Monday, July 22, 2019

The worlds of music and medicine will combine for a glittering charity concert at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Sunday, October 20 (7.30pm).

The occasion will bring back happy memories for Dr Huw Purssell who plays the cello in the acclaimed European Doctors’ Orchestra.

The concert is raising funds for St Ann’s Hospice where Huw was on placement several years ago during studies at medical school.

The orchestra is made up of European medics who voluntarily use what little spare time they have performing charity concerts at different Europe-wide locations twice a year.

Huw, from Heaton Mersey, said: “Music is a way of relaxing in any career but certainly with the pressures of the medical profession. A lot of doctors want to play in the orchestra but because we’re all so busy we can’t attend every concert.

“We rehearse intensively for three days and then perform on Sundays. I’m really looking forward to the concert in Manchester. It is an epic programme in a fantastic hall for an incredible cause.

“I spent four weeks at St Ann’s in Little Hulton and it’s a lovely place and I could see the important work they do. Since then I’ve had a lot of dealings with St Ann’s through patients with palliative diagnoses at the hospitals in Salford and Wigan where I’ve worked.”

Huw, who has played the cello since the age of eight, currently works as a Gastroenterology Registrar at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and moves to the Royal Oldham Hospital in September.

Tickets priced £22.50, including booking fee, are available from The Bridgewater Hall (

The concert, celebrating the human spirit, opens with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, followed by Brahms’ Song of Destiny and Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” by Shostakovich. The orchestra will be accompanied by the St George’s Singers.

Organisers are looking for sponsors to cover venue hire costs so that all ticket monies go directly to the hospice.
Sponsorship inquiries should be made to Clare Henderson at St Ann’s. (Tel: 0161 498 3631 or email

A local garage is driving up donations for St Ann’s Hospice with its latest fundraising initiative.

BI Appleton in Heald Green is donating £5 from every MOT it carries out in July and August to the charity.

Phil Evans, General Manager, explained: “We have decided to donate to St Ann’s because we can see what a great charity they are. The work they do for the local community and nearby communities is breathtaking. The team works every second of every day to help the lives of so many people that need to be loved and cared for. One day, a loved one may need to go to a hospice, so if we can help out St Ann’s with our special MOT offer, then we will sleep easy knowing we are donating to a wonderful charity.”

In 1939, Basil Appleton opened a repair garage and petrol station, and the business has continued to grow over the decades, still providing repairs and other services for local people from its Styal Road base.

Phil added: “Old businesses are dying off but we are growing just like St Ann’s Hospice. We are only a few minutes away from their Heald Green hospice, and have been maintaining their vehicles for many years now so have built a solid relationship.”

St Ann’s Hospice cares for people from across Greater Manchester from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and at The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, as well as via a range of community and outreach services. St Ann’s is a charity, and receives around a third of its funding from the NHS with the rest – around £20,000 a day – fundraised thanks to the kind support of its donors.

Hospice Chief Executive Eamonn O’Neal, said: “Our local community is so important to the hospice, and we’re incredibly appreciative of all the support BI Appleton give us. We rely on donations from businesses like theirs, as well as individuals, to ensure we can continue providing the specialist care our patients need. Huge thanks to the team there for thinking of the hospice and supporting our patients in this way.”

Friday 20 September sees the return of probably the biggest and best loved sponsored walk ever held in Tameside – the Willow Wood Midnight Wander.

As any of the thousands of local people who’ve taken part will testify, the atmosphere has always been amazing; it’s as much a great night out as it is a fundraiser for the Hospice. Whether you’re walking as a family or with friends you’ll join the cheers as the countdown reaches midnight and the walk begins.

It’s 10k, or around 6 miles but the other walkers will keep your spirits up all the way around the route which starts and finishes at Astley Sports Village. There are no age restrictions this year so if your children want to walk with you, they’ll be very welcome. And of course, men and boys can join in too.

There’ll be a real party atmosphere at the Sports Village with music, refreshments, face painters and merchandise. As always, there’ll be a mass warm up before the walk to ensure everyone is raring to go. And when walkers return to the centre they’ll be presented with a specially designed medal and a very welcome hot breakfast bap.

T shirts are also included in the registration fee; pink of course. And we’re expecting to see plenty of pink accessories as well – feather boas, tutus and Stetsons are always popular additions to the Wanderers outfits!

If you’d like to be involved in this fantastic fundraiser but don’t feel you could take part in the walk itself, Willow Wood do need volunteers for the event, particularly marshals along the route. Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “Our volunteer marshals are essential to the success of the Midnight Wander. Positioned at strategic points, they can direct the walkers, stop traffic to allow them to cross the road, and be our eyes and ears along the route.”

“If you’d like more information about volunteering on the day please contact me on: or 0161 330 7788. And if you’d like to register for the Midnight Wander just go to and register online – it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s totally secure.”

Photo: The very first Midnight Wander begins.

The ancient custom of ‘Well Dressing’ is a village community event that is all but unique to villages in Derbyshire and The Peak District, and is still to this day celebrated by villagers’ in order to give thanks for their consent supply of drinking water.

Following in this tradition which was set down many years ago, the ‘Blessing of the Wells’ was first started in the Gee Cross Village in the 19th century as a way to give the mill workers a day out and to part with their money in the Grapes Hotel.

Today it’s more ceremonial as crowds of people visit the Well Dressing events which has become a great family event, celebrating the dressing of the wells, whilst following the brass bands that create the traditional festive atmosphere.

Last week, Hyde Rotary’s new President, Vicky Gaunt, visited The Hyde Chapel as preparations were in progress in for this year’s well dressing, where she presented the ladies of the WI with a cheque for £250.00. During her visit, Vicky saw first-hand the ladies painstakingly creating by hand the main display board, which depicts and celebrates 50 years since the first man, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon. They were both Americans, their spaceship “Apollo 11” was launched by NASA from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Vicky commented, that she was inspired by watching these this incredible art form being kept alive by this group of dedicated volunteers, and looked forward to seeing the finished design in all its glory this coming weekend.

Vicky was told that the preparations for the event started weeks ago by the WI, with local groups and schools also participating; not only in helping create the theme, but also playing their part in this colourful family event as it moves around the village; visiting each of the 3 wells, accompanied by a traditional brass band.

You can visit and take part in this age-old custom on Sunday 14th July in the Gee Cross Village, with the dedication at 2.00pm following parade.

Stepping into the shoes of a nurse probably isn’t something that many local people have ever thought they’d do, but a brand-new charity challenge is asking supporters to sign up to do just that.

The Step Up for St Ann’s challenge, sees St Ann’s Hospice appealing for local people to pledge to walk or run a set distance through the month of September in aid of their patients, reflecting the distance their nurses walk each day whilst providing care.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, explained: “Our hospice nurses walk an average of two miles a day when caring for our patients, often more, so in our latest fundraiser we’re asking local people to walk or run 30 days in their shoes. It’s a concept we’re hoping supporters can fit around their lifestyle and it’s really easy to be part of. People simply choose a distance – or number of steps – they pledge to walk or run during the month of September, and can complete the distance whenever, and however, they like.

“We know people are busy, so wanted to make this challenge something that supporters could fit around their normal daily activity if they want to. For example, adding up the distance it takes to walk the school run each day, the number of steps it takes to get home from work, or even the distance to the local shop for groceries. It all adds up.

“Perhaps people could decide to walk or run as far as our nurses, so 60 miles over the month, or they could take on the distance equivalent to walking from our Heald Green site, to our Little Hulton site, to our Neil Cliffe Centre site, 40 miles. Doing that distance in a week would be approximately 6 miles a day, or if spread over a month would be just over a mile a day. It’s flexible and really is up to the supporter to decide what works for them.

“We’d be enormously grateful if as many people as possible went to our website to sign up. Whatever distance they choose, they can be sure that the sponsor money they raise will help us to make a real difference to the lives of local patients and their families.”

St Ann’s Hospice cares for patients from its three Greater Manchester sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital. The teams there also run a range of community and outreach services to support even more people with life-limiting illnesses, right from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

The hospice receives around a third of its funding from the NHS, with the rest – equating to around £20,000 a day – fundraised.

Eamonn added: “Our nurses do such an amazing job every single day of the year, and it’s only thanks to the kind generosity of local people who support our fundraising activities that they can continue to provide that much-needed care. Hopefully lots of you will get behind this latest challenge and walk in the footsteps of our nurses during September. I’ve signed up as it’s a great way to acknowledge all their hard work – and to get fit. It really will make a huge difference to our wonderful hospice.”

For more information, or to sign up to take part in the challenge, please visit or call the hospice fundraising team on 0161 498 3631.


This coming Sunday, (14th JULY 2019) Hyde United’s Walker Lane ground will host a fun-filled, family-fun Charity Football Match in support of CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

Organised by James Clayton, who lost his best friend to suicide 2 years, is, with friends and family, the aim is to raise funds and raise mindfulness among the communities, that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some stage in their lives, and also to make men between the ages of 25 and 50 who maybe suffering deep depression in silence, aware that there is someone there to listen and help them.

Entry to the ground is: £1 for children & £2 for adults on the turnstiles, with all the money raised on the day going to help CALM keep their phone lines open.

Sponsored jointly by Onward Homes & MediaCo, the Charity Event will run from 12.00pm till 5.00pm with the actual Football Match featuring: Lee’s United vs Chappy Athletic kicking off at 2.00pm. with both teams going ‘hell for leather’ to pick up the Lee Randall Memorial Trophy.

Visitors on the day will also be treated to a whole host of other activities, including,

*The appearance of Tom Cassell AKA ‘Syndicate’
*SLBC FIFA Tournaments UK will also be there, come along show how good your skills are on FIFA.
* There’ll be lots of stalls with people selling their amazing products
*Evolution Smart – Brian Mcmanus will be showing off his smart car repairs business,
* Bulldog Valeting & Detailing
* There’ll be a fun ‘Beat the Goalie@ penalty shootout, competition.
* Face painting by Regan Brierley
* With a live band the Rubber Ducks playing from 3pm in the social club
* The bar & cafe will also be open for refreshments


Micklehurst Estate Residents Association (MERA) scooped the most votes at the latest Mossley SOUP event, winning £1,229 on the night.
On Thursday 4 July, volunteers from Mossley SOUP hosted their eighth community crowdfunding dinner at Emmaus Mossley.

The event, sponsored by The Pet Care Company, was attended by 116 guests who donated £5 each in return for soup, entertainment, presentations from four local projects and a vote.

The winning project, Micklehurst Estate Residents Association, was presented by local volunteers Lindsey Tweed and Irene Raddings.
Lindsey said: “This was the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. It was also the first time I have ever been to Mossley SOUP, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was a little daunting, especially as MERA were up first, but I soon got into it.

“I couldn’t believe it when we were announced as the winners. The money we received will be used to fund the coach for Childflight, to help develop more disabled access at Muddy Buddies and to continue to support Bingo and the Foodbank. I would like to thank everyone again for their votes and supporting us and to everyone who gives their time to MERA activities.”

Presenters from four projects had four minutes to share their idea followed by four questions from the audience. Along with MERA, the three other projects appealing for support were Mossley Hollins Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, The Exploration Emporium and YOU.

In addition to entrance donations and £100 donated by The Pet Care Company, the winner’s pot included funds raised via a raffle, a charity cheese night at The Britannia Inn and a recent Off The Rails Comedy Club fundraiser.

Raffle prizes were kindly donated by Cotton Clouds Festival, Dinnerstones, Donkeystone Brewery and The Allotment Cafe and The White Hart in Lydgate.

Four freshly made soups were prepared by local volunteers Rory Callaghan from The Allotment Cafe and Gordon Collinge. Soup ingredients and bread was donated by A Taylor & Son Family Butchers, Coop Mossley, JW Buckley’s Bakery and greengrocers R Noone & Son.

Project ideas are being sought from individuals, artists, community groups, charities and new business start-ups for the next Mossley SOUP event on 24 October 2019.

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

Fancy filling a bag with children’s or adult’s clothes – for just £5! And that’s just one of the bargain buys on offer at the next massive clearance sale at the Willow Wood Distribution Centre, Langham Street, OL7 9AX.

Doors open sharp at 10am on Friday 19 July and there are great offers not just on clothes, but on books, small electrical goods, toys, furniture and much more. As Gemma Coy, distribution centre manager said: “Shoes and bags start at just £1, and with our newly extended furniture section you can not only buy a new outfit for all the family, but may even find a wardrobe to put it in – and all at rock bottom prices!”

The monthly pre-loved sales are extremely popular with record collectors too, as there is a large section devoted to vinyl. Gemma said, “We’ve got new stock coming in all the time, so why not come and see what’s on offer. But don’t leave it too late, we close at 3pm.”


Washing cars, mowing lawns and cleaning windows …just a few of the many tasks facing Alan Bancroft over the coming months.
He aims to tackle 50 challenges before his 50th birthday in September next year to raise funds for St Ann’s Hospice.

Alan is a man on a mission as a way of thanking the hospice for caring for his mum Dot (68) who died of cancer in 2010.
Alan has also lost childhood friends Diane Cooke, a patient at the Little Hulton hospice, and Pam Rhodes to cancer in the last few years.
Alan, who lives at home in Flixton with dad David and brother John, has already raised £330 from a static bike ride at Sainsbury’s in Urmston where he works.

Alan said: “St Ann’s has a huge place in my heart for many reasons. The hospice went out of their way to give my mum the best few weeks of her life they could and even lent her a bed so we could take her home to be more settled. “Mum had a heart of gold and always had a glint in her eye. She was my rock and I’ve also lost two other wonderful friends, both only in their 40s.”

Alan has already run 10ks and held a car boot sale and one of his toughest challenges will be the next Manchester marathon. He has done three parachute jumps, though not on the scale of the 13,000 feet tandem jump he plans.

Bag packing, taxi services, a Manchester to Blackpool bike ride, cutting hedges and taking people’s rubbish to the tip are also to come.

To support Alan go to

Findel Education Limited bosses face a day in the cells tomorrow (Friday 5th July) as part of the charity event Bail Me Out.

Chris Mahady and Mark Whittaker – the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director at the Hyde-based company – are aiming to raise money for the company’s partnered charity, Derian House Children’s Hospice.

In a race to be released, the pair must reach £999 each in online donations before being able to leave their cells.

Derian House, in Chorley, provides care for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions, as well as support for their families. They currently support 350 families from across the North West as well as a further 104 through their Derian at Home community team.

The hospice, set up in 1991, aims to create happy memories for children and young adults through things like music therapy, hydrotherapy and visits from Shuna the pet therapy dog.

Alongside the care Derian House offers daily, the charity also offers home visits, day trips for children and their siblings and counselling and support to families.

The Derian House Care Team includes registered nurses, play specialists, clinical support workers, physiotherapists, social worker, family counsellor, bereavement support, sibling support worker and volunteers.

Findel Education have partnered with Derian House this year, and hope the Bail Me Out event will raise plenty for the charity.

The company are asking people to dig deep in support of the event taking place this Friday at Leyland Police Station.

To donate and guarantee the pair’s release visit: or