Fundraising 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.”

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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.”

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Visitors enjoying Art Fair Cheshire in 2019.

What Women Want Return

Five friends who call themselves What Women Want are back in business planning events after Covid curtailed their fundraising.

A glitzy ball at Cranage Hall on Friday, November 12, is already sold out assuming restrictions have ended fully by then.

The group has still managed to carry on fundraising for East Cheshire Hospice during the pandemic, although on a much smaller scale because of government limitations.

One of the group Jo Millward raised £1,300 after running a half marathon last month after injury forced her to delay her challenge.


Jo Millward completing her half marathon in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.


Meanwhile, fellow member Jill Harding is undertaking a wing walk on Monday, June 21, in aid of the Hospice where she is a health care assistant.

Jill fell in love with the Hospice after her late mum Mary was a patient there 18 years ago.

Group chair Jayne Carter said: “All the tickets have gone for the Ball if it’s allowed to go ahead.  We’re just waiting on Boris Johnson’s announcement on June 21 and are thinking of calling it the Masked Ball since we’ve all been wearing masks.

“Our disco bingo nights at Tytherington School usually attract 200 people but we’re not sure whether they can go ahead yet.

“It’s been hugely frustrating and we all feel really sorry that we haven’t been able to raise much-needed funds.

“We’ve organised online raffles and had a couple of meetings, but have missed doing big events which is hard when the Hospice needs the money.

“It’s been a difficult time for them and we’re a bit detached from it all as we’ve been unable to go in to the Hospice.

“We may not make as much money from the Ball, especially as we were lucky enough to get a massive £1m donation from sponsors Proseal a couple of years ago, but this time it’ll be much more about raising the profile of the Hospice and having fun again.”

Elaine Burgess and Julie Barnes make up the Macclesfield quintet who have been fundraising for the Hospice for 13 years.

Jill has already raised £1,590 for her wing walk at an airfield in Gloucestershire. To sponsor her visit

What Women Want made a £25,000 donation to help launch the Hospice @Home service in 2017 and later bought a car for staff to visit patients at home.

The group has also bought equipment and many other practical items for the Hospice.


What Women Want fundraisers (from left) – Jo Millward, Julie Barnes, Jill Harding, Jayne Carter and Elaine Burgess

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.

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.

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.

Our New Corporate Fundraiser!

The new corporate fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice is Chrissie Hunter who joined the charity sector 13 years ago after quitting the banking world.

She replaces Kate Bowmar who is leaving after three years in the job to start an NHS management career.

Chrissie is excited by the challenge of working with the Cheshire business community to raise funds for the Hospice.

She said: “I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but I’m very much looking forward to it and getting out and meeting people in the area.

“It’s about being out there in front of people more than anything else and helping to grow the reputation of the Hospice within the area as a corporate partner.

“Corporate fundraising is imperative for a charity. The business sector is a big pool which means there’s a lot of people to talk to. You can be talking to a boss of somewhere and all of a sudden they have 500 staff who’re involved.

“The Hospice is a fantastic facility and one of the things that stands out for me is that it’s not based on any specific life-limiting condition. It’s here for everyone in the community who needs it.”

Chrissie, whose son Seb was born in Macclesfield, changed careers after visiting a hospice during her job in commercial banking with RBS.

She said: “I looked after businesses which turned over £1m to £25m and, like everybody else, was blinkered thinking it was a job for life.

“I did a tour of a local children’s hospice because they wanted corporate fundraising and in my banking bubble didn’t even realise these places existed.

“It changed my life. I walked out and thought I was in the wrong job.

“I hounded until I was given a job as a corporate fundraiser and have been working in fundraising ever since.”

Apart from the hospice sector, Chrissie also worked at a centre for children with special needs and a domestic abuse charity.

Kate said: “I’ve loved fundraising for the hospice – it’s been amazing. I didn’t think I’d be going into an NHS management career, but the opportunity came up and I couldn’t really say no.

“I want to thank everyone from the business community who supports the Hospice. Corporate fundraising brings in significant sums of revenue and we’ve excellent relationships with the local community.”

Kate Bowmar (left) and Chrissie Hunter who is the new corporate fundraiser at 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.

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 –

Joanne Helm – Health Care Assistant –

Gill Black – Complementary Therapist –

Jill Harding – Health Care Assistant IPU –

Caroline Allen – Health Care Assistant IPU –

Pam Webster – Health Care Assistant IPU –

Laura Parker – Staff Nurse –