Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The most fantastic and most fun fundraising event is coming back to Tameside on Sunday 2 June: yes, it’s the Willow Wood Bubble Rush!

Suitable for all ages, the Bubble Rush has four bubble stations, where the highly trained bubble specialists will be pumping out huge swathes of brightly coloured bubbles for you to revel in.  And its double bubble for the Willow Wood Bubble Rush – whilst others have a 5k route through the bubble stations, by holding it at Dukinfield Rugby Club’s grounds our bubblers have to go around twice, so they get eight goes through the bubbles!  Double Bubble indeed!

It really is great fun, and since the bubbles are environmentally friendly and coloured with food colourings it’s perfectly safe for even babies and toddlers.  And with under two years of age going free, it is the perfect day out for all the family.

Although the Bubble Rush starts at noon, we’ll be asking everyone to sign in on the day from 10am.  With music to accompany the event, a mass warm-up, merchandise stalls and refreshments available you’ll have a fantastic time.  The registration fee includes a commemorative T shirt and a colourful medal and is great value at just £10 for 3-15 years and £20 for adults.

Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “The atmosphere was brilliant last year, and will be even better this year – we’ll be having more stalls, more food and more fun.  It’s not a race, so just enjoy your time in the bubbles.  Last year we had over 1,200 registered bubblers, and we are expecting even more this year, so if you want to be sure of your place register now.

“Although the Bubble Rush is great fun, it is a fundraiser for the Hospice, and the registration fee only covers the cost of putting the event on.  We need £6,800 each and every day to provide our care to the people of Tameside and Glossop, so we do ask that you try your hardest to raise funds for us.

 “Having said that, we do know just how difficult it can be to raise sponsorship so why not order one of our free fundraising cards when you register. At just £2, your friends and colleagues will be happy to have a go – and they could win a cash prize, while we’ll get £100 with every completed card.


Just go to and sign up now.  You really will have the best time at the Bubble Rush.”


With only one month to go until this year’s Manchester Midnight Walk, you can almost hear the sound of cheesy disco tunes and the buzz of excitement as thousands of local people embrace the event’s Manchester bee theme and warm up for a night of fun and fundraising to support a local charity.

St Ann’s Hospice’s flagship fundraising event is back on Friday 26th April, and will be starting and finishing at Manchester’s iconic Cathedral, thanks to the support of the team there.

The event, which is sponsored by Betfred, is celebrating its thirteenth year, and has raised over £2million for the hospice since its launch.

The fun starts at 9pm with BBC broadcaster Phil Trow hosting the main stage to get the crowd ready. There’ll be a Zumba warm up to kick-start the walk, and the fabulous Throb Lovelace & The Pitts will be showing off their best moves as they play cheesy disco hits to get everyone in the mood.

The route for the 10km sponsored walk, which sets off from the cathedral at midnight, takes in many of Manchester’s famous landmarks, and all finishers will receive a special goodie bag and medal to thank them for taking part.

Organisers are urging anyone wishing to enter and join in the fun to do so quickly, as places are booking up fast.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s said: “We’d love anyone who is still thinking of taking part to sign up to join us on the night. It is such a fun event, with a real party atmosphere, and we are always tremendously grateful to everyone who turns out to support the hospice in this way.

“The event is real testament to the power of local people, from our local community, getting together to do something amazing for others. All of the money raised really does make a huge difference to the lives of our patients, and just as importantly, those who take part always tell us how much they enjoyed the experience.

“Some walkers join us to walk in memory of lost loved ones, whilst others simply join for a night of fun in our amazing city. Whatever your reason, please do come along. I can’t wait to see you there.”

*To register, or find out more, please visit, call the hospice on 0161 498 3631 or email

A long-serving volunteer from homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley has been recognised with a national Emmaus Hidden Heroes Award, run in partnership with Room to Reward.

Volunteer Keith Joint, aged 73 and from Mossley, was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement award by fellow community members at Emmaus Mossley. Nominees are put forward based on their commitment, dedication and determination to go above and beyond to increase the positive impact of Emmaus communities. Winners are then selected by an independent judging panel.

Keith said: “I was totally taken aback and surprised to have received this Emmaus Hidden Heroes Award. I’ve had a warm, glowing feeling since I got the news and it’s just nice to know that I’m appreciated.”

Keith has volunteered tirelessly for Emmaus since 2010, giving his time on two days per week, primarily in the wood workshop but also helping with maintenance and building improvement works. His furniture repairs alone have brought back into use 1000s of items, saving them from landfill and generating considerable revenue for Emmaus.

Emmaus UK has teamed up with Room to Reward to offer Emmaus companions, volunteers, trustees and staff the opportunity to be recognised by their peers and win a two-night break to reward them for the work they do for Emmaus.

Room to Reward was created to say thank you to “Hidden Heroes” – the inspirational people who do so much in the name of charity. Winners are awarded a two-night bed and breakfast hotel stay for themselves and a guest at a choice of hotels throughout the UK and Europe.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “Keith is one of the longest serving volunteers at Emmaus Mossley and is a stalwart of our community. His dedication to Emmaus Mossley is truly inspirational and for such a humble and modest gentleman, it is fantastic that his efforts have been recognised with an Emmaus Hidden Heroes Award.”

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.

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.


 Seven young people, aged 16-25, are currently taking part in a 12-week team programme with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust programme at Hyde Fire Station. Part of the programme involves a community project, with the group deciding themselves to help the Droylsden Water Adventure Centre.

Team Manager Sarah Quinn explained: “The team had to research in the area to see what they could choose as their project. This was put forward as one of their options.

“They chose the Water Adventure Centre because of the range of young people that access this centre. One member of the group had accessed the centre before and she was grateful of the help she got while she was here, so she said that she wanted to give something back.

“It needed to be self-funded so the young people did a bag-pack as ASDA in Hyde, which raised £460. Everything that has been done, we’ve paid for ourselves.”

Over a fortnight, the team renovated the path to improve disabled access down to the water, painted all the wooden benches and canoes and renovated the meeting room in the lock cottage, making it brighter and more inviting for people who use the centre.

“We’ve just finished now,” Sarah added. “It’s took blood, sweat and tears and a few little arguments along the way but they can see that with planning and hard work, you can achieve anything. That runs through any aspect of their life, including gaining employment.”

The 12-week team programme also involves a five-day residential trip, three team challenges and a fortnight’s work placement. There is also ‘Next Steps’, which involves things like CVs and interview techniques to help get the young people into employment.

The GMFRS Prince’s Trust runs all across Greater Manchester, with three programmes in each area every year. The current programme finishes on April 18th, with the next one starting in May.

For more information or to sign up, you can visit, or text your name, age and postcode to 07580698595.


Staff from the multi-award winning accountancy company ‘Your Tax Shop’ are taking part in Willow Wood Hospice’s 20/20 challenge; an annual event which this year is in celebration of their 20th year of being one of Tameside’s amazing local charities.

Willow Wood’s event organiser, Elaine McConnell, explained the concept behind the charity’s 20/20 event. “We handed out two £20 notes to companies around the region, and asked them to use their imagination to invest the money to raise as much as they can for the hospice.”

As part of the challenge, ‘Your Tax Shop’ was given £40 and by gathering their entrepreneurial skills, collectively embarked on clever ways to invest the cash and are now well on the way to return a great dividend to Willow Wood at the end of the event.

Speaking on behalf of ‘Your Tax Shop’ Francesca Harrison, Client Care Manager & Digital Marketing Manager, enthusiastically told us, “We are already half way through the challenge and are on track to raise an incredible amount all for this fantastic  local cause. So far we have been selling healthy nutritional meals, snacks and treats at a local gym and selling £1 raffle tickets for a chance to win two lovely Yankee Candle bouquets.

Some of ‘Your Tax Shop’s’ other events that they have coming up, include a Charity Car Wash at Willow Wood on Sunday 7th April; an ongoing ‘Guess How Many Sweets Tombola’ and a silent ‘Online Auction’ for bidders to win incredible prizes!

The auction will take place between Friday 5th April and Monday 15th April.”

To take part in ‘Your Tax Shop’s’ 20/20 challenge and raise much needed funds for Willow Wood Hospice, please contact them on: or you can follow them on social media.

Seven neighbours in Marple are in the money after their postcode, SK6 7LH, was announced as a Street Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery.

The win saw the bank accounts of six of the Thornholme Road residents boosted by an incredible £30,000 each, while the seventh doubled their prize to £60,000 thanks to playing with two tickets.

People’s Postcode Lottery Presenter Danyl Johnson visited Marple and said, “There’s nothing better than seeing neighbours share the joy of winning together – it’s what People’s Postcode Lottery is all about! I’m sure there will be plenty of parties coming up in Marple as our fantastic winners celebrate their windfall.”


Hyde’s Stroke Awareness Day, organised by the members of the Hyde Rotary in conjunction with the Stroke Association UK, will be held Saturday 6th April

The annual event will run from 11.00am to 3.00pm at the Clarendon Square, where medically trained members of the Rotary Club of Hyde will be offering free blood pressure checks to the public.

High blood pressure, which is not always recognised by the patient, is the biggest risk factor in the cause of strokes, and can be easily treated and controlled by medication.

On the day, shoppers, visitors and members of the community who volunteer to have their blood pressures checked on the day will be given their respective readings and advice to consult their general practitioner for a further check if appropriate.

The Rotary Club of Hyde want to encourage the people of Hyde to take this great opportunity to have a free check and help themselves and Rotary’s efforts in the prevention of strokes in our community.

Stewart Fleming has more family links with St Ann’s Hospice than most.

His mum Margaret, from Bredbury, died in the hospice in January. Margaret (64) had lung cancer.

His late grandparents Kitty and Frank were also patients there years ago.

In addition, Stewart’s wife Louise is Volunteer Manager at St Ann’s where she has worked for the last 12 years.

The couple are taking part in the Manchester Midnight Walk on Friday, April 26, raising £1,500 through sponsorship from the 10km city centre stroll.

Each year the charity’s flagship fundraising event draws walkers from across the region, many participating in memory of loved ones, others doing it just for fun.

Louise, whose mum Breda Johnson is one of around 740 hospice volunteers, said: “St Ann’s looked after Stew’s mum in her final few weeks.

“Her biggest fear was being in pain or alone at the end and the hospice made sure she was comfortable and that we were all with her. The compassion and support was amazing and we can never thank them enough.”

The walk from midnight starts and ends at Manchester Cathedral. The atmosphere inside this iconic venue starts building from 9 pm with musical entertainment. Refreshments are available.

* Interested walkers can sign up by visiting or call 0161 498 3631.

* To sponsor Louise and Stewart, please visit



With an ageing population, planning for future care becomes ever more important, and Willow Wood is working with NHS England to find the best way to help people consider potential care needs.

Willow Wood is very proud to be one of only six hospices invited to be part of this consultation, and does already work with its own patients to develop their individual care plan taking account of their needs, whether these be physical, mental or spiritual.  This document is held by the patient and can be amended at any time as their situation changes.  It has been found to be very useful as the patient’s wishes are clearly set out, and are there to be shared with carers, doctors, nurses or any other member of the clinical team.

Willow Wood therefore considers the patient’s wishes and tailors their care accordingly.  It is this type of personalised care plan which NHS England would like to develop, to ensure that everyone nearing the end of their life receives not only the best care possible, but that if they are no longer able to speak for themselves, their choices are known and can be respected.

Nicky Byrne, day services lead, said: “Talking to our patients and finding out what they would like to happen as their condition develops, has always been of prime importance to us.  Our patient centred approach works very well, and we’re very excited at being able to share our insights.  We’re constantly looking to extend and develop our care, and to be able to work with the other organisations involved in this exercise is a great opportunity to pool our knowledge and learn from each other. And most importantly, it will help everyone in the community, whether a hospice patient or not, access the compassionate, personalised care that we all deserve.”


Nurse Kelly Foster admits the next London Marathon in April will be her last but she aims to bow out in style.

Kelly has already completed the race twice despite arthritic knees and is preparing to go through the pain barrier again on Sunday, April 28.

Her motivation is being part of a team hoping to raise £20,000 for St Ann’s Hospice where she is Ward Manager.

The Romiley mum lost eight stone after realising that as a nurse she needed to show her patients the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

However, her long-distance running days are numbered because she has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a genetic condition affecting her joints.

Kelly wore her nurse’s uniform in last year’s event, run in the hottest temperatures on record and raising £8,500 in the process.

She said:  “This has got to be my last marathon and I’m not certain to finish but I want to run for our patients. It costs £20,000 a day to run St Ann’s Hospice so that’s our ambitious target.”

Husband Marc Foster, a neighbourhood police sergeant, is part of the St Ann’s team along with Amanda Connors, Day Therapy Sister at the Heald Green site.

Amanda, from Hazel Grove, said: “I haven’t got a competitive bone in my body and this will be my first and last marathon. It’s always been on my bucket list to do the London Marathon and it’ll be good to all run together for the hospice.”

Fellow team member Mark Hayes, from Great Moor, will be tackling his first marathon after taking up running four years ago. Mark works for Vodafone who are supporting his fundraising efforts with their match funding scheme.

* To sponsor Kelly and her team go

St Ann’s is keen to hear from any runners who want to raise funds for the charity. For more details visit, email or call the team on 0161 498 3631.