Monday, September 16, 2019

Two doctors who met through a shared love of music will join their medical colleagues for a special concert in Manchester.
Rohan Shotton (Pictured) and partner Sophie Kreppel are members of the European Doctors’ Orchestra which plays the Bridgewater Hall on Sunday October 20 (7.30pm).

The concert is in aid of St Ann’s Hospice where Rohan was once on work experience as a sixth former at William Hulme Grammar School before attending medical school.

Finding time to practice is far from easy for them both because of the nature of their work.

Rohan is Oncology Registrar at cancer treatment centre The Christie, and Sophie is Intensive Care Registrar at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.
Their schedule often prevents them from joining fellow doctors at the twice-yearly concerts.
Rohan, from Altrincham, said: “I used to push the tea trolley at St Ann’s in Heald Green and that taught me a lot about what a hospice can do for people, values which still apply today.

“St Ann’s is now enormously helpful to me professionally through my work at The Christie. We refer patients there and the two organisations are often in contact exchanging details on patient support.”
Rohan is chief percussionist with the orchestra and has performed in Essen, Rotterdam, Ljubljana and Budapest where he met Sophie, a double bass player.

Tickets for the St Ann’s concert are £22.50, including booking fee, and are available from The Bridgewater Hall (

The concert, featuring the St George’s Singers, is a dramatic and epic celebration of the human spirit. Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man will be followed by Brahms’ Song of Destiny and Symphony No. 7 Leningrad by Shostakovich.

Musicians each pay £180 to play at a concert, covering costs of a professional conductor and venue hire. It means all monies from ticket sales go directly to charities supported.

Anyone willing to sponsor the St Ann’s concert can contact Clare Henderson at the charity. (Tel: 0161 498 3631 or email

The sound of classical music filled St Ann’s Hospice as patients and staff were treated to a live concert recital.

Representatives from the European Doctors’ Orchestra were providing a taste of what to expect when it performs at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, on Sunday, October 20 (7.30pm).

Their surprise visit to the day care centre at Heald Green promoted the orchestra’s autumn concert which will raise funds for St Ann’s.
Patient Brian Hughes said: “After listening to just a few members of the orchestra here, I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic concert. They’re brilliant musicians and it’s wonderful that doctors from across Europe are coming to Manchester to support patients like me.”

The hospice’s Creative Therapist Ruth Labrow said: “Music unites people and is important therapy for our patients. It’s something everyone can enjoy and as expected the orchestra were extremely popular. The music was evocative, relaxing and helps patients reminisce.”
Bassoonist Kevin O’Sullivan, from Wilmslow, added: “We were overwhelmed by the reception we got at St Ann’s and are thrilled that the entire proceeds from October’s concert in The Bridgewater Hall will go towards enabling the hospice to continue their wonderful work.”

The visiting ensemble also comprised: Huw Purssell (cello); Angelika Wieck and Elaine da Costa (violin); Jenny Merren (viola) and Alfred Pollard (oboe).

Tickets for the concert 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.
The orchestra is made up of European medics who voluntarily use their spare time to perform charity concerts at different Europe-wide locations twice a year.

It’s just over a week now until the Willow Wood Midnight Wander – but there’s still time to join one of the best loved sponsored walks in the area.

It’s so easy, you can register online at or pick up a form from any of our shops or the Hospice reception. And this year, the whole family can join in! Yes, it’s no longer a ladies’ only walk, it’s open to everyone, men, women, boys and girls – you can even bring your dog!

The walk itself will set off from the Astley Sports Village at midnight, but the fun will start much earlier. There’ll be music to listen to, merchandise to buy, and refreshments to enjoy. Then, at around 11.45pm there’ll be a mass warm-up to get you ready for the start of the Midnight Wander itself at, you’ve guessed it, the stroke of midnight.

We’ll have a couple of our volunteer photographers taking photos before and after, and at strategic points along the route, so make sure you’re not only wearing your specially designed Midnight Wander T shirt, (included in the registration fee), but feel free to wear as much pink as possible. Our Hospice reception gift shop is currently selling a large selection of pink products including flashing head bands, flashing cat ears, pink wigs, pink tutus – we’re even going back in time with pink leg warmers and headbands! And if we’re unfortunate enough to have rain in the weather forecast, you’ll be able to buy a pink poncho!

Marshals will be situated at strategic points along the route to ensure you’re headed in the right direction, and they’ll also help stop any traffic to ensure safe crossing at busy junctions. In addition, a number of North West Bike Marshals will also be in attendance to ensure your safety.
There’ll be a very welcome hot sandwich waiting on your return from the 10k walk, along with a specially designed Midnight Wander medal to thank you for your support on this sponsored event. And Willow Wood will welcome every pound you manage to raise; just £20 will pay for an inpatient’s daily meals; £25 will pay for a half hour complementary therapy session, while £75 would pay for full hour of all the START Clinic’s services.

Please join with family and friends to take part in this most fun fundraising event. Join online at now, and you’ll have Willow Wood’s sincere thanks.


Willow Wood are proud to announce that the well-known, and well-loved, local celebrities Mark Llewellin and Jane Hodson will be donating their services as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at the forthcoming Willow Ball.

Mark is a patron of the Hospice and has hosted a number of fundraising events at Daisy Nook Garden Centre, where he juggles his directorship with after-dinner speaking, hosting events and writing. Jane is also no stranger to Willow Wood, they were co-hosts of the Ashton Variety Show, produced and directed by Mark at the sadly missed Tameside Hippodrome. They have worked together for 27 years after meeting while working on a radio documentary and have delighted audiences ever since as after-dinner speakers, broadcasters and more.

The Willow Ball is being held at the Best Western Smokies Park Hotel on Saturday 5 October, with the wonderful Andy Powell and His Swing Band as the headline entertainers. This eight-piece band will be playing a mix of classic American standards together with more up-tempo hits to get everyone on the dance floor.

Elaine McConnell is the organiser of the Ball and said “I can’t tell you how much we’re all looking forward to the evening. It’s a celebration of Willow Wood’s 20 years here at the heart of our community, and we’d love as many of our supporters as possible to join us for an amazing night out. As well as the Andy Powell Band we’ll be having a number of other guests – we can’t tell you who they are, as we don’t want to spoil the fun!

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank local businesses Your Tax Shop who have taken out the Platinum Sponsorship Package and the Liz Pollard Consultancy for their Bronze Sponsorship. By making these fantastic donations, they are ensuring that more of the proceeds will come back to Willow Wood where they will be used to care for our patients and their families.”

Whether you would like to book two tickets as a special night out with a partner, or a table of ten as a thank you to clients or colleagues, Elaine urges you to book early. “We’ve already sold around half of the tables, so please don’t leave it too late.”

Just go to where you can book online, easily, quickly and securely.

Photo: The wonderful Mark Llewellin and Jane Hodson

A team of ex-professional footballers and formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus Mossley are gearing up for a charity football match against Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Tameside.

The Emmaus Vs GMP Tameside Charity Football Match will take place on Sunday 8 September at Seel Park in Mossley. Taking part in the game will be former professional players Daniel Nardiello and Guy Branston, and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
The charity match is being organised by GMPs Tameside Division with support from Emmaus Mossley, Mossley A.F.C and Oldham Athletic Community Trust. The family-friendly event will also include local club mascots, inflatable activities, charity raffle and face painting. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Great Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.

Harry Barlow, Community Leader at Emmaus Mossley, said: “We’re all looking forward to the rematch and bringing the community together for an enjoyable day for a good cause. Helping people less fortunate than ourselves is a big part of the Emmaus ethos and a real motivation for the players taking part.

“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of Emmaus Mossley and all the people and organisations who are supporting this charity match.”

The Emmaus team will consist of formerly homeless people who are now supported by the charity, staff members and special guests. Emmaus communities support formerly homeless people by providing them with a home, support and work in a community setting. Each Emmaus runs different social enterprises, providing work and development opportunities whilst generating income to sustain the work of the charity.

PC Steve Naylor from Greater Manchester Police, said: “Following the success of last year’s charity match, myself and Harry felt we had to do it again, but this time even bigger and better. We have increased the number of activities on offer and increased the youth tournament to eight teams, in the hope that we can raise even more funds for such a worthwhile cause.

“Homelessness is still a recurring issue for many people throughout Manchester, including here in Tameside. I have visited a Bed For A Night shelter myself and can see the great work they are doing to help people who find themselves out on the streets. For this reason, my colleagues and I at GMP

Tameside are happy to give our own time to support the event.”

The Emmaus Charity Football Match will take place on Sunday 8 September from 2pm at Mossley A.F.C, Seel Park, 11 Market St, Mossley OL5 0ES.
Entertainment for all ages will be on offer throughout the day as well as food, drinks and a charity raffle. Admission will be £5 and free for under-16s.

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.

Stalybridge Celtic Foundation are once again pleased to offer the support of Stalybridge Celtic FC for five local charities throughout the course of the 2019/20 season at Bower Fold.

They will be handing over five of their Home fixtures this season to enable each charity to come along and raise awareness of the work they do in our communities and at the same time, raise valuable funds.

Last season the club helped to raise a fantastic £1,546.21 in total across the five charities.

This season the designated fixtures are as follows –
Saturday 5th October v FC United of Manchester (Reuben’s Retreat)
Saturday 23rd November v Buxton FC (Willow Wood Hospice)
Saturday 1st February v South Shields FC (Kidscan UK)
Saturday 14th March v Morpeth Town FC (The Anthony Seddon Fund)
Saturday 25th April v Matlock Town FC (Home Start HOST)

This site will bring you details of each day and what will be happening nearer each fixture.

For more information on our Community work follow them on Twitter @CommunityStaly or Facebook – Stalybridge Celtic Foundation

Supporters of St Ann’s have a brand new way of playing the hospice’s lottery, potentially winning thousands of pounds in prize money, whilst helping local patients and their families at the same time.

The hospice has announced that, for the first time since its lottery launched almost 25 years ago, supporters are able to purchase tickets in any of its fourteen shops around Greater Manchester. The team has also revamped the prize structure of the weekly lottery, meaning an increased prize pot for local people to potentially get their hands on.

Lottery Manager Trudi Ogden, explained: “The St Ann’s Local Lottery is one of the easiest ways people can show their support for our patients, with the added bonus that they might win a very special prize.

“We’re really excited to announce the new changes to the lottery which mean that in addition to our weekly jackpot of £2,000, we are also now offering a rollover prize of £1,000 a week, up to a maximum of £10,000, and other weekly prizes of £50 for four winners, and £10 for 30 winners too.

“We’ve also made it even easier for our supporters to purchase tickets. They can now simply pop into one of the hospice’s 14 shops around Greater Manchester to buy their weekly £2 ticket, in addition to being able to sign up online at The changes all hopefully mean it’s incredibly simple for local people to take part, and we’d love as many new players as possible to join in.

“It really is an easy way to support the hospice, and with lots of prizes to be won, there’s even more chance of winning. We can’t wait to see who our first lucky winners will be of this newly revamped lottery. We’re all really excited!”

St Ann’s Hospice is a charity which provides care for patients from across Greater Manchester from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton, and The Neil Cliffe Centre, as well as via a range of community and outreach services. Its care is provided free of charge to patients, with the remaining costs of delivering care to thousands of people every year – totalling £20,000 a day – fundraised and brought in via a range of events and trading activities, including the hospice’s lottery.

For more information on St Ann’s or to sign up to play the hospice’s Local Lottery, visit or call 0161 498 3642.

A brand-new book outlining a process to help cancer patients achieve a state of relaxation and calm has been launched at a special event at St Ann’s Hospice.

‘Combining Touch and Relaxation Skills for Cancer Care: The HEARTS process’, by Ann Carter and Peter Mackereth, outlines ways in which patients, health care professionals, complementary therapists and carers can develop an understanding of touch, aromas and the sound of the human voice to aid relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Ann Carter explained: “The HEARTS Process is one I developed more than a decade ago whilst working at The Neil Cliffe Centre. HEARTS – which stands for Hands-on, Empathy, Aromas, Relaxation, Textures and Sound, is a therapeutic approach in which I’ve been training other therapists for several years.

“I wrote the book with my co-author Peter Mackereth, and we hope that its publication will lead to even more patients benefiting from its approach. Relaxation and calm is so incredibly important when it comes to the wellbeing of people with a life-limiting illness such as cancer, and the book outlines simple steps that can be followed to help patients and carers achieve just that.”

Ann has trained therapists in the UK and Ireland to run courses for their colleagues and other therapists and help to increase awareness of the process. Practitioners are also working with patients in Holland, Norway and as far afield as Hong Kong to educate them in how HEARTS could benefit them.

The book was launched at a special event at St Ann’s Hospice’s Heald Green site. Ann added: “It seemed fitting that the launch was held at St Ann’s, especially as the process was actually developed with local patients in their Neil Cliffe Centre site at Wythenshawe Hospital. It was a pleasure to see so many health care professionals gathered together to find out more about the book and ways in which HEARTS might help their patients. Huge thanks to everyone who came along.”

The book is published by Singing Dragon, and can be purchased by visiting

Stalybridge Celtic Foundation (Charity Number 1173057) are pleased to announce the sponsorship of a new playing kit for one of our adult PAN-disability teams, Stalybridge Celtic Blues.

Ahead of the new Cheshire East Ability Counts League season, the Blues, who won the League One Division of the league last season, will be competing in a new strip, courtesy of the Dukinfield and Stalybridge Rotary Club.

Stephen Gilligan, President of The Rotary Club of Dukinfield and Stalybridge said ‘The Rotary Club of Dukinfield and Stalybridge is proud to sponsor the Stalybridge Celtic Blues this season and wish them the best of luck in the season ahead. Our members will try to get along to as many games as possible this season to cheer on the blues and look forward to a long relationship with the Stalybridge Celtic Community team.’

Stalybridge Celtic Foundation, Community Officer, Mike Smith – ‘We are very grateful to the Dukinfield & Stalybridge Rotary Club for a terrific gesture to sponsor our Blues Team in their games next season, they look very smart indeed, a massive thank you to Stephen and Judi for making it happen’



St Ann’s Hospice is thanking local people for their support after two summer events raised thousands of pounds for the charity.

The hospice’s annual summer fairs in Little Hulton and Heald Green have become a popular addition to the annual calendar for local families, and this year’s events raised more than £7,000 to help St Ann’s care for local patients.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of the hospice, said: “What an amazing show of support and generosity from our local communities once again. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and we hope they had fun, picking up a bargain, and joining in with some of the many activities on offer at the fairs. We were helped out on the day by more than 70 volunteers too, who selflessly gave up their time to make the events such a success. We couldn’t do it without them.

“We’re approaching our 50th birthday soon, and it’s amazing to think that we’re only still here, caring for thousands of patients every year, thanks to those people in the local community that offer us their unending support. We simply wouldn’t be here without the generosity of everyone who gives money, time and kindness to St Ann’s, and we never take that for granted. Thanks very much for everything you do for our patients and their families.”

The hospice provides care for people with a range of life-limiting illnesses from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton, and The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, as well as via a range of community and outreach services.

It is one of the largest and oldest hospices outside of London, having been supporting local patients for almost fifty years.

*For more information or to make a donation, please visit