Fundraising Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Face Coverings

Talented seamstress Shelagh Julian has made a variety of items since she started sewing more than 80 years ago.

Her highlight was making the dress she wore when she married her late husband John 69 years ago.

Now she has added a new product to her hobby by creating face masks for East Cheshire Hospice.

Shelagh is part of a 35-strong team of volunteers making masks which are in big demand and raising vital funds.

Shelagh Julian with her customised East Cheshire Hospice face masks.

Shelagh (89) has already made more than 200 masks which are sold in exchange for a suggested £3 donation to the Hospice.

She has helped the Hospice since moving from Plymouth to Macclesfield 13 years ago.

Shelagh, who has four great grandchildren and was a registered nurse, said: “Sewing gives me a great deal of pleasure and I’m lucky to be healthy enough to do it.

“I probably spend three hours a day on average sewing and enjoy watching things materialise. It’s a lovely feeling when you can make something that’s wanted and raises funds for the Hospice.

“Friends and neighbours have been extremely generous donating materials and the masks have been even more popular now they must be worn in shops.”

* Masks are available at the Hospice reception; The Poachers Inn; The Tytherington Club; Kelley’s Dry Cleaners, Broken Cross; Macclesfield Golf Club; St Alban’s Church; New Life Church, Congleton and St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield.

More outlets have said they will sell masks once the Hospice has further stock.

Annie’s legacy

Helen Dimmick inherited her love of jewellery from her late grandmother Annie, a gem who twinkled in her eyes.

The wedding ring Annie gave her before she died at East Cheshire Hospice in 1994 is the most precious thing she owns.

Helen, now a leading jewellery specialist, is passing on her expertise to thank the Hospice for caring for Annie all those years ago.

She is donating 15 per cent of profits on all work undertaken in memory of a loved one. This includes resizing rings, remodelling jewellery, recycling gold for cash, or even creating bespoke items.

Jewellery expert Helen Dimmick.

Helen, from Macclesfield, has fond memories of weekend visits to her grandmother.

She said: “I’d play with her treasure box full of costume jewellery – the decorative effect and fun we had dressing up together was priceless.

“Nana also loved precious jewellery and having worked in a mill all her life she saved and appreciated the finer things in life.

Helen and brother James  with their grandmother Annie Dimmick.

“Accompanying her to antique fairs, I recall her keen eye spotting a bargain or unusual jewel. By far the most important thing to her was her wedding ring.

“Sadly she was widowed at an early age, but the love and memories contained in this simple 22ct yellow gold band mean it’s the most precious thing I own.”

Helen will be offering advice at Arighi Bianchi on Wednesday afternoons by appointment. Zoom calls are also available. Her email is, or call 07939 047056.

Helen, a qualified gemmologist and diamond grader, said: “I’m passionate about people and jewellery which has a sentimental value higher than its material value, though that’s increasing as gold prices rise.

“Jewellery can also be given a new lease of life. For instance, one lady had her husband’s ashes put in a locket and for another client we adapted a signet ring to include a wedding photograph.

“We’re only ever guardians of jewellery for a fleeting moment in time, as precious metals and gemstones have a durability ensuring they’re passed through generations.

“My nana is my guardian angel and I appreciate and respect the special care and dignity only a hospice can provide and which she received at East Cheshire Hospice.”

Annie Dimmick pictured in 1968 at the wedding of Helen’s parents. 


Do you want to help travel the length of Britain as part of Memory Miles?

It is East Cheshire Hospice’s easy way of raising funds to make up for the loss of its traditional fundraising events.

Using the slogan ‘With Our Community We Can Go The Distance’ the Hospice is appealing to the public to cover the 874 miles between John O’Groats and Land’s End.

Everyone will undertake their own challenge, either walking, running, cycling, skating, swimming or any other way of getting around.

Memory Miles, which runs until the end of September and is sponsored by Sidney Jackson and Son, is also a chance to honour lost loved ones although anyone can take part.

Sadly, due to the pandemic situation, the Hospice’s Light Up The Night event has had to be cancelled. The hope is that supporters will still be able to take part in a similar fundraising and memory event virtually with memory Miles.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “Whether you walk one mile or 100 miles, raise £10 or hundreds of pounds we’re all in this together and everyone’s efforts will directly help people in the community who need it most.

“We’re the second lowest funded Hospice in the country, but luckily our community is the greatest and have already shown us generosity we couldn’t have predicted. ”

To set up a personal fundraising justgiving page visit Miles covered combined for the overall distance. Entry is £15 for adults and £10 for children and includes a Memory Miles T-shirt.

Find out more and sign up now at

Last year’s Light Up The Night event which will not go ahead this September.

John Jones

Musician John Jones has spent more than 30 years cheering up patients playing songs on his accordion.

Lockdown has limited his fundraising appearances lately and allowed him to reflect on personal sadness after losing his wife June (76) in March.

She took great pride in her husband raising more than £300,000 for charity from his performances, including £89,000 for East Cheshire Hospice.

John, from Macclesfield, said: “I’ve had a lot of touching comments since June died and although she was quite shy she always supported me.

“It’s been frustrating during Covid because I can’t play at the Hospice, in the hospital corridor or in nursing homes where I entertained residents with their favourite songs.

“It’s a privilege and a pleasure to support the Hospice and Macclesfield District General Hospital and in particular their staff in ICU where June sadly passed away after receiving such wonderful and dedicated care.”

John (78) still has the antique accordion his father Edgar played, providing many happy childhood memories and inspiring him to learn to play the instrument.

John, with his charity donation box, plays his blue accordion sporting the badge of his beloved Manchester City for public appearances.

He received the MBE from Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace in 2012 for charitable work and three days later was sat behind the goal where Sergio Aguero scored to clinch the club’s long-awaited title triumph in 2012.

John and his wife June at Buckingham Palace when he received the MBE in 2012.

John, a retired structural engineer, worked in the bridges section for Manchester City Council.

He said: “I’m grateful to all my colleagues in Stockport Accordion Club who’ve supported the Hospice by performing an annual concert at Broken Cross Club. We were due to play our 20th anniversary concert in December.

“The event has wonderful support from the local community who look forward to it with great enthusiasm.

“I’ve made lots of friends with people who’ve enjoyed my music. I performed outside the Hospice a few weeks ago with singer Helen England, a performance which is on the Hospice Facebook page.”

John Jones and his beloved accordion.  

Firgus’ Summer Holiday

Firgus, the East Cheshire Hospice virtual Christmas tree, has enjoyed a summer holiday – unlike the rest of us!


His travels took him far and wide, raising an impressive £4,750 for the Hospice.


He started his month-long journey camping in Macclesfield Forest and also sent postcards from an Algarve beach, surfing in Australia, celeb spotting in LA and a catch up with Santa at the North Pole.


Hospice supporters denied their own travels by Covid-19 entered into the spirit of things with generous donations.


Firgus’ foreign adventure was the idea of Pete Chapman and wife Heather. Pete and friend Richard Raymond are co-founders of the  Christmas tree collection which has been running for 20 years in aid of the Hospice.

Pete Chapman (left) and Richard Raymond post Firgus’ holiday progress on the notice board in Prestbury.    


Richard said: “It was a little bit of fun and a way for our loyal Christmas tree supporters to help the Hospice at a time when its fundraising activities have been badly affected.


“We’d like to thank everyone who contributed and it won’t be long before we turn our attentions towards our usual Christmas collection.”


A picture competition themed on ‘What Your Christmas Tree Does in Summer?’ was won by the Ashworth family from Prestbury with their tree sporting sunglasses in a paddling pool.

The Ashworth family winning picture

Regular Giving Fundraising Update

The new Regular Giving campaign launched by East Cheshire Hospice comes amid ongoing uncertainty over future fundraising events.

With traditional ways of raising income via mass gathering events currently unavailable, the Hospice has turned to other methods of attracting help from the public.

Individual Giving Fundraiser Beth England said: “Our Now More than Ever campaign was launched as a result of Covid-19 and received amazing immediate support. We hope to keep that momentum and this latest campaign ties in quite nicely as a follow on.

“We had a massive influx of one-off donations from people doing community-spirited  events, including online, but as lives return to normal we won’t have as many of those fundraising initiatives.

“We’ll put on events in a safe socially-distant environment when we can, but without those events  that’s why fundraising through Regular Giving is so important.”

Beth’s new role, which also includes securing help from legacies, was created in February when she moved from the Hospice’s community fundraising team.

“We’ve always had the option for people to sign up to Regular Giving, but there’s now more of a focus.

“Covid-19 put a spanner in the works for preparations, but now is the right time to re-launch because we need long-term consistent help.

“It gives us stability and a reliable income. It’s really important to know that money will be coming in every month as we plan for the future and figure out new ways of fundraising so we can keep our services going.”

Beth England, Individual Giving Fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice.

East Cheshire Champions!

The search is on for Superheroes with the power to save the day and help East Cheshire Hospice!

The Hospice’s new marketing campaign, featuring a comic book theme, encourages the public to become East Cheshire Champions by making regular monthly payments.

Mail shots have been sent to 24,000 households and social media activity will also help promote the initiative.

The Regular Giving campaign has been planned since before Covid-19 struck.

However, it takes on even greater significance with the Hospice unable to stage mass-gathering fundraising events for the foreseeable future.

Events such as Splash Out were cancelled because of Covid-19.

Beth England, the Hospice’s Individual Giving Fundraiser, said: “The real Superheroes are members of the community – without their support our incredible nurses couldn’t do what they do.

“Regular gifts help us to plan for our future by providing a predictable income which is invaluable when we’re budgeting for services.

“This means that not only can we care for our patients and their families today, but also plan our services for the coming months and years.

“People can donate what they want – it could be anything from £3 to £25 a month.

“A £3 donation, or 10p a day, might not seem that much, but it really makes such a difference, especially if the community joins together.

“Just £7 a month could help pay for vital one-to-one nursing on our in-patient unit, delivering expert and compassionate care to our patients.

“Over a 12-month period your support could have a huge impact and help our nurses provide vital physical, emotional, social and psychological support to our patients and those close to them. This support is just not available anywhere else.”

The Hospice receives only 17 per cent of its funding from the government. The approximate breakdown of spending on every £1 income is –

* 54p directly on patient care for its inpatient unit and Hospice @Home.

*25p on fundraising activities organised by the Hospice and local community.

* 13p towards its Sunflower Wellbeing Centre and outpatient services.

* 8p on family support services, outreach and education.

Subscribers to the Regular Giving initiative will become an East Cheshire Champion and enjoy exclusive access to the Hospice.

They can contribute ideas and make suggestions to further improve the Hospice and receive regular updates, including how donations help and fund the charity.

* For more details visit


Leek United Fundraising Antics

Customers at the Macclesfield branch of Leek United Building Society were surprised when Veronica McNeil was strangely quiet one morning.

Veronica was taking part in a sponsored silence and raised £169 during a campaign by Leek United to help three charities, including East Cheshire Hospice.

The initiative by staff and customers across its 12 branches raised over £13,000, a total matched pound‐for-pound by the Society to just over £26,000. This therefore resulted in a donation of £8,681.12 to the Hospice as its share.

Veronica, from Macclesfield, said: “I can talk a lot and when my line manager jokingly asked whether I’d ever thought of a sponsored silence as my contribution I did ask him what he was trying to say.

“There’s no way I could have lasted a full day, so I did it for four hours. It was hard at times and I’m no good at charades which didn’t help.

“When customers said ‘hello’ I waved and Post‐it Notes came in useful.

“My colleagues Angela Ravenscroft, Debbie Swindley and Rukaya Sajid explained to customers what was happening and some generously made donations.”

A quiz, auction and endurance challenge were among other fundraising challenges in the group. Leek United is a regular supporter of the Hospice and makes donations through a savings scheme.

Home‐Start Staffordshire Moorlands and Treetops Hospice Care in Derbyshire were the other charities to receive donations from this latest initiative.

Leek United Building Society Branch Manager Veronica McNeil held a sponsored silence. 

Margaret Steps Out

Margaret Lillis saw her prayers answered when she raised £4,070 for East Cheshire Hospice where she is chaplain.

Her frustration at having to self-isolate during lockdown because she is 72 turned into a mission to help the Hospice.

Margaret’s sponsored walk over 18 consecutive days, using her age as a theme, received huge support as she smashed her £720 target.

Margaret, from Macclesfield, said: “I was gutted to be out of the Hospice at the end of March because of government guidelines and 72 seemed like a punishment.

“I wanted to do something positive so decided to walk 72,000 steps, averaging 4,000 steps a day.

“I walked round the places I know in Macclesfield, but this time there was a real point to my walking and I felt better because I was actually focussed on doing something for the Hospice.

“The good reason behind doing it really urged me on and I was staggered when the money poured in. Suddenly, 72 seemed like a gift rather than a curse!

“I want to publicly thank everyone, near and far, for responding in such an open-hearted way. This has been a hard time for people and money has been short and yet the generosity has been overwhelming.”

Margaret is now back at the Hospice offering the chaplaincy services she has provided for the last six years, the first two in a voluntary capacity.

She said: “It was hard when I was first told I couldn’t visit because I’m in there most days.

“I was concerned about not being able to see the patients and their families but the staff as well because it was a difficult time for them.

“I did write to them every day but obviously I wasn’t able to offer the same kind of support from a distance.

“Chaplaincy is about offering pastoral, spiritual and emotional support to people at the most difficult time of their lives…not only patients but their families as well.

“It was hard not being able to offer that support and be a listening ear for someone  when they were suffering the loss of their loved ones.

“Caring for our patients as well as their families is something we all take extremely seriously at East Cheshire Hospice and I’m grateful to be back there now.”

Chaplain Margaret Lillis who raised £4,070 for East Cheshire Hospice.

Emayoga Class and Ryan Giggs’ Message

Yoga teacher Emma Hall is holding a virtual one-hour Zoom class on Saturday, June 27, from 9 am as her way of helping East Cheshire Hospice.

All proceeds will go to the Hospice which treated her friend Sarah Shackleton-Lamptey who died of breast cancer in 2014, age 36.

All abilities are welcome to join the yoga class and participants will be charged £5, with the option to donate more.

Yoga teacher Emma Hall.

Emma has taught yoga for five years, although it has been part of her life for 26 years.

Clients, including a number of large north west companies, have been joining her classes online during lockdown.

The mother of four sons said: “These yoga classes are designed to be accessible for anyone – of any age, flexibility, or ability level.

“So if you’re new to yoga, or looking for a greater challenge, then hopefully you’ll join the classes and raise money for a great cause.”

* To sign up visit


Meanwhile, ex-Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has sent a message of support for a fundraising campaign by Sarah’s husband Carl Lamptey.

Giggs said: “We need your support more than ever during these difficult times so please support the Hospice.”

Former City players Joe Corrigan and Michael Brown have also added their names to the appeal which has raised over £15,000 alone through Carl’s Just Giving page.

* To support Carl visit