Sunday, June 16, 2019

Homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley has celebrated the difference local volunteers make to their organisation and thanked them as part of this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1-7 June.

On Monday 3 June, volunteers from Emmaus Mossley celebrated with staff and beneficiaries at a special thank you meal at the Allotment Cafe in Mossley. The event was supported by the Action Together Volunteers’ Week Activity Fund to recognise the contribution of all Emmaus Mossley volunteers.

David Kniveton, aged 51 and from Denton, is one of 33 local volunteers who give their time on a weekly basis at Emmaus Mossley.

David said: “I came here volunteering in the Emmaus workshop as it’s a worthwhile cause and helps other people. It’s always nice to do a job, not for monetary gain, but to benefit people. I really enjoy being part of the team of volunteers at Emmaus who give their time and skills to help others in need.”

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people, known as companions, by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. Along with the weekly volunteers who help in the Secondhand Superstore, the charity has 11 volunteer trustees as well as occasional volunteers, local fundraisers and professionals who give their time.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “Volunteers’ Week is a fantastic opportunity to thank the dedicated people who support our charity as volunteers. It’s also a chance to recognise the voluntary efforts of our companions who give their time and skills in many ways. These local solidarity actions include helping with canal maintenance and supporting community events as stewards.

This year, with the kind support of Action Together, we have been able to bring our volunteers, trustees and community members together to acknowledge the massive contribution these people make to Emmaus Mossley and the wider community.”

During Volunteers’ Week, charities across the UK will also be holding events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the power of volunteering. Last year there were over 600 events across the country, from award ceremonies to tea parties and barbecues.

There are 1,167 voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises in Tameside, the majority of these are small, volunteer led groups, with an estimated 34,000 volunteers. Action Together estimates that collectively, Tameside volunteers give 83,400 hours each week.

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.


An outstanding safety record has seen industrial gas company Air Products donating £7,226 to St Ann’s Hospice in the last three years.  

Each year the company’s employees around the country are set a target of operating a 100 per cent safety record.

The success of staff at the Walkden plant in achieving their goal means their chosen charity St Ann’s has benefitted.

The scheme is part of Air Products Charity & Safety Recognition programme, introduced in 2015, to be the safest industrial gases company.

Mark Hitchen, Air Products Plant Manager at Walkden, said: “It’s really important to Air Products that we support the communities where we operate. Knowing through this programme that local charities can benefit even further encourages our employees to act and consider every aspect of safe working.

“St Ann’s Hospice does such great work and thanks to our employees at our site in Walkden, we’re delighted to be able to help by making this donation.”


One of Willow Wood’s most popular events is returning on Thursday 20 June, but this year our Royal Ascot Ladies Lunch will be held in the lovely surroundings of the Best Western Smokies Park Hotel.

Elaine McConnell, event organiser, explains: “Every year, our Ladies Lunch is over-subscribed and we hate to disappoint people by turning them away.  We decided, therefore, to move to a larger venue so that even more ladies could enjoy a wonderful day with us.”  And it really is a great day out – all the fun of going to Royal Ascot, but without the fuss and expense of the travel.

Ladies Day at Ascot is one of the most stylish events in the social calendar, and Willow Wood’s Ascot Lunch certainly keeps to that tradition.    It’s a wonderful opportunity to dress in your best outfit complete, of course, with a hat!  The ladies gather at 12 noon for a Prosecco reception, before a delicious three course meal is served.  Then, it’s down to the serious business of studying form before placing your bets – or alternatively, just choosing the horse with the name you like the best!

Elaine said: “Our bookies keep everything running smoothly.  The races are screened live, and there’s plenty of time between each race to place your bets and, if your horse comes in first, to collect your winnings.  It really is great fun, and can be very exciting as the horses reach the final furlong.  There’s always an amazing atmosphere, with lots of laughter, lots of cheering and, I have to say, there can be quite of lot of champagne too!”

Tickets have once again been maintained at just £39.50, and if a friend is celebrating this summer, can make an ideal present.  Although the ladies are seated at tables of ten, couples or smaller groups will be combined.

In addition, Studio-G will be taking photos to commemorate the day, and there will be a raffle with some wonderful prizes.

Tickets can be booked online by going to, alternatively booking forms can be collected from the Hospice reception or any of our shops.




Cruising around the Mediterranean as a crew member on a yacht is plain sailing for Alex Marsh, from Gatley.

But riding 194 miles around the island of Majorca was a more demanding challenge for the novice cyclist.

Alex safely completed the Mallorca 312 – so named to reflect the kilometres covered – within the 14-hour limit.

The tough winding route, climbing mountains and exploring coastal paths, took him near the capital Palma, his home for the last seven years.

Alex hopes to raise £2,500 for St Ann’s Hospice from his adventure in memory of late uncles Ian Haig and Alan Haig who were both patients there.

Last December he also lost his mother-in-law Terresa Provost who was treated by a hospice in Michigan, USA, where she lived.

Alex is engineer and second-in-command on a 30-metre sailing yacht moored in Palma and which will shortly set sail for Turkey and Greece.

Alex said: “St Ann’s isn’t just a facility. It’s a group of compassionate, hard-working individuals who provide genuine love and care. It receives only a third of its funding from the NHS and the rest comes from donations.

“Cycling is new to me and this was the biggest challenge I’ve ever done. Palma is a mecca for large yachts and the owner of my yacht kindly made the biggest single donation to my fundraising.”


A Mossley runner has completed her first marathon and raised more than £2,600 for homelessness charity Emmaus.

Jennifer Gregory, aged 35 and from Mossley, took part in the London Marathon on Sunday 28 April and completed the course in an impressive time of 4 hours 22 minutes. Jennifer, a member of the Greenfield Greyhounds Running Club, applied to take part for Emmaus because of her own experience of the charity.

Jennifer said: “It was an honour to run for a charity that is so close to my heart. Emmaus is special in Mossley and throughout the UK to the people who visit the staff and the companions. The support I’ve been getting over the months from the community has taken the edge of the gruelling training plan. I ran through some awful weather but I’ve actually been so moved by everyone’s kind words.

“The crowds on the day were out of this world, as you’d expect on the world’s most famous race, and the conditions were perfect which meant I enjoyed every bit of it. To run with other supporters of Emmaus was also pretty special. The whole experience for me has been amazing and I’ve even inspired my husband who’s entered the ballot for next year!”

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people (known as companions) 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.

Paul Barnes, one of the companions at Emmaus Mossley, travelled to London to cheer Jennifer on.

Paul commented: “It was good to go down and show our appreciation for what Jennifer has done in support of Emmaus Mossley. The London Marathon is a huge event and it was quite manic but we’re just very grateful for Jennifer’s kind support.”

Jennifer trained for months leading up to the marathon, building up her stamina and completing more than 400 miles. As part of Jennifer’s fundraising efforts she also organised a 5K fun run in Mossley with more than 50 people taking part.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “We are all extremely grateful that one of our regular supporters has been inspired to take on a huge fundraising challenge in support of our charity. Jennifer is a real inspiration to members of our Emmaus Mossley community and other supporters looking to go the extra mile to help people in need. Very well done and huge thanks to Jennifer, along with all the people who donated to her fundraiser.”

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.



A local charity worker has been nominated for a special award to acknowledge her work in raising awareness of the importance of hospice care to communities across Greater Manchester.

Jude Holt, who is Head of Practice Development at St Ann’s Hospice, has been shortlisted for a Greater Manchester Health & Care Champion Award in the Inclusion Champion category, for the work she’s been doing with her team to reach out to communities across the region.

Jude said: “I’m honoured to have been nominated for the award, and I was so surprised when I received the letter from the Mayor Andy Burnham and Jon Rouse from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership letting me know I had been shortlisted.

“There’s so much great work going on across Greater Manchester in the health and social care fields that it’s amazing to have the work we’ve been doing at the hospice acknowledged in this way.”

Jude and her team’s work at St Ann’s has included a collaboration with Springhill Hospice to deliver a series of innovative lectures to raise awareness of the importance of palliative and end of life care provision. The lectures were attended by hundreds of health care professionals, as well as people working with a variety of communities who have not traditionally found it easy to access hospice care.   This included reaching out to people with mental health needs, those who are homeless, in prison, have learning disabilities, are transgender, or have dementia, as well as local BAME populations, travelling families and those with long-term conditions – all with the aim of raising awareness of how hospices may be able to help them if they have a life-limiting illness.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “It’s so important to us that as many local patients as possible who might benefit from our care can do so, whatever their background and whatever community they are from.

“Hospice care can benefit anyone with a life-limiting illness, right from the point of diagnosis, through treatment, and beyond, and we’re so proud that the work Jude and her team have been doing to help dispel myths and improve access for communities across Greater Manchester has been recognised in this way.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing the results of the awards when they’re announced in July, but are already so pleased that Jude’s work has led to an increase in the understanding of the benefits of the specialist care hospices can provide patients and their families.

“Innovation is something that’s important to all of us at St Ann’s.  As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2021, it’s vital we continue to develop our services and reach out even further into the local communities we serve to ensure we can continue caring for patients and their families for many generations to come.”

St Ann’s Hospice provides care to patients with 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.

For more information, or to make a donation to the hospice, please visit

Justin Moorhouse is offering local comedy fans the opportunity to enjoy a hilarious night out and raise funds for a great cause when he brings his critically acclaimed tour show, Northern Joker, to Dukinfield next month!

The local funny man is a one of Willow Wood’s patrons and will be donating his usual fee to Hospice funds – a fantastic boost for our coffers!

And what can guests expect from the show?  Well, these days Justin’s not certain about anything apart from his uncertainty – Brexit looms, it appears the Cold War is being rebooted and that’s before we begin to worry about what’s happening in America…closer to home he’s starting to feel redundant as a parent. One kid is leaving home, the dog is getting older and needs fewer walks, and the youngest kid hits thirteen and cancels the family subscription to The Beano.

One thing we can all be sure of though, is there will be lots of laughs!

The show takes place at Weymouth Villa Function Suite, Old Road, Dukinfield on Saturday 1st June.  Tickets are priced at £14 with a limited amount for people on Jobseekers Allowance at a mere fiver!  You can book now at with 07874 152 338 being the number for any queries.

What better excuse could there be for dressing in style, getting together with your best girl friends for a Prosecco reception, a delicious lunch, and the opportunity to win some cash with a flutter on the horses than Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot? And if you book for the Willow Wood Ladies’ Lunch then it doesn’t matter whether the sun shines or not, as you’ll be in the comfort of the Best Western Smokies Park Hotel.

The Ladies’ Lunch has long been a popular fixture of the Willow Wood calendar, and this year falls on Thursday 20 June.  Elaine McConnell, event organiser said: “Ascot is very much a social occasion, and we follow that tradition as we welcome our guests at 12noon with a glass of Prosecco and time to mingle and chat with friends before taking our seats for a three-course lunch.  That’s followed by the excitement of placing your bets with our team of bookies before each race is screened live.

“There’s time between the racing for the ladies to celebrate any wins, as the cash prizes are paid out there and then.  It really is a fantastic atmosphere – and there can be quite a few corks popping as the winners are toasted!”

Everyone rises to the spirit of the occasion by dressing in their most stylish outfit – and, of course, a hat or fascinator.    Prices have once more been maintained at £39.50, which is great value for such a wonderful day.  Tickets can be booked online at, or collecting a leaflet from the Hospice reception or any of our shops.

Elaine said, “We’re also looking for raffle prizes and would welcome any contributions.  These would, of course, be acknowledged in the programme and seen, therefore, by over 200 guests on the day”.

If you could donate a prize please contact Elaine by ringing 0161 330 7788 or emailing


Hundreds of people from across Greater Manchester will be remembering their loved ones as part of a very special appeal this summer, in support of local charity St Ann’s Hospice.

The Forget-Me-Not Appeal gives people the chance to receive a special keepsake dedicated to their loved one and, if they wish, to attend a service of reflection and celebration at the hospice’s Heald Green or Little Hulton site, whilst making a donation to St Ann’s.

This year, St Ann’s is also offering supporters the opportunity to make a dedication online, in their brand new Memory Meadow.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, explained:  “Our Forget-Me-Not appeal is incredibly important to us as it gives us the opportunity to both raise money for our patients and their families, whilst also honouring the lives of those who are sadly no longer with us.

“We’re always overwhelmed to see so many people supporting our patients in this way – some with a connection to the hospice, and others who don’t have any connection but want to celebrate the life of someone special.

“We’re especially pleased to also introduce our Memory Meadow for those supporters who would like to celebrate their loved ones online. Every penny raised really does help us to provide specialist care that makes a difference to the lives of local people.”

Julie Wilmoth’s husband, Colin, was cared for at St Ann’s Hospice in 2018. She said: “When Colin first went into St Ann’s, he was bed-ridden and fed up, but it quickly became like home. We were greeted very warmly and made so welcome and comfortable – I felt like we’d been scooped up and taken to their heart. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with Colin, and St Ann’s made that possible.”

The charity, which operates from three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital looks after thousands of patients every year with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses – managing their symptoms, providing support, caring for people at the hospice or at home, and providing end of life care.  It also runs a range of outreach services to help support people in the local community.

*For more information on St Ann’s, or if you would like to take part in the Forget-Me-Not appeal to remember someone special, please call 0161 498 3631 or visit


Remember the swinging sixties? Or just love the music? Whichever way, one of our wonderful supporters George Hansford is organising a fantastic show supporting not only Willow Wood, but two other local hospices too!

This coming Friday, the Special Sixties Show will be at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham.  It’s a great line-up, with The Merseybeats, famous for songs such as the million selling “I Think of You”, and “Don’t Turn Around’.  The Fourmost who reached the top ten with “Hello Little Girl” and “A Little Loving” are also appearing and Mike Pender, the original voice of The Searchers, completes the bill.  His voice was the one on maybe their best-known hits, “Needles and Pins” and “Don’t Throw Your Love Away”.

Tina Pringle, community fundraiser said: “It should be a fantastic show, and it’s really good value at just £22 per ticket.

I’d like to thank George for organising this on behalf not just of Willow Wood, but also Springhill and Dr Kershaw’s Hospices who will also benefit from the event.”

So if you’re a sixties fan and fancy reliving a few musical memories tickets can be purchased from, or the Queen Elizabeth Hall box office, 0161 770 4083.