Uncategorised Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

The Proseal Wing opening

A new wing at East Cheshire Hospice entirely funded by the amazing generosity of Proseal uk Ltd has officially opened. The extension at the charity’s site on Millbank Drive, Macclesfield, will be known as ‘The Proseal Wing’ honouring the name of the company co-founded by Steve Malone and Rob Hargreaves.

Ribbon cutting – Steve Barnett, Karyn Johnston, Derek Barrett (Proseal Technical Director), Will Spinks (Hospice Trustee), Robbie Hargreaves, David Briggs, Lee Hodson (Proseal Head of Business Intelligence)

The building will act as a Co-ordinated Care Hub for the charity’s ‘Hospice @Home’ service, which has been an overwhelming success since it began almost four years ago, and the new Coordinated Care service, developed to help to guide both the patient and their family through the complexity of end-of-life care.

The clinical leadership team and some support services will also be based in the new two-storey block which is sited at the back of the Hospice and links the clinical ward with the administration unit.

Hospice Senior Management Team – Debbie Alexander, Sarah Dale, Shelley Seabourne, Karyn Johnston, Rachel Allcock, Sandra Jones

Contractors finished the 10-month project on schedule without causing any disruption to the charity’s day-to-day care provisions. ‘Hospice @Home’ and the Coordinated Care Service has been funded by so-called ‘Hospice Angels’ who pledged to support the service over its first five years.

East Cheshire Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We’re delighted and proud to be able to open this new building which provides such a valuable and significant resource to our community and is an essential part of our plans for the future. “It’s only been possible thanks to the generosity of Proseal’s co-founders Steve Malone and Rob Hargreaves and we thank them sincerely.

Steve Barnett, Will Spinks, Lee Hodson, David Briggs, Robbie Hargreaves, Karyn Johnston, Derek Barrett

“The Proseal wing allows the Hospice to move into the next stage of our ‘Hospice @Home’ project, putting East Cheshire Hospice at the centre of co-ordinating palliative care in our community.

“It means that more people than ever before will be able to access end-of-life care and support at home, and receive specialist care if needed at the Hospice.”

Steve and Rob co-founded Adlington based tray sealing specialist Proseal in 1998 and say the donation made in 2019, is on the behalf of all Proseal employees, whose hard work and dedication enabled them to make this important contribution.

They said: “We have enjoyed immense success and growth in the 23 years since Proseal was established, and none of this could have been achieved without the fantastic support and commitment of everyone within the business.”

“Proseal therefore wanted to give something back to the local community. We chose the Christie Cancer Centre and East Cheshire Hospice as the recipients because of the vital work they do, which any of us at Proseal, as well as our families and friends, may have to call on at some point.”

Proseal has been a global success, receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 in recognition of its international trade exports. Proseal became part of the Chicago-based JBT Corporation two years ago and employs 400 people at Adlington, part of a 6000-strong global workforce. Steve and Robbie are long-standing supporters of fundraising group ‘What Women Want’ and their £1m donation to the Hospice came via their link with that fundraising committee.

What Women Want – Jayne Carter, Jill Harding, Julie Barnes, Elaine Burgess, Jo Millward

In addition, ‘What Women Want’ have funded a car so Hospice @Home staff can visit patients at home as part of their on-going support, dating back many years.

‘Hospice @Home’ extends end-of-life care into people’s homes providing hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of- life care and care after death.

* East Cheshire Hospice is the second lowest funded in the country, receiving 17 per cent of the income it needs to keep going from government. It costs £7,500 a day to provide palliative care for patients, their family and carers.

Newest member of the marketing team at the Hospice

Netball coach Becky Sidwell has become the latest signing for East Cheshire Hospice by joining its marketing team.

She already knew a lot about the charity having raised funds for the Hospice with Macclesfield Netball Club where she is a coach, umpire and committee member.

Unfortunately, Becky’s playing days are over at the age of just 23 after two serious knee operations, injuries sustained playing netball. Becky began playing the sport at 10 and volunteered through the club when she studied at The Fallibroome Academy.

Becky (centre, back) with fellow members of Macclesfield Netball Club.

Becky graduated from Staffordshire University just over a year ago, completing her Graphic Design degree with a First Class, after Covid-19 curtailed her studies.  She has been working as a freelance designer while coaching juniors at the club where she also looks after publicity.

Becky said:  “I’m excited to have joined the Hospice which is local to me as I live five minutes away. I’ve always known about the Hospice and the important role it plays in the community.

“I always like to give something back to the community which is why I wanted to apply for the marketing role.

“I’d played about four games after my first knee operation and had gone through all my rehab when I tore the cruciate ligament in my other knee.

“Psychologically I’m reluctant to play again but enjoy coaching all age groups.  The netball team has hardly played because of the pandemic but hopefully we’ll be back in action in September.”

Hiking 88 hills in the Peak District

Hiking up 88 hills in the Peak District in record time was always going to be a tall order for Lucy Coppack.

Especially when she dislocated her knee near the end of a challenge undertaken in memory of her mother Lynne. But Lucy was on top of the world after completing her epic tour of trig points in the space of 85 gruelling days.

She raised more than £8,000 for East Cheshire Hospice which cared for her mum 25 years ago. The last leg of her adventure was the path up to Shutlingsloe, which has sentimental value for the Langley family. Lucy’s mum, a landscape architect, designed the route to the summit and her dad, a council ranger, partly built the path.

Lucy was a toddler when Lynne (38) died of breast cancer.

Lucy with her mum Lynne.

Lucy said: “I had mixed emotions when I reached the top at Shutlingsloe. I was so happy that I’d finished my challenge and I was so tired, aching and exhausted.

Lucy celebrates reaching Shutlingsloe after her epic Peak District adventure.

Family and friends meet Lucy at the top of Shutlingsloe.

“I was ecstatic to reach my fundraising target a couple of days later too. It felt amazing to give something back and achieve something so special and which I’ll always remember.”

Lucy had set out to raise £7,500 – the equivalent of the cost of a day’s care at the Hospice – and donations went up after she featured on BBC regional television.

Lucy said: “I had a lot of support from family, friends and met so many amazing new people along the way which is something I’ll cherish forever.”

She was even laid up for 12 days with a dislocated knee, an injury suffered  jumping off a wall in darkness after visiting four trig pillars in one day near Bakewell.

Lucy said: “When I landed and knew I’d dislocated my knee. I could feel it was out of place and was in a lot of pain. I had to pop it back in myself and get to safety.

“I went straight to hospital and had a brace for a few days and then a support.  That put me massively behind and I ended up having to fit in 22 trig points in the last two weeks of the challenge.”

Lucy, a financial services coach with Royal London, has not had much of a break – she was soon back climbing Helvellyn in the Lake District.

To donate to her trig challenge visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-coppack1.

Staff Profile: Conor Stubbs – IT Engineer

East Cheshire Hospice has been leading the way using innovative technology to overcome Covid 19 challenges.

The Hospice’s IT engineer Conor Stubbs has implemented major infrastructure changes which benefit patients, families and staff.

The pandemic sped up the introduction of the new systems which mean the Hospice now has a more modern streamlined approach to its computer use.

Conor said: “Technology has been at the forefront of how we’ve run our services during Covid and beyond, with Microsoft 365 our main hub for applications and productivity.

“It’s enabled us to collaborate, share and work more effectively and remotely. We’ve also given in-house IT training for staff to enable them to understand how to use our systems.”

One such innovation saw clinicians use smart devices to connect patients on the ward with loved ones, an essential online facility during the crisis because of restrictions on bedside visits.

Video conferencing has allowed staff to stay connected and the platform has also hosted fundraising events, including quizzes and games plus virtual events with high-profile speakers.

The Hospice’s Time to Remember services held in the chapel are hosted on Zoom and the website for access by the bereaved. These may continue online even when families are allowed to attend again.

Advanced technology also helps manage the charity’s fundraising by connecting with donors and identifying opportunities for growth.

The Hospice’s clinical care was already supported by EMIS Web, a system allowing clinicians to access patient records in real time.

This data sharing with other health care professionals enhances patient care and delivers high quality treatment.

Conor said: “We’ve got the best of both worlds – improved technology and face-to-face contact now we can start bringing people back into the building again.

“We want patient care to be the best experience and technology helps communication for relatives who might still be unable to access our site.

“Working in this fantastic environment caring for people with life-limiting illnesses is a proud and fulfilling job.

“I got involved in IT from a young age and was brought up with technology, from gaming to building and repairing PCs and even helping out in the family with their gadgets.

“IT is a hobby and something I’m passionate about. There’s so many different sectors in the IT industry to learn and ever-changing technologies make it an exciting career.”


East Cheshire Hospice IT engineer Conor Stubbs.

Chess ICT take on the Corporate Challenge

Colleagues of proud brother and sister Chris and Grace Wright are helping them pay tribute to their late mum.

Julie Wright was the first employee at technology services provider Chess ICT where she was Operations Director.

Julie, from Tytherington, was cared for by East Cheshire Hospice when she died of cancer in 2013, aged 51.

Ever since Chess ICT has been a regular supporter of the Hospice, signing up for its latest Corporate Challenge campaign.

Sales leader Chris and Grace, from HR, are among 350 staff nationwide undertaking fundraising initiatives in May.

All are receiving Smarties with a request to fill tubes with coins once they have eaten the chocolate.

Chess ICT Head of Culture Tim Wilkinson-Hall said: “No-one uses cash anymore, so we want colleagues to donate loose change, with prizes including the quickest response and the most amount.

“The company is also donating £1 every time someone is nominated for doing a good deed for a colleague.

“Many of our employees are from Macclesfield and we’ve always supported the Hospice as corporate partners.

“We support them whenever we can because of how they supported Julie and her family. Julie was very well known in our business and is remembered with affection.”

Chess ICT has refurbished its Alderley Edge headquarters where 150 staff were based before lockdowns.

More than half may continue home working, even as restrictions ease.

Tim said: “Many employees prefer to work from home for more time with family. Our company is doing really well and recruiting again. We’ve recently donated old laptops to schoolchildren and charities.”

Chief Executive and founder David Pollock said: “It’s vital modern business plays a part in the wider community and it’s great for employee engagement. We’ve had staff jump out of planes, run 10ks, bake cakes and dress up in silly clothes. Activities bond them together and binds them with the community. It’s also good for business.

“The Hospices does phenomenal work in our community looking after people at the end-of-life and we’re delighted to support such a much-loved charity.”

Other participants in the Corporate Challenge are Kuehne+Nagel, Equilibrium Financial Planning, McCann, Pan European Networks, Leap 29 and Spirit Medical Communications. The aim is to raise as much as possible from a £100 start up loan during May.


Sales leader Chris Wright (front right) with his team from Chess ICT tackling Snowdon in 2019 as part of the Hospice’s Corporate Challenge. 

Hospice ‘Time to Remember’ Service Goes Virtual

The monthly Time to Remember Service enables families of East Cheshire Hospice patients to remember and honour departed loved ones.

The Hospice has started uploading the Services – held in the Hospice Chapel on the second Sunday of each month – on to its website.

Hospice Chaplain Margaret Lillis leads the Service, assisted by Chief Executive Karyn Johnston and volunteer Bridget Fenwick.

They light a Remembrance Candle, and those who died three months earlier while accessing Hospice Services  through the Inpatient unit, Sunflower Centre or Hospice @Home, are remembered as their names are read out.

A recording is uploaded around 24 hours later for families to watch at their leisure.

The Hospice may carry on broadcasting the Services even when families are again permitted to attend the Chapel.

It is uncertain when that might happen, with September a possibility.

Margaret said: “The Services are now recorded and uploaded on to our website. It enables us to reach more people, especially as we don’t yet know when social gatherings will allow people to mix more freely.

“We send an invitation and service sheet with a list of names to next of kin three months after they’ve lost someone, although people are welcome after then.

“It’s important that everyone feels included. Services are about care, compassion and humanity and are open to all – people of all faith, no faith and everyone in between. We hope they help to remind people that they’re cared for and remembered, particularly at this time.”

East Cheshire Hospice Chaplain Margaret Lillis.

Easter Thought from our Chaplain

A thought for Easter

As I write this, the birds are singing, the sky is a beautiful blue, and the sun is shining – all signs that Spring has arrived! Unlike April 2020, when it seemed – and indeed proved to be true, that things could only get worse -in this Spring of 2021, we have the joy and relief of knowing that we are slowly, gently and cautiously entering back into LIFE!

Hopefully, we do this with a deepened sense of gratitude, reminding ourselves that we must never again take life, our environment and each other, so much for granted. If we do forget, let’s be grave enough to remind each other. The Covid 19 pandemic brought home to us that as human beings, we really do need each other; that our environment, which we have treated so badly and with such disregard for so long, is a precious gift; that being generous with our love, kindness and concern is the only way we will ever get through difficult times. Hopefully, we have gained a new sense of respect for our fellow human beings – no matter who, no matter where from – and that this earth and its gifts are here for all, to be shared by all.

This is a good thought for Easter. For many throughout the world, the joy of Easter is that it is the celebration of the core of the Christian faith – the promise of fullness of LIFE for all. The Resurrection of Jesus is much more than an event that occurred centuries ago, marked by the consumption of countless Easter eggs. It is thanksgiving for the gift of life which is promised to us forever. For those who do not share this belief, the celebration of Easter at Springtime, still gives that feeling of being glad to be alive – so we can all enjoy a good time! And remember, the season of Easter lasts for 6 weeks!!!!

May the joy and blessings of new life and new beginnings fill us all with hope. And may the sun keep shining warmly on our gardens our family and friends, and all our wide open spaces…especially our hearts!!



Remembrance Day 2020

Let Us Remember

We come to Remembrance Day this year, as a different kind of disaster is affecting the whole world, making our act of remembrance more poignant. Whether loved ones died 50 years ago, 20 years or 10 years or just a few months ago, the feeling of loss goes very deep, and the desire to remember never diminishes. In fact, the events of this year, have perhaps highlighted the importance of remembrance, respect, and gratitude.

Last week, the Queen made a solo journey to the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, marking the centenary of that monument, which commemorates the memory of all the fallen from all walks of life, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. This serves as a reminder to us that every single person matters, every single person deserves respect, every single person deserves care and consideration. If there is any lesson to be learned from war, it is that it is destructive. We show respect and gratitude to those who suffered and died in the wars of the 20th & 21st centuries, by striving to be constructive, aiming to build a better world where everyone is treated with the respect and consideration which is their due. This is the point of REmembrance, which is all about RE-establishing, RE-building, RE-storing… always within the context of community – family, neighbourhood, nationally and internationally. This is why, year after year, we have the solemn duty of remembering and honouring the memory of those who  sacrificed their lives in the hope of building a better world for everyone, of every colour, nationality, race, and religion.

And even though we are unable to physically gather together this year – because of a different enemy in our midst, and in spite of any differences there may be between us, we can still be deeply united by our joint desire to remember and give thanks for those who have suffered and died on our behalf. Today, we are brought together by remembrance – and in this remembrance lies our hope for the future. That is the greatest tribute we can pay to those we remember on this day.

– Hospice Chaplain, Margaret Lillis


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them…


Poppy display in the Hospice chapel

Honorary Vice President Edna Keefe

Edna Keefe has been made an Honorary Vice President of East Cheshire Hospice in recognition of her long service.

She makes history as the only staff member to receive the honour and received a special framed certificate in acknowledgement.

Will Spinks, Chair of the Trustee Board at the Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Edna as an Honorary Vice President in appreciation of all the work she’s done for the Hospice over many years.

“There aren’t many people who can say they’ve been here since the beginning and Edna has been so kind to patients and colleagues.

“Comments from colleagues clearly show she has great warmth and has been a fantastic person to work with. On behalf of everyone at the Hospice, I want to thank Edna for her long, loyal service.”

Edna decided it was time to retire when she had to isolate at the start of lockdown in March.

Until Covid-19 she worked twice a week in the laundry room.

Edna said: “Someone suggested ‘why don’t you retire?’ and I believe that everything is for a reason. I have wonderful memories of the Hospice and feel very honoured to have been made an Honorary Vice President.”

Three years ago she received a High Sheriff Award and attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace as a thank-you for her contribution to the Hospice.

Edna with Will Spinks, East Cheshire Hospice Chair of the Trustee Board, and Chief Executive Karyn Johnston

Edna’s Retirement

It was the end of an era when Edna Keefe retired from East Cheshire Hospice after 32 years of loyal service.

Edna’s first job was to clean the Hospice before it even welcomed its first patient, eventually moving on to work in the laundry room.

To mark her retirement, 83-year-old Edna and her family were invited to a special farewell gathering at the Hospice while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The event was hosted by Will Spinks, Chair of the Trustee Board at the Hospice, and Chief Executive Karyn Johnston, with many of Edna’s colleagues joining the celebrations via Zoom from home where they are working.

Bouquets of sunflowers – the Hospice emblem – were presented to Edna, along with a souvenir book packed with personal tributes from colleagues.

Edna Keefe with former colleague Christine Jenkins from the Hospice housekeeping team.

Edna spent 17 years as a domestic at Macclesfield District General Hospital before taking up a similar role at the Hospice two weeks before it opened in 1988.

The hospital matron became the sister at the Hospice and Edna joined her so she could prepare the building for the arrival of patients.

Edna said: “I’ve seen lots of changes at the Hospice over the last 32 years and can still remember the first patient who made flower embroideries for display in the chapel.

“The staff have been so lovely and so caring and were always there to help if I needed anything. I want to thank them all for their friendship and for this special send-off.

“It’s not the job that you do, but the people you work with who make it and they’ve been fantastic.

“I’ll miss them all, though I won’t miss going to work on dark mornings in the winter.

“I’d also like to thank the Hospice for my retirement gift of a pearl necklace and earrings.”

Edna, who has seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren, now has more time to spend with her family and she also enjoys walking.

Edna with (from left) grandsons Will and Harvey Johnson; daughter Jan Johnson; son Gary Keefe; son-in-law David Johnson; daughter Carol Tew and son-in-law Stephen Tew.