Fundraising Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Pip’s hair-raising-experience!

Schoolgirl Philippa Wilson has just undergone a hair-raising experience – having her beautiful blond locks cut for the first time!

Even Pip’s hairdresser was anxious about using the scissors because she had never seen hair that long before.

Pip with a reminder of her long hair.   

The nine-year-old volunteered to face the chop to raise money for two charities, East Cheshire Hospice and Treetops Hospice.

Her friend’s mum Nicola Murrells was originally from Stoke-on-Trent and then lived in Prestbury. She died of cancer in 2018 and was cared for by East Cheshire Hospice.

Pip, a former pupil at King’s School, donated her hair to The Little Princess Trust as a way of helping other children.

Pip said: “I’ve never had a hair-cut and have always loved having my blonde hair super long. I’ve given my hair to The Little Princess Trust so they can make it into a long-haired wig. They’re really desperate for long hair.

Pip’s new look hairstyle.

“I want to thank all my sponsors and the money raised will go to the Hospice’s childhood bereavement services.”

“My friend’s experience made me very aware just how important this help and support is to children who’ve lost their mummy.”

Pip’s mum Deborah said: “Pip’s so proud and happy she’s had it cut and is delighted with the result. She has no regrets and couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. Pip said it feels so light and swishy.

“Pip’s always been sensitive about her hair and that was her super power. It was quite a thing for her to have 27 inches of hair cut off, but she took it all in her stride.

“The hairdresser was more nervous than Pip. She said she’d never seen natural hair that long, never mind cut it all off.”

Hairdresser Ruby Beeston, who owns Ruby Ysabelle Hair based at Denstone Hall Farm Shop and Cafe, performed the hour-long cut for free.

Ruby and her fiancé even donated £200, helping the fundraising top its £2,222 target.

Pip and classmates at her new school Denstone Prep undertook various challenges in aid of both hospices knowing they support families and children across Cheshire and Staffordshire.

From left, Elizabeth, Beatrix and Pip Wilson.

Meanwhile, Pip’s elder sister Elizabeth (10) is now contemplating having her long hair cut, while younger sister Beatrix (4) insists her hair stays away from any scissors, or even hair-clips!

* To donate visit

Fundraising Latest

The long-awaited return of fundraising events has come as a welcome relief for East Cheshire Hospice. The charity held a Drive-In Cinema and a Firewalk last month after a two-year break from events due to the pandemic. The previous formal event staged by the Hospice was a Tough Woofer dog walk back in October 2019.

The Drive-In Cinema at Capesthorne Hall.

Thankfully, since then generous individuals and local groups have rallied to support the Hospice with donations and with their own fundraising initiatives. The Hospice stresses that it still requires that much-needed public support to continue during difficult financial times.

Meanwhile, it is making plans for more official community events in 2022, on top of those already announced.

Challenge Events Coordinator Bethan Wade said: “We’re glad to be back – it was such a huge relief to be holding events again.

“It’s been such a frustrating time, but October 2021 was a big milestone for us with the Drive-In Cinema and Firewalk.

The East Cheshire Hospice fundraising team at the Drive-In Cinema


Supporter Finn O’Gara takes on the firewalk challenge, one of two fundraising events held by East Cheshire Hospice last month.

“Both were very successful and it felt good to be in touch with the community again. We made sure all necessary safety precautions were taken, including social distancing measures.

“Like everyone else, we’re keeping a close eye on the number of Covid infections locally and nationally. “We will adapt our plans accordingly if necessary, but hopefully the worst is over and 2022 will be a much better year for us all in so many ways.”

The quiz group who regularly support the Hospice held another of their competitions last Friday. The annual Christmas tree collection will be held on the weekend of January 15-16, although registrations are not yet open. This year’s collection was delayed for three months until lockdown restrictions were eased, but still raised a staggering £150,000.

Around 1,000 trees were collected in April – a seventh of the total that would have been recycled had the collection been on time in January.

Supporters who had not even registered their trees for collection made donations to help out the Hospice.

The Memory Miles walk will be on Friday, March 25, at Adlington Hall. By then it will be three years since the charity last staged this popular mass participation event which has been postponed four times.

John Jones Milestone

When musician John Jones MBE dropped off his latest collection at East Cheshire Hospice he reached a £100,000 milestone of fundraising. The accordion player has been busking outside the Hospice shop ECHO in Poynton since it opened just over a year ago after taking six months off during the pandemic.

John also performed last month with Stockport Accordion Club for a 20th annual concert at Broken Cross Club in aid of the Hospice. His support for the Hospice stretches back over many years, hence the six-figure sum he has raised. Amazingly, he has also raised a similar amount for the intensive care unit at Macclesfield and District General Hospital which cared for his wife June who died last year.

John Jones performing at the 20th anniversary concert.

John, from Macclesfield, said: “It was a fantastic concert and such a great thrill. It was like a big family reunion after Covid and it’s been a privilege to be part of it over the years when I’ve made so many friends.”

John enjoys entertaining residents at care homes, playing their favourite music and songs from yesteryear. The retired structural engineer said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their kind donations towards the Hospice and hospital which are both close to my heart.”

 John delivers his collection box to East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston (left) and Community Fundraiser Carley Macey (right).

He has raised about £330,000 for local charities during more than 30 years playing his accordion. He still has the antique accordion which belonged to his father Edgar who inspired him to play.

John received the MBE for charitable work in 2012.

Finley Foot chases his ambitions

Kind-hearted runner Finley Foote has set a fast pace as he chases an ambitious £10,000 fundraising target. His total already stands at an impressive £7,000 – an amazing achievement for the Bollington schoolboy who became a teenager several weeks ago.

Finley sprang into action 18 months ago when the first lockdown forced East Cheshire Hospice to cancel several fundraising events, including a Splash Out day his family had intended to take part in. When Finley heard about the charity’s plight, he ran two and a half miles every day to raise  sponsorship while his school was shut. Many others members of the community also undertook similar fundraising challenges, generously helping out the Hospice.

Finley Foote on one of his runs.

Except that Finley has never stopped running or raising funds since, rarely taking a day off from exercise and clocking up 848 miles in the process. He has long since returned to Tytherington School where teachers and class mates have supported his efforts.

Finley received a Macclesfield Mayoral youth commendation for his community contribution after a nomination by teachers. He is also due to receive a similar civic award in Bollington.

Finley receives his Mayoral award from Cllr Sarah Bennett-Wake, watched by Emmanuel Botwe, Headteacher at Tytherington School.

Proud mum Sarah said: “Finley was self-motivated to go out and do the fundraising himself. I also think the running helped his mental health during lockdown because he’s so active and was gutted that all his sport stopped.

“It was his way of keeping himself going and now he’s decided he wants to raise £10,000 for the Hospice.

“He ran every day during both lockdowns and decided himself that he’d run again when he couldn’t go back to school after Christmas.

“It has required a lot of stamina, especially with all the sport he plays, and he’s been out running even if he’s not quite felt 100 per cent.

“Finley still goes off and does his runs and is keen to enter some organised runs to keep trying to raise more money.

“I’m also proud that he’s aware people have already given him money for the fundraising and so he can’t keep asking them. He’s sensitive to that and realistic and knows a lot have sponsored him. ”

Finley, and friend Matty Dowd, were among the youngest to tackle a gruelling Tough Mudder last month, and thanks to more donations, the total is creeping up.

* To sponsor Finley visit

Finley taking part in a Tough Mudder to raise funds.

Geoff Gittins walking challenge

Business partners Geoff Gittins and David Baker are turning their walking challenge in aid of East Cheshire Hospice into an annual event. Their latest adventure saw them tackle the demanding Limestone Way over the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales.

Keen walkers Geoff Gittins (left) and David Baker.

A year ago the pair undertook the Gritstone Trail to support the Hospice where Geoff’s late father Harold and late uncle Leslie Singleton were patients. Geoff and David are directors at The Switched On Solutions Group (SOSG), with the company part of the charity’s 500 club in which members raise at least £500 a year over a three-year period. They were also honouring the memory of fellow walker Sandra Baran who was also cared for by the Hospice. Sandra, who died in 2020, was a colleague of Geoff at AstraZeneca.

Geoff, from Macclesfield, said: “We spread the walk over three days and it was tougher than our previous walk. The limestone was craggy and had steep climbs and descents, but we enjoyed the challenge and will attempt another walk next year.”

Geoff is a Hospice lottery volunteer and an authorised partner for multi-service providers UW (Utility Warehouse). The Hospice benefits from Geoff’s donations from his commission payments.

Geoff said: “We offer free online reviews so businesses and home owners can lower costs by getting the best deals and benefit themselves and the Hospice at the same time.”

* To sponsor their challenge visit

Daring Double Wing Walk

Thrill seeker Andrew Hine admits roller coasters will never quite be the same again after a daring wing walk. The father-of-two even went up in the air twice so he could perform loop- the-loops on his second attempt. He joined other daredevils at an airfield in Gloucestershire, all of them raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice. The flights were on top of a classic 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane. Andrew, from Upton Priory, honoured the memory of grandfather Norman Wilcox who died in the Hospice in 1995.

Andrew Hine ready for his wing walk adventure.

Andrew, a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it before and the days of Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach might not be quite as exciting any more.

“I know it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but when I saw they only do upside down from a second wing walk I couldn’t resist. “I’ve not been spending a lot of money during lockdown so thought I’d treat myself and it was a fun thing to do and a great adrenalin rush. “The pilot managed to do a few aerobatic manoeuvres, including a couple of stall turns and two loop-the-loops. It was a brilliant day. “The most daring thing I’d done was a sky dive 15 years ago and to some it would have looked terrifying and the worst thing you can possibly imagine, but for me it was exciting.”

Wife Lahdan was there to witness Andrew’s aerial acrobatics. To sponsor him visit

Other high flyers included seven members of the Hospice staff. Health care assistants Joanne Helm, Jill Harding, Caroline Allen and Pam Webster were joined by complementary therapist Gill Black, staff nurse Laura Parker and fundraiser Bethan Wade.

The oldest participant was Hospice volunteer Barbara Spivey who, at 74, was one of several grandmothers who undertook the challenge.

Bethan said: “It was an amazing day and a different kind of fundraising challenge and we’d like to thank everyone for taking part and raising funds for the Hospice.  Everyone had a great time and hopefully we can arrange another wing walk.”

Sahara Trek Postponed

East Cheshire Hospice has been forced to postpone its Saharan trek again because of Covid-19. On-going uncertainty over international travel restrictions left organisers with no option but to delay the adventure until November 2022.

It was initially put back until this coming winter but a decision has been made to delay until Nov 12-19 next year. Places are still available for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which involves scaling Moroccan sand dunes and camping under the stars. A four-day 50 kilometre trek ends with a two-day stop in Marrakech to assist with a community project.

The trip costs £1,320, including a £325 registration fee payable at the time of booking to secure a place. Participants will then be required to fundraise a minimum of £1,990 for the Hospice. Support and fundraising ideas will be provided by staff to help meet the target. Contact Bethan Wade on 01625 665691 or email to find out more.

Challenge Co-ordinator Bethan said: “We’re sorry to have to delay the trek again, but I’m sure it’ll be a fabulous experience when it does finally take place. “The travel team will ensure all safety measures are put in place and we can offer ideas and inspiration on fundraising.”

Contact Bethan Wade on 01625 665691 or email to find out more.

Trekkers include accounts assistant Rob Gorton who has been undertaking a series of fundraising challenges in aid of the charity this year.

Rob Gorton who is taking part in a Saharan trek in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.



Joan’s Sunflower Donations Continue to Blossom

A simple sunflower seed has led to a thriving fundraising venture for Joan Edwards to honour her son-in-law’s memory.

When Liam Ward was in the care of East Cheshire Hospice in 2018, his wife Michaela bought a packet of seeds from the Hospice reception area.

Liam died of sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, aged 34 and the sunflower is the Hospice emblem.

Joan has grown the sunflowers in her greenhouse since her daughter gave her the seeds, raising £810 for the Hospice in return for a £1 donation for each flower.

Joan said: “Michaela isn’t green fingered and asked me to grow them. It started as a bit of fun between the family and grandchildren.

“I took the seeds from the head of my biggest sunflower and dried them over the first winter before planting them again and selling 450 last year.

“It wasn’t quite as popular this year, but it doesn’t make any difference how much, or how many. It’s my way of giving back to the Hospice for what they did for Liam and the help they gave him, Michaela and their two boys.

“I advertise on Facebook and lot of people buy them who’ve probably faced a similar situation in their lives. It’s become popular and friends now look forward to it each year.”

Joan also grows lettuce, spring onions, tomatoes and runner beans in her back garden.

Joan Edwards at home in her greenhouse.

Play Our Lottery!

Organisers of the East Cheshire Hospice lottery are appealing for new members to raise much-needed funds.

Income has dropped over the last 18 months with door-to-door collections suspended during Covid-19, along with charity shop recruitment.

The lottery generates £324,000 a year which pays for three days of care each week in the Hospice’s Sunflower Centre.

Tickets are still only £1 with a weekly jackpot of £1,000, plus 22 other cash prizes, including a second prize of £200, which can rollover.

Of the £1 entry, 72p goes directly to fund patient care. The lottery has more than 6,000 members and has been going since 1995, raising around £4.5m.

Lottery manager Carol Frain said: “We’d love to get new members but haven’t been able to do any recruitment because of the pandemic.

“We haven’t increased the ticket price and are cheaper than many other lotteries. You don’t just play to win, you’re also giving someone with a life-limiting illness the support they need.”

Some jackpot winners, including a volunteer, have donated winnings to the Hospice which needs to raise at least £7,500 a day to keep going.

Winners are drawn randomly each Friday and results published on the Hospice website and in the Macclesfield Express.

Entry at £4.34 a month can be via direct debit, debit card or cheque. Scratch cards are also available.

* To join visit or call 01625 433477 (Ext 2).

Lottery organisers Carol Frain (left) and Celia Stanley.

Heather Broadbent Update

Sailor Heather Broadbent is refusing to give up on her round-the-world voyage despite a two-year gap at home.

She was midway through the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race before it was suspended early last year because of Covid-19.

The event is due to resume in the Philippines next February, although Heather admits she had serious misgivings about completing the race and thought long and hard about going back.

She hopes to raise £40,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where her late husband Adam (45) was a patient.

Heather said: “After a difficult year of low and lonely times,  I’ve really struggled with my mental health and I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to continue with my round-the-world challenge for the Hospice.

“Only in the last few weeks with the support and encouragement of my family have I realised that I’m still strong and capable and I can finish what I started over three years ago when I first signed up for the 40,000 mile race and a £40,000 challenge.”

Heather, a landscape gardener, will possibly enter the record books for competing in the longest round-the-world race in history.

An event that should have taken 11 months saw some competitors drop out because of the lengthy delay. It is now due to finish almost three years after its start date in September 2019.

Heather, from Disley, said: “It was a difficult decision to consider going back.  During the first lockdown, I only thought I’d be home for two or three months and that was my mind set.

“I was still in the zone then but being stuck at home has been tough mentally and it’s been hard getting my head back into gear thinking about resuming.

“However, I’d kick myself if I didn’t try to finish it. It’s not in my nature not to complete something.”

Heather is meeting other crew members in London this month before attending a refresher course. Her team yacht GoToBermuda has been stuck in Asia since she left.

Heather said: “The plan was to circumnavigate the globe in one go and the long break in the middle is a huge disappointment. I’m nervous I’ve forgotten what to do.”

Heather has already raised more than £29,000 for the Hospice’s Hospice @Home service. “I’ve been stuck around that mark for a while but I’m determined to meet my target.”

* To sponsor Heather visit

Heather Broadbent on her voyage.