Community Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Art Fair Cheshire Returns this Autumn

Art Fair Cheshire returns this autumn featuring works by established and emerging artists.

The biennial event will take place at Macclesfield Town Hall from Thursday, September 23, until Sunday, October 3.

Organisers are dedicating specific gallery space to artists who may have recently graduated from creative degrees.

The move is an opportunity for the next generation of artists to exhibit work, reach a wide audience, make sales and gain recognition.

Each exhibiting artist donates a percentage from the sale of their work to East Cheshire Hospice.

Two years ago the event raised £45,000 to provide funds for the Hospice’s art therapy unit. It also attracted record sponsorship with organisers now aiming to build on that success.

Art Fair Cheshire – showcasing work by more than 80 local and regional artists – has donated around £300,000 to the Hospice since 1999.

Co-chair Georgie Johnson said:  “In addition to our fantastic exhibition, we’ll have a pop-up cafe, artist talks as well as lively debates with experienced gallery guides.

“For the first time, we’ll be hosting a gallery of newly-graduated and emerging artists. We’re keen to support artists who might not have exhibited before and look forward to showcasing their work.

“We love working with artists, makers and creators to develop a truly unique event which not only showcases art, but celebrates community and giving.  We invite people to join us and support East Cheshire Hospice and discover some wonderful art while they do so.”

* For more information visit www.theartfair.org.uk.

 

Visitors enjoying Art Fair Cheshire in 2019.

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.

Hide a Smile’s Fundraising Face Coverings

Voluntary group Hide a Smile could not stop grinning after raising £6,188 making face coverings.

The donations to East Cheshire Hospice are being collected at Prestbury Village Pharmacy where masks are still available to buy.

Some 19 sewing enthusiasts joined a WhatsApp group after founder Sheila MacLaren spread the word on social media over a year ago that virus protection was needed.

 

Hide a Smile members (from left) Sue Matykiewicz, Sheila MacLaren and Caroline Harrison-Croft with pharmacist David Wood.

 

Sheila, a semi-retired structural engineer, said: “I blew the dust off my sewing machine and we started off making scrubs for clinical staff before concentrating on face coverings.

“Fabric was donated and Covid restrictions meant we had pick-up and drop-off points to keep the production line in full swing.”

Pharmacist David Wood and his staff gave out 1,200 coverings in return for an average donation of £5 to a collection box.

He said: “It’s a great community story borne out of necessity at a time when there were no masks or even hand gel.

“As a community pharmacy, it was a natural place to distribute masks, especially as there weren’t many other shops open.”

Volunteer Caroline Harrison-Croft, who owned a garment design company, said:  “I’ve always sewn and it was pretty boring at first during lockdown so I was delighted to help. The masks are washable and environmentally friendly.”

Another volunteer Sue Matykiewicz said: “Our group still haven’t met up yet. We’d like to thank everyone for their efforts and those who donated to support the Hospice.”

Hide a Smile also made coverings for pupils at Fallibroome Academy.

 

Hide a Smile volunteer  Judy Biggin wearing one of the coverings she made.

2021 Christmas Tree Collection Total

The Christmas tree collection in aid of East Cheshire Hospice raised a record £150,000 this year.

Delighted co-founder of the scheme Richard Raymond said: “It’s our 21st year, so we’ve come of age with a bang.”

Around 1,000 trees were collected over three days last month once lockdown restrictions were eased – a sixth of the trees that would have been recycled had the collection not been postponed from January.

Most donors got rid of trees themselves and some who had not even registered also made donations.

The funds are enough to provide palliative care for three weeks at the Hospice which needs £7,500 a day to keep its doors open.

 

Tree collection co-founders Richard Raymond (left) and Pete Chapman.

 

Richard said: “We did get some bemused looks as we carried dead old brown Christmas trees at the end of April, but it gave us the opportunity to tell people about the collection and the Hospice.

“People knew about the plight of charities and the Hospice, in particular, because of Covid-19 and they were even more generous with their donations this year with the average amount donated per tree going up.

“It’s a wonderful indication of the community in which we serve that people put their hands so deep into their pockets. Their generosity is quite overwhelming and we thank them sincerely.”

Richard and fellow co-founder Pete Chapman will now get a break of a couple of months before they start planning the next collection in January 2022.

 

Volunteer Mel Curwen helps out during the Christmas tree collection.

Local Businesses Provide Support For Delayed Christmas Tree Collection

Loyal businesses continue to play a key part helping the East Cheshire Hospice tree collection scheme run smoothly.

Cheshire Vehicle Rental has been providing vans for the last 18 years, while Bosley-based King Feeders has been lending shredders for 16 years.

The mulching machines, operated by Ansa Environmental Services staff at West Park, have recycled trees into compost for parks, gardens and Cheshire farmland.

Andrew Billing has owned King Feeders, suppliers of agricultural machinery, for more than 45 years.

He said: “The Hospice does great work caring for people with life-limiting illnesses and we’re delighted we can help the tree collection campaign raise much-needed funds.”

Managing director John Kirkby, who started Cheshire Vehicle Rental more than 50 years ago, said: “Our company is full of admiration for the volunteers who put so much effort in on behalf of the charity and we’re extremely proud to be involved in such a great local cause.

“The Hospice is self-funding and depends on contributions from our community to continue with this vital role of care and support for those in need. Let’s all pull together to ensure the Hospice meets its required objectives.”

Richard Raymond, co-founder of the collection scheme now in its 21st year, said: “We get lots of assistance  in many different ways and the long-standing support of these two companies shows the affection held for the Hospice. We thank them for their commitment.”

Catherine Mooney from Cheshire Vehicle Rental which has been supporting the Christmas tree collection since 2003.

Better Late Than Never For Christmas Tree Collection

East Cheshire Hospice finally held its long-awaited Christmas tree collection last week, three months later than planned.

A reduced team of 25 volunteers collected around 1,100 trees after lockdown restrictions were eased.

Five vans shuttled across the region delivering trees to the Ansa recycling plant at West Park, Macclesfield.

More than 6,000 trees had been registered for collection, with most donors disposing trees themselves when the scheme was delayed because of Covid-19.

However, organisers promised to collect trees once rules changed and, true to their word, honoured that pledge.

 

From left, Tina and Richard Raymond with co-founder of the collection Pete Chapman and Hospice Community Fundraiser Carley Macey.    

 

Scheme co-founder Richard Raymond said: “We want to thank the people who kept their trees for their patience. We had great fun collecting them, even though our team was smaller in number.

“The postponement in January was a devastating decision we had to take and was a blow to all our plans.  But there we were, doing it again and this time with more daylight hours which meant we could collect for longer.

“It’s important to thank our amazing volunteers for their commitment to doing the job in this Covid crisis.

“They were really excited to be out there and felt cheated they couldn’t go out and pick up trees in January.

“There was no shortage of volunteers and some wondered why we were doing it during the week, preferring the collection to be at the weekend when they weren’t working.

“We realise it wasn’t the big happy band it normally is, but we’ll be back in business with a full scale operation as usual next year.”

 

Volunteers Sally and Pete Broughton collecting Christmas trees.

 

The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca and adhering to Covid guidelines, saw two volunteers on each van with routes mapped out.

Organisers will announce soon the total raised this year, a sum increased by donations from those even without a tree for collection who contributed once they knew how much the Christmas tree scheme means financially to the Hospice.

Richard said: “The goodwill has been amazing and we also want to thank from the bottom of our hearts  those who made a donation and disposed of trees themselves.

“It’s made an enormous difference to the Hospice to have the Christmas tree collection money coming in, especially at the turn of the year when, in normal circumstances, there aren’t many fundraising events. That was the case even more last winter because of Covid.”

Anna Rains Stresses the Importance of Legacies

A long-standing East Cheshire Hospice supporter has made an emotional plea for the public to help with legacies.

Grandmother Anna Rains said gifts from wills are a vital source of revenue for the Hospice.

In her new role as ambassador, Anna is offering to give talks to community groups, stressing the importance of legacies and sharing Hospice anecdotes.

She said: “I’m trying to appeal to people’s sympathies and make them realise how important it is and what it’d be like if we didn’t have a hospice in this area.

“People would either die at home without a lot of help, or in hospital. However, the Hospice is there for us and Hospice @Home is marvellous.

“We need more money coming in and only get a small portion of our income from the government. We’re the second lowest funded Hospice in the country.

“We’re just asking people when making, or updating, a will to please think about the Hospice.

“We’re not a national charity and can’t put big advertisements on television, saying ‘please leave something in your will.’ We must do it on a much smaller scale.”

Anna has made a legacy to the Hospice in her will, like husband Michael who died almost two years ago, aged 96.

The couple were married for 37 years and got involved in fundraising for the charity soon after it opened in 1988.

Anna set up Art Fair Cheshire and was chair of the Hospice 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal to build the Sunflower Centre.

Family and friends have also been Hospice patients.

She said: “Michael’s first wife died there, as did his brother and my sister. It’s a most extraordinary and happy place.

“Someone who didn’t know what to expect when walking through the front door said it felt like being given a big hug and knowing you weren’t on your own.

“There are more young people coming into the Hospice with life-limiting illnesses than I thought. We take patients from 18 yet most people consider the Hospice as a place where older people go to die with a serious illness.

“I’ve done a lot of public speaking over the years and jumped at the chance to become an ambassador in this way. I’m 78 now and felt it was time to do a bit more for the Hospice.”

Anna Rains at the Art Fair she set up.

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.