Clinical Services Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Moneybox help and encourage during Dying Matters Week

A free monthly legal clinic is one way East Cheshire Hospice helps patients and families prepare for the future.

Advice on making a Will is among topics covered by Moneybox Wills and Trusts, Thorneycroft, Dunkerley and GPW Trusts, the four companies supporting the initiative.

The half-hour advice sessions are available between 11 am and 1 pm every second Friday of the month at the Hospice.

To register for the next clinic on May 13 call 01625 665685, or email dcoffice@echospice.org.uk.

During Dying Matters Week, Joe Etherington, Head of Wills and Trusts at Bollington-based Moneybox, is encouraging  people to consider making a Will.

Joe Etherington outside the Moneybox Wills and Trusts offices in Bollington.

Joe said: “It’s important people get qualified advice as there are so many misunderstandings, myths and out-of-date ideas.

“There’s a shift towards people being more open about making a Will, but not enough of one. That resistance over speaking about Wills is partly because people are unwilling to face their own mortality.

“They think if it’s 40 years away, why bother now? Half still don’t realise the law decides what happens to their possessions when they die and they think their family can deal with it.

“A lot have a second relationship now and don’t realise until making a new Will that in getting re-married they may have accidentally disinherited their children.”

Will Week each October sees solicitors waive fees in lieu of a donation to the Hospice. East Cheshire also encourages families and patients to plan for their future through its bereavement and Sunflower Centre services.

Find out more about Dying Matters Awareness Week.

New Hospice@Home car

Nurses are now driving round in a second car to further help Hospice @Home patients.

The Ford Kuga was bought thanks to the generosity of the What Women Want fundraisers who also purchased the first vehicle for the service.

Hospice @Home has been an outstanding success since its launch in 2017, with the two cars enabling staff to get out and about more easily.

The latest car – also painted in the light blue Hospice colour -is a hybrid in line with the Hospice’s environmental initiative.

Both cars were supplied at discounted rates by Ford dealers Sidney Jackson and Son, long-standing supporters of the Hospice.

Healthcare assistants Rachel Barker (left) and Elaine Taylor with the new Hospice @Home car.

The charity’s green push includes a new appeal to buy solar panels. It is also reducing its carbon footprint in other ways via its garden and kitchen produce.

The five WWW girls raised £27,000 from a ball at Cranage Hall in November, a total generously match-funded by one of their close friends and benefactors.

Those donations funded the latest car and decoration of a lounge for patients and families.

Hospice @Home manager Tess Cleaver:  “We can’t thank the What Women Want group enough for yet another amazing donation.

“With two cars, both kindly funded by the group, we can reach more patients more easily and that makes a huge difference to us.

“We cover such a wide geographical area in East Cheshire and moving between homes can be quite complex, but this extra car simplifies our task. We’re extremely grateful.”

Talking About Dementia

Clues that someone may have early stage dementia are shown in different ways, according to Sharon Hurley, Dementia Services Co-ordinator at East Cheshire Hospice.

She said: “Early signs of dementia are often shown in everyday living, like forgetting simple tasks.

“Someone may enjoying singing and forgets the words. That’s why at our Singing Together groups we give out a song sheet to help them sing the songs.

“Another way of forgetfulness could be putting clothes on the wrong way round,  or following their loved ones around the home constantly for re-assurance.

“Dementia probably wasn’t spoken about as much when I started my career, whereas now it’s in the news much more. Cancer was probably more of a topic than dementia back then.

“It’s also been highlighted more on adverts on TV during Covid and with more personal documentaries about the struggles people are living with quietly and which haven’t always come to the surface before.

“I think GPs are more aware about dementia now as well and patients are getting referred on sooner than perhaps they might have done at one time.

“Fortunately, there are more services available to support people living with dementia. These services are expanding and still developing.

“Here at the Hospice we can provide the support that is required to enable a better quality of life for patients and their families.”

Newest member of Hospice @Home team

Senior nurse Sue Milligan is the latest addition to the specialist East Cheshire Hospice team which provides patients with palliative care in the comfort of their own home.

Sue – known as Millie – has joined the charity’s Hospice @Home team as a sister after spending her entire career in health care.

That vast medical experience further strengthens a Hospice service widely acclaimed for its vital role within the Macclesfield community and beyond.

Sue previously worked for NHS Cheshire Commissioning Group as an individual commissioning nurse.

She assessed patients in community settings and advised on whether they met the criteria for continuing health care, a role which brought her into contact with the Hospice.

Sue Milligan who is part of the Hospice @Home team at East Cheshire Hospice.

Sue said: “The contact increased over the years and I was lucky enough to be involved in discussions to expand the Hospice @Home service. This was the catalyst to finally make the leap to become part of the team.

“I’m enjoying being part of the development and expansion of the service and the team have made me most welcome, just as they did  when on the end of a phone. I hope to make a small but positive difference here.”

Sue’s partner Iggy worked at Macclesfield District General Hospital as paediatric consultant for 16 years before retiring a couple of years ago.

The couple, who have three children, moved to Macclesfield 18 years ago when Sue switched from paediatrics to become a district nurse.

She later joined the hospital as part of the integrated discharge team, assisting patients to either access rehab units, return home, or stay in an appropriate community setting.

The Hospice @Home service has had a huge impact since it was launched in October, 2017, initially covering ‘out-of-hours’ and weekends before expanding early last year to cover 24 hours a day.

Essentially, it extends the end-of-life care provided in the Hospice inpatient unit into people’s own homes, thereby reducing unwanted hospital admissions.

The service provides hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of-life care and care after death.

Nurses and co-ordinators work closely with other health care agencies, including GPs, district nurses, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

That collaboration is seen as key to the success of Hospice @Home which has been well received by patients, their families and carers.

* For more details on Hospice @Home visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk.

In memory of Ollie Wheelton

Family and friends have paid moving tributes to the courage and character of Ollie Wheelton who died of cancer in June. The popular sportsman, from Macclesfield, died in East Cheshire Hospice, aged just 21.

Older sister Laura joined a 100 kilometre bike ride to honour his memory on Sunday (Sept 5), while Ollie’s pals tackled a Tough Mudder challenge the day before. They started fundraising to ensure Ollie’s legacy lives on and to thank the Hospice for caring for him.

Ollie Wheelton with sister Laura.

Laura said: “Ollie was such an inspiration and was so brave. He was my cheeky little brother and it’s hard to believe he’s gone.

“He was very strong throughout his illness. He never complained and always had a positive attitude. He gave us advice, saying that we had our health when he didn’t and we should take advantage of that good health and enjoy life.”

Laura was joined by partner Matt Ward, uncle John Slack and cousins Helena and Tim Slack on the bike ride which followed the route to The Christie which Ollie undertook for treatment during his two-year illness.

Ollie, a big Manchester United fan, bought a club season ticket with his first bonus from work at Barclays Bank at Radbroke Hall.

Close friend Hugh Milner undertook a Tough Mudder at Cholmondeley Castle with brothers Zach and Aaron Widdowson, Jack Green, Elliott Broadhurst and Brad Draper, all Barclays colleagues. Brad’s father Sean Draper also took part

From left, Ollie, Hugh Milner and Brad Draper with Zach Widdowson (standing).

Hugh said: “Ollie was a lovely generous guy and the most welcoming of people. I met him when we were all part of the same Barclays apprenticeship intake and our friendship grew.

“We became best friends and we all want his legacy to continue.  He was such a big character in the Macclesfield community and is greatly missed.

Ollie was an all-rounder at Langley Cricket Club and starred as a junior at Macclesfield Rugby Union Club and both clubs have supported fundraising which stands at more than £8,000.

Hugh said: “He loved playing sport and we’d like to thank everyone for their sponsorship.

“He was a fit young man and the cancer came out of nowhere. I remember going into Manchester with him one night in 2019 and he thought he’d got a bladder infection which turned out to be the cancer which spread.”

Ollie with dad Andrew, mum Jill and sister Laura at her graduation at the University of Central Lancashire in 2016

The family of Ollie Wheelton have thanked East Cheshire Hospice for caring for him in his final days. Much of his two years undergoing hospital treatment for cancer were spent under strict Covid restrictions. But they were finally able to spend precious time together as a family once Ollie went into the Hospice.

Sister Laura said: “The Hospice were just amazing and let all of stay together for the three days Ollie was there.

“They were really accommodating and just made everything really gentle, taking the pressure of mum, dad and me.

“We all got to stay with him and didn’t have to worry about anything else. We really appreciated that special time together at the end.

“That’s why we wanted to raise money. I hadn’t realised the charity relies so heavily on donations and needs £7,500 a day to keep going.”

Laura will always cherish the time she spent with her brother and their parents Andrew and Jill. She said: “We always went away together as a family on holiday and were all really close.

“Ollie was full of life and would do anything for anyone. He was a hard worker and every Saturday night you’d find him out in Macclesfield or Manchester.”

* To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ollie-wheelton or justgiving.com/fundraising/l-wheelton

Volunteer Elspeth Retires after 33 Years

One of our longest serving volunteers Elspeth Julian has retired after 33 years with the Hospice.

Elspeth, from Prestbury, has been an adult bereavement counsellor almost since the day the Hospice opened its doors in 1988.

A special afternoon tea marked Elspeth’s farewell and well-earned retirement.

It also gave colleagues the chance to thank her for her vital role helping countless families who have lost loved ones.

Reluctantly, Elspeth was absent from her part-time duties for more than a year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

She said: “I’ll miss being part of such a worthwhile organisation with its welcoming atmosphere but all good things come to an end I suppose.

“When the Hospice was setting up bereavement services I was invited to join a small group of volunteers to visit the relations of patients who had died there.

“I’d been a social worker, and a Samaritan, and so had some experience of counselling skills. Back then, we went out into the community and saw people in their homes, so quite a lot of travelling was involved.

“After I left my job as a special needs teacher 18 years ago, I underwent formal training to become a counsellor.

“There’ve been lots of changes over the years and the bereavement service is far more structured now with children’s services as well as those for adults.”

Elspeth now has more time to spend with husband David, their three children and four grandchildren. She enjoys playing Bridge, visiting Dorset and is looking forward to travelling further afield again as soon as possible.

Elspeth Julian who is retiring after 33 years as a volunteer at East Cheshire Hospice.

Elspeth added: “I’m humbled that people have chosen to talk about their problems. The greatest joy has been feeling that I may have been of some help at such a difficult time.

“My message to anyone bereaved is that if you feel there’s something worrying you that you can’t happily talk to friends and family about, then consider speaking to a counsellor who will listen non-judgementally and not give advice but help you find your way through.”

Helena Smith, the Hospice’s Voluntary Services Co-ordinator, said: “The work Elspeth has done for the Hospice not only supports the people she directly counsels, but ripples out into their families as their resilience grows.

“These ripples, both big and small spreading out across the 30-plus years she’s volunteered for us, adds up to a remarkable contribution to our community.”

Vaccine Workers Donate to Hospice

Several workers helping with the mass vaccine roll-out at Andrews Pharmacy are donating their wages to charity.

They include two couples with strong links to nearby East Cheshire Hospice which is benefitting from their generosity.

Teacher Angela Raval is a Hospice ambassador, while Margaret Black is a part-time health care assistant, having rejoined the nursing register to take on a vaccinator role.

Both have worked many hours at the pharmacy, as have husbands Neil Raval and Sandy Black whose roles include helping the operation run smoothly.

Neil, a management consultant, said: “Angela’s role at the Hospice means we’re acutely aware of the difficulty charities are facing.

“We’ve been at the pharmacy in rain, hail, snow and occasional sunshine and the feedback is it’s a friendly, efficient service.”

The Ravals split their donation between several charities, including sponsoring Hospice health care assistant Jill Harding, a friend and fellow dog walker, for her wing walk last month.

 

Angela and Neil Raval.

 

Neil is scout network commissioner for Macclesfield and Congleton district and proud of the organisation’s support role at the pharmacy.

Sandy is a retired health and safety manager at AstraZeneca, while Margaret was a Hospice nurse.

Sandy said: “We’ve enjoyed helping at the clinic supporting people through the vaccination process. The elderly were thankful to receive the vaccine and it’s been rewarding from that aspect.

“Donating our wages to the Hospice was the obvious thing for us to do. We’ve done various things to support the charity and know friends who’ve needed its support.”

 

Margaret and Sandy Black.

40,000 Jabs with Help of Hospice Staff

More than 40,000 Covid vaccinations have been carried out at Andrews Pharmacy this year – many of them by nurses from East Cheshire Hospice.

Hospice staff have joined retired GPs and retired nurses, pharmacists and a paramedic giving jabs at the pharmacy on Kennedy Avenue, Macclesfield.

Every Tuesday two nurses from the Sunflower Centre, which had to close during the pandemic, have administered doses, with the Hospice compensated for loaning staff.

It is part of a huge vaccine roll-out at Andrews, one of the first three community pharmacies nationwide to begin inoculations in mid-January.

The operation has involved more than 170 staff and volunteers, with up to 600 jabs a day. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was given until mid-May when the Pfizer jab was added for under 40s.

Lindsey Rial, HR and Business Manager at Andrews, said: “It’s been non-stop and the first few weeks were relentless but it’s been so rewarding. The look on people’s faces when they come for their vaccine makes it all so worthwhile.

“We had to apply to become a vaccine clinic and prove we could do it. Obviously, we’ve kept our core business going, running the dispensary so customers can collect prescriptions as normal.

“With such a big logistical challenge, including car parking and marshalling, there were bound to be minor bumps along the way but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

“Effectively, we had to cut the shop in two – one half for the pharmacy and the other a waiting area, fielding calls and giving jabs.

“We’ve vaccinated seven days a week on occasions and may carry on giving the Covid vaccine until March after we’ve also handed out flu jabs. ”

Andrews donated surgical masks to the Hospice early in the pandemic and held a live Zoom concert which raised £2,000 for the charity. A bake sale is also planned.

The independent pharmacy also vaccinated Hospice staff unable to attend NHS slots. The business was founded by Andrew Hodgson more than 30 years ago and also has shops on London Road and in Tytherington.

Andrews offered a free delivery service to those shielding at the start of the pandemic, with scout leaders among its many volunteers.

Lindsey said: “We want to thank everyone for their amazing help. It’s a great team effort and we’re delighted to have supported the Hospice and worked so closely with them.”

Lindsey Rial, HR and Business Manager at Andrews Pharmacy, with medicines counter assistant Sally Shaw behind the dispensary.

Cuddly Grief Bears

Cuddly Grief Bears are bringing comfort to children coping with bereavement.

Many of the woollen bears are knitted by East Cheshire Hospice volunteer Betty Malkin.

The Hospice supports bereaved children, or those with a close relative with a life-limiting illness.

Children choose their favourite six-inch bear colour and a personal message which is sewn into the back.

One is kept by the child and the other goes to those in their thoughts.

Betty, a great grandmother, said: “I’ve been making the bears for about two years and started off making just a few but it’s snowballed, especially during the pandemic  when people couldn’t make Hospice visits.

“Making the bears gave me a sense of purpose during lockdown. I’ve been making crafts for the Hospice for five years and knit every day. Last winter I knitted Christmas puddings with Ferrero Rocher chocolate inside.”

Betty’s items are sold at Henry’s café, Prestbury, and Shine Hair and Beauty, Upton Priory, with proceeds going to the Hospice.

She is one of several craft volunteers, including Grief Bear makers, who generously give their time and skill to raise funds.

Volunteer Services Co-ordinator Helena Smith said: “Betty’s amazing work is an example of the dedication shown by our arts and crafts volunteers.

“We were inundated when we appealed for volunteers last summer when we thought it’d be a nice gift for people who were unable to visit the ward.”

Children’s counsellor Jane Burton said: “The bears are popular with families in grief therapy and demand has grown in both the inpatient and outpatient units. Children have adapted them to suit their own ideas for individual therapeutic needs.”

Betty Malkin with her latest delivery of Grief Bears for East Cheshire Hospice.

Barbara Horry

Harold Horry only spent 15 hours as a patient at East Cheshire Hospice but it was long enough to leave a lasting impression on his family.

They have never forgotten the care the former AstraZeneca employee received in those final precious hours before he died in 2012, aged 86.

So much so that wife Barbara has donated proceeds from a book of family memoirs to the Hospice as a thank you.

The hardback, entitled The Mad Midwife of Mobberley, was written by granddaughter Lydia, a keen writer.

It is an affectionate account of Barbara’s nursing experiences over almost 40 years and was Lydia’s present to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday in November.

Barbara Horry with her book of family memoirs.

The Mad Midwife of Mobberley, written by Barbara’s granddaughter Lydia.

Family and friends bought copies for £10, raising £350 for the Hospice where Barbara admits she would have liked to have worked.

Harold was a leading figure in the scouting movement, spending 20 years as Alderley’s district commissioner. Barbara has raised more than £200,000 for the scouts over five decades.

Harold worked in package design for ICI and later AZ, spending more than 50 years with the company, based at Alderley Park and then Macclesfield.

Barbara said: “Fortunately, the Hospice found a bed for Harold and we just managed to get him there from the hospital in Manchester in time. He arrived after lunchtime and died early the next morning.

“He was only there for 15 hours but we were so grateful for the care he received in that short time.

“The Hospice do a wonderful job and I admire the work they do there not only for patients, but also for the families who’re so well looked after as well.

“We were so grateful for the Hospice’s compassion and understanding during our time of grief and will never forget their kindness.

“Lydia enjoys books and writing and her book contains tales of funny incidents in my life, including my early experiences as a district nurse and midwife.

“It’s been popular with family and friends and we’re all glad to have raised money for the Hospice which will always be close to our hearts.”

Barbara celebrating her 90th birthday.