at Splash Out.

Mayor Janet Jackson in her charity shop outfit which she wore at Buckingham Palace.

Mayor of Macclesfield Coun Janet Jackson is a regular customer at the Hospice charity shop at Thornton Square where she picked up a bargain for a Royal appointment.

When she received the MBE from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, she wore a dress and matching jacket she had bought from there for £25. Her hat cost £10.

Nick Robinson gives his speech at the Hospice’s Business Briefing

BBC journalist Nick Robinson gave a keynote speech at the Hospice’s annual Business Briefing at Alderley Park. Nick’s late father Robbie was cared for by the Hospice.

Round-the-world sailor Heather Broadbent.

Hospice supporter Heather Broadbent starts 2020 sailing off the coast of Australia.

She is aboard GoToBermuda competing in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race.

Heather is going from Freemantle to the Whitsunday Islands on the latest leg of her 11-month voyage.

She is raising £40,000 for the Hospice where her late husband Adam  was a patient.  To donate go to

Heather said: “I’m loving every minute and wouldn’t change it for the world. At sea I’m making memories and friends for life.”

Mother and daughter Kim and Nina Bennett with cockapoo Elsie at Tough Woofer.

Lbs 4 £s – Get fit and healthy in 2020

Get into shape for 2020 and shed those unwanted pounds with the help of East Cheshire Hospice.

The charity is introducing Lbs 4 £s – a fitness, weight loss and well-being programme which runs for 12 weeks from Monday, January 13.

This sponsored event gives slimmers the chance to raise money for the Hospice in the process.

Participants receive an information pack including special tips, recipes and vouchers, plus exclusive access to experts in nutrition, fitness and well-being.

Bethan Wade, Events Assistant at the Hospice, said: “This is a self-motivated programme but we want to provide everyone with the information needed to pull it off, surrounded by a group of like-minded people who’re all looking to achieve the same thing.

“We’ll give people opportunities and access to all sorts of features to help them on their journey. They can lose pounds, stress or just the fear of walking into a gym. Whatever their motivation we want to help them.

“The sponsorship will go towards funding the vital care provided here at the Hospice.”

Places are limited and to sign up go to

A launch event to meet other participants and share ideas and inspirations and learn about nutrition will be held on January 6. There will also be classes and taster days.

News Round up – Christmas Tree Eco-friendly Collection, Nepal Trek Success & Santa Dash

East Cheshire Hospice is having an even greener Christmas with its tree collection at the heart of its eco-friendly plans.

All trees collected on Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January, 12, will be recycled  by Ansa Environmental Services, a subsidiary of Cheshire East Council, at its West Park site.

The donations received from owners for removing their trees funds the care of Hospice patients, their families and carers.

The recycled trees are turned into mulch which is either turned into compost for parks and gardens or used in biomass boilers.

The green push has continued this year with the introduction of flyers printed on recycled paper which can then be re-used. Cardboard leaflet holders have also replaced plastic versions.

Visit, or call the customer care hotline 01625 708939, to register a tree for collection.

The scheme run by volunteers has raised more than £1m for the Hospice since it began 20 years ago.

The collection covers  Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

An environmental study showed that an artificial tree would need to be kept for more than 20 years before it would be more carbon efficient than a real one.

FIVE intrepid trekkers raised more than £18,000 for the Hospice from a trip to Nepal last month.

Staff members Sarah Dale and Louise Delany were joined by medical writer Jonathan Edwards,  Helen Connolly and Sherry Daniels.

The group helped paint a hospice in Kathmandu before an arduous five-day walk which boasted stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range.

Louise said: “It was tiring and hard work, especially as we had to climb 3,500 metres, but it was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.


“The people we met were lovely and on behalf of us all I’d like to everyone for their wonderful generosity donating much-needed funds for the Hospice.”


The next adventure is a trip to the Great Wall of China (March 19-27) in 2021.


ALMOST 7,000 schoolchildren and teachers took part in the Santa Dash, one of East Cheshire Hospice’s biggest community events of the year.

Pupils undertook a sponsored walk or run either in their school hall or playground, marking the 11th year of the festive event.

The Reindeer Rush is back next year, with Elf Runs and Snowman Sprints in subsequent years.