Tuesday, December 12, 2017

With the economy growing at its lowest rate, wages stagnating and inflation pinching our purses, this year everyone is looking for ways to make Christmas giving cost less.

Why spend a fortune on shopping around for new Christmas gifts and fashion wear when it’s quite possible that we have exactly what you want.

Here at The Helping Hand Methodist Charity Shop, our prices are unlike the turkey – trimmed to the absolute minimum, across the entire range of giftware, toys, fashion and winter wear and other pre-loved items, all prepared especially for you by our great team of volunteers.


Take look inside. You’ll find rows of fabulous dresses, jackets , footwear and children’s outfits to buy for parties and Christmas day, and it’s easy to find brand new items and gift sets too. In fact, buying from us is just as easy as buying from high priced High Street stores!

Choosing Christmas gifts at The Helping Hand is a win win situation all-round!  You get to make a contribution to a good cause as well as picking up some great bargains at this expensive time of year.


Fancy a spot of serious volunteering with an organisation that puts people first?

Why not pop-in or call us and give it a try, we have one of the friendliest teams around, all dedicated to providing the best and cheeriest customer experience in town. Put volunteering to the test with a trial period of volunteering, you can give us as much or as little time as you like, whether it’s 1 hour or a full week, we’d welcome your offer.


On behalf of all at The Helping Hand Charity Shop, we would like to say ‘Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year’ to all our customers including all those who donate much needed goods and who support us in so many other ways, not forgetting those companies and organisations who supply and help maintain our equipment and premises.

Thank you also to Local Community Matters for their support and assisting with and publishing this and many other past articles.

We will never forget those past volunteers of the church and community who have given of their time and expertise in making the shop such a huge success. Many have permanently retired, but many have used the retail experience and guidance to successfully move on into the workplace, finding much needed jobs and a career to support their families.

To all we say ‘Thank You.’

You can find The Helping Hand Methodist Church Charity Shop at 57 Market Street, Hyde SK14 2AB

or telephone: 0161 637 5152


As we count down the days to Christmas, everybody is rushing around in a Christmas frenzy; but that’s no reason to miss out on welcoming the ‘Big Man’ to your neighbourhood.

Year upon year, children and adults alike delight in meeting the man himself – giving the children a perfect opportunity to make those last minute present requests.

This year Father Christmas, sitting onboard the Rotary Club of Hyde’s Christmas Sleigh will be setting off on their tour of the various districts in Hyde between December 11th and 23rd.

Father Christmas we will be visiting various locations supermarkets and superstores in the run up to the festive celebrations ably assisted by the Rotary Club members and volunteers.

In exchange for a small donation, Santa’s elves will be handing out Christmas cards and sweets to help support their local projects throughout the coming year, it also gives the children the opportunity to come out and have their a picture taken with Father Christmas.

Hyde Rotary Club President Alan Oldham said, “I would like to encourage residents and children to come out on to the streets this festive period and get involved in the Christmas spirit and donate to our collection to help support the many local projects we will be supporting next year.”

Make a note of Santa’s Christmas Tour 2017

Week One

Monday 11th December Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm James North Estate, Mansfield Road, Grange Road South, Walker Lane, Lumb Road, Market Street, Dowson Road, Green Street, Bradbury Street, Thornley Street, Haughton Street

Tuesday 12th December Godley Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm-High Street, Carlton Road, Sheffield Road, Barmhouse Estate Fountain Street

Wednesday 13th December Gee Cross Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm- Foxholes Road, Auburn Ave, Coronation Ave, Brookes Ave, Grovernor Road, Berkley Close, Freshfield Ave, Fawley Ave

Thursday 14th December Newton Hyde 6.00pm-8.00pm- Talbot Road, Bradley Green Road, Harbour Farm Road, Hickenfield Road, St Marys Road, Duke Road

Friday 15th December Godley Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm- Oakland’s Drive, Beech View, Firethorn Drive, Hazelwood Close, Walnut Close, Acer Close, Almond Way, Mottram Road, St Pauls Road, St Michaels Road, Crossbridge Road, St Giles Drive

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December B&M Manchester Road Hyde 11.00am-3.00pm

Monday 18th December Newton Hyde 6.30pm-8.30-Barnfield Road, Hillary Road, Everest Road, Harris Drive, Welch Road, Danby Road, Victoria Street

Tuesday 19th December Gee Cross Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm Rowbottom Street, Ralph Ave, School Lane, Gloucester Road, Sandringham Road, Windsor Road, Frogmore Ave, Knott Lane, Woodfield Ave, Waverley Road, King Edward Road, York Road, King Edward Court,

Wednesday 20th December Hattersley Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm Hattersley Road East, Camborne Road, Warble Brook Ave, Field Farm Road

Thursday 21st December Newton Hyde 6.30pm-8.30pm Ferndale, Chestnut Grove, Talbot Road, Victoria Street, Glyden Close, Townley Fold, Pentland Way, Early bank Road, Lasells Fold

Saturday 23rd December Tesco Hattersley 11.00am-4.00pm


Please note routes are subject to weather, road conditions and the number of helpers on each day and night.

For updates to the schedule follow our journey on Facebook Rotary Club of Hyde





Business students at Tameside College are raising money and awareness for the British Lung Foundation (BLF) with a Christmas themed stall in Ashton’s market square.

The students are running the stall for two weeks in the run up to Christmas to learn vital communication, confidence and entrepreneurial skills.

They are selling a range of Christmas gifts and treats including Santa hats, sweets, drinks, handmade calendars and Christmas cards as well as hosting a tombola competition.

The students are also handing out BLF information leaflets to raise awareness of the charity.

Kasim Aslam, an ambassador for the BLF charity, is working with the students on the project and has been giving tips and advice on how to run the market stall and provide valuable information to the public.

The British Lung Foundation was founded in 1986 and promotes lung health, supports those affected by lung conditions and diseases and campaigns for cleaner air.

Tasiref Hussain, curriculum leader for business at Tameside College, said: “The students are doing very well with the organisation of the stall.

“They’ve put all their efforts into it and we’re hoping that they can help raise lots of money for the BLF. Hopefully they will also learn a lot from working with the public and managing a very complex event.”

Kasim added: “I’m thankful to the students and college for being involved with the Christmas market fundraising. I will be helping them with the project throughout so it will be good to see the finished product. I have every faith that they can raise lots of money for a great cause.”

For more information on Tameside College’s business and accounting courses, visit www.tameside.ac.uk or call 0161 908 6600.


Willow Wood’s Garden of Lights is now open and already thousands of people have visited to see the garden transformed into a ‘Magical Winter Wonderland’.

Opening hours are between 6-8pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays until Christmas and entrance is free, although any donations are gratefully accepted.  It really is a spectacular sight, and some families have visited more than once to enjoy a hot chocolate (with or without a cheeky tot of Baileys!), Irish coffee or mulled wine and, of course, a festive mince pie or two.

It’s an ideal way to meet up with friends in the run-up to the holiday season. The reception shop is open to buy Christmas cards or a ticket or two into our seasonal raffle.

With a top prize of £7,500 to be drawn on Wednesday 20 December it’s certainly worth a flutter!  There’s also a lovely selection of gifts available, so it could be a one stop Christmas shop.

We couldn’t have done this, however, without fantastic support from our wonderful community.  Our very grateful thanks go to everyone who has made a donation towards this spectacular show of lights and of course our own staff and volunteers who have put in so much time and effort to make this possible.

(L to R, Derek Drabble (Vintage Celtic), Gerald Crossley (Trustee), Sue O'Brien (National League Trust), Mike Smith (Community Development Officer), Mary Gibbons (Trustee) and Brian Coll (Trustee)

Stalybridge Celtic football club which been at the heart of the community since it was set up in 1909 is celebrating after being granted charitable status.

The club has now officially launched its own foundation and are “looking forward to helping the wider community in a variety of ways as they strive to become much more than just a football club”

Community Development Officer, Mike Smith explained at today’s community launch event that: “Achieving charitable status was a natural step for us to take in order to give this long standing club the best opportunity to improve both in our sporting targets, and where possible, help in any way to providing better community involvement, and ‘bringing football to the community’ by improving the facilities for wider community use for many years to come.”

The Stalybridge Celtic Foundation aims to promote the advancement of health, inclusion, education, and public participation in sport with a remit to provide or organise provision of facilities which will encourage people from the wider community, both young and old to play football or other sports and get healthy.

Also, speaking at the launch, Susan O’Brien, project Manager from The National Football League, said, she was “delighted to see the club continue to, grow and integrate into the local community”, and added: “We hope the creation of the foundation will be a lasting legacy for current and future generations.”

The charity has already laid foundations for several community initiatives to be launched on the back of their successful creation of both Vintage Celtic Walking Football teams and disabled teams which are now sponsored by Bohle UK.



The community club also run a series of after school sessions for local Tameside children for both Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 pupils, as well as organise ‘assembly visits’ 6 a-side tournaments and non-sport related competitions as well as creating work placement provisions for other needy charities, as well as opening their doors to supporting our armed forces.

Stalybridge Celtic Players supporting Tickets for Troops

The foundations future aims include a ‘get fit challenge’ project, targeting men over 40, a full ‘walking football’ tournament at Bower Fold. Create Stalybridge Celtic Girls/Ladies teams, Stage regular 6-a-side competitions and launch a walking football programme with Pennine Care NHS Trust as well as utilising the clubs facilities for other community events.

Morgan Crane,​ Scout Leader at 12th Ashton S​couts who are based at the Richmond Street Community Centre, ​ explained that the troop were lucky enough to receive a donation from the charity ‘gift your gear’ for outdoor clothes for the young people in Scouts​.

The surplus stock of waterproof clothing which was left was then generously donated to Carol Jones a retired nurse that Morgan used to work with, a member of the ‘Sandwich A​ngels’ based in Tameside.​

They will distribute the waterproofs to the homeless people via the soup kitchens they help to stock.

The S​couts thought this would be a very fitting and kind thing to do for the local homeless community, especially as the winter is setting in and the weather getting colder.

All Scouts have to make a promise to be a Scout, which is, On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, (this changes with different faiths), and to help other people and to keep the Scout Law. Alan Fish from Scouts said, “This was a wonderful gesture from 12th Ashton Scouts, fulfilling their promise, ‘to help other people’ they made.”

If you would like to help young people in scouting to get badges and keep their promise in Scouting then contact alan.fish@ntscouts.org.uk 07931765120 or go to wwwgmescouts.org.uk/join  


Isabelle with a collection of toiletries

Children at ABC Day Nursery in Hyde have been supporting the local homeless charity ‘Wellspring’ over the last few weeks, ready for the cold winter weather.

The Wellspring provides referrals into housing; supporting over 1500 rough sleepers with help to get them off the streets and into accommodation. They engage with people who are at risk of becoming homeless, therefore preventing homelessness from happening.

The Wellspring provides educational courses, computer courses, art classes, other activities such as football, walking groups and gardening courses.

Lexi and Elle-Mae surrounded by many food donations

Manager Amy Booth says “We want to make sure the homeless people of Manchester know that they will be remembered at Christmas time, so we are collecting donations to make up gift boxes, so that they too can have a present to open at this festive season.”

Things that can be included are socks, deodorant, body wash, food treats, gloves, scarves, hats, tooth-brushes, tooth paste, hair brushes and small gifts such as books.

The nursery is also joining in with the Morrison’s Drawstring Bag Appeal collecting similar items to fill the bags which will offer those who face homelessness some small comfort at what is often a difficult time of year.

If anyone would like to donate items please drop them off at ABC Day Nursery on the Onward Street site in Hyde. 

Nicky Byrne with the Elephant in the Room.

Benjamin Franklin famously said “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, and although many a conversation can be had about taxes few of us like to talk about death, especially our own. Willow Wood has decided to confront this very real issue by constructing our own ‘Elephant in the Room’.

The sometimes uncomfortable truth is that everyone will die.  Some of us will reach that day sooner than others and it can be difficult to come to terms with that fact.  It can also be very difficult to talk about death, whether you are facing your own mortality or that of a loved one.

Nicky Byrne, Willow Wood’s day services lead, chose to tackle this head-on.  “We see how hard it can be for our patients and their families and friends to articulate their thoughts and feelings about something that is inevitable. It really is such a huge thing that’s being ignored, it’s a perfect example of an Elephant in the Room. So we decided to use this imagery and construct a papier mache elephant in our START Clinic Arts & Crafts sessions.

“The elephant is hollow and the perfect repository for anyone who wants to write down their feelings.  It can be so much easier to do this than to speak about them, yet it can have the same benefit in that once feelings are out in the open we can start to work through them, and towards acceptance”.

The brightly coloured elephant stands in the day services lounge, and anyone can contribute their thoughts or read other messages.  Modelled on Elmo the patchwork elephant, many of the squares have the word ‘death’ written on in a variety of different languages so there can be no mistaking what this particular elephant in the room is all about.

Nicky said “It’s a great talking point, and by approaching the subject from such an oblique angle, makes it easier for people to have those discussions, to share our feelings and to support each other.”

Our START Clinic is open to those in our community with life-limiting illnesses and you don’t need a medical referral to attend.  If you think that you, or someone you know, may benefit from our services, please ring 0161 330 1100 and ask to be put through to START, or find out more at www.willowwood.info.

Photo: Nicky Byrne with the Elephant in the Room.


 Hyde Rotary continued their support for local community projects and organisations when they visited Infinity Initiatives in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Kevin Maddox, said, “We have always supported Infinity Initiatives and its founder Gemma Whittaker from day one. We have reviewed their business model and we believe they are the best equipped to help the homeless, people who are struggling with solvent misuse and alcohol issues and singles and families who have just fallen upon hard times.

At a presentation meeting last week, it gave Hyde Rotary President, Alan Oldham and fellow Rotarian, Kevin Maddox great pleasure to hand over to Gemma and  her team, boxes of Groceries collected from schools and churches in Hyde and clothes, socks, coats and sleeping bags, that were collected at the ‘support the homeless’ day on Hyde Market.

As an added bonus a cheque for £100 was donated to the recently formed MANNS group that meet every Monday at Infinity Initiatives in Ashton-under-Lyne


The Willow Wood choir at last year’s Light Up A Life service

Carols are an integral part of Christmas, and also an integral part of the dedication services for Willow Wood’s Light Up a Life.

The two services, one in the Market Arcade, Glossop on Tuesday 5 December at 6pm and the Tameside service in the Albion Church, Ashton-under-Lyne On Sunday 10 December at 2pm will feature perennial favourites such as ‘While Shepherds Watch’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and more.

The Willow Wood Choir will be in fine voice as always. In addition to leading everyone in song at the Tameside service, they will be performing ‘I Had A Dream’ and ‘Believe’ – two lovely pieces of music which really illustrate the loving message of Light Up A Life   The Ashton service will also feature the Friezeland Brass Band and the Holy Trinity School Choir, while the Glossopdale Community Brass Band and the Dinting Primary School Choir will be at Glossop.

The services are both poignant and uplifting occasions, celebrating both the holiday season and the lives of those no longer with us.  You are welcome to take part, whether or not you have been touched by hospice care and whatever your faith or beliefs.

An important part of the service to many people is viewing the Books of Memories, and seeing the names of their loved ones.  To ensure that they are inscribed for the services please ensure that your completed dedication forms are at Willow Wood by Friday 1 December at the latest.

If you wish to find out more about Light Up A Life, or to make a dedication, you can collect a dedication leaflet from any of our shops or the Willow Wood reception.  Alternatively, go to www.willowwood.info, follow the link on the home page and download a dedication form there.


Photo: The Willow Wood choir at last year’s Light Up A Life service