Volunteering Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Virus Volunteers

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.”

      

Art Fair Cheshire 2019 Success!

Art Fair Cheshire raised a bumper £45,000 for East Cheshire Hospice as it celebrated its 20th anniversary in style.

The biennial event enjoyed a record year of sponsorship and the donation will fund the charity’s art therapy unit.

The Hospice, which held an afternoon tea to thank organisers and volunteers, has received around £400,000 from Art Fair Cheshire in the last two decades.

Hospice Director Karyn Johnston said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who helped make the event such an outstanding success. It’s an amazing donation and represents a huge amount of care for our art psychotherapy service.”

The Art Fair Cheshire committee adopted a new look for the autumn 2019 edition at Macclesfield Town Hall, a move that paid off handsomely.

Co-chair Georgie Johnson said:  “Art Fair Cheshire went in a new direction this year with a fresh look and feel and we’re really pleased how it went.

“It was extremely well attended and we couldn’t have run it without help from more than 70 volunteers. We want to thank them all and everyone else who contributed in so many different ways.”

Each participating artist donated a minimum of 40 per cent of every sale to the Hospice with more than 80 artists and crafts experts exhibiting work.

Art Fair Cheshire also organised another exhibition, ‘Gathering’ by artist Susie MacMurray, an installation which enjoyed pride of place at Tatton Park for four months.

The art work drew wide praise from Tatton visitors, helping raise awareness of Art Fair Cheshire and the Hospice.

Co-chair Steven Dalton said: “Gathering was a huge success and we’re grateful for the massive support from volunteers. Lots of people have bought souvenir elements of the installation and all proceeds go directly to the Hospice.”

Elements available in unique editions can be bought until March 2020 via www.gatheringattatton.com.

 

Fred Slater & the Dementia Companions

Cricket coach Fred Slater is completely bowled over by the way he has been welcomed into the fold at East Cheshire Hospice.

He became a volunteer in the Sunflower Centre a year ago and enjoys the company of people with dementia and their carers.

His next role as one of the charity’s Community Champions is a similar ‘buddy’ role in someone’s home, giving their carer vital respite for a few hours each week.

Fred, from Tytherington, said: “I’ve really enjoyed helping the Hospice. It’s so inspiring and I’ve learned so much from chatting to people within a group.

“It’s about finding out what makes individuals tick. You might get someone who doesn’t want to engage particularly, but you get a jigsaw out and suddenly they spring to life and they see the picture far better than me.

“The staff there are fabulous and I’ve learned so much. They’re so professional with their patience and caring approach and are the real unsung heroes of the service.

“We get a thorough background about who we’re looking after and in some ways I just fill around the edges.”

Fred, aged 66, worked for the English Cricket Board before retiring, but still coaches at King’s School, Macclesfield, and helps juniors at Macclesfield, Bollington and Ashley cricket clubs.

He regrets not taking his late father Fred to the Hospice for the sessions. “I didn’t know about the Sunflower Centre otherwise I’d have taken him there.  He was an inspiration to me and now I’m retired this voluntary work is his legacy.

“Being matched with someone is an important small step for me on my journey and I’m looking forward to it.

“More than a dozen Community Champions visit homes but they don’t provide  nursing care. They enjoy the company of individuals while their carers may go for a walk, shop or perhaps visit a library.

“The Sunflower Centre provides wonderful support and it’s re-assuring to know that expert staff are there as a safety net.”

Fred and fellow volunteers were finalists in the Volunteer Team of the Year at the 2019 North West Charity Awards.

Community Champion Open Day

Could you give up a couple of hours a week to help someone with dementia?

East Cheshire Hospice is inviting the public to attend an event next Monday (Oct 7) to hear what is involved.

The charity already has a dozen Community Champions who are companions for those living with dementia and more volunteers are needed.

The information meeting is at the Hospice on Millbank Drive starting at 10 am with talks from those involved followed by general discussion ending at 11 am.

The Hospice’s Admiral Nurse Debbie Callow said: “It’s a chance to come and learn more and meet some of the team and with no pressure to sign up.

“Our service helps provide companionship to a person living with mild dementia, while allowing their carer to have some time to themselves.

“The volunteer won’t provide personal care – their role is one of friendship and they’re fully supported by the Hospice.

“Our volunteers say it’s a highly rewarding role and they enjoy giving something back and making a difference.”

Debbie is the Hospice’s first specialist dementia nurse, a post created in June recognising the charity’s forward-thinking approach to the illness.

Statistics show that more than 850,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with dementia, a number expected to increase, while a quarter of over 65s in hospital beds have the illness.

Debbie said: “Education is the key, whether it’s carers or professionals, to making life easier for those with dementia so they can live well.

“Dementia doesn’t just affect the person with the diagnosis – spouses, partners and family and friends are all affected as well.

“Part of my job is raising awareness and I love the energy and environment of working here. There’s a really nice feeling which you get walking round the building.”

People can just turn up on Monday at 10 am with no need to book. For more details call Volunteer Co-ordinator Helena Smith on 01625 664984 or email hsmith@echospice.org.uk.

* Admiral Nurses were so named by the family of Joseph Levy, whose family founded Dementia UK. He had vascular dementia and was known affectionately as ‘Admiral Joe’ because of his love of sailing.