Volunteering 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.

Shop Volunteers Begin to Return

Volunteers are relieved to back in familiar surroundings helping at East Cheshire Hospice charity shops.

Retired hospital sister Margaret Turner has returned to the Chestergate shop which is distributing donated items.

Margaret, a volunteer for 16 years including a decade at the Chestergate shop, said: “I’ve missed the company and when I met our customers in the town centre they asked when we were opening up again.

“The first month of lockdown was okay and I managed to get a lot of things done but then it became frustrating, especially as my social life had stopped.

“I couldn’t go to see the Halle Orchestra, the theatre, or Macclesfield Ladies Probus club where I’m a member. I also go to a luncheon club in Wilmslow and all those activities ended.”

Margaret Turner, an East Cheshire Hospice volunteer for 16 years.

Valerie Roscoe, also from Macclesfield, is a volunteer at the Thornton Square shop where she helps out twice a week.

Valerie said: “It’s been terrible during lockdown to be honest and I struggled to get up in a morning.  It’s good to back and I missed chatting to all the customers who’re all very friendly.”

Part of her time during lockdown was spent providing home schooling for 12-year-old grandson Bobby.

Valerie Roscoe, volunteer at the Hospice shop at Thornton Square.

Staff involved in the retail operation on which the Hospice relies heavily for its income are also glad to be back serving customers again.

Volunteers Begin to Return

Some volunteers are returning to East Cheshire Hospice after they were stood down because of Covid-19.

 

The first receptionist was back on the front desk last Thursday – coincidentally during Volunteers Week.

Several days earlier the gardening team returned to their duties and other volunteer roles will be re-introduced according to strict safety guidelines.

That means charity shop helpers will not return until next month and it could be some time before volunteers will be back on the ward and in other patient-facing roles.

Voluntary Services Co-ordinator Helena Smith said: “The message to our 650 volunteers is that we’re missing you.

“Our volunteers bring something special to the Hospice and we’re looking forward to seeing them again.

“While we’re genuinely excited about having them back, it’s going to take us a while to see all the teams return.

“The most important consideration is that we ensure people are safe, and feel safe. Everyone has pitched in to make the place work, with staff switching into different roles.

“But the last two or three months has shown us what we knew all along – that we couldn’t exist without our incredible volunteers.”

With some Hospice staff also self-isolating, colleagues have been switching jobs to help on reception, in the kitchen, laundry room and with cleaning duties.

One of first volunteers back was Stan Wiseman, from Prestbury, whose work in the garden is in memory of his late wife Sara, who died in the Hospice in 2016.

Like her husband, Sara was also a Hospice volunteer for many years and was an ambassador.

Volunteer Stan Wiseman with his rescue dog Lola at East Cheshire Hospice.

Stan said: “I know the Hospice is looking for more gardeners and I’d recommend it. I help out every Wednesday and really enjoy it. As you can imagine, the garden had got out of hand after not being touched for 10 weeks.”

* To volunteer as a gardener email h.smith@echospice.org.uk

Virus Volunteers

EDIT – 22.04.2020: Following more recent Government guidelines, all of our volunteers have now been stood down and have been asked not to come into the Hospice until further notice. Unfortunately, our counselling volunteers are also unable to make calls from outside the hospice due to GDPR.

 

Volunteers and staff are rallying round to keep East Cheshire Hospice going despite the coronavirus crisis.

The vast majority of the our volunteers have been stood down because they are aged over 70 or self isolating.

Those remaining –  fewer than a fifth of the 650-strong volunteer workforce – are helping on the inpatient wards and front desk reception.

Volunteer bereavement counsellors are carrying out appointments over the telephone.

Other roles, such as complementary therapists and drivers who take outpatients to the Sunflower Centre which is closed, are not allowed to be filled at present.

Volunteer Co-ordinator Helena Smith said: “I want to stress that these volunteers have stood down reluctantly, not because they want to. People know their role matters and that they make a difference.

“I’ve had phone calls from people fed up that they can’t help out. For those over 70 it was a cut and dried decision but those under 70 didn’t find it easy to step away.

“But people need to put themselves first.  Volunteers don’t often do this and put the organisation and the patients before themselves.

“They feel a real sense of responsibility, so it’s really hard for them. But just because they’re not volunteering here they’re still supporting people in the community.

“It might not be in a formal way on reception with a badge, but it doesn’t mean to say they’re not supporting the community. So many people are carrying out caring roles that make a difference.

“We’d really struggle without the volunteers who’re still here and need them now more than ever. I’d also like to say a big thank you to them.”

One such volunteer Laurence Duerden helps on reception and in normal circumstances would support pop-up shops and serve food.  His wife Angela died in the Hospice from cancer, age 43, in 2011.

Laurence Duerden helping on reception at East Cheshire Hospice.01

Laurence (58), who is retired from Astra Zeneca, said: “I’ll happily fill any gaps on volunteer rotas. It’s important we keep the professionals free to carry on what they’re trained to do.

“My son Jack (18) and daughter Emma  (16) both left Tytherington School the day schools were forced to shut down. Their last day at school was a really emotional time and they had to say quick goodbyes to their school friends.”

Katie Porter Talks Christmas Tree Collection

Kate Porter who is part of the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection team.

 

Kate Porter is following in the footsteps of her late father by visiting homes to support East Cheshire Hospice.

The Macclesfield mum-of-two is a van driver for the charity’s Christmas Tree Collection service which swings into action again this weekend (Jan 11/12).

Her dad Oliver Hanson (71) was also a Hospice volunteer and collected lottery money for the charity right up until his death in 2006.

On his weekly rounds he would be offered tea and cakes by customers who enjoyed a chat as much as he did.

Kate said: “The Hospice and his lottery round were dear to his heart and I felt like I needed to carry on his legacy.”

“It was only when I saw how many of his lottery customers were at his funeral that I realised just how much the role meant to him.”

“He was out in all weathers knocking on doors collecting the £1 lottery subs and was well known at the Hospice, though he never made a song and dance about it.”

For the last 14 years, Kate has helped with the tree collection, starting as a crew member before becoming the first female van driver a few years ago.

Kate works as a PA for HealthCare 21 Communications and toy and game inventors Carterbench, both based in Macclesfield.

Her partner Chris Nixon has helped with the tree collection for the last eight years after son Sam and daughter Bex assisted early on.

“When you do it once you get hooked. It’s such a positive day and the organisers and everyone else is so welcoming and make you feel part of it.”

“I’m proud of my female van driving role and I usually do the pick-ups which are furthest from Macclesfield.  I like driving and there’s probably as many women who help out in various roles as men.”

“The collection keeps getting bigger, so every year we need more help. There’s a great team spirit even when it’s pouring with rain.”

* The collection covers Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford.  Post codes CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

News Round up – Christmas Tree Eco-friendly Collection, Nepal Trek Success & Santa Dash

East Cheshire Hospice is having an even greener Christmas with its tree collection at the heart of its eco-friendly plans.

All trees collected on Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January, 12, will be recycled  by Ansa Environmental Services, a subsidiary of Cheshire East Council, at its West Park site.

The donations received from owners for removing their trees funds the care of Hospice patients, their families and carers.

The recycled trees are turned into mulch which is either turned into compost for parks and gardens or used in biomass boilers.

The green push has continued this year with the introduction of flyers printed on recycled paper which can then be re-used. Cardboard leaflet holders have also replaced plastic versions.

Visit  www.echtrees.org.uk, or call the customer care hotline 01625 708939, to register a tree for collection.

The scheme run by volunteers has raised more than £1m for the Hospice since it began 20 years ago.

The collection covers  Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

An environmental study showed that an artificial tree would need to be kept for more than 20 years before it would be more carbon efficient than a real one.

FIVE intrepid trekkers raised more than £18,000 for the Hospice from a trip to Nepal last month.

Staff members Sarah Dale and Louise Delany were joined by medical writer Jonathan Edwards,  Helen Connolly and Sherry Daniels.

The group helped paint a hospice in Kathmandu before an arduous five-day walk which boasted stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range.

Louise said: “It was tiring and hard work, especially as we had to climb 3,500 metres, but it was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

 

“The people we met were lovely and on behalf of us all I’d like to everyone for their wonderful generosity donating much-needed funds for the Hospice.”

 

The next adventure is a trip to the Great Wall of China (March 19-27) in 2021.

   

ALMOST 7,000 schoolchildren and teachers took part in the Santa Dash, one of East Cheshire Hospice’s biggest community events of the year.

Pupils undertook a sponsored walk or run either in their school hall or playground, marking the 11th year of the festive event.

The Reindeer Rush is back next year, with Elf Runs and Snowman Sprints in subsequent years.

   

Disco Bingo with What Women Want

Disco Bingo fun at Tytherington School.

It was eyes down for 300 bingo players who danced the night away in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The girls took part in Disco Bingo organised by the What Women Want (WWW) fundraising group at Tytherington School.

The game sees players waiting with bated breath for numbers which trigger a disco classic to get them on their feet and earn them a prize in the process.

All brought bottles which filled a wheelbarrow and buckets of booze and by entering into the party spirit they raised a staggering £6,000.

Jayne Carter, chair of WWW, said: “A special night showed once again how we put the fun into fundraising. The place was bouncing, everyone had a wonderful time and we’d like to thank everyone for their generosity.

“Special thanks must go to our sponsors Arighi Bianchi, The Beauty Bar, Pam Hulme Accountants, Anna Carey and Alice Cartwright.”

Jayne and pals Julie Barnes, Jo Millward, Elaine Burgess and Jill Harding make up WWW who have raised almost £300,000 for the Hospice.

The proceeds most recently  funded a car supplied by Ford dealers Sidney Jackson which will maintain the vehicle for its lifetime. It provides vital travel for the Hospice @Home service.

Highlights of the WWW calendar include fashion shows featuring models who have faced cancer and a glitzy Ball which returns in late 2020 after a year’s break.

Events have been sponsored by Adlington-based packaging firm Proseal which earlier this year donated £1m to the Hospice.

 What Women Want group members (from left) Elaine Burgess, Jo Millward, Jayne Carter, Jill Harding and Julie Barnes with the car used for East Cheshire Hospice @Home.

Rob Barrow MBE

Rob Barrow DL, a former Chair of Trustees at East Cheshire Hospice, has been awarded the MBE for his services to the community.

Wife Pam, daughter Fiona Hobbs and grandson Kit Hobbs joined him at Buckingham Palace where he received the honour from the Queen.

Rob, from Macclesfield, helped set up the Hospice @Home service at East Cheshire where he also strengthened the charity’s governance during his three years at the helm.

The MBE was awarded for services to education, charity and various philanthropic activities.

Rob and his wife have devoted much of their energies towards helping good causes since he retired from business 16 years ago.

Charities supported include Cre8, Cheshire Community Foundation and the National Trust. Rob is a former governor of The King’s School, Macclesfield.

Rob founded a computer software company which employed more than 600 people worldwide and his work took him to Silicon Valley, California, at a time when the internet was in its infancy.

Rob said: “I was humbled, honoured and flattered to receive the MBE and we were nervous when we found out the Queen was issuing the awards.”

Christmas Tree Collection 2020 is live!!

Plans to dispose of Christmas trees are already in place, even though the lights may have only just been switched on!

The East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection service is already accepting registrations for its January operation.

Visit  www.echtrees.org.uk, or call the customer care hotline 01625 708939, to arrange to have trees collected on the weekend of Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January 12.

Next year marks the 20th year of the service which has raised more than £1m for the Hospice.

The organisers are encouraging the public to buy real Christmas trees due to their environmental credentials.

More than 700 trees were registered in the first week after applications opened on November 18 and the figure has risen to well over 1,000.

Hospice Marketing Manager Amy Chatwood said: “The Christmas Tree Collection has always been a huge success thanks to the generosity of our supporters and we’re confident the anniversary collection will be just as popular.”

Co-founder Richard Raymond said: “I’m humbled and amazed by the scale of the operation and once again Pete Chapman and I want to thank everyone for their support in so many different ways.

“A Christmas tree from a sustainable source is known to be the eco-friendly alternative to a plastic version. We recycle all the trees enhancing the environmental credentials of buying a real tree.”

Around 300 volunteers will be out in force covering  Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca, will see a fleet of around 40 vans, half of them supplied by Cheshire Vehicle Rental, picking up trees for recycling at the Ansa Park depot.

Transport technology company TRU will provide route-mapping software to simplify the logistical challenge.

   

£30k raised by Quiz Night

A quiz group have raised more than £30,000 on behalf of East Cheshire Hospice since they asked their first question six years ago.

The latest contest at Marlborough Primary School saw Doug the Rug and Friends come out on top, enjoying a narrow victory over perennial winners Ageing Athletes, previously known as The Magnificent Seven.

The organisers, including Alison Brammer, Nik Kalka and question masters Paul Morrissey and Mark Watson, raised £2,021 on the night.

The quiz is held three times a year and Storm Brewing once again donated the beer. Owner Dave Stebbings and now retired partner Hugh Thompson have been loyal supporters.

Nik, who organises the bar, said: “The quiz nights are a regular fixture in the fundraising calendar for the Hospice and we had another great turn out.

“We’d all like to thank Julie Mierzejewski and the team at Marlborough School who let us use the hall for free, Storm Brewing for the generous donation of beer, the Hospice staff and volunteers for helping with organisation and Neil Drummond for running the stand-up bingo each time.

“All those who’ve attended the quizzes over the last few years also deserve thanks, along with donors of raffle prizes.”