Challenge Series Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Katie and Sophie Step Up

Sisters Katie and Sophie Richards used their new Fitbits to spur them on in a fundraising challenge.

The girls reached their daily target of steps to raise £290 sponsorship for East Cheshire Hospice.

Their grandad Stephen Jones died of bowel cancer at the Hospice in 1998, aged 47, while late great grandad Gordon Oldfield, also from Macclesfield, was treated there as well.

Katie (9) and Sophie (8) warmed up for their month-long challenge by walking or running 5,000 steps a day for the first week.

Their target increased to 6,000 steps a day the following week and the last two weeks they covered 7,000 steps, raising the total to 10,000 for the last day.

Mum Emma Jones said: “We got them a Fit bit each as an incentive and they wanted to do something for charity since the Hospice is part of our family.

“The care it provided when my dad and grandad passed away was amazing and we wanted the girls to take the money to the Hospice so they could see what it does.”

“They’re proud of their achievement and want to thank everyone for their sponsorship.”

 

Sophie (left) and Katie Richards during their step challenge.

Rachel Wild’s Mountain Marathon

Rachel Wild after completing her Lake District marathon.

 

The memory of her grandad inspired Rachel Wild on a gruelling marathon run across Lake District mountains.

The trainee advanced clinical practitioner has already raised £1,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where Michael Palmer, from Macclesfield, was a patient.

Michael (81) died of cancer last September after a career in television engineering which included a spell living in Vietnam.

 

Michael Palmer

 

Rachel climbed more than 6,000 feet –  equivalent to scaling Ben Nevis – as she ran almost 28 miles over nine and a half hours on the Trail Pursuit course near Lake Windermere.

She said: “I was scrambling up summits where there were obviously no paths and on a hot day it was brutal. The descents were just as horrendous and you needed to be resilient. I’m tough minded but found it very hard.

“My grandad was my best friend and we were lucky to get a place for him at the Hospice. The care and attention he received was incredible and the staff were amazing.

“It meant I could be his granddaughter and spend those last few days with him. I sat and read one of his favourite books Alice in Wonderland to him and we listened to classical music.

“He was peaceful, comfortable and pain free. I wish everyone could have that experience and know that’s not always the case.

“Grandad was the most amazing, intelligent kind and funny man who had high morals. He always believed in doing the right thing to help someone if he could and loved magical fairy stories and childhood wonder.”

 

Michael Palmer with his dog Archie.

 

Rachel, an Army reservist, found the Trail Pursuit challenge harder than a marathon she completed in stifling heat and humidity in Sierra Leone in 2015.

“The first and last few miles along the Cumbrian Way were fairly flat but the mountains, including Bowfell, the ninth highest summit in England, required a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”

Rachel has already reached double her initial fundraising target of £500. She said: “I think my grandad would have been so proud of me and anyone who sponsors me is making a difference to someone’s end-of-life care.”

* To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rachel-wild6

Wing Walking Grannies

Fictional fighter pilot Biggles is back in the skies for his next heroic adventure – this time as fearless flying grannies.

Age is no barrier for the five fundraisers who will climb on top of a classic 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane for a wing walk next month.

Health and safety requirements prevent them from wearing helmets, goggles, sheepskin jackets and scarves for their aerial stunt in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The outfits belong to Hospice volunteer Barbara Spivey who, at 74, is the oldest of the granny squadron.

She has run Spivey’s Web, a fancy dress shop on Chestergate which also sells unusual gifts, for 30 years with daughter Donna.

Donna has declined the challenge, unlike her brave mum who sported the outfits with fellow wing walkers to promote the flights.

Barbara said: “I’m an avid traveller and always fancied a wing walk. I went close to Everest base camp aged 64 and have visited places like Iran, Kazakhstan and South America. Travelling is the be all and end all for me and I’ve a friend who runs wildlife tours.”

Barbara has been a ward volunteer at the Hospice for 15 years but has been unable to help here for more than a year because of Covid restrictions.

Her late sister-in-law was cared for in a local hospice, persuading Barbara to become a volunteer.

Friend Jacky Macleod is also taking part in the wing walk at an airfield in Gloucestershire on Monday, June 21.

Jacky said: “I was a trolley dolly a long time ago and am trying not to think about being strapped to the top of a plane.”

Between them, the women have 18 grandchildren, eight of them for Hospice health care assistant Pam Webster.

Pam said: “I did a sky dive 15 years ago and it was brilliant. A wing walk has been on my ‘to do’ list and one of my grandchildren is convinced I’m going to fall. Another has said I’m mad, while my mum wonders what on earth I’m doing.”

Colleague Caroline Allen and complementary therapist Gill Black are the other grandmothers  sponsored for the challenge.

Gill said: “I like to do a challenge every year and have done a Firewalk before. I’m nervous, don’t like heights and am not too keen on flying. However, I’ll probably feel better on the outside of a plane rather than the inside.”

Four of the granny squadron. From left, Pam Webster, Gill Black, Jacky Macleod and Barbara Spivey.

Hospice Staff Prepare for Wing Walk

It did not take long to find enough brave volunteers for a wacky wing walk in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

Places were soon filled by supporters looking to escape lockdown blues by enjoying the thrill of a lifetime on top of a classic 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane.

High flyers include seven female Hospice staff, all terrified by the prospect of soaring through the skies above Gloucestershire in June.

Health care assistants Joanne Helm, Jill Harding, Caroline Allen and Pam Webster will be joined by complementary therapist Gill Black, staff nurse Laura Parker and fundraiser Bethan Wade.

 

Top (from left): Laura Parker, Jill Harding and Joanna Helm. Bottom: Bethan Wade, Gill Black and Pam Webster. Middle:  Caroline Allen

 

Mum-of-three Joanne said: “I’m not very good with heights and can’t get past the third rung of a ladder when I’m decorating. But I love my job and the hospice desperately needs fund, so I’ve plucked up the courage to overcome my nerves.”

Caroline said: “I must be crackers, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to raise much-needed funds for the hospice after a really difficult year.

“I’ve worked at the Hospice for nearly four years now and every day I witness the wonderful work everyone does there.

“This last year has been especially tough with the lack of fundraising events happening,  so I thought it was time I stepped up and did my bit to help out. Plus, on a personal level, I needed something to make up for the lack of excitement in my life over lockdown!”

The Hospice has had a special place in Jill Harding’s heart since her late mum  Mary Barber was a patient there 18 years ago.

Jill held her wedding reception in the Sunflower Centre so Mary could attend before she passed away, aged 58.

Jill later became a volunteer and then joined the staff. She said: “Mum was only a patient for eight days but as a family we were blown away by the love and care she received.

“I adore my job and thank my mum every day for guiding me in this direction. I’m always looking for ways to repay the Hospice and what better way than to accept a challenge.”

Both Bethan and Laura must conquer a fear of heights for the 10-minute flight and like their colleagues will be spurred on by fundraising.

After giving inspiring talks about fundraising at memory walks, Pam is tackling her own special solo walk.

 

Wing Walk –  The challenge facing the wing walkers.

 

All their individual JustGiving pages are available via the links below:

Bethan Wade – Challenge Events Coordinator – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bethan-wingwalk

Joanne Helm – Health Care Assistant – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joanne-helm1

Gill Black – Complementary Therapist – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gill-black1

Jill Harding – Health Care Assistant IPU – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jill-Harding2

Caroline Allen – Health Care Assistant IPU – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/c-allen8

Pam Webster – Health Care Assistant IPU – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pamela-webster11

Laura Parker – Staff Nurse – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-parker47

Lucy’s Trig Point Challenge

The final footsteps taken by Lucy Coppack on her epic journey around the Peak District will be the most poignant.

The path to the top of Shutlingsloe above Macclesfield was designed by her late mum Lynne and partly built by her dad Ian.

The landmark will therefore provide a fitting climax to her record attempt to climb all 88 trig points in the Peak District as quickly as possible.

 

The Shutlingsloe path Lucy’s mum designed and her dad helped build.

 

The combined height of the coordinate trigs is around 35,000 metres.

Lucy is already well on the way towards raising £7,500 for East Cheshire Hospice where her mum was a patient 25 years ago.

That is how much it costs to provide a day’s care at the Hospice which provides some of Lucy’s earliest childhood memories.

She was just a toddler when her mum died of breast cancer, aged 38.

 

Lucy with her late mum Lynne.

 

Now 28, Lucy said: “I was too small to remember much about my mum, but I’ve got happy memories of the Hospice.

“That’s why I’m driven to do this challenge because those memories aren’t sad. They’d serve her sherry in the evenings and I’d play with the toys. Every year I still get a birthday card from the nurses.”

Lucy starts her adventure next month and aims to finish in September.

She said: “Not many have climbed all the trigs and they haven’t done it against the clock. I’m hoping to climb several each week.

“The shortest climb is six miles and the longest up to 20 miles and I’ve made it my mission to walk, run, and even crawl if necessary.”

 

Lucy Coppack by one of the trig points.

 

Lucy’s challenge will fit round her job with Royal London where she is a financial services coach, a role that includes promoting well-being and mental health.

Her parents, from Langley, met when Lynne was Ian’s boss. He worked on a project she had designed.

As a landscape architect, Lynne ran a joint project between the Peak park and Cheshire County Council to re-instate the footpath up to Shutlingsloe.

The stone was flown in by helicopter and Lucy’s father, a council ranger, ran the project on the ground.

Lucy said: “That’s why the path is sentimental to me and means a lot each time I climb it. It was the obvious place to end my challenge and family and friends will hopefully join me on that final leg.”

Lucy is on Instagram via @lucy.does.trigs and to donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-coppack1

 

Lucy preparing for her fundraising adventure.

High Flyer Teresa Recommends Wing Walk

Are you daring enough to do a wing walk just like fearless mum Teresa Pipon?

The high-flyer took to the skies almost two years ago for East Cheshire Hospice.

Her message for the Hospice’s wing walk on Monday, June 21, is to sign up and prepare to be strapped in.

Ready for take off… Teresa prepares for her wing walk.

Teresa said: “I’ve always been a daredevil and wanted to do something big for my 50th birthday.

“I didn’t want presents, so asked for donations instead to the Hospice which did a wonderful job of caring for my dad Lewis Smith who died in 2013.

“I loved the wing walk. It was exhilarating and frightening and I’d certainly recommend it.”

Teresa’s wing walk.

The aerial adventure, organised by AeroSuperBatics, is at an airfield in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, where Teresa did her walk.

Places are limited and the event may extend to a second day depending on demand. Wing walkers must be at least 18, no taller than 6 ft 2 in and no heavier than 14 stone, with a waist measurement of 40″ or less while wearing warm clothing and a jacket.

The cost is a £150 deposit upon registration and a guarantee to raise a minimum of £500 sponsorship.

Like Teresa, wing walkers will be harnessed on top of a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane after getting full safety guidance.

Teresa said: “It was quite nerve-wracking. Staff put you at ease for the whole experience and I remember feeling the force of the wind against me.

“The pilot asked if I wanted to stay on a level but I let him do some dips, dives and banked turns. You aren’t allowed to loop-the-loop on your first wing walk.

“I’d done a tandem sky jump from 15,000 feet in New Zealand, but this was scarier as I was on my own.

“I had intended doing yoga poses, but barely let go and thankfully the whole experience was filmed.

“I must admit I enjoyed the family lunch with a drink afterwards with my husband Nigel, daughter Holly and son Jack.”

Safe landing…Teresa celebrates her aerial adventure.

Teresa, who raised almost £1,000, is a regular at major Hospice events. Her fundraising is match- funded by HSBC UK where she is a Senior Business Development Manager for Mortgage Intermediaries.

She said: “My mum Mary, who lives in Macclesfield, got great comfort and support from the Hospice. Dad had the best possible care.”

* For more wing walk details visit www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk.

Teresa with her dad Lewis on a family holiday in Jersey.

Abi and Kyla Swap Lbs for £s

Sisters-in-laws Abi Lowe and Kyla Eyre have joined forces in a fitness drive to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

The pair are honouring the memory of Abi’s oldest sister Christabel who died of cancer in the Hospice in 2012, aged 27.

The care she received inspired them to sign up to the Hospice’s health initiative Lbs 4 £s.

The Hospice requires £7,500 a day to keep going and provides its services free of charge.

Abi, from Macclesfield, said: “It’s mind blowing that only 17 per cent of funds comes from the government and the Hospice has to rely on the community for the rest of its income.

“When we read that fact we thought it was absolutely crazy so we wanted to make sure we gave something back after they were so amazing with Christabel.

“The hospice provided above and beyond care for her and ensured she had everything she needed, as well as supporting our family during an unbelievably tough time.

“It’s ridiculous that government funding is so low for such a crucial thing. I know so many people in the Cheshire area use the Hospice, or have been touched by it in some way.”

Abi Lowe (left) and Kyla Eyre who are aiming to raise £2,000 for East Cheshire Hospice.

The pair are on course to raise £2,000 before the end of March when the 12-week fitness and well-being programme ends.

Alongside their healthy lifestyle changes, they have organised a virtual raffle in which small local  businesses have generously donated prizes such as hot tub hire, beauty treatments, restaurant vouchers, lockdown birthday celebrations and alcohol packages.

Kyla said: “We’re grateful for all the help and everyone has been so generous – both the local companies who’ve donated products and services and those who’ve bought raffle tickets. We’re blown away by the community spirit and generosity.

“I’ve already lost a stone in weight, helped by healthy eating and online work outs such as yoga sessions. Friends and family have spurred us on for encouragement.

“It’s amazing knowing you’re helping such a worthy cause while helping yourself.”

The virtual raffle is still on- going with plenty more prizes to be won, including party venue hire, photography sessions, afternoon teas, home fragrance packages.

* To get involved visit www.facebook.com/virtualraffleECH

Hospice Events in 2021

Planning fundraising events is proving because of on-going uncertainty over Covid-19.

The events team are still hoping that 2021 might see a long-awaited return of mass participation events, though the pandemic continues to disrupt plans.

The Hospice switched to virtual fundraising events almost a year ago and is still also urging the public to carry on with their own initiatives to provide much-needed revenue.

The flagship Light Up The Night memory walk has been provisionally arranged, though this Adlington Hall gathering might have to be cancelled again this year.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “We have a date in May booked for Light Up the Night, but it’s very much a wait and see and I’m afraid it’s looking unlikely unless things change dramatically.

“Last summer we held a Memory Miles virtual event involving people walking the miles themselves and raising money. That was hugely successful and we may do that again.

“Events have been the most impacted of all the income streams as we simply just haven’t been able to hold them.

“It’ll work out that we haven’t managed to hold a single event during the entire financial year which is obviously a really scary time for us, but we’re greatly supported by our community and that’s made a massive difference.

“It’s looking like another quieter year for events and we’re looking into more virtual/socially-distanced events through the year to keep the community together as we miss seeing everyone.

“I’ve also been extremely lucky to help in other parts of the team, such as the kitchen and housekeeping. That was a real eye opener and just reminds me why we fundraise and do what we do.

“It’s been a massive test for everyone having to adapt to keep those all-important donations coming in, but it’s all experience and learning on the job.”

Colleague Bethan Wade co-ordinates the popular Challenge Events Series which has seen a big increase in participants.

These include initiatives such as the current Lbs 4 £s weight loss and fitness programme; a Firewalk (Oct 22) and a Sahara trek (Nov 13-20), subject to overseas travel restrictions. A wing walk is also planned.

Beth and Bethan have also helped community fundraisers Carley Macey and Claire Gorton who assist with countless challenges undertaken by individuals and groups. The latest venture was another of the Virtual Quiz nights last Friday (Feb 5).

Beth Candy (left) and Bethan Wade  at Tough Woofer  in October 2019. It took place soon  after Bethan started her fundraising role at East Cheshire Hospice and no mass participation event has been held since.

Helen Adamson Walks for the Hospice

Helen Adamson decided to branch out with her own fundraising once this year’s tree collection for East Cheshire Hospice was called off.

She walked an average of more than six miles every day last month, raising more than £3,500 in the process for the Hospice.

Helen explained: “It all started after a conversation with my husband Richard who helps with the tree collection each year.

“Once it was postponed, I decided to do something in a small way to help raise funds for the Hospice.

“It was also my 60th birthday last month, so I asked family and friends to donate to the Hospice instead of buying presents.

“I love walking and thought it’d be good to set myself a little challenge by walking at least three miles every day with a family member or friend in January.

“I ended up doing a lot more than that, completing 214 miles altogether. Two of my favourite walking routes are Hare Hill and Shutlingsloe.

“The support I’ve had has been incredible and every single pound raised will go to the Hospice which needs a lot of fundraising to provide its excellent care.”

Helen raised £6,000 for Macmillan last year by walking 26 miles around Coniston Water after she was unable to run the virtual London marathon due to spinal problems.

She was deputy manager of Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital before retiring in June last year.

* To sponsor Helen visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HelenAdamson2

Helen Adamson who walked an average of more than six miles each day in January. 

Norman Meredith

Walker Norman Meredith has been on the go virtually non-stop since he started his charity challenge.

He completed his mission to cover 1,000 miles in 100 days on Christmas Eve but has hardly put his feet up since.

Norman Meredith during his challenge. 

Norman, from Mottram St Andrew, said: “I think I rested for one day once I’d finished, but I’ve become so addicted to walking I’ve been out on seven or eight mile walks every day.

“It’s been great for my general fitness, I’ve lost weight and slept like a baby. I’d definitely recommend the exercise.”

Norman is raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice in memory of his father Dennis (86) who died in November 2018.

Dennis was chairman of the Macclesfield-based Prince Albert Angling Society – one of the biggest fishing clubs in Europe – for 25 years.

In his final days he was cared for by Hospice @Home nurses.

Norman said: “The Hospice were magnificent and I’d like everyone to know just how good they were. I vowed to do some fundraising and given the current circumstances felt it was appropriate to do something now.”

“The Hospice needs all the financial help it can get at this difficult time. Care is provided free of charge so any fundraising makes a difference.”

Dennis Meredith and wife Alma.

The retired sales executive used various routes as he kept to his average distance of 10 miles a day.

“I was amazed how many new friends I made who live within half a mile of my house just by going for a walk. People I didn’t know before would stop for a chat.”

A weekly route was to Aldi where he bought two bottles of Chilean Pinot Noir. “I became known as Clinking Norman because I’d got my favourite tipple in my rucksack.

“I was always very active, running marathons and half marathons, and played sport and have enjoyed walking.”

* To sponsor Norman visit justgiving.com/fundraising/norman-meredith

Norman Meredith on his 1,000-mile walk in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.