For East Cheshire Hospice, 2016 was a highly successful year in reaching out to new communities.
Hospice Chair of Trustees, Rob Barrow, says a focus on outreach activity has paid dividends by engaging with groups, organisations and businesses right across the whole of east Cheshire.
"When I became Chair, I wanted to ensure we that we gained support from businesses and people right across East Cheshire,” he says.
“Our geography means that our catchment area stretches south of Congleton, right across the High Peak, way out past Knutsford on the other side and through Poynton and Bramhall.
“And this year we’ve have worked hard to garner more financial and community support across the area we cover and my hope is that this will continue to grow throughout 2017.”
Illustrative of this growing community support was the launch of a new support group in Poynton earlier this year. Chaired by Josephine Pyke, the group has raised more than £9000 in its first year bringing the total raised by community groups to almost £30,000 this year.
With a new Volunteer Co-Ordinator in place, Helena Smith, a strong band of volunteers support the day-to-day work of the Hospice and the community team recruited 13 new volunteer Ambassadors from across the area were also appointed and trained this year to support fundraising activities.
And with the opening of a third charity shop in Handforth in July, the Hospice profile is growing.
Support from the business community has continued to grow this year with staff from firms such as McCanns, Chess Telecom, Arighi Bianchi, Alderley Park, the Quint Group, Astra Zeneca, Bristol Street Motors, P.R. Jones Jewellers, Ashfield Healthcare and HC21 all finding their own way to support the Hospice either through sponsorship or through a range of activities by staff including mountain climbing, cycling, singing and outdoor pursuit courses.
Hospice Director, Mike Pyrah said: “We’ve had tremendous support this year and I am constantly astounded by the enthusiasm and ingenuity of individuals, businesses and groups who help raise these much-needed funds for our patients.”
Other fundraising highlights in 2016 include –
- A record-breaking £85,000 was raised at this year’s Winter Wonderland Ball attended by more than 450 people and which included a raffle prize of a £10,000 diamond.
- And there was more record-breaking from this year’s Macclesfield Art Fair which celebrated its tenth anniversary by raising more than £62,000 this year for the Hospice exceeding its 2014 total by more than seven thousand pounds. Some was raised from an auction of doodles by 10 personalities, including Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, musician Noddy Holder, actor Charlie Lawson and chef Simon Rimmer.
- Six pals, known collectively as the Barn Bash Birds, raised an astonishing £18,330 by organising their first ever event for the Hospice at Symondley Farm in Sutton. The six friends - Katie Hankinson, Jennie Pardon, Vic Jackson, Kerry Ward, Sarah Dale and Emma Dixon – wanted to raise the money for the care and love from the Hospice of their loved ones and spent six months of hard work clearing and cleaning out the barn and installing lighting and sound for the event.
- Another group of friends, Terry Butler, Sam Baker, Nick Stanley and Steve Leonard raised over £8,000 by cycling from John O’ Groats to Lands End in June.
- A bumper turnout helped make Starlight Walk in April another outstanding success for East Cheshire Hospice with more than 600 walkers raising around £35,000 for the charity.
- Sunshine and smiles helped make one of the charity’s most popular event, the Bubble Rush, overwhelming success for more than 3,500 fundraisers taking part helping to bring in £30,000 to support the work of the Hospice.
Income Generation Director, Karyn Johnston said:
“Last year East Cheshire Hospice touched the lives of over 8,000 people, not just patients, but their families were supported through diagnosis, treatment, at the end of life and during their bereavement – for as long as they need us."
“To do this we need to find 80 per cent of our costs every year and we look to our local community to help us. We’re very proud of our achievements this year which have led to more people than ever before knowing about our work and supporting us to provide better end-of-life care for patients and their carers.
“We’ve lots more planned for 2017 and I know, with our fantastic supporters, it'll be a year to remember.”