Monday, April 6, 2020

Willow Wood takes the health and wellbeing of its staff very seriously, and has recently started holding bi-monthly days to address both physical and psychological wellbeing. 

As Karen Houlston, chief executive said: “We are a small and very close team and it is important, both on a personal and a professional level, that we are all happy and healthy.  Wellbeing Days like this are great for morale and motivation, and learning techniques for relaxation and mindfulness that benefits us all.”

Organised by a team taken from every department in Willow Wood, the days encompass a wide variety of strategies to promote good health. Lindsay Thomas, one of our medical secretaries and member of the Wellbeing team said: “We feel passionate about the wellbeing of staff, and want to pass on ideas and tips of different tools to be used to take care of our own wellbeing.” 

Short relaxation workshops, half hour taster sessions of complementary therapies such as Reiki and reflexology, healthy eating, exercise and more made this a fun, as well as an educational day.

Lindsay, along with another member of the team Nicola Drake, made some delicious paneer and vegetable kebabs, and produced recipe cards to go with them.  Fruit and herb infusions were also available, and a team from Be Well Tameside gave confidential twenty-minute long health checks, with follow up appointments should they be needed.

Members of the Wellbeing team (l-r) Lyndsay, Nicola and Pat, with a delicious and healthy kebab

Electric bikes were available for exercise and our hydrotherapy pool was open for staff to relax or do gentle exercise in the warm water.   A new session this time was ‘Singing for Wellbeing’.  If you sing regularly you will know that it has the feel-good factor.  But did you know that it does have positive physical health benefits as well?  It exercises muscle groups in the upper body, brings more oxygen into the body and can improve your posture. 

All in all, it was a very successful day with positive benefits for all staff who attended.







Four varied projects that aim to benefit the Mossley community are seeking support at the next Mossley SOUP event on Thursday 7 February.

Mossley SOUP aims to bring the community together to promote, fundraise and support local projects that benefit the people of Mossley. For a donation of £5, diners receive soup, bread, hear four project presentations and then vote for their favourite idea.

Each presenter will get four minutes to share their idea and an opportunity to answer four questions from the audience. The winning project idea receives all of the money raised on the night to carry out their project.

The seventh Mossley SOUP dinner, sponsored by Tameside Rotary, will take place on Thursday 7 February from 6.30pm at Longlands Mill on Queen Street, home to Emmaus Mossley.

Tameside Rotary members who attended the last Mossley SOUP community crowdfunding dinner in October 2018 were so impressed by what they saw that they offered to become the sponsor for the forthcoming event.

Dennis Hilton, member of Tameside Rotary, said: “It was fantastic to see so many Mossley folk enjoying a great night out whilst generating much needed funds that will benefit the local community and we feel privileged to be able to support this very worthwhile initiative.”

The event will also include guest speakers, live music and a raffle with prizes donated by Alan & Vivs English Fish & Chips, Alphin Cycles, Dinnerstones, Donkeystone Brewery and Body & Mind Therapy Centre.

Past Mossley SOUP dinners have raised between £545 and £1,216 for each of the winning projects. All of the projects that have been presented at Mossley SOUP have benefited in some way. This includes increased public awareness, new volunteers, donations of materials and other financial support.

Mossley SOUP is organised by local resident volunteers with support from Mossley Town Council, the Mayor of Mossley and Emmaus Mossley.

For more information and for details of future SOUP events head to



Tameside Rotary Club are pleased to announce that Santa has now collected and counted his money and very generously has given it to Tameside Rotary for distribution to worthy causes.

Tameside Rotary would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped make this year’s collection so successful. We raised just under £5,500.00!

The Tameside Rotary Club provides can offer funding to support people in the Tameside area. They also donate funding for charity and community group projects.

If you are a charity or community group who are looking for urgent funding, then please go to our website to complete a simple application form for our consideration. Closing date 15th March.

If successful, the lucky recipients will be invited to our Presentation Evening on Tuesday 11th June at the Village Hotel in Ashton.

The website address for application forms is

Visitors to Willow Wood were surprised earlier this week when Santa popped round to make a late Christmas delivery.

During their annual Christmas collection, Tameside Rotary was given some foreign coins along with £5,500 in donations, which have been earmarked for local good causes. Members of Rotary decided to add their leftover holiday money to the pot and pass this across to Willow Wood.  As Santa himself said, “Willow Wood does such a great job helping people and I’m very pleased to make this special trip!”

Anthony Lord, head of income generation was very pleased to receive the donation from Santa and John Moon from the Rotary Club saying, “Most people have some leftover holiday currency taking up space in drawers or an old wallet.  Why not follow Rotary’s example and drop this off at Willow Wood.  We’d be very grateful to receive it, and it will go towards the £6,800 we need every day to care for our patients.”

If you’re involved with a local charity or organisation and would like to apply to Tameside Rotary for funding please go to their website, but applications for this year do need to be in before 15 March.  And if you’d like to find out more about Willow Wood go to



As it comes into its 30th year of saving, adopting and caring for vulnerable animals of all shapes and sizes, Haywill Animal Rescue desperately needs donations.

Their appeal comes after the charity’s main sponsor was forced to stop donating £500 a month due to personal circumstances – an amount that was vital to the self-funded initiative and those it supports.

The shelter not only rescues vulnerable animals from homes and farms, but has also been providing “animal-assisted therapy” to those with special needs, mental health issues, disabilities and behavioural difficulties for eight years.

Their roster currently boasts cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, chickens, ponies, guinea-pigs and even turtles and terrapins who are looked after by the Haywill team, with some going on to be adopted by members of the public.

Over the Christmas period, Glossop’s Aldi Superstore generously donated their leftover vegetables that would have otherwise gone to bio-waste, but that supply has since run out.

Founder and Special-Needs Teacher Lynn Haydon-Williams, 58, said that the rescue is a lifeline for both people and animals, but is struggling under the financial strain.

Lynn, who also has degenerative disc disease added that the shelter is what keeps her going, admitting she’s a “soft-touch” when it comes to animals in need.

She said: “This place helps me, but it also keeps a lot of people who come here going too… it’s a real labour of love.

“We really need sponsors, general donations and even kind donations of things like fresh fruit and vegetables, bedding, horse feed and hay bales.

“Even if you can’t give money, we would love to have those who want to volunteer, there’s something for everyone here. If you can DIY, make a website or want to muck in, we care about what you can do – not what you can’t.”

If you would like to donate to Haywill Animal Rescue or find out more, you can visit their website at: or email:


Two friends from Ashton are running marathons, navigating freezing canals in a canoe and even climbing Mount Everest (albeit virtually) in a bid to raise £10,000 for disadvantaged children across Greater Manchester.

Ian French, 42, and Steve Reid, 39, have been balancing their busy lives by training tirelessly at the weekend, currently clocking 40 miles by canoe through Ashton canal in preparation for their challenge.

From the 27th of January they will be paddling day and night to cover the 167-mile route from Leeds to Manchester, hoping to cut through Liverpool starting on the 27th January.

Armed with an arctic tent and support vehicle, Ian and Steve have given themselves plenty of options to get to their destination on the 2nd of February – just in case the canals freeze over.

Ian, who last year also ran the Stockport and Manchester Half Marathons with his mate, said the charity is incredibly close to their hearts, being fathers themselves.

He said: “I have a little girl and Steve has sons, we’re both family men and luckily our children have all the support and finances to help them.

“Unfortunately some of these children in Manchester have no families or come from struggling backgrounds, so we wanted to do our little bit to help local kids.

The money stays in this area and will be to donated to children in our community who are dealing with issues such as poverty, abuse, neglect and short life expectancy, aiming to give them great experiences in life.”

The duo are also set to take on an 11 hour virtual climb of Mount Everest in March which will be followed by two full marathons in Manchester and Milton Keynes in April and May.

They already have had some support from businesses, such as Senior Aerospace in Poynton, who’ve paid the entry fee for all marathons, and from branded gear from Totally T Shirts in Stockport – but are appealing for further sponsorship to help them achieve their goal.

Ian added: “Whether you’re a big business who would like to sponsor us or simply a Joe Bloggs on the street who could spare £5, every little bit helps our cause.”

So far the pair have raised £2,081, but are still seeking donations.

If you’d like to help, you can give directly at: or give Ian a call on: 07872418548


If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit, Willow Wood’s Back to the Fitness on Sunday 3 February is a great way to kick start your new regime.

Held at Astley Sports Village, so you’ll have no problems in parking, Back to the Fitness is two challenges in one day.  First up is the 80s themed Zumbathon, so dig out those leg warmers.  Fluorescent head and wrist bands are included in the price ensuring you’ll all look the part as you show off your best moves.  It’s a great aerobic workout and burns up to 600 calories per hour, so the routine will really help you shape up for Spring.

Continuing through the decades there’s a 90s Clubberthon challenge in the afternoon with all your favourites club classics.  Glow sticks are included and it’ll be a real high energy workout.

If you really want to look the part, you can order a limited edition T shirt like our lovely fundraising assistant Charlotte is wearing.  You’ll have to be quick though, we’ve only got 250 of them.

Both the challenges are two hours long with a fee of £6 each.  If you’re fit enough to handle two, they’re discounted to just £10 for both the 80s Zumbathon and the 90s Clubberthon.

These fun and fantastic events are fundraisers for Willow Wood; the entry fee just covers the cost of the day and we’re relying on your support to help us continue our loving care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.

If you don’t feel you could raise much in sponsorship, why not take one of our fundraising cards?  They’re a really easy way to raise funds for us and with a cash prize to the winner, friends and colleagues can easily be persuaded to hand over £2 each.  As a special thank you for taking part, we’re offering a refund of the entry fee to everyone who raises £100 or more.

It’s really easy to sign up.  Just go to our website, to find out more, and to register online, quickly, easily and securely. 


After consistently strong rating performances in our first two seasons, the only online, daily up-dated website that brings visitors the latest local news, has expanding its regional reach.

Over the relatively short time from its inception in November 2013, Hyde Community Matters has developed from a Hyde centred glossy 24page ‘Community News Magazine’ thorough to December 2014 when we took the project online to become a daily up-dated online community news site, which to date has attracted well over 370,000 visitors, – all eager to read the local news; – and that number is still growing!

Now, in response to a number of requests to cover news and events from our friends in neighbouring towns and villages, we are pleased to announce that we have gently expanded our news coverage to provide a more comprehensive reader service by covering good news, events and achievements from individuals, communities and businesses, from a little further afield – no longer exclusively covering one town, but the whole of Tameside and the surrounding regions, and by doing so, we’re better placed to support our local advertisers growing development needs.

“Of all our current partners we spoke with, Karen Dorney of Hyde’s Paper Tulips understands the success and potential of our in-depth local news coverage; and as the owner of Tameside’s premier craft emporiums and organiser of monthly Artisan Markets, she is uniquely positioned to back our expansion, as it encourages potential customers from much wider areas,”

“While continuing to put our readers at the heart of everything we do; we are committed to continue to cover in-depth local news articles, showcase local events, shout about schools and student achievements and profile specialist real-life features that celebrate those individuals who have achieved success, shown courage against the odds, or people who are making a difference within our local communities.”

To reflect these changes, we have changed the name to one that better echo’s the new site’s expanded content.

Visitors to the old site,, will automatically be redirected to the new site,

“Our aim is still to provide the best online news specifically to our close communities, by offering a convenient, one-click, local source of timely daily up-dated news, where visitors come first for information and advice, local businesses place their adverts and community groups put us at the top of their list when promoting their up-coming events.”


We believe that this online expansion marks a return to real local news, giving readers the chance to learn more about what’s going on in their immediate area and to read (and write) news stories about what matters to them. We are therefore looking for ANY VOLUNTEERS from the different areas, (who’d like to see their work in print) so that we can have a ‘person on the ground’ who is in closer touch in identifying local happenings and who would become the main point of contact for local people; – promoting the work of local community organisations, voluntary sector groups and businesses, along with arts, school successes, sport and cultural activities that are taking place in their area.


  • Budding or experienced reporters, with access to email, who wish to gain experience or give back to their local community
  • To find and root out stories of particular interest to people in their area
  • To write, research and interview for those stories, to build content on the website.
  • We also need a ‘Social Media’ savvy person to place local stories and events on Facebook & Twitter etc’ to drive site traffic.

This is a great opportunity for local budding and experienced journalists to hone their writing skills.

This wider reader appeal also adds a much more expansive opportunity for local advertisers to reach a vastly expanded audience, and by widening our readership, we plan to gradually introduce extra relevant categories like jobs, motoring, housing, and domestic services, among other localized topics.

So, if you would like to become a volunteer local correspondent, or are a forward thinking Community Group, Local Business, School, Sports Club, Faith Group or Charity organisation and have stories you think are newsworthy, want to publicise your events, achievements, or wish to advertise to a growing local audience, please contact us directly by email:

Local Community Matters is a not-for-profit community trust, run by volunteers all of whom have strong links to the towns and people surrounding Tameside.


A group of Hyde Businesses have come together to raise money for local homeless organisation Infinity Initiatives in support of Greystones, dosage the homeless charity, through a cheeky charity calendar.

The calendar now on sale from Paper Tulips and other Hyde retailers, feature a fun group of very brave ladies from local craft based businesses who collectively now call themselves “The Crafty Girls of Hyde”

Over the last few weeks, the ladies have stripped down in front of the lens to produce a calendar girl’s style, naked calendar.

A different business appears every month with ladies from the business posing along with strategically placed craft supplies, in photos shot on location at local business venues.

Karen Dorney, owner of Paper Tulips was the driving force ‘behind’ the project who ‘unveiled’ at the launch, the reason it came into being.


Speaking to a lively audience at the press launch about the Crafty Girls calendar venture, she said, “We really wanted to do something to help Infinity Initiatives. The work that they do locally around homelessness and homeless prevention is extremely important and we thought it was vital; to not just raise money but to make a bold statement to highlight awareness of the work they do. The calendar was an idea we started just 4 weeks ago and it snowballed to include 20 of our local Artisan Crafters.”

There are an estimated 1000 homeless children in Greater Manchester living in emergency accommodation right now according to one media report and last year the number of people sleeping rough rose by an estimated 50% across Greater Manchester. Talking about the work they do, Gemma Clayton, Director of Infinity Initiatives says, “Sadly homelessness is a growing problem across the UK. Our work covers the practical side of providing shelter, food and clothing but also a lot of what we do is prevention, working with hard to reach families, providing debt advice, skills workshops and courses on independent living. Primarily, our aim is to help people to get their lives back on track and ensure that it’s is sustainable.”

The team have set a sales target of £7000 and they’re well on the way because so far, the Crafty Girls have raised £1,300 to cover the production of the calendar and this has largely been through the generosity of around 30 local businesses. The calendar is now on sale on the website, Paper Tulips and in some local shops, costing £7.50 with all proceeds go to Infinity Initiatives homelessness projects.

Speaking about the calendar project, Gemma Clayton added, “We cannot thank the Crafty Girls of Hyde enough for putting together the calendar project. This support from local business is fantastic to see and I hope we can build on this positivity to provide opportunities for some of the people we work with. The money raised will enable us to keep helping local people and will go towards preventing people from ending up on our streets.”

Order your Crafty Girls of Hyde calendar today, by visiting: