Saturday, December 15, 2018

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


THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has published the latest in a series of blog posts on homelessness and rough sleeping.

In the latest edition, Andy addresses:

  • The deaths of two men, believed to have been sleeping rough, in Manchester city centre over the weekend
  • Developing a comprehensive commitment in Greater Manchester to recording, investigating and learning from all homeless deaths
  • The launch of A Bed Every Night, a commitment to specialist overnight provision for people sleeping rough every night this winter
  • The latest on the innovative Social Impact Bond and Housing First schemes, and how they are making a tangible difference in the city-region
  • A call for a “whole-society” approach, appealing for contributions and support from across all sectors of Greater Manchester society – public, private, voluntary and faith – as part of the same single strategy

The Mayor writes: “The difficult news over the weekend should serve to strengthen our resolve to make A Bed Every Night a reality. This tragic loss of life should not be happening on UK streets in 2018.

“More positively, I hope that this blog shows that real progress is being made. While I wish we could move even faster, I can assure you that a lot of people across Greater Manchester are working flat out to improve things and I can confidently say that our city-region is way ahead the rest of the country.

“Two weeks ago, on World Homeless Day, I did my regular early-morning walk around the city centre with Cllr Sue Murphy, who leads on homelessness for Manchester City Council, and colleagues from Riverside Housing. We all agreed that the situation was better than it was a year ago.

“We are making a difference. But it is not yet good enough. There are still too many people forced to sleep rough and we won’t rest until we have given everyone somewhere to go every night.”

The Mayor’s full blog can be viewed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) website.

Hyde Rotary have currently been focusing on planting purple Crocus bulbs as part of a national campaign to wipe out polio across the world.

The planting started at Hyde Leisure Centre and continued on the grass embankment facing Tesco Express, Gee Cross, to celebrate World Polio Day on the 24th October.

The purple crocus signifies the purple dye painted on the child’s finger when they have been vaccinated against Polio. Recent statistics released suggest that since Rotary started their Vaccination programme in 1985 polio has been eradicated in 99% of the world. Today only three countries still have new cases of Polio, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hyde Rotary call upon voluntary groups to lend a hand planting the 5000 bulbs each year, and this year International and Foundation chairperson Maureen Clayton enlisted the help of 8 participants from the Community Payback Scheme. Before the planting started Maureen briefed the helpers on their task for the day and explained to them the meaning behind the Crocus planting.



Stalybridge Celtic FC v Buxton FC saw the Stalybridge Celtic Foundation hold the second of six designated Charity Days, this time for Ashton-under-Lyne based, Reuben’s Retreat.

The Evo-Stick League fixture at Bower Fold, saw staff and volunteers, take over Stalybridge Celtic FC for the afternoon, which they certainly did!

Starting nice and early with a friendly U7’s fixture between AFC Stanley and Tintwistle Athletic JFC, with Tintwistle Athletic winning 6-1, before both sets of players led the First team out onto the hallowed turf for the first half.

Mascot, Rue the Gnu and staff, ventured into the Sponsor’s Lounge before kick-off, to give a short presentation on the work that they do to our Corporate Guests, before undertaking a ‘Bucket Collection’ and holding a raffle to win a signed Stalybridge Celtic FC 2018/19 Home Shirt.

During half time, we held a sponsored Penalty Shoot out, for ten parents and children to raise money for Reuben’s Retreat, which kept our substitute Goalkeeper, Aidan Winterbottom busy for fifteen minutes solid!

Lindsay Smith, Community Fundraiser said, “ We raised £308.93 and still counting, with more sponsorship to come in. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day, especially the children, penalty shoot out takers and even our Rue the Gnu!

This amount is wonderful for Reuben’s Retreat as this money will help make a difference to the families that we support.

Thank you once again for everything, it was really appreciated.”

Mike Smith, Stalybridge Celtic’s Community Development Officer added, “We are thrilled to have helped and supported a great charity in Reuben’s Retreat, spreading awareness of the work they do and helping to raise valuable funds for them, we hope we can continue to work with them throughout the course of the season.”

“Our next designated charity fixture will be held on Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day) versus Hyde United FC and will be in aid of Willow Wood Hospice.”

For more information on Reuben’s Retreat –



F: Reuben’s Retreat

T: @reubensretreat

P: 01457-680023





Friends of Guide Bridge, Hattersley, Glossop and Hadfield Railway Stations jointly organised the remembrance of the end of World War One in a unique way.

SSAFA Tameside Divisional Secretary Daniel Millan a Royal Signal Veteran he re-enacted a WW1 Captain Millan with Private Chris Saxon and Private Daniel Leah, all three gentlemen wore authentic WW1 uniforms and were very realistic in their roles.

The Soldiers were welcomed at Guide Bridge Railway Station by Bill Pennington a member of the Woodend Heritage Railway Group and Friends of Guide Bridge Railway Station. Cllr David McNally said “These Soldiers reenactment was a good reminder of the sacrifices of so many for our today”. They were joined by Niall Williams of the Friends of Glossop who accompanied the Soldiers on all the Railway routes, first stop was Hattersley Railway Station where Mary Allen greeted them, Mary represented the Friends of Hattersley Railway Station. Local school children had painted the pebbles for the poppy paths. Mary is also a SSAFA Tameside Caseworker She joined the Soldiers on their next journey to Glossop Railway Station.

Crowds lined the Glossop Railway Station and cheered the Soldiers.

Members of the prestigious Chethams School of Music, who performed music from the period, their famous Musical Director John LeGrove mesmerized the audiences. Once more the three Soldiers travelled on train to their last stop Hadfield Railway Station. They marched smartly to the Hadfield Cenotaph where poet Paul Marsh recited poetry.

Daniel Millan said he was very humbled and honoured to have participated and thanked all the organisers for all their hard work at this unforgettable event. While Christina Howard SSAFA Tameside PR said everyone involved in this joint event had far exceeded beyond magnificent, the organisers had created a moving tribute to all who served in the Great War,


Motiv8, a Greater Manchester programme to help people overcome barriers to get back on track, has won the ‘Care and Support Provider of the Year’ category at this year’s national, prestigious 24 Housing Awards for the work they do to support people across Greater Manchester.

Motiv8 supports some of the most vulnerable people in Greater Manchester to improve their health and well-being, self-confidence and employability skills and move them closer to employment.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund and supports people to overcome multiple, complex needs and move them closer to training and work.  The programme has already supported over 2,000 people to get back on track.

New Charter Homes, part of the newly formed Jigsaw Group, is leading the Motiv8 programme with support from four other Manchester Athena housing providers – Stockport Homes, ForViva, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Bolton at Home. Manchester Athena is a partnership of 15 social landlords across Greater Manchester, who work together to deliver employment and health programmes across the region.

The 24 Housing Awards were founded in 2013 with the aim of celebrating the very best that the housing sector has to offer and the Awards have become a celebration, reflection and recognition of the UK housing sector and its professionals whose job it is to provide a vital resource to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Kerrie Pryde, Assistant Director of Commercial Services for Jigsaw Group, said: “We were up against some strong competition at this prestigious event which was attended by over 500 UK housing professionals. We are absolutely thrilled that the work that we are doing has been recognised and follows success in the Housing Heroes Awards earlier this year. This is a very much a team effort with our partners delivering the service locally across Greater Manchester.  Our approach, through Motiv8, is a tailored, personal one that is adapted to suit the needs of our clients and it is very rewarding to see the difference we can make when people are supported to receive the help they need.”

To qualify for Motiv8 support you need to be aged 25 or over, live in Greater Manchester and have the right to remain and work in the UK. You must also not be involved with any other training or employment. You can either contact Motiv8 direct or be referred through an agency.  The programme encourages referrals from people who are under-represented in the labour-market such as ex-offenders, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, ethnic minorities and migrant communities as well as people who have, for a variety of reasons, lost their way.

To find out more about Motiv8 and the eligibility criteria for the programme, please visit their website or call 0161 331 2048 or email  You can also follow them on Twitter @Motiv8GM.


Homelessness charity, Emmaus Mossley, is inviting supporters to a Vintage Christmas Market at their Second-hand Superstore this November.

The Vintage Christmas Market event, taking place on Saturday 17 November, will launch Emmaus’ Christmas display and include a range of festive stalls for all tastes and budgets. Available at the event will be a wide selection of vintage and retro decorations, secret Santa gifts, presents for under a fiver and lots of reusable Christmas trees.

Gary, one of the people who lives and works at Emmaus Mossley, said: “I am really looking forward to the Christmas event and seeing all the happy, smiling faces who visit us at this time of year.”

In addition to the Christmas-themed stalls, the Collectables Room will be open and Santa will be visiting Emmaus’ Second-hand Superstore from 2pm. To help get you in the Christmas spirit, Lucie’s café will serve lots of festive food and drinks throughout the day.

Hazel Hodkinson, Retail Manager at Emmaus Mossley, said: “This year we are keen to promote the idea of ‘a pre-loved Christmas’ – reusing perfectly good quality items instead of buying new ones. Whether you are looking to decorate your home, find unique presents at a great price or looking for additional dining chairs, Emmaus Mossley has the lot!”

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares. All the proceeds from the Vintage Christmas Market will support the people who live and work at Emmaus.

The Vintage Christmas Market will take place on Saturday 17 November from 9am to 4:30pm at Emmaus Mossley, Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH. Emmaus has limited space for external stall-holders but if you are interested in booking a stall please email

On the day Emmaus Mossley will also host a lantern making workshop at 1pm for the upcoming 12 Days of Mossley Christmas event. The workshop is free to attend and open to all ages but children must be accompanied by adults. Lantern makers will need to commit to taking part in the 12 Days of Mossley Christmas event on 24 November.

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.



This time of the year when the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping, our thoughts always turn to the unfortunate people who sleep on our streets.

Hyde Rotary with the support from schools and churches in Hyde collect and collate harvest festival every year.

This year the club have collected over 2,500 non-perishable items ranging from soups, beans, spaghetti, tinned tomatoes, tuna and toothpaste and brushes. Last Saturday club members Barry Carey and Alan Oldham delivered the items to Life-Share Manchester, The Wellspring, in Stockport, Infinity Initiatives, in Ashton, Sandwich Angels, in Hyde and three independently organised Hyde food-banks.
Karen Dorney, the President of Hyde Rotary said, “Statistics recently released suggest that the homeless population in Manchester and Tameside has doubled in the last twelve months, one of our guiding principles in Rotary is to “find ways to improve the quality of life for people within our community” I would like to think that my club with the help from the hard working volunteers from local  churches and schools has gone some way to help improve the lives of our homeless community.”

For more information about Hyde Rotary Club Please contact Karen on: 07825 148140

This November sees the 100th anniversary of the end of The First World War. The GX Brabyns Neighbourhood Community Group will be marking the event with tributes displayed throughout Gee Cross.

100 large poppies will line a route from The Millennial Stone, off Stockport Road to the entrance of Werneth Low Visitor Centre, which leads to The Cenotaph. The poppies will be on display from 3rd to 17th November, for those wishing to follow the route along Stockport Road and across Spring Avenue to Higham Lane. People can spot these on lamp posts and trees leading to the Visitor Centre. All monies donated to buy a poppy for the lamp posts will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

There will also be a sea of poppies on the Remembrance Cross in the grounds of Hyde Chapel and a display at Holy Trinity School created by the pupils.

Volunteers from GX Brabyns Neighbourhood Community Group recently spent time clearing up the grounds of the churchyard, giving the Remembrance Cross much needed loving care. 300 home-crafted poppies, made from recycled plastic bottles, will be displayed alongside a silhouette of a lone soldier to represent one of the 710 local men who lost their lives in the Great War; some of whom are buried in the chapel grounds.

Chris Gee,  Chair of the GX Brabyns Neighbourhood group, said, “ We have been overwhelmed by all the support from the local community. People have been collecting and dropping off plastic bottles for weeks and a group of volunteers have been busy making and painting over 400 poppies for the remembrance display. A couple of talented members of our community have produced an amazing silhouette soldier which will take pride of place. There are also many people who have volunteered to help set up the poppy trail and the display.”

Local businesses will also be displaying their own tributes throughout the village too.

Jane Williams, Secretary of the group added “It’s going to be quite beautiful and emotional to see the various tributes created around the village in remembrance of the 710 men of Hyde and others that were lost and have suffered during various conflicts. We’d like to thank all those who have made donations towards the lamp-post poppies, including Hyde Rotary Club. We’d also like to thank councillors Phil Chadwick & Ruth Welsh for their support, and Tameside Council for their assistance in getting this together”.

At 10.45 am on 11th November, a bugler will play the Last Post during the remembrance service at Hyde Chapel. There will also be a service at the Cenotaph on the Low at 12 noon where there will be a display of 710 rocks decorated by the local community and organised by Hyde War Memorial Trust in remembrance of each of the 710 men.

To read more about the lost men buried in the chapel you can visit the website:

More information about the 710 men of Hyde can also be found at

A football match between a team of formerly homeless people and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Tameside has raised £2,018 for the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.

On Sunday 21 October, more than 500 people turned out to support the Emmaus Vs GMP Tameside Charity Football Match at Seel Park in Mossley. The Emmaus team, which included former professional footballer Andy Ritchie and staff from Oldham Athletic, mostly consisted of formerly homeless people who are now supported by the charity.

Andy said: “It was wonderful to see so many people turn out at Seel Park to support a fantastic cause and help to raise a tremendous amount that will go a long way.

“The match was a very competitive one and the Emmaus team did themselves proud, I loved being back out on the pitch. Congratulations to Greater Manchester Police who were the winners on the day.”

The match was organised by GMPs Tameside Division with support from Emmaus Mossley, Mossley A.F.C and Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT). The game was played in good spirits with GMP Tameside taking the win with a score line of 8-2.

PC Steve Naylor from Greater Manchester Police, said: “What a fantastic day! Thanks to everyone who made it all possible, to all the generous businesses who donated raffle prizes, Mossley AFC for providing the venue, OACT for securing the services of Andy Ritchie, Andy himself and Chief Constable Ian Hopkins for presenting the awards.”

“I want to thank and congratulate all of the lads from each team who put on a great show. Most of all, thanks to everyone who took time out, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, to come down and support the event. Without you, the day wouldn’t have been half as much of a success as it was.”

The Emmaus team included people who live, work and are supported by Emmaus Mossley and Emmaus Leeds. Emmaus communities support formerly homeless people by providing them with a home 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.

Darren Bateman, companion of Emmaus Mossley and team captain of the Emmaus XI, said: “I really enjoyed the game, getting on the score sheet and playing alongside Andy Ritchie. I thought both teams did really well and I would like to congratulate the GMP Tameside team on their win.

“Massive thanks to all the people and businesses who supported the event and special thanks to the people at GMP Tameside, Mossley AFC and OACT for making it happen.”

The family-friendly event included GMP mascots Constable Cub and Wolfie, OAFC’s Chaddy The Owl and Stockport County’s Vernon Bear. An under-eights youth tournament took place with teams from Clarksfield and Glodwick FC, Denton Youth, Dukinfield Tigers and Springhead Reds, with Springhead running out winners after a nail biting penalty shootout.

There event also included a charity raffle, inflatable assault course, axe throwing, archery and face painting. Raffle prizes were donated by Ashton United FC, Active Tameside, Autograph Art, Cineworld, Nando’s, Heyrod Food and Floral, Hollywood Bowl, Indian Ocean Restaurant, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, Mossley AFC, Oldham Athletic FC, Salford City FC, The Broadoak Hotel, The White Hart, Tranquillity Cosmetics and the Village Hotel in Ashton.

Paul Hett Limited in Hyde donated the winner’s trophy and player of the match award for the charity match. Gee Dee Trophies in Shaw, Hyde Trophies, Treble Darts and Trophies in Oldham and H Perrigo in Droylsden supplied trophies and medals for the youth tournament.

Jigsaw Homes sponsored the event, by supplying the inflatable activities from Jalmac Leisure. One Adventure Droylsden supported the event with activities on the day and St John’s Ambulance provided first aid support.


For anyone who couldn’t make it on the day but would still like to support the event you can donate online at


To find out more or support Emmaus head to