Challenge Series Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Rose and Peter Prepare for Firewalk

Rose Brocklehurst is guaranteed a warm reception when she returns to East Cheshire Hospice in a couple of weeks.

Not only because Rose once worked there, but also because she faces the daunting prospect of a Firewalk.

Rose and husband Peter have both agreed to take part in the challenge on Friday, November 6, starting at 7 pm.

Rose and Peter Brocklehurst who are undertaking a Firewalk.

They are raising funds in memory of Liz Brown whose husband Greg works at the farm they own near Congleton.

Greg, from Macclesfield, took part in the last Firewalk two years ago, shortly after Liz died at the Hospice, aged 38.

Liz and Greg Brown.

Rose and Peter were there to support him so know what to expect. Rose said: “We saw the flames turn into hot coals so watched the process and thought we’ll do it next time.

“I worked at the Hospice for nearly 20 years initially as a nurse and then as a complementary therapist so have first-hand experience of its role within the community and how it needs funds.”

Peter said: “We’re both fascinated by the challenge and I’ve seen people doing it before in India on television. We thought it’d be nice to raise money in Liz’s memory.”

To sponsor them visit

* There are still spaces at the Firewalk which is streamed live from Millbank Drive due to Covid-19, limiting spectator numbers. Safety briefings will be given online.

Visit The £30 registration fee covers the cost of the event and additional sponsorship goes directly towards Hospice care.


Launch of the Challenge Ideas Generator

East Cheshire Hospice has launched an interactive tool on their website to help potential fundraisers.

The Challenge Ideas Generator web page suggests ways of getting involved with events to support the Hospice.

The Hospice fundraising team came up with the easy-to-use guide as a response to the phenomenal success of supporter-led initiatives over the last six months.

The donations given as sponsorship for these initiatives have provided a lifeline for the Hospice after it was forced to cancel all official events six months ago because of Covid-19.

Hospice Marketing Manager Amy Chatwood said: “This new interactive Challenge Ideas Generator is basically a summary of just over 100 ideas and events as inspiration for ways of fundraising.

“The challenge generator breaks down into categories, such as how difficult a challenge someone wants to undertake and whether they want to do it on their own, or in a group.

“It could be anything from a bike ride, walk, run, swim, Three Peaks Challenge or even sky diving. The short interactive form is designed to help people help us because we still urgently need ongoing support.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by people who’ve wanted to get involved with the Hospice over the summer.

“The community has responded to the challenge and we’ve been so grateful for that support. Thankfully, it seems people are still up for the challenge and our new web page is designed to assist them.”

* Visit for more details.

Rachel Gledhill – Tequila Lover to Triathlete!

Rachel Gledhill had to borrow a bike and buy running shoes for her first triathlon.

She did at least own a wetsuit for the one-mile swim across Pickmere Lake which started her endurance challenge.

Heavy rain meant there was no way of drying off for a 40k bike ride to Chelford before a 10k run uphill to East Cheshire Hospice.

There she was met by nurses who toasted her success after four-and-a-half hour journey in bad conditions.

Heavy rain could not deter Rachel from completing her triathlon.

Rachel’s exploits raised £3,100 for the charity in memory of her husband Tom’s grandad Roy Lee, from Chelford.

Roy (78) died in the Hospice four years ago and the family never forgot the care he received.

Rachel said: “Tom’s grandad took me under  his wing and I always said I’d do something to pay the Hospice back, especially as it needs thousands of pounds each day to stay open.

“The care was unbelievable and Hospice made him so comfortable. He was so happy there in his final days.”

Rachel with her husband Tom’s grandad Roy Lee.

Rachel, who works for property developers DeTrafford, was joined by friends and family en route to keep her spirits up.

Sister-in-law  Leanne Tully and her daughter Isabelle (8) ran the last mile with her from Broken Cross.

Rachel said: “A triathlon is not my thing at all and I had to borrow a bike and buy proper running shoes. I started exercising during lockdown and really enjoyed it and that inspired me.

“Two triathlons I’d entered were cancelled so I took matters into my own hands and created my own route. Unfortunately, it was one of the wettest days on record so there was no chance of getting dry after the swim section.

“Five supporters joined me on the bike ride and three on the run and I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity and want to thank them for donating.”

* To support Rachel visit

Rachel with Miley Morris (left) and Isabelle Tully.    

Ready for Firewalk

Gaynor Webb has a burning desire to help East Cheshire Hospice.

That is why she is daring to walk over hot coals at a Firewalk on Friday, November 6.

Family and friends will watch her challenge via a live stream because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Strict safety guidelines will be in place for the event, from 7 pm, at the Hospice’s Millbank Drive site.

The Hospice was forced to cancel several high-profile fundraising events this year but is going ahead with its Firewalk with social distancing in place and a limit on spectators.

Gaynor, from Macclesfield, is a regular supporter of the Hospice, volunteering at various events.

She said: “I’m strangely excited by the idea of walking on fire for the first time. It’s the fear of the unknown and a challenge you might get anxious or scared by, but actually doesn’t turn out to be as bad as you expected.

“Some people might think I’m either daft or brave, but I try to make a difference. It’s a feel good factor for me and I always get a sense of pride when I’m doing something to help the Hospice.”

Gaynor, who has worked at AstraZeneca for 22 years, is hoping to raise £1,000. To sponsor her visit

Gaynor said: “I’ve done a tour of the Hospice and it’s a beautiful place. I help the charity whenever I can, especially with Covid-19 which has meant it’s had to cancel various fundraising events.

“It’s missed out on so much and thankfully people are still focussed on donating in the current crisis.”

The Hospice still has places available for Firewalk and entrants will receive online safety training from organisers.  To enter visit

Gaynor Webb who is tackling a Firewalk in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

Bethan Wade, Challenge Events Coordinator at the Hospice, said: “It’s safe and fun and ideal for anyone who fancies a challenge and wants to raise funds for the Hospice.

“It’s a relief that we can finally stage an outdoor fundraising event again after such a long wait and we must stress that social distancing safety guidelines will be fully adhered to.

“Live streaming will also reduce spectator numbers. The £30 registration fee covers the cost of the event and any additional sponsorship raised goes directly towards the vital care provided by the Hospice.

“It costs £7,500 to keep the Hospice running for one day so every penny raised is important, especially at this difficult and emotional time.”

Harry’s Virtual London Marathon

Veteran runner Harry Newton will be there in spirit when he tackles the Virtual London Marathon on Sunday (Oct 4).

Like thousands of fellow runners, the 82-year-old cannot be in the capital and will start and finish instead at East Cheshire Hospice for which he is fundraising.

Harry, from Macclesfield, has completed the London marathon an amazing 16 times, the quickest aged 70 when he ran the course in under four hours.

He averages 100 miles a month in training and will settle for a time of around five and a half hours this time.

Organisers of the marathon, postponed from April, are only allowing elite runners to run the course because of Covid-19.

However, Harry, like other virtual entrants, will get an official time – and a medal  – by recording his time on an app.

He will undertake four circuits of a route to Henbury.

Harry said: “I ran a marathon round my garden on the day the race should have taken place in April.

“It’s a shame I can’t be there but I’ve got an entry for future London marathons and will keep going as long as I can.

“The Hospice does amazing work and any donations will keep me going when it gets tough in the last few miles.”

Harry, a retired grocer and sub-postmaster, had to miss the race in 2009 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

* To sponsor him visit

Harry Newton who is running the Virtual London Marathon on Sunday October 4th 2020.

Geoff Gittins tackles the Gritstone Trail for the Hospice

Keen walker Geoff Gittins is dedicating his most ambitious challenge to the memory of friends and relatives.

Geoff, from Macclesfield, will tackle the 35-mile Gritstone Trail as a tribute to father Harold, uncle Leslie Singleton and fellow walker Sandra Baran.

Sandra, who worked with Geoff at AstraZeneca, died earlier this year and like his two relatives was cared for by East Cheshire Hospice.

Geoff will be joined by David Baker, a fellow director at The Switched On Solutions Group (SOSG), for the three-day walk from Disley to Kidsgrove across the Cheshire plain.

Their company is part of the charity’s 500 Club in which members raise at least £500 a year over a three-year period.

Geoff said: “I enjoy walking but haven’t attempted anything like this before and it will be challenging. We’re aiming to raise £1,000 for a charity which is close to my heart.”

Geoff, who is also a Hospice lottery volunteer, is an authorised partner for multi-service providers UW (Utility Warehouse). For each new customer he makes a donation to the Hospice.

Geoff said: “We offer free online reviews so businesses and home owners can lower costs by getting the best deals and benefit themselves and the Hospice at the same time.”

* To sponsor Geoff visit


From left to right:

David Baker who is joining co-director Geoff Gittins for the 35-mile walk.

David Baker (left) and Geoff Gittins with wives Katherine Baker and Janet Gittins.  

Geoff Gittins who is tackling the Gritstone Trail Challenge.

Dan Proctor’s Mega Marathon

Dan Proctor has never even tackled a marathon before but is now preparing to run almost twice as far.

He plans to run 50 miles from Liverpool, where he has lived for the last year, to Macclesfield where he grew up.

The shortest route between Sefton Park and the Flower Pot pub is 39 miles but a detour via Warrington and St Helens makes his challenge even tougher.

Dan is raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice and was inspired by Carl Lamptey’s attempt to raise £1m for the Hospice.

Dan, a former Royal Engineer, works as a support worker at the David Lewis Centre in Bollington.

Friends will join him at various intervals to offer support, some undertaking the last five miles before joining him in a celebratory pint afterwards.

Girlfriend Anna Jenkins will be his support driver with a first aid kit, including plasters for the inevitable blisters, refreshments and lots of encouragement .

Dan will set off at 6.30 am on Saturday, October 17, and hopes to cross the finish line between nine and 11 hours later.

He said: “I’ve always kept myself in good shape and wanted to challenge myself. My longest training run is 15 miles but I’ll increase the distance to 35 miles beforehand.

“I’ll take my time. It’ll be a slow and steady run and will walk if necessary. One thing is for certain – I’ll be ready for a drink once it’s over.”

* To sponsor Dan visit

Dan Proctor is aiming to run 50 miles in a single day.

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.