Community Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Have you got any spare room to store items used to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice?

Have you got any spare room to store items used to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice?

Fundraiser Gary Henshaw is looking for somewhere to accommodate goods he either sells at his market stall or uses for his tombola stall.

All proceeds go to the Hospice which has received donations of around £12,000 since Gary started his fundraising two years ago.

The retired businessman said: “I’m desperate for an empty garage or a room with easy access once a week to store gifts in.

“I’m also looking for more unwanted gifts I can use for my tombola stall or sell on my stall. Every penny goes to the Hospice which is such a fantastic cause.”

Every entry in the tombola wins a prize. Entry is £1, the same price as any item sold on his stall located outside St Michael’s Church at the next Treacle Market on Sunday (May 26).

Market owners Becky and husband Andy Thompson have another bumper line up of stalls, plus music at the popular market.

Stallholder Gary Henshaw (left) with Treacle Market owners Becky and Andy Thompson and Alex Williams (right). 

The couple teamed up with former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams to raise £200 for the Hospice from sales of his autobiography at the last event.

Gary said: “There’s a wonderful community spirit at the market. Football fans of all ages supporting many different teams came along to say hello to Alex.”

* If you can help Gary call him on 07776 181028 or email

Andrew Smith Funeral Services are the latest to sign up for the Starlight Walk

A team from Andrew Smith Funeral Services are the latest to sign up for the Starlight Walk at Capesthorne Hall on Thursday, April 18.

They could have one of the biggest representations at the East Cheshire Hospice event with around 16 walkers.

Funeral director Richard Morrey said: “Some members of our team, their partners, friends and even a few of our dogs are taking part.”

Richard raised funds for the charity at the Fire and Ice Walk last year in memory of his late father Eric, a patient of the Hospice in 2017.

Labradoodle Ted, aged eight, will join his owner Andrew Smith for the Starlight Walk.

Richard said: “Rather than running over broken glass and hot coals, it will be gentle exercise and a leisurely stroll this time.”

Owner Andrew Smith said: “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with East Cheshire Hospice and are pleased to help support them where we can.

“We’re all looking forward to taking part in the Starlight Walk this year. It’s the first time we’ve taken part and it should be a great team event.”

Starlight walkers from Andrew Smith Funeral Services. From left, Julie Kidd, Richard Morrey, Samantha Bridges, Andrew Smith, Julie Arrowsmith, Simon Goodwin and Angela Owen.

The company is part of the Hospice’s 500 Club.

Early bird entry to the Starlight Walk is £20 for adults and £15 for under 16s, with the standard entry of £22.50 and £17.50 applying from March 19.

Walkers cover a 2.5 Kilometre loop through the woodland as often as they wish.  For many it is a chance to remember lost loved ones.

Gates open at 6 pm with live entertainment and refreshments. The walk is from 7 pm.

* To enter visit

A focus on Kath Ibbotsons time as Musical Director of Claritas

It is time for Kath Ibbotson to finally hand over the baton after more than half a century teaching music.

She retires as Musical Director of Claritas, the East Cheshire Hospice Choir, with a musical coffee morning at the United Reformed Church on Saturday, March 23 (10-12).

Kath leaves after 12 memorable years volunteering with the choir which has raised more than £58,000 for the Hospice.

She said: “I’m ready to retire. In many ways I’m quite sad, but it was the right time for someone else to take over and continue the good work.”

The community choir are conducting interviews for her successor.

She said: “I’ve been teaching one way or another since I was 16. The choir raises money for a fantastic cause, but the role of Musical Director can be quite tying.

“I always need to be in Macclesfield on Mondays for rehearsals and there’s plenty of preparation.

“The choir can’t make progress unless the MD is available, so the buck stops with me. However, there is a full committee doing lots of other vital jobs.

“I want to thank Hilary Balsdon our accompanist, choir members and the public who’ve attended concerts for their support.

Kath Ibbotson, who has decided to retire as Musical Director of Claritas, the East Cheshire Hospice Choir.

“I’ll enjoy the freedom to travel, pursue other interests, and be more available for my family.”

Kath taught at Fallibroome Academy for 21 years before retiring in 2010, though she was involved for another six years.

After moving to Macclesfield in 1975, she taught music at Tytherington and Wilmslow High Schools.

Between 1983 and 2012, Kath became accompanist then a MD with Macclesfield Majestic Theatre Group.

Her Claritas highlights include the 2014 Fallibroome concert; the 2016 10th anniversary concert and two recent Christmas concerts at the United Reformed Church, all raising large sums.

Kath said: “Sponsorship and donations offset costs so everything we raise goes to the Hospice. Our members have been touched by the Hospice in some way and fundraising is a way of giving back.

“We have three big fundraising concerts each year and perform at clubs, societies, nursing and residential homes.

“I also introduced Singalongs because while people like to listen, they also love to join in.”

Kath will continue to play her piano. “After teaching music for so long, I do appreciate peace and quiet. I’m looking forward to attending concerts and in 12 months’ time might even visit Claritas to see how they’re doing.”

* Visit

Get your thinking caps on for the next quiz in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

(Please note that the quiz is now sold out).

Get your thinking caps on for the next quiz in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

Test your general knowledge and enjoy a laugh at the same time at Marlborough Primary School from 6.45 pm on Friday, March 22.

Co-hosts Paul Morrissey and Mark Watson will again be setting the brain teasers to find the top masterminds in Macclesfield.

Quiz hosts Paul Morrissey (left) and Mark Watson.

Paul said: “Our target is always to try to get every team to get more than 50 per cent of the questions right. If we achieve that we think we’ve done pretty well.

“Mark and I are both intimately involved in the Macclesfield quiz league, so we have quite a back catalogue of questions.

“I’ve also got quite a few quiz books and obviously it’s easy to find questions online so we try to make them accessible for people.

“The aim is for teams to have a good time, enjoy themselves and raise money for the Hospice.

“The questions are mostly general knowledge and we don’t tend to go for specialists rounds.”

The quizzes are a long-standing tradition, raising more than £60,000 for the Hospice, including £10,500 from virtual quizzes during Covid.

Paul said: “I’ve been involved for more than 20 years. We used to hold them on a Friday night in a marquee set up in the field behind the Hospice for the summer fete.”

Past quiz host Dave Robinson helps with music rounds, with Alison Brammer another long-standing organiser.

Nik Kalka runs the bar and helps with technology, while community fundraiser Carley Macey co-ordinates for the Hospice. Neil Drummond runs the stand-up bingo.

Paul is a vice president of the Hospice where he was a trustee for seven years. He worked for AstraZeneca for more than 30 years before retiring.

He is a member of the Nags Head B quiz team with Mark who runs Macclesfield Quiz League. Mark, a retired Police Inspector, co-ordinates the Cheshire Crimebeat charity and was awarded the MBE for services to community policing.

Paul said: “We’d encourage people to sign up as soon as possible. Teams are usually a minimum of four, though we aim for eight. If two people want to form their own team that’s fine, though we give them the option of joining another team.”

The quiz support group host three quizzes each year.

* Entry is £10 per head and to sign up visit

A special night in Macclesfield Mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock’s honour

Two charities close to the heart of Macclesfield Mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock will benefit from a special night in his honour.

The last few tickets are still available for a charity dinner and auction at Macclesfield Town Hall on Saturday, March 16.

A drinks reception at 7 pm is followed by a three-course meal (7.3o pm) before entertainment by live band Outer Limits.

Tickets priced £30 are available by emailing

Proceeds will be donated to East Cheshire Hospice, where Cllr Wilcock’s late mum Lesley was an outpatient, and East Cheshire Eye Society, his other chosen charity.

The group helps people with sight loss, including Lesley who was partially sighted and died of cancer in 2015, aged 59.

Macclesfield Mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock.

Auctioneer and TV personality Adam Partridge will conduct the auction with guests promised a surprise on the night.

Cllr Wilcock said: “It should be a fantastic night of dining and entertainment for two great causes.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my year of office. It’s everything I expected and more and it’s been wonderful to see different community groups and what they do.

“It’s given me an insight into how Macclesfield ticks basically. Wearing the chain of office and being recognised as mayor has been quite humbling.”

Cllr Wilcock joined volunteers for last month’s Hospice Christmas tree collection which raised more than £152,000.

He said: “It was an exhausting but highly rewarding day and next year we’re hoping to expand councillors’ involvement in this terrific long-standing fundraising scheme.”

Celebration of Life Dinner huge success in memory of family members

A celebration party thrown by Jason and Linda Walker turned into a major fundraiser for East Cheshire Hospice.

A dinner at Hilltop Country House in Prestbury raised £15,500 thanks to the generosity of friends and business pals.

More than 150 guests toasted the wonderful work of hospices, including around 20 staff from East Cheshire invited as a thank you for their work.

Jason, who runs a digital marketing company, got the idea when he saw a sign at the Hospice while visiting his late mum Pauline.

It highlighted that the charity needs to raise £7,500 a day to keep its doors open and Jason and wife Linda could not resist helping.

Supporters at the celebration dinner. Jason Walker is far right and wife Linda is sixth from the right.  

He said: “Mum was in there more than eight weeks early last year and I saw the sign while having a coffee in the visiting room. Mum said she wanted to pass away in a Hospice.

“They’re the most amazing places – you expect them to be sad and morbid but they’re jolly and wonderful.”

The owners of Hilltop provided the venue and staff without charge and threw in drinks and bar profits.

Food costs were covered by business sponsors Jleaf, MKP Developments, Platinum Independent Financial Services and Higgins Miller Solicitors.

Hospice guests (back, from left) Julie Whalley, Tanya Harrington, Joan Marie Williams, Margaret Black, Tracey Pearce, Helen Henshaw, Angela Dooley and Loretta Eason. Front, Victoria Sayers and Sharon Hurley. 

That meant all proceeds from ticket sales went to the Hospice. Bands Living on iO and North Room, photographer David Murch, videographer Lana Johnson and florists Taylor Made Blooms all donated their services for free.

Jason, whose late father-in-law Roy was also a Hospice patient, said: “It was a case of beg, steal and borrow what we could to raise as much as possible for the Hospice.

“Most guests knew of someone close who has been in the Hospice and it was a way to celebrate their lives.

“We’d have been happy to have raised enough for one day’s care, but to cover the cost of two was amazing.”

Hilltop chefs (from left) Simon Osbourne, Paul Merrett and Iain Winnard who looked after guests at a Hospice fundraiser.  

“We’d like to thank Hilltop and our other sponsors for their magnificent generosity to make it such a huge success. Everyone was happy to get involved and we’re already being asked when the next event is taking place.”

Hilltop sales and marketing executive Olivia Heath said: “Our country house and marquee is a beautiful 17th century setting for weddings and events and it was a pleasure to host this party for such a wonderful cause.”

9,000 young participants took part in this years Santa Dash

Swimming, dancing and even a nature trail … children found all sorts of ways to support East Cheshire Hospice’s latest fundraising initiative.

Almost 9,000 youngsters took part in a Santa Dash, sponsored by Active Sport for the second year running.

Pupils from Beech Hall School took a cold dip to help East Cheshire Hospice.

Organisers are still receiving sponsorship with donations expected to match last year’s sum of almost £47,000.

Volunteers from Equilibrium Financial Planning LLP have been helping the Hospice process donations.

Fundraisers from King’s School join in the fun.  

Some 39 schools or other organisations took part, making it the biggest mass participation event run by the Hospice during the year.

Community and Events co-ordinator Claire Gorton said: “Once again we’ve had terrific support for this simple fun festive event.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response from schools and groups who’ve been inspired to raise funds for a great local cause.

“Participants come from all over east Cheshire and we’re so grateful to everyone who’s taken part or has helped with sponsorship.

Parkroyal Community School take part in the Santa Dash.

“We mix it up each time with a different theme. It was an Elf Run last year and next Christmas it’ll be a Reindeer Rush. We leave it up to groups to make it as flexible and inclusive as they can.

“One school like to boogie. Some swim, walk, run and we’ve even had a nature trail. We’re happy with whatever works for them as a group.”

Active Sport led pupils at Parkroyal Community School in a warm-up after they won a competition as early bird entrants.

From music to mulching

From music to mulching … father and son Tony and Doug Skelton do not mind how they raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

Weeks after organising a night of musical entertainment, the pair will join dozens of other volunteers at the next Christmas Tree Collection on the weekend of January 13/14.

Tony will drive one of his company vans, while Doug fetches trees from driveways of supporters donating to the Hospice.

From left, volunteer Mike Brighouse with Doug and Tony Skelton.

It is not too late to register. Visit to get your tree collected. The deadline is noon on Wednesday, January 10.

Tony and Doug have already raised £8,706 for the Hospice from The Cinema Show, an 80s audio and visual show which drew a full house to MADS Theatre in October.

It was organised by Doug, who handles digital marketing at PPE firm Intersafety where Tony is Managing Director.

Last year was their first experience of the tree collection which has raised a staggering £1.75m for the Hospice since it began 24 years ago.

Doug said: “As rookies last January we didn’t know what to expect. We decided to give it a go and threw ourselves in at the deep end.

“It was utterly exhausting, but a good laugh and great fun. Tony does the driving and I lug trees, though he claims jokingly that he’s the only one who does a bit of everything.

“We all met up in the pub afterwards to celebrate our achievements and soon forgot about any aching limbs.”

Ansa depot recyclers playing their part in the tree collection scheme a year ago.

The Skeltons were joined by fellow volunteer Mike Brighouse and Hospice Director Sarah Dale BEM on their two days of travels.

Trees were mulched at Swift Tree Services at Adlington Industrial Estate where Intersafety is also located.  They will also be recycled at the Ansa plant at West Park this year as usual.

The scheme, sponsored by AstraZeneca, raised £150,000 last year. Sponsorship means that all proceeds go towards patient care.

Co-founders Richard Raymond and Pete Chapman also supported The Cinema Show which featured nostalgic musical interpretations of Live Aid, MTV, mobile phones and 80s fashion.

Doug said: “We had a phenomenal night and the response from sponsors was amazing. It was another example of local companies and supporters coming together in aid of the Hospice.”

Post codes covered on the tree collection are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

Jack Hartley has added an extra round to his deliveries

Paper boy Jack Hartley has added an extra round to his deliveries promoting the Christmas tree collection for East Cheshire Hospice.

Jack has been handing out leaflets on Sunday mornings to help a charity which means a lot to his family.

Grandparents Philip and Olwen Hobson, from Macclesfield, died within three months of each other in 2015 and both were patients at the Hospice.

Mum Carole works for the charity as a bereavement counsellor.

Jack is volunteering by distributing leaflets for three months to earn his bronze certificate as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

Jack Hartley out on his rounds delivering leaflets.

Carole said: “Jack wanted to do something for the Hospice because of his nana and grandpa. Since he’s 14, there were limited options for how he could volunteer, so this has worked out quite well.

“I take him out and help him a bit, though he’s used to delivering because of his paper round.

“The Hospice is very special to us as a family and we like to help out and support whenever we can.”

Once the tree collection is over, Jack will deliver leaflets asking for volunteers to help those with dementia.

The Hospice runs a Dementia Befrienders service providing respite for carers and they need more assistance.

* If you can help contact

Lee Wadsworth to make a charity single

Losing his mum and pet cat has persuaded songwriter Lee Wadsworth to make a charity single.

His haunting melody The Price of Love is now raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice, a cause close to his heart.

Lee, a nurse practitioner, suffered grief late last year when his 90-year-old mum Mary died, followed shortly afterwards by his oldest cat Redster.

Lee, whose singing name is Mister Lee, said: “I wrote the song while going through two grief reactions. It made me think about grief and how we and other people attempt to measure it.

“People try to quantify others’ grief saying it’s only a dog, or a cat, or an old lady but the message of the song is to let people have their own grief and simply try to help them.

Songwriter Lee Wadsworth and artist Ginny McDermott with the charity single artwork.

“I dedicate this song to both them and what they meant to me. It doesn’t matter what or who you have lost, it’s what they meant to you.”

Lee, from Macclesfield, has performed before to raise money for the Hospice. He also wrote a song called Sunshine in memory of a friend tragically killed in an accident.

He said: “I’m a hobby musician and have co-written three albums, though I haven’t composed any songs for a while and tend to need something in my mind to write about.

“The process of writing this song has certainly helped me to heal from my grief. It’s been therapy, helping me express my emotions.

“I want to support the Hospice as my mum would have benefitted from hospice care during her illness. Unfortunately, where she lived in Hyde she wasn’t able to access such services soon enough.

“The hospice movement provides great care and expertise helping people and their loved ones to have more dignified and comfortable passing.

“I know hospices rely heavily on charitable donations and East Cheshire Hospice needs £7,500 a day to survive. Hopefully, my single will raise awareness of the care they provide.”

The front cover of the single is a beautiful drawing by local landscape artist Ginny McDermott, a Hospice shop volunteer and supporter. It depicts Lee walking with his mum and cat, with his guitar on his back.

Lee said: “Ginny’s wonderful image can be interpreted as walking on life’s journey together, or perhaps to the gates of heaven.”

* To download Lee’s song and donate to his fundraising visit