Sunday, February 24, 2019

The streets of Manchester will be a hive of activity this April as thousands of local people – and bees – take on a 10km moonlit challenge in support of a local charity.

St Ann’s Hospice’s flagship fundraising event, the Manchester Midnight Walk, is back for its thirteenth year, and will take place on Friday 26th April. The event starts and finishes at Manchester Cathedral, and this year, walk organisers are encouraging as many people as possible to embrace its bee theme.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s explained: “The Manchester Midnight Walk has pulled in crowds every year since it began and it has a real party atmosphere. Every year, many participants come along in fancy dress, and we’re encouraging that again this year too, by inviting people to come along as bees.

“The Midnight Walk is famous for its yellow and black colour theme, so it seems fitting to have as many bees as possible buzzing around the city centre to raise money for our patients. Don’t worry if fancy dress isn’t your thing though, please do still come along and join us – we’d love to see as many people there as possible.”

The walk has raised more than £2million since it began thirteen years ago, and the money raised helps St Ann’s to continue providing their specialist care to local patients and their families.

One family member who will be there this year is Emma Jeffries, who will be walking with her friends to support the hospice. She said: “We’ll be walking in memory of my mum Yvonne who died in St Ann’s Hospice on Christmas Day. Mum was only at St Ann’s in Heald Green for two days, but we want to raise money for the hospice because of the way they looked after our family in such difficult circumstances.

“The care and dignity the staff showed to my mum was amazing, and we were looked after so well as a family during her time there, and after her passing too. The whole team was amazing.

“I’m going to be raising money to give something back, and I’m proud to support such a fantastic cause.”

The walk starts at midnight, and participants will take on a 10km loop which starts and ends at Manchester Cathedral. Warm up entertainment starts at 9pm, with music, disco and refreshments available before the walk begins.

Interested walkers can sign up to take part in the 10km moonlit stroll now, by visiting the website or calling 0161 498 3631. A special early bird rate is available for keen walkers who book their place early.

Eamonn added: “It’s so heart-warming to see so many Mancunians and Salfordians gathered together in support of the hospice, as they pass some of our most loved local landmarks to raise money for others. We start and finish at the beautiful Manchester Cathedral again this year, and we are really grateful for their support and help with our fundraising. I’m looking forward to seeing as many people as possible there on the night.”

Many walkers take part in memory of lost loved ones, whilst others join in simply for a night of fun and fundraising.

*To register please call the hospice on 0161 498 3631 or visit

*Early Bird fee of £16 or £13 for groups of five people or more is available until 28th February 2018. Following that date, the Standard Adult Fee of £21 applies for those aged 18 and over. The Youth Fee for walkers aged 11-17 years (walkers must be aged 11 or over) is £11, with Previous Walkers at £16, and Groups (five people or more) fee of £16 per person.






A local hospice has opened its fifteenth charity shop in Greater Manchester, and is appealing for volunteers to support its work.

The St Ann’s Hospice Trading Company has added a new shop to its portfolio of fourteen high street and online outlets by opening a brand new store on Stockport Road in Ardwick.

The specialist furniture shop will sell a range of new and pre-loved furniture items, electrical goods, white goods and homeware. The shop will be offering 10% discount for students on donated items.

Amanda Brooks, Head of the St Ann’s Hospice Trading Company, said: “Our furniture shop in Ladybarn is always incredibly popular, especially with students and landlords, and so we’re really excited to open this shop in Ardwick where it is surrounded by a great local community.

“All our shops are really busy community hubs – so busy in fact that we really need some extra support from willing volunteers! We need volunteer drivers, drivers mate and shop assistants to help us out.

“It’s vital we recruit volunteers so that we can provide our services, and there’s such a wide range of roles for people to support us with we’re hoping there’s something that will appeal to everyone. We need help with everything from serving customers to collecting and delivering furniture and also help with our newly launched house clearance service.

“We give full training and support, and we’d be keen to hear from anyone aged 16 and over who thinks they might be able to help out – even for a few hours a week. Every small contribution makes a huge difference to our patients.

“Our house clearance service is proving really popular, so if you are moving, downsizing, or just have a garage or unit that you want help clearing, we can support you with that as well. We’re urging as many people as possible who may have items to donate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.”

St Ann’s Hospice cares for people from across Greater Manchester from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, as well as out in the community and in the places people call home.

As well as the shops, the hospice’s Trading Company runs the online eBay and Amazon outlets, and a hospice lottery.

*The shop is open now. Anyone interested in supporting the hospice by volunteering in the new Ardwick shop should collect an application form from the new shop at: 164 Stockport Rd, Ardwick, Manchester M13 9AB, call 0161 477 7839 or go to:



A group of runners of all ages have completed a 5k fun run through Mossley to help Jennifer Gregory’s fundraising appeal for homelessness charity Emmaus.

Jennifer, aged 35 and from Mossley, is fundraising for Emmaus UK as she gears up to take on the London Marathon on Sunday 28 April 2019.

On Saturday 16 February, more than 50 people set off from Emmaus Mossley to complete the 5k route of the Emmaus Fun Run organised by Jennifer and her friends. Each participant donated money to take part and in total more than £350 was raised towards Jennifer’s fundraising appeal.

Jennifer said: “The fun run couldn’t have gone any better. Everyone seemed to have a great time, from the children running with their parents to the tail walker and her dog, as well as the speedier serious runners.

“It was really special that some Emmaus companions participated along with staff from the charity. On the day we raised more than £350 pounds which brings my fundraising total to £900 so far! Huge thanks to everyone who took part and to all the people who have supported my Emmaus fundraiser!”

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity is one of 29 Emmaus communities across the UK, supporting more than 800 people who have experienced homelessness.

Eddie, a community member at Emmaus Mossley and one of the runners who took part, said: “I took it easy but it was a good day and a great turn out with a variety of all ages supporting the event. It helped that the weather was not too hot and not too cold.

“I did a marathon in 1983 so I know what Jennifer is in for! She’s dedicated and training well so I’m sure she’ll do fine. Everyone at Emmaus wishes her well and is very grateful for her fantastic support.”

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer’s fundraiser and donate, visit


To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.



On Valentine’s Day last year, Willow Wood launched its first ‘Ton of Love’, asking people to raise just £100 for the Hospice funds, any way they could.

This concept really captured people’s imagination, and on Tuesday 12 February this year, the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Denise Ward, unveiled a plaque in the reception of Willow Wood showing that the Ton of Love had raised the grand total of £20,744 over the year.  That’s an amazing figure, and a tribute to Willow Wood’s supporters who organised so many events and activities to raise the sum.

Cllr Ward also unveiled a huge photo montage with pictures of everyone who took part forming a huge heart.  This will stay in Willow Wood’s reception for a full year, so that everyone can see who supported us this way.

Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “Our community really showed their love for us in so many ways.  We’re so grateful to everyone who took part, and all the many different ways they raised funds.  There was a sponsored tattoo and sponsored haircut, a dog show, a quiz night, a comedy night, a team who drove from Mossley to Benidorm in three days, cakes bakes, leg waxes, swimming and cycling challenges – far too many to list them all, but each one appreciated so much.

“And this year, we’re doing it all over again.  Starting on 14 February, Valentine’s Day, we’re asking our supporters to do anything and everything to raise funds for Willow Wood.  If you’ve got a place in the Great Manchester Run, why not raise sponsorship while you’re running.  If you’ve always thought you’d like to do a wingwalk or a skydive, check out our Bucket List Challenges on our website.  If you go running every morning why not ask family and friends to sponsor you for each mile you run until you’ve reached a total of 100.  And of course, we’ll be repeating the photo mosaic next year as well.”

This year, Willow Wood’s running costs are over £2.5million, and 79% of that has to be raised from the community.  That means it costs over £6,800 every single day to provide specialised, loving care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.

If you feel you’d like to be part of Ton of Love, go to our website, to find out more.



Micklehurst Cricket Club has secured £1,726 at the latest record-breaking Mossley SOUP community crowdfunding dinner. 

On Thursday 7 February, more than 220 diners packed in to Emmaus Mossley for the seventh Mossley SOUP event, sponsored by Tameside Rotary. The group that secured the most votes on the night was Micklehurst Cricket Club who were pitching for support for their Junior section.

Jonathan Forrester from Micklehurst Cricket Club said: “It was great to have been invited to present at Mossley SOUP. Everybody involved needs praise for what they are doing.

“When I was asked to present for Micklethurst Cricket Club I was a bit apprehensive but I really needn’t have been. On the night the money raised could have gone to any one of the four groups and I’m sure nobody would have complained.

“For us, these funds will allow us to compete with other local clubs with the juniors and hopefully ensure cricket is played up at Micklehurst Cricket Club for many years to come.”

Along with Micklehurst Cricket Club Junior Section, the three other projects appealing for support were Ethical Education Enterprise CIC, Milton Forest School Cabin and Mossley Heritage.

Diners donated £5 each in return for soup, live music, presentations from four local projects and a vote for their favourite project. Each of the four project presenters had four minutes to share their idea, followed by four questions from the audience.

Along with entrance donations and £100 donated by Tameside Rotary, the winner’s pot included funds raised through a raffle with prizes donated by Alan & Vivs English Fish & Chips, Body & Mind Therapy Centre, Dinnerstones, Donkeystone Brewery and The Pet Care Company.

Four freshly made soups were prepared by local volunteers Rory Callaghan from The Allotment Café and Gordon Collinge with ingredients and bread donated A Taylor & Son Family Butchers, local vegetable suppliers Diane and Neil and JW Buckley’s Bakery.

In addition to the four project presentations, Mossley SOUP diners enjoyed live music and a guest talk from Michelle Phillips from Mossley Social Club for Disabled Adults, winner of the fifth Mossley SOUP.

Project ideas are being sought from individuals, artists, community groups, charities and new business start-ups for the next Mossley SOUP event in July 2019.

For more information, to submit a proposal and for details of future Mossley SOUP events, head to



Stalybridge Celtic Foundation held their third of six designated charity days at Bower Fold last Saturday, for the visit of Witton Albion FC, with Kidscan UK, being the Foundation guests for the afternoon.

Alison and Bob along with Volunteers from the charity attended the game to raise awareness of the fantastic work they do, and also to raise valuable funds via a ‘Bucket Collection’ and a raffle to win a signed Stalybridge Celtic FC 2018/19 Home shirt.

A superb £418.88 was raised on the day.

Alison England, Fundraising Officer, Kidscan UK said, “Just a quick note to share the total we raised at Saturdays game, a super £418.88. We are delighted and so very grateful, see you next year!”

A massive thank you to everyone who donated on the day.


The next Charity Day is due to take place on Saturday 23rd March v North Ferriby United FC, where the Foundation will be joined by The Believe and Achieve Trust.




For the next few months, Willow Wood has secured an Ashton town centre discount shop selling clothing, shoes and bags all at incredible bargain prices.

The shop, situated at 11 Old Street, will be open from 10am to 3pm every day except Sunday and will sell all stock at £3 or less.  Every item is at a fixed price, for example adult coats and suits are £3, dresses £2, while knitwear, skirts, trousers, shoes and bags cost just £1.50 and tops £1.  And with all children’s wear at just 50p per item, you really will be able to pick up some massively discounted goods.

Sharon Hodgkiess, retail operations manager explained: “We have such wonderful community supporters who donate huge amounts of clothing every week, which means that our flagship Ashton shop at 74 Old Street is able to concentrate on higher end looks and brands, as well as brand new goods and homewares.    The new shop will concentrate purely on discount clothing and will be in addition to our monthly clearance sales at our distribution centre which are always so well attended by bargain hunters.”

Like all Willow Wood’s shops, the discount pop-up will be mainly staffed by volunteers, and Sharon said, “Our volunteer team are friends as well as colleagues, and with our expanding retail operation we always need more people to help.  If you feel you’d like more information on becoming a volunteer, why not call into your local shop and have a chat with the manager.  You can even try volunteering for a couple of hours to see if it’s for you.”

 Working with local schools, Sustrans volunteers have combined to help turn an abandoned old railway turntable in Godley into a wildlife haven and community event space.

The 70-foot diameter turntable is located on a one-mile, traffic-free path between Godley and Apethorn, now owned by Sustrans, a charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. It is part of the long distance Trans Pennine Trail and the National Cycle Network.

The turntable forms the perfect shape for an outdoor arena and has become a tranquil resting spot along the path surrounded by trees, grasses and wetland, home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

Last year, The Friends of the Trans Pennine Trail received £45,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the turntable, create a community space for performances and events, and a peaceful nature haven.

Volunteers have worked with the Sustrans team to clear vegetation and trees from the centre of the turntable and uncover parts of the original track and ash pits for the steam railway.

Now, they plan to work with local schools and the community to improve the habitat for wildlife and create information boards about the history of the old railway line.

Volunteer group coordinator, Peter Brocklehurst, said they would like to work closely with the local community to help create a space for everyone.

He said: “This year we’ll be helping to improve the habitat and attract local nature by building things like bat boxes, hedgehog refuges and bug hotels. It will be a fantastic practical educational opportunity and we’d really like to hear from local schools who would like to get involved with the project.”

The turntable was built in the early 1930s as part of the Woodhead railway electrification process, and was mainly used to carry coal and other types of freight.

During the war it was an important storage site and a bomb narrowly missed the turntable. A nearby pond is a reminder of the crater it left behind.

“After the railway closed in the 1960s the site was abandoned for 40 years and became overgrown, but the old brickwork of the turntable remains intact and there are several reminders of its railway past, such as tracks and channels where the waste ash was deposited.”

Volunteers plan to repair the wall, cover the base and install drains in the turntable, to allow the community to hold performances and events. They will also install benches and information boards about the history and nature of the area.


Minds Matter in Tameside and Glossop has been set-up for people who want to improve their wellbeing. It can help people with low level concerns about their mental wellbeing that are related to everyday life events.

They do this by looking at the wider issues that impact on a person’s wellbeing, such as money worries, relationship issues and social isolation, and by offering groups, courses and one-to-one support to address these issues, improve a person’s situation before they develop any more serious mental health issues.

Minds Matter consists of a team of Mental Wellbeing Practitioners, Peer Support Workers and Counsellors who can help manage and overcome personal difficulties. They are friendly and approachable, and will make sure that you’ll see the right person who can help you:

  • Address current problems
  • Gain a new understanding of your difficulties and develop new ways of coping
  • Make positive changes in your life
  • Talk about your difficulties in a non-judgemental and supportive environment.

Minds Matter believe that their support should be available at a place that suits their service users, and therefore they work out of locations such as libraries, community centres and children’s centres to make sure that this is the case.

They believe that it should be as easy as possible for people who need Minds Matter to access the service.

Service users can be referred via their GP, or they can self-refer by calling 0161 343 5748 or by attending one of our many drop-in group sessions.

Once you have been referred or got in touch, you will be contacted within one week, when a trained professional will have a conversation with you to work out the best service for you.

If they think you could benefit from help with social issues, they will work with you to identify the problematic areas in your life and help you to overcome any challenges you face.

Sometimes people might need a greater level of support. Minds Matter works in partnership with NHS services who can support individuals with psychological therapy if needed.

Minds Matter is commissioned by NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, and work together in partnership with The Big Life group, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind.



Could your company help Willow Wood in a very practical way?  We’re looking for teams of corporate volunteers to spend a day or so helping with specific projects, either at the Hospice itself, or out at one of our shops or the Distribution Centre.

Hospice volunteer officer Lisa Pye explains: “Although we have a wonderful and very committed team of over 600 volunteers, there are certain times where we really do need a group to focus on a particular area and really get to grips with it.  For example, last October we had a great team of NatWest volunteers who cleared a border in front of the Hospice entrance, digging out compacted shrubbery.  It was strenuous but they all enjoyed the time they spent here and it’s made such a difference as you drive into our car park.

“Now we’re coming up to spring and getting ready for the new season’s planting, we could really do with some more teams to help clear areas in our garden.  And of course, it doesn’t just benefit us.  More and more companies are realising the importance of their corporate social responsibilities and getting involved with their communities.  It’s an ideal way to boost staff morale, build teamwork, and those involved find it very satisfying to support our work in such a practical way.”

There are many other opportunities for corporate volunteering.  Willow Wood’s distribution centre has welcomed many teams who have enjoyed days sorting donations and getting ready for clearance sales.


If you think your company could get involved or would like more information please contact Lisa on: or 0161 330 1100.