Uncategorised Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Virus Overview

East Cheshire Hospice is turning to virtual fundraising to try to plug a £1m hole in its finances caused by coronavirus.

We are quickly making plans for a new online fundraising campaign to make up for a severe drop in income.

The Hospice was forced to cancel a host of events because of Covid-19 and will lose around a third of the £3m income it generates annually from fundraising and donations.

Rachel Allcock, Income Generation Director, said: “This revenue loss is a huge blow but we’re determined to fight back and raise the funds needed to care for our patients.

“That’s why we’re working on an ambitious virtual fundraising campaign which people can undertake while they’re at home.”  Visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/virtual-challenge for details.

Meanwhile, bedside visits to patients are limited to immediate family only, charity shops have closed and many staff are working from home.

Hospice staff checking in from home for their daily coronavirus conference call.

Edna Keefe (84), who has worked in the laundry room since the Hospice opened, reluctantly went into self-isolation.

Edna briefed HR colleague Sue Adams about her role as a contingency.

Sue said: “We’re one team and always help each other out. I’ve also learned about the reception duties and the most important thing is to give the best possible care to patients and their families.

“They’re at the heart of everything we do and we’re all pulling together, even though it’s going to be a bumpy ride for a while.”

Sue Adams helping out with laundry duties.

Hospice on Lockdown

East Cheshire Hospice has suspended some of its services and postponed fundraising events because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Hospice has been forced to take the drastic measures to comply with government advice to prevent the spread of the virus.

Outpatient appointments at its Sunflower Centre are suspended until further notice along with Hospice day programmes.

The Hospice will use telehealth technology to look after its patients remotely.

Meanwhile, the Hospice @Home service and inpatient wards will use extra screening questions to protect patients and staff.

Families are being asked to limit visiting whenever possible to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

Reception and ward volunteers aged under 70 are being asked to report for their normal duties.

However, all other volunteers are being requested to stay away from the Hospice for at least two weeks from when the guidelines were issued (Tue March 17).

Non-clinical staff have been set up with equipment to enable them to work from home.

The Hospice has cancelled some of its fundraising activities which is a major blow to an organisation which needs to raise £7,500 a day to keep going.

The Hospice said it is experiencing financial challenges like many other charities and has thanked its donors for their ‘continued support during this exceptionally difficult time.’

Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We must adhere strictly to government guidelines while doing our utmost to ensure our patients continue to receive the best possible care.

“That care continues during this pandemic, ensuring that our patients and their families still receive the same support which is so essential during end-of-life care.

“Our patients and families have been so accommodating in these are unprecedented times and we sincerely hope these measures will have the minimum impact on all those affected.

“They have been most understanding and so too have been our supporters and volunteers. We have received many messages of support which will provide us with great strength in the challenging weeks ahead.

“During these uncertain times it’s important that our local community continues to support its local Hospice. The loss of revenue from fundraising events is a severe blow, but our expertise and care will be needed more than ever, and we sincerely hope that our supporters will help us as much as they possibly can.”

East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston.

Who Are The Women And What Do They Want?

East Cheshire Hospice has been part of Jill Harding’s life since her late mum was a patient 18 years ago.

Jill held her wedding reception there shortly after Mary Barber was admitted. A few days later her mum died of stomach cancer, aged 58.

Jill became a volunteer and for the last decade has worked there as a health care assistant.

She said: “I always say mum’s gift to me was introducing me to the Hospice. Mum loved Matt and really wanted to see us married.”

Fellow What Women Want member Julie Barnes remembers the Hospice caring for her late mother-in-law Maureen Barnes.

Julie, a Placement Officer for Total People, said: “The Hospice were unbelievable, it was the highlight of Maureen’s week visiting the Sunflower Centre.”

Julie and Jo Millward call the numbers at disco bingo nights at Tytherington School which loyally supports the fundraisers. Julie’s mum Sheila Gilman is a staunch WWW supporter after the Hospice lovingly cared for her best friend Marlene.

Retired microbiologist Elaine Burgess runs the group’s finances. She said: “They all have marvellous ideas and I’m the sense checker and rein them in if they get carried away.

“It’s about raising funds for the Hospice, giving people value for money, having a good time and friendship. We’re all there for everybody.

“We’ve had a brilliant time and done some mad things with the odd embarrassing moment, like the belly dancer who couldn’t dance and a snake charmer with a snake the size of a worm.”

The What Women Want logo designed by artist Sarah Smith.

Free Legal Advice Clinic at East Cheshire Hospice

A new free legal advice clinic has been launched at the Hospice.

The expert advice provided by DLS Solicitors is available to the public even if clients have no Hospice connection.

The clinics, which are part of the Hospice’s advanced care planning, are in the Sunflower Centre every second Friday of the month (10 am-1 pm).

Appointments last 30 minutes and must be booked before the day by calling Hospice reception on  01625 610364.

Subjects covered include Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Court of Protection, Probate, Severance of Tenancy and Conveyancing.

Legal issues can sometimes be complex and confusing and anyone unable to attend the clinic can visit the DLS offices for the same 30-minute offer.

DLS Solicitors took part in Will Week  last year, the company raising more £1,000 for the Hospice by donating their time free of charge.

There is no obligation for clients to use DLS Solicitors for any legal services after attending the clinic, but if they do the firm will donate 10 per cent of profits made through these appointments to the Hospice.


Kate Bowmar, Corporate Fundraiser at the Hospice, said:”We’d encourage anyone with legal queries to take advantage of this service, including patients, volunteers, supporters and members of the public.”

Kate Bowmar, Corporate Fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice.

Spring Ball 2020 Is Coming!

A glitzy night of glamour headlined by top-class song and dance is promised at our Spring Ball 2020.

The lavish evening of fine dining and live entertainment is in a special marquee at Alderley Edge Cricket Club on Friday, March 27.

Tickets cost £70 each, or £700 for a table of 10. This includes a welcome drink on arrival and a three course meal. The event starts at 7 pm, with carriages at 1 am. Dress code is black tie.

The event is organised by the committee which has staged Fashion on the Edge and previous winter balls so has great experience of such functions.

Diners will be treated to a spectacular medley of songs from The Greatest Showman performed by the A Million Dreams tribute act, comprising Toby Hinson, Kerri Leigh and Rebecca White.

The DATS Dance School will also be showcasing their skills, the group having earned rave reviews for previous appearances at Hospice balls.

To register visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/springball20/ or call 01625 433477 or email events@echospice.org.uk.

Hospice Events Manager Beth Candy said: “It’ll be a wonderful occasion and lots of our supporters have already bought tickets, but there’s still places left for anyone who wants a great night out and at the same time is supporting the Hospice.”

The DATS Dance School in action.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates & Management

East Cheshire Hospice care for people with life-limiting illnesses so it is important in the current and everchanging Coronavirus situation that we take all reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of those using our services, our staff and volunteers.


Status as on 27th March 2020

As of Monday 23rd March, East Cheshire Hospice is suspending its outpatients appointments and day hospice programmes and using telehealth procedures to look after its patients until further notice. Its Hospice @Home Service and inpatient wards are using extra screening questions to protect patients and staff. Families are being asked to limit visiting whenever possible to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

All volunteers except for reception volunteers have been asked not to report for duty following Government orders. Non-clinical staff have been set up with equipment to enable them to work from home.

With the cancellation of so many fundraising activities, the Hospice is experiencing financial challenges like many other charities, we thank our donors for their continued support during this exceptionally difficult time.


Read about our operational response to the current guidance here

Status as on 13th March 2020

We request that all patients, relatives and visitors consider whether they could be a potential carrier of the Coronavirus and therefore pose a risk to others before visiting the Hospice, attending fundraising events or visiting our Hospice shops.

We are doing all we can at East Cheshire Hospice to protect our patients and staff from the spread of COVID – 19 Coronavirus.

It is therefore very important that:

You stay at home and self isolate without any testing for COVID 19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if you have:

A continuous new cough or A high temperature of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher.

The safety of our patients is our top priority.

It is important that anyone accessing our services uses the hand gel/sanitiser provided and to cover any cough or sneezes with a tissue and dispose of in a covered bin.

If anyone is concerned about their potential exposure to the Coronavirus infection, they should contact 111 who will advise whether they meet the threshold for testing, in which case they should not attend the hospice until the results of this are known.


Useful Links:

For the latest information about the Coronavirus in the UK visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Advice for travellers: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-travellers/

If you have either returned from or been in contact with someone who has travelled abroad within the past 14 days please use the link to the website below to access the latest advice and guidance in relation to Coronavirus, before visiting the Hospice or accessing our services.



General advice to protect yourself and others and reduce the spread of the virus is:

  1. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  2. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  3. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.



Branch Manager’s ‘tree-mendous’ help for Hospice



LEEK United’s Veronica ‘Ronnie’ McNeil gave East Cheshire Hospice (ECH) a ‘tree-mendous’ helping hand after becoming a ‘Branch Manager’ of a different kind for the day…

Ronnie, who runs the Society’s Macclesfield Branch, joined other volunteers for the Hospice’s annual Christmas Tree Collection this month (January).

Now in its 20th year, the collection and recycling event raises vital funds for the Hospice by putting householders’ unwanted old ‘living’ festive trees to good use.

People make a donation to the ECH when they register their tree for collection, and teams toured the postcode areas in and around the Hospice picking up over 7,000 trees for shredding.

“This is the second year that Leek United has sponsored one of the collection vans, and I wanted to join them again by helping on the rounds,” said Ronnie.

“Many of the old trees we collect would otherwise end up on rubbish dumps, so this is a great, fun way to raise funds for the Hospice – one of the Society’s main charity beneficiaries – and the amazing work it does in our community.”

Each year, the Christmas Tree Collection raises over £100,000 and last year ECH reached the cumulative sum of £1million raised since the collection started.

Kate Bowmar, Corporate Fundraiser at ECH, said: “We are extremely grateful that Leek United offered to sponsor a van for our annual Christmas Tree Collection for the second year in a row, and were delighted that Ronnie volunteered to join us again.

“Every year we rely heavily on the generosity of local businesses such as Leek United to cover the cost of running the collection, meaning all donations received will go directly to supporting the Hospice.”


Leek United’s Macclesfield Branch Manager Veronica ‘Ronnie’ McNeil (far left) is pictured with fellow volunteers Tom Horsfield and Georgina Timson in front of the van sponsored by the Society for the tree collection.

Hospice Focus Groups

We want to hear feedback on our services from members of the community, even if they have never used our services.

The Hospice is making the appeal as part of a plan to shape its services for the future.

The Hospice’s Governance Co-ordinator Claire Duncan, who leads the Engagement and Insight Programme, said: “Feedback is central to service improvement here at East Cheshire Hospice, and we already collect feedback from our patients, their families, volunteers and members of staff.

“We have internal focus groups for departments such as the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre, our in-patient unit, Hospice @Home and our volunteer service. We monitor all the feedback we are given to make sure we’re learning from it and providing the best services we can.

“However, now we want to spread the net wider, including getting the opinions of those who may not have even heard of the Hospice and the services it provides.

“It’s possible that there are unmet needs that we are unaware of, or that some of our services are not as well known as they might be, but we won’t know that unless we talk to our community.

“We hope that this additional feedback will help us learn how we can improve our services, or create new services, based on the needs of the community.

Claire Duncan, Governance Co-ordinator at East Cheshire Hospice.


“I’d love to make contact with people who have used our services in the past, may never have heard of, or used, East Cheshire Hospice and who would be willing to join and participate in a focus group so we can extend our feedback and insight channels.”


if you’d like to join a focus group or are interested in finding out more information, please contact us on 01625 610364 or email admin@echospice.org.uk or via our website eastcheshirehospice.org.uk

Reaching New Heights for the Hospice

Sisters Jemima and Annabelle Jordan have been reaching new heights with their latest fundraising challenges.


Annabelle (11) climbed Mount Snowdon, while Jemima (13) tackled two Snowdonia passes, Crackstone Rib and the Wrinkle, both of which are rated as severe.


The King’s School pupils, from Henbury, presented a cheque for £2,050 to East Cheshire Hospice from their adventures.


From left, April Green, Key Relationships Manager at East Cheshire Hospice, with Annabelle, Jemima and Katie Jordan.


The donation will support the charity’s Childhood Bereavement Service which has already benefitted from the family’s generosity and Dream Beams, a charity established last year by the girls’ mum Katie to support children’s causes.


It was inspired by Jemima and Annabelle baking cakes to help buy Christmas presents for a children’s home in Barbados.


A charity Ball raised £102,100 for the Hospice and Katie’s team will tackle the National Three Peaks Challenge in June as part of their next fundraising challenge.


Katie has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Jemima and Annabelle have also raised funds for the Hand on Heart charity to provide defibrillators for local schools.

Ward Volunteers Needed!

Jackie Wayman has been helping out on the ward at East Cheshire Hospice for less than six months and wishes she had started sooner.


East Cheshire Hospice is looking for new ward volunteers like Jackie and will explain more at an open evening in the Hospice chapel on Millbank Drive, Macclesfield, on Wednesday, January 22 (5-7 pm).


Jackie, from Lyme Green, helps at lunchtime once a week and also does an afternoon on reception.


She said: “The Hospice is so well-loved by the people of Macclesfield and surrounding areas, I thought I’d apply to volunteer there.  I wish I’d tried to fit in a shift before I retired 18 months ago as it’s so rewarding.”

“I really enjoy it. I serve drinks when the patients have lunch, help them if they need assistance, have a chat with them and make their family a drink if required. I then clear up and log what they’ve eaten.  This all saves the time of the nurses and kitchen staff who’re always so busy.”


“I had very good training and there’s always someone to help if you need it. Everyone I’ve met at the Hospice has been kind and helpful because everyone is there because they want to be, not because they have to be.”


“The nursing staff are brilliant and make you feel valued and appreciated as a volunteer.

I know the Hospice are looking for men as well as women and it’d be nice for the male patients especially to hear and see another man on the ward volunteering.”

Volunteer Co-ordinator Helena Smith said: “We’re looking primarily, but not exclusively, for weekend and evening ward volunteers.”


Jackie Wayman with fellow volunteer David Black.


“Hopefully, people will think it’s a nice way to give something back at quieter times. The shifts can fit around people’s working lives and run from 9-11 am; 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm. It can be as little as once a month, or as much as once a week.”


“The role has a huge impact and we have volunteers from all backgrounds. We offer training and support and men and women are welcome to contact us.”


For more details contact Julie Hatt (jhatt@echospice.org), go to the Hospice volunteers web page or Facebook page, or just turn up on Jan 22.