Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Families Matter

Hyde United FC is a long established football club built on uniquely strong local community bonds, which has, since it became community owned, introduced many excellent family friendly and local school sports initiatives as well as delivering educational opportunities via their academy system.

Kicking off at 3.00pm this Saturday, (20th January 2019) Hyde United FC will be home to Witton Albion FC in what promises to be a really close game of football, the Directors of the club are pleased to announce that Admission for kids will once again be free, when accompanied by an adult!

Please come along and enjoy a day of live football at Ewen Fields.


PARENTS attending with KIDS : £5.00

Come along to the concessions turnstile, give your name and the school your child attends.


MORE than 700 people previously sleeping rough in Greater Manchester have been helped into warm, safe and supported accommodation since November, thanks to the ground-breaking A Bed Every Night scheme.

Greater Manchester is the only region in the United Kingdom pledging this level of support this winter for those sleeping on the streets. A Bed Every Night is a concerted and co-ordinated drive across all 10 boroughs to accommodate every individual who wants and needs to come indoors.

Since A Bed Every Night accommodation opened across Greater Manchester at the start of November last year, 707 people have accessed services with 183 people indoors on the first Sunday night of 2019.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “The fact that more than 700 people have been assisted into A Bed Every Night accommodation in a little over two months shows both the scale of the crisis we face but also the effectiveness of scheme.

“The numbers of people facing or experiencing rough sleeping in our city-region are simply unacceptable – it is a humanitarian crisis on our streets and something we have chosen to face full-on with A Bed Every Night.

“I want to pay particular tribute to all the organisations, staff and volunteers in the teams across all boroughs of our city-region who are working every single day and night to deliver on the ground. Without this level of commitment an ambitious campaign such as A Bed Every Night would simply not succeed – the people of Greater Manchester care for each other, as our progress here demonstrates.”

In addition to the 707 former rough sleepers helped indoors, the scheme is designed to act as a springboard for people into more secure and long-term supported accommodation. A Bed Every Night is the intended first step for many on a journey to a life permanently off the streets, and since its introduction 154 people have been assisted through the scheme and into their own living arrangements.

The number of beds available through A Bed Every Night and the variety of support on offer continues to grow. In Crumpsall a former children’s home has been repurposed with 30 spaces available in single and shared rooms.

Residents also have access to shared communal spaces and a kitchen where, alongside staff, they are encouraged to develop cookery skills and help feed others living in the building.

A Bed Every Night runs until the end of March. The public and business can continue to support by donating to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity via Monies raised through the Charity will be directed towards A Bed Every Night until the campaign’s end.

Bromleys Solicitors is to expand its free legal advice services for the public during 2019 after seeing demand soar last year.

A total of 764 people attended surgeries at the firm’s offices in Ashton-under-Lyne during 2018.

The figure represented a 54 per cent increase over 2017, when 497 people took advantage of Bromleys’ Access to Free Legal Advice programme.

In addition to five weekly surgeries at its offices, Bromleys runs advice sessions during and outside working hours at a variety of locations across the borough.

These include nursing and care homes, adult day care centres, charity premises and women’s centres, benefiting residents, service users and staff.

Bromleys assigned more lawyers to the service during 2018 than in previous years.

Those attending last year sought initial help with issues concerning employment, neighbour and boundary disputes, wills, probate and lasting powers of attorney, divorce and care proceedings, cohabitation agreements, parental and grandparental rights and child protection.

This year, the firm is looking to add further pop-up sessions at various organisations in and around Tameside.

Mark Hirst, senior partner at Bromleys, said: “The free advice sessions provide a safe, private space where members of the public can talk to our experts and find out more about the legal options available to them.

“Greater awareness about our programme through marketing activities and client referrals has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people attending.

“Reductions in Legal Aid are also a factor. People know they can come to us for a free initial consultation and that we will put them on the right path to resolving their situation before matters escalate.

“They can get information about possible funding options and schemes available and, if they wish, they can instruct Bromleys to act on their behalf.

“Our commitment to providing free initial legal advice to the local community and in particular vulnerable people is a cornerstone of our corporate social responsibility programme.

“We enjoy what we do and get an enormous amount of satisfaction knowing we are able to assist and provide peace of mind, helping people with their problems and connecting them to external services they may not have known were available to them.”

Last year, Willow Wood ran a very successful challenge where we asked local businesses to compete against each other to see who could be the most successful fundraiser.  In this, their twentieth anniversary year, they’re opening up the challenge to everyone in our community and expect to get many different teams and individuals joining the 20/20 Challenge.

Willow Wood’s event organiser, Elaine McConnell, explained, “We’ll be handing out two £20 notes on Friday 1 February, and we’re asking you to use your imagination and invest this to raise as much as you can for the Hospice over the next three months.   You could organise an afternoon tea at your church or social group; reinvest the profits and hold a family fun day.

Or how about sponsoring your boss to sit in a bath of custard or baked beans – that could be a very popular fun fundraiser!

Office Olympics, chest waxing, sponsored bike ride, car wash, quizzes, concerts, there are no end of ideas, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.  Willow Wood can help by publicising your event on social media, and we’ll be able to provide sponsor forms, posters or raffle tickets should you need them.  There’ll also be a league table on our website, so you can keep up-to-date with what the competition is doing.

Last year’s winner of the business challenge was Kathryn Orange of the TFL Group, who raised £1,000.  She was very proud to receive her trophy from Elaine McConnell, who said, “Our sincere thanks to Kathryn, and to all the other companies who accepted the challenge in 2018.  They not only had fun, but found that taking part was great for staff morale.  Knowing that they were raising money for a local charity really motivated them to work together and all the businesses are very interested in taking part again – proof of how valuable they found the experience.’

It’s easy to sign up.  Just go to and you can register online.  Of course, you can join in with the 20/20 Challenge at any time before the end of April, but the sooner you start, the more funds you can raise.

As Elaine said; “If you have any queries at all, I’m always available for advice or help.  Just contact me on 0161 330 7788 or  I’m really looking forward to the start, there must be so many talented business brains in our community who will relish this fundraising challenge.”


As many of our readers know, neighbours can play an important part in our daily lives. Good neighbours can become great friends, and in some cases just like family. Some of us may well remember (during the 60’s – 70’s) our parents’ family friends and neighbours being referred to as Auntie X and Uncle Y. Yes, it was a generational thing, but in those day’s many parents considered it more respectful than using first names.

However, in today’s busy world, as we all know, technology has encroached on every aspect of our daily lives, which has resulted in too many cases of isolating people in our neighbourhoods and created a social distance among ourselves.

But things may well be reverting back to yesteryear as new research from People’s Postcode Lottery has revealed that over 50% of Brits want to build real-life relationships with their neighbours, particularly the younger generations.

The study, which surveyed over 2,000 renters and homeowners in the UK, challenges the common stereotype that young people, and those in temporary, rented accommodation, are less likely to befriend their neighbour’s and engage with them face to face.

Whilst nearly half of our respondents (44%) said that they were a part of a community social media group, 78% of young people said they prefer to build relationships with their neighbours in real life, shunning the idea that the digital generation prefers to scroll than speak.

Those living in temporary, rented accommodation are also keen to ditch technology, with 61% saying they want to speak to neighbour’s face to face.

But what’s getting neighbours talking? Going on holiday was the most likely topic to get people chatting, with 76% of people saying they’d inform their neighbours if they were going away, either digitally or in real life.

The age-old habit of popping round to borrow a cup of milk is still very much common, too, with 6 in 10 respondents saying they’d ask their neighbour to borrow bread, sugar or similar items.

When it comes to addressing any neighbour niggles, over 55’s are most likely to confront any issue they have, with over half (57%) saying they’d pick up the conversation face-to-face, over any other method of communication.

Issues include parking across driveways, putting rubbish in other neighbour’s bins, and cutting down trees.

However, in order to make friends with neighbours, people are much more likely to do so if they have shared interests.

Across the board, 31% of Brits said that if they had clear shared interests (such as noticing them carrying similar sporting equipment), this would make them more likely to stop and chat. Alongside this, one in five said they’d be more likely to stop and chat if their neighbours had a dog, and 15% said the same for children.


North West statistics reveal:

54.3% of NW always make an effort to speak to their neighbours

77.7% of NW interact more with their neighbours in real life than online

44% are part of community social media groups

47% would knock and ask face to face to borrow household groceries (sugar, milk etc).

73.5% would tell their neighbour when they are going on holiday.

18.7% of NW would talk to their neighbour more if they had a dog



2019 is Willow Wood’s twentieth anniversary; that’s 20 years of loving care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.  The continued support of our community ensures not only that we are able to care for our patients and their families, but to develop our services, maintaining our position at the pinnacle of Hospice care.  

Our fundraising events are essential to our success, and during 2019 we are organising a great mix of old favourites and new events.  These range from challenge events such as the IKEA Abseil, convivial nights out with our Foods around the World, family fun events like our Bubble Rush or events where you can relax with friends like our Cocktails & Dreams.

Later in the year we’re bringing back probably our best loved sponsored event – the Midnight Wander, and we are really looking forward to seeing many    hundreds of you dressed in pink once again!

That’s not until September however, so why not sign up for one of the two big fundraisers at the beginning of the year?  Our 20/20 Challenge starts on Friday 1 February and will be asking you to go head-to-head with other local teams and individuals to raise funds for Willow Wood.  We’ll give you two £20 notes as a starter fund to be invested however you like.  The challenge will run until the end of April when we look forward to seeing just how enterprising you’ve been.

A very different challenge is Back to the Fitness on Sunday 3 February and this will really give your New Year’s Resolution to get fit a kick start!  You can sign up online now for a two-hour 80s themed Zumbathon, a 90s inspired Clubberthon or, if you’re really keen, both on the same day!

We would love it if you could help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary by joining with one or more of our fundraising events.  There is such a wide choice over the year there is sure to be something to suit you.


To find out more about how we’ve developed over the last twenty years, or to sign up for one of our fundraising events just go to and help us continue our care.

Next year will see our 20th Anniversary; a real milestone in our history, and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful supporters for everything they have done for us during 2018 and the preceding years.

It is true to say that our community built Willow Wood.  A team of committed volunteers came together in 1993 with the dream of raising funds to provide a Hospice for the people of Tameside and Glossop.  That dream was realised when our doors opened to admit our first patient on 5 May 1999, a very special day for us and for our community.

The need for fundraising didn’t stop there however.  Back when we opened, estimated annual costs for Willow Wood were £750,000.  This current financial year our running costs are over £2.5million, and that we continue to be at the pinnacle of Hospice care is due to the support of our community fundraisers.  Without them, we would not be able to maintain and develop our services and continue to reach out to even more local people.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to our family of around 600 active volunteers. Without their time, their commitment, their skills, their love and their laughter, we would not be the wonderful place we are today.

There is not a single area within Willow Wood where we do not rely on our volunteers.  From counselling to complementary therapies, from office administration to gardening, from our shops and distribution centre to patient drivers, our volunteers are at the heart of all we do.  Indeed, if you visit Willow Wood the first face you see will be a volunteer as they man our reception desk, 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I would also like to pay tribute to every staff member who has passed through our doors at any time during the past 19 years. You have all helped Willow Wood become what it is today, with your dedication, unflagging good humour and skills.

My thanks then once again, to each and every person who has supported Willow Wood in any way, during this or any previous year.  Whether you have bought a lottery ticket, or an item from one of our shops; whether you have run a marathon, had your head shaved, or taken part in one of our own fundraising events; or whether you are one of our wonderful volunteers, you are part of the Willow Wood community, and we feel truly blessed to have your support.

Thank you.




Willow Wood’s two ‘Light Up A Life’ dedication services have now taken place and, as always, were both uplifting and emotional as hundreds gathered to remember loved ones.

For the first time this year the Book of Memories has been available online, and many in our community have left messages of love and remembrance.   The Book will remain open for the rest of this year and throughout 2019 so that dedications can be revisited at other special times, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

We know that this will bring comfort to many: indeed, by leaving the Book open dedications can be made at significant dates throughout the year.  It’s also good to know that as you remember your loved ones, you are at the same time helping those who need our care.  A £10 gift will pay for a patient’s meals for one day, £25 will pay for an hour of complementary therapy and £50 would gift a full half hour of nursing care in our in-patient unit.  What a wonderful way to honour that unique and special person.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped and supported ‘Light Up A Life’ this year, and we invite you to view your dedications by visiting .

Diners at the Amaani restaurant, during a recent ‘Foods around the World’

So, as we say farewell to 2018, the invariably cold month of January always seems a dark and dismal time after the parties and celebrations of New Year.  That’s why it’s good to have something different to look forward to, and Willow Wood’s latest FOODS AROUND THE WORLD – IN TAMESIDE & GLOSSOP which takes place on 30 January 2019, certainly fits the bill.

For the latest stop on our culinary cruise we’re visiting South Africa, with a very tasty meal at the Cask & Kitchen in Glossop.  There’ll be Biltong nibbles on arrival, skewers of Boerewars (spiced farmer’s sausage) and Pap (cornmeal with a tomato and onion sauce) as a starter and then a choice of Bobotie (fruity Cape Malay curry) or Oxtail Potijie (slow roasted Afrikaans stew).

Elaine McConnell, event organiser, said: “I do love organising the ‘Foods around the World’ trips.  They always have such a great atmosphere and this one should be really special.  Few of us have probably been to South Africa, so it’s an opportunity to sample their distinctive dishes, and at just £22 per person it’s a very affordable treat.”


If you’d like to be part of this gastronomic journey you can book online at, or contact the fundraising department on 0161 330 7788 or



It’s hard to believe December is here already, and at such a busy time of the year it’s very easy for the odd thing to slip your mind. We’d like to remind you to return your tickets into the Willow Wood Christmas Draw as soon as possible to ensure you’re in with a chance to win £5,000.

The draw will take place on 20 December, and all tickets must be in by 17 December at the latest. With another 12 cash prizes up for grabs as well, it’s certainly worth having a flutter. And if you haven’t got tickets, or it’s not convenient to get to a post box just log onto our website and play online! It’s easy, it’s quick and it’s totally secure.

Emma Craigmyle, clinical assistant said “With every £1 ticket you buy you’ve got another chance to hit the jackpot. Not only that, but you’ll know that every penny coming back to Willow Wood helps us continue our care for local people.

Why not go to now and have a go. You might not win the £5,000, but you’ll certainly win our gratitude.”


If you are looking to start the Christmas festivities early, there are just a couple of tables left for the Willow Wood ladies only Winter Wonderland lunch on Wednesday 12 December, so if you’d like to treat your mum, sister or best friend to an early Christmas present don’t leave it too long to book.

It’s going to be a fabulous occasion, and the imposing surroundings of Oaklands Hall, Hyde will make a suitably grand backdrop for your best party dress. The afternoon starts in style with a glass of Prosecco, followed by a delicious three course lunch. To really get you in the party mood, there’s some wonderful entertainment – it really is going to be a lovely afternoon.

You might even be able to finish off your Christmas shopping as we’ve arranged for a pop-up shop stocked with gorgeous clothes, handbags and accessories plus indulgent Body Shop toiletries.

Tickets are just £32 each and you can book online at, quickly, easily and securely.

Alternatively, ring our fundraising office on 0161 330 7788 or drop us a line at We look forward to seeing you there!

Willow Wood’s ‘Light Up A Life’ dedication services bring comfort to many in our community as we celebrate the lives of loved ones with carols, readings, brass bands and choirs.  It is also a wonderful opportunity to view the dedications in our Book of Memories.

However, so many people attend and want to view the Book that you may not feel you have long enough to take it in.  If you would like to spend a little more time with your memories, then visit our multi-faith prayer room where the Book of Memories will stay throughout the Christmas period and then for the whole of 2019.

Our ‘Light Up A Life’ stars, inscribed with your dedication, will be proudly displayed on the two trees in our prayer room from 17 November until Twelfth Night.

Please be assured that if you have chosen our online Book our staff and volunteers will write and hang the stars to ensure that every single dedication is in place.  You may come along to Willow Wood at any time to view these.

However, as we transform our lovely gardens into our magical Garden of 1,000 Lights from 20 November, why not take advantage of our open evenings every Tuesday and Thursday until 20 December.  

There will be festive refreshments available, and as well as perusing your dedication you will be able to walk round the beautifully illuminated gardens and enjoy a hot chocolate or winter cocktail along with a delicious home-made mince pie.

Willow Wood has to raise £2.5million to maintain and develop our services and we have a wide-ranging calendar of fundraising events. Two very different events being held in the next couple of weeks are our Kids.Com Car Boot Sale and the Festival of Christmas Music.

Sunday 25 November sees our last indoor car boot sale of the year at Astley Sports Centre.  All pitches are already sold out, and it’s the ideal place to pick up a pre-loved bargain – just in time for Christmas!  As the name suggests, it’s aimed at children of all ages, and there will be books, toys, DVDs, clothes and more, all at bargain prices.

The following Sunday, 2 December sees the ever-popular Festival of Christmas Music, in the impressive surroundings of the Albion Church, Ashton.  Organised by a committed team of volunteers, this will feature the Accord Choir and the Ashton-under-Lyne Brass Band.  Admission is by programme, available at the Willow Wood reception and both the Ashton and Stalybridge Hospice shops.

At just £5 including a cup of tea or coffee and a mince pie it’s a wonderful way to start the festive season.


For further information on Light Up A Life or the Garden of 1,000 Lights, please visit our website, which will give you full details of these and our other fundraising events