Saturday, December 15, 2018

As well as the many local charities and community projects who gain financially from Rotary fundraising events, all the local Rotary clubs in the area also raise funds throughout the year to support international projects.

This year the clubs in Denton and Audenshaw, Dukinfield and Stalybridge, Tameside and Hyde joined forces; and with help from the district 1285 matching grant fund, they were able to support The Oakdale School Sensory Room Appeal in Dukinfield and the Oasis Relief Borehole Project in Lusaka, the capitol city in the landlocked country of Zambia in south-central Africa, where they required funding for a much needed borehole machine that would be used in a small village and would give the inhabitants access to fresh drinking water.

Oakdale School supports children with special educational needs, and earlier this year the local Rotary Clubs jointly presented the school with a cheque for £2,000.00 .

Accepting the grant on behalf of the school, Head teacher Tina Tray, said, “The funding will help the school to purchase an interactive music system for the sensory suite.”

Our picture shows the cheque Presentation at Stamford Golf club, to the Oakdale School representatives by Assistant Governor Swati Mukherjee and the club presidents from each of the four clubs.

If you would like to find out more about your local rotary club in the area visit the RIBI website 


The end of the First World War came with Armistice Day, which is now honoured with our Remembrance Day celebrations. Arms were laid down at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, an arbitrary moment chosen to end the four years of turmoil that had spread across Europe, but a moment that has become embedded in everyone’s consciousness since then.

However, this November 2018 Remembrance Day is particularly poignant as we celebrate 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.

But as well as remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during WW1 & WW2, our thoughts and prayers must also go out to all those service men and women who have lost their lives and been maimed in other conflicts around the world since WWI.

Heroes like former British soldier, David De Souza, who served as a private in 23 Pioneer Regiment before training as an engineer. After several tours in Northern Ireland, two tours of Bosnia under the UN and NATO, David returned to Iraq, working for 4 years in the private security sector, protecting clients including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as they visited the country to rally British troops.

During his deployment in 2007, David, from Manchester, suffered a broken back, a severe head wound, and a brain haemorrhage that left him temporarily blind after he used his jeep to block the path of an assassin driving a truck laden with explosives while on protection duty in the war-torn country, and is still struggling to recover from the effects of his nightmare ordeal 11years on.

However, a few years ago, whilst still facing his many demons, David discovered a way to resolve much of his internal conflict through creativity, when he began to combine art with his engineering skills.

Hearing how art therapy has had much success in helping individuals who are experiencing emotional and psychological challenges, achieve personal well-being and improved levels of function; as a result of David’s horrific brain injuries, David’s physiologist discovered that his brain does not switch off from what his doctors call ‘operational mode’ and with his PTSD, found that in David’s case, every little issue is highlighted.

He explained that repression, or the brain’s attempt to send difficult thoughts straight into the unconscious supports clients in handling their trauma. This phenomenon is observed frequently in trauma victims, who claim to have no recollections of the disturbing events. That’s why many experts view art therapy as a way to tap into these unconscious thoughts and memories and bring them to the surface, so that individuals can heal and reconcile them.

David explained in his own words, that inspired by the poppy display at the Tower of London, he fell back on his metalworking skills and initially started fabricating metal poppies.

“After seeing the finished fabrications, I created four 8ft giant poppies and placed them in my local church, St Saviour, then invited all the children in the area to make their own poppies and place them next to mine; and they paid a pound for the privilege! Doing that helped raise £9000 for the Royal British Legion. Following that display I was inundated from people asking to have a miniature metal poppy and that’s how I started making them.”

He continued; my wife Lisa would then take stalls at local craft fairs where she would sell them, which is how my journey into painting came about. One day I visited a stall at one of the fairs at which a lady was selling paintings, and after having a conversation with her, I went straight out and purchased some oil paints and a canvas.”

“Once I’d put brush to canvas I found that I became more relaxed which allows my brain not to over think, I push away catastrophes and stop the tendency to hyper-vigilant; so painting keeps me calm.”

“Now, during the day I’m in the workshop fabricating all manner of flowers from poppies to roses and sunflowers, flower arches and remembrance benches, and in the evenings, I do my paintings. So you could say that my art is a 50/50 split from metal fabrication and oil paintings!”

Every Metal poppy that David sells or any painting he produces that has a poppy on it the Royal British Legion receives 10% as he has agreed a corporate partnership agreement with them; which mean David raises money for them all year round.

Anyone wishing to see more of David De Souza’s work, both ‘Oil on Canvas & metal sculpture work’ can do so throughout the month of November, where a wide range of unique artwork will be displayed at The Peoples’ Gallery in Stalybridge.

Gordon Clegg, representing the popular community gallery said, “We are delighted and deeply privileged to be able to bring David’s work to the people of Stalybridge and the wider Tameside area.

Describing David’s individualist creative work, he said, “David continuously adds new footage to his highly sort after collection, creating a highly personal and ever-evolving composite works of art. Some may say that there’s certainly a heavy novelty factor dominant in many of David’s works, but the bittersweet experiences behind the subject matter; the craft and technique is undeniable.”

Much of the work on display features dark to light shades of grey and this technique and its application are what distinguishes the subject matter from the conventional and allow us to see his work as a specific accomplishment rather than a mere silhouetted type!”

I asked David what his next goal was to be. Which he answered, “For inspiration I have visited the poppies around the country and the National Arboretum. I like to keep busy and my next inspirational trip will hopefully be Everest base camp!”

Call in to The Peoples’ Gallery and see firsthand the art of a very remarkable gifted artist and true ‘local hero’


A formerly homeless man, who is now supported by homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley, has helped to create a new street mural in the centre of Manchester.

Pete ‘Cookie’ Cooke, joined Emmaus Mossley as a companion in August 2018 after spending two years homeless – sofa surfing and sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester. With an interest in art, design and photography, Cookie was invited to help create the mural with over 30 other people who have experienced homelessness.

The production of the street mural was organised by With One Voice, the international arts and homeless movement founded by Streetwise Opera. Now named ‘The Doodle on Ducie Street’, the mural was officially unveiled on Tuesday 2 October and Cookie was given the honour of cutting the ribbon.


Cookie said: “Thank you to everybody who’s on the wall, in the wall and part of the wall. We’re all part of Manchester – the greatest city on earth – and this has been a massive team effort to make it happen.

The Doodle on Ducie Street

“Special thanks to all the partner organisations involved and thanks to lead artists Joel and Sharon who’ve been great throughout the project and encouraged us all to give our best.”

The creation of the mural was coordinated by New York artist and activist, Joel Bergner from Artolution, who specializes in co-created art to address critical issues related to armed conflict, trauma and social marginalization around the globe.

Joel added: “It’s been an amazing experience working with all of the participants here in Manchester. Cookie has been especially dedicated every single day. He came up with many of the initial ideas in the workshop and created many different paintings throughout the whole mural, that represented himself, his story and really giving hope for the future.

“This is what the mural is all about and it’s been great seeing everyone out here, contributing, sharing their stories and connecting with all of the other participants.”

The mural project, managed by With One Voice, was supported by Laing O’Rourke, Human Appeal, Bruntwood, HMG Paints and a number of homelessness charities across the city region.

‘The Doodle on Ducie Street’ mural has been created to launch the International Arts and Homelessness Summit & Festival that will take place in Manchester from 12th-18th November. The festival is open to the public and the programme is made up of rich, exciting arts events, co-created by people who are or have been homeless.

For more information and tickets to the summit visit


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 pleased to take delivery of two clothes recycling bins at Bower Fold, supporting one of our six adopted charities for the 2018/19 season, Reuben’s Retreat.

The bins are easily accessible at the ground, one situated in between the Main Entrance and the Middle Gate, with the other right outside the Turnstiles near the Social Club.

We welcome donations of any unwanted children’s or adult clothes and shoes, all shapes and sizes, so if you are coming up to the Match, going to the Gym or just passing, you can drop them off anytime of the day and night.

Mike Smith, Community Development Officer, said,We are delighted to help and assist Reuben’s Retreat with this request and hope that our supporters and the general public, can donate any clothing they no longer require. We also look forward to welcoming staff and volunteers from Reuben’s Retreat to Bower Fold on Saturday 3rd November 2018 for their designated Charity Day at Stalybridge Celtic FC, where they have lots of activities planned!”

For more information contact Reuben’s Retreat on:

Twitter: @ReubensRetreat or Telephone: 01457-680023




Hyde based optician and audiology centre, Specsavers, who recently celebrated their 2nd year operating from their new premises on Market Place, Hyde, visited Willow Wood Hospice, to present them with a cheque from their birthday fundraising event.

By way of celebrating with their many customers, friends and visitors, Specsavers staff worked with other local businesses to provide birthday themed food for the event, arranged special anniversary discounts, free gifts and organised fun and entertainment with the help of a ‘ten foot lady’ accompanied by the Hyde United mascot Roary.

But the Specsavers ‘fun for all the family’ birthday event also had a serious side, with the aim of highlighting the need to raise funds for charities. A fun day was had by all – underpinned with the serious message.

“Seeing the amount of support we got from people both inside and outside the store all coming together and donating was amazing” said, Diane Wood, Director of Specsavers Hyde.

On the day they raised £151.03 which we are delighted to donate to Willow Wood Hospice.

Elaine McConnell, community engagement and corporate fundraiser, said, “It currently costs around £2.5m annually to maintain free services to Tameside and Glossop residents and local businesses, individual donations and fun events like the Specsavers Birthday celebration – which raise money for the Hospice is of vital importance.”





A poignant parade of silent soldiers will lead eleven days on remembrance events across Tameside next month.

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War, the silent solider silhouettes will stand on look out on the bridge at Portland Basin in Ashton on November 1st.

They will then be deployed to posts across the borough’s nine towns, in line with memorial events and activities that will take place every day until Remembrance Day on November 11th.

There promises to be events for all ages and interests, including hidden toy soldiers, pop-up poppy gardens and doves of peace.

Tameside Council Executive Member responsible for culture, Cllr Leanne Feeley, said: “The 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War is a landmark opportunity to pay tribute to those who fought and sacrificed their lives for their country and reflect on how local communities and families were affected.

“The Cultural Services team has planned both a vibrant programme of events – from the fun to the poignant – to appeal to all ages and give everyone an opportunity to join in remembrance.”

You can get involved by taking your own pictures and posting on social media with the hashtag #TamesideRemembers.

After November 1st, silent soldier silhouettes will be placed around the following places:

  • Hyde – outside the town hall
  • Dukinfield – outside the town hall
  • Denton – outside the town hall
  • Mossley – George Lawton Hall
  • Audenshaw – Ryecroft Hall
  • Stalybridge – by the war memorial
  • Hollingworth – by the war memorial
  • Droylsden – outside the library
  • Ashton – Ashton Parish Church.


The full schedule of events is as follows:

A full list of remembrance services and parades:

The Greggs Breakfast Club Programme was established in 1999 to help primary school children get a nutritious start to their school day.

That’s why housing association New Charter Homes, now part of Jigsaw Homes Group, has teamed up with Greggs Foundation to fund a new healthy breakfast club which is run by Millbrook Primary School in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

New Charter Homes has funded the club with the Greggs Foundation to give children as young as four the best start to their day.

The morning sessions will run every day for two years at the school. Greggs will donate fresh bread daily from a local store and the funding will also help to buy cereal, fruit, toasters and crockery for the club.

The school is in an area where New Charter Homes has invested heavily in the community to support families and, through the club, it hopes to encourage children to attend school on time and give them the best start to their day.

This is the second breakfast club New Charter Homes has supported in the last 12 months with Lyndhurst Primary School in Oldham opening in January. A third club already seeing success is Silver Springs Academy, also in Stalybridge which has been running for the past four years.

The Greggs Foundation has over 450 breakfast clubs across the UK, providing nutritional food and fun activities to set children up for their day ahead. Having a good breakfast and a morning routine helps improve children’s concentration levels throughout the day.

Emma Wilson, Group Director of Neighbourhoods at Jigsaw Group said: “Teaming up with Greggs Foundation to offer children in our communities a healthy start to their day shows our commitment to do more good in the societies we serve, making a real difference to our customers.

“The breakfast clubs are part of this and as well as giving children the best start to the day, we hope they will bring the community back into schools.”

Head teacher, Elizabeth Turner said that school had already seen a big difference in the short time they have been running the breakfast club. She said: “Children are calmer and ready for their days learning after breakfast club. It gives children a healthy and nutritious breakfast and a chance to tune in to the day ahead. Parents are also giving breakfast club the thumbs up. All in, it’s all a great way to start the day!”




More than 150 diners helped to make the latest Mossley SOUP community crowdfunding dinner the most successful one yet.

On Thursday 4 October, the sixth Mossley SOUP event, sponsored by Harold Stock & Co Solicitors, took place at Emmaus Mossley. The project that secured the most votes on the night, Mossley Skatepark Development, took home £1,216, raised from donations on the door, raffle and event sponsorship.

Louis Robinson, presenter of Mossley Skatepark Development, said: “Sharing our project at Mossley SOUP was nerve-wracking but, with the support of Lawrie and Paul, I was able to speak from the heart and we got our message across.

“Getting the skatepark improved will benefit BMX, scooter and skate riders of all ages for years to come. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part and supported this SOUP event.”

Diners donated £5 each in return for soup, live music, presentations from four local projects and a vote for their favourite project. Each of the four project presenters had four minutes to share their idea, followed by four questions from the audience.

Louis shared Mossley Skatepark Development along with Lawrie Williams and Paul Dowthwaite from Friends of Mossley Park. Other project presenters were Angie Taylor with Mossley Community Centre’s Deep Freeze, Sam Clayton sharing Mossley Lumberjack Challenge and Phil Brooke from Slimmin’ Without Women.

Along with £100 donated by Harold Stock & Co Solicitors, additional funds were raised through a raffle with prizes donated by Alan & Vivs English Fish & Chips, Cabbage, Dinnerstones, Doodle Pots, Friends of Egmont Street, Mossley Home Improvement, Restor8 Design Solutions, Station Brew Café and The Allotment Café.

Four freshly made soups were prepared by local volunteers Rory Callaghan and Gary Barton with ingredients and bread donated A Taylor & Son Family Butchers, local vegetable suppliers Diane and Neil, JW Buckley’s Bakery and Coop Mossley.

In addition to the four project presentations, Mossley SOUP diners enjoyed live music from Jon Mambo and Mark Coupe, and a guest talk from Symon Randall of Mossley Town Team Stewards, winners of the fourth Mossley SOUP.




Project ideas are being sought from individuals, artists, community groups, charities and new business start-ups for the next Mossley SOUP event in February 2019.

For more information, to submit a proposal and for details of future Mossley SOUP events, head to

Photo credit Allan Bentley

The Gee Cross Fete held as usual on Sam Redfern Green on a very sunny Sunday in July was a huge success!

The sun shone down on the community as they turned out in force to the annual event where family fun and entertainment flowed throughout the day.

The popular village Fete, which is organised by The Hyde Rotary Club, raised a fabulous £7,400.00 has now been equally divided between Hyde Rotary Club and Willow Wood Hospice.

Speaking after the figures were released, Hyde Rotary President, Karen Dorney, said, “… in conjunction with the Hospice, the planning for this annual event starts in January with the committee meeting every month leading up to the event. As you can imagine; an event this size takes an awful lot of planning and time to book the entertainment, plan the field and to book the stall holders. So on behalf of the club, I would like to thank the committee for giving up their time.

This year we raised a lot of money that will not only support Willow Wood but will also enable the Hyde Rotary to help fund local charities within our own community.”

Hyde Rotary and Willow Wood would like to thank all the sponsors of the event, which include: The Gee Cross Conservative Party. All the Programme sponsors and local business who donated raffle prizes, Hyde United Football Club, The stall holders, All the Entertainers ,Joshua Littlehales from Tameside Radio, Jake Kelly, the Scouts and Guides, Holy Trinity Church and anybody else we may have missed.

The event next year will be held on Sunday 23rd June 2019



A team of formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus are gearing up for a charity football match against a team from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Tameside.

The Emmaus Vs GMP Tameside Charity Football Match will take place on Sunday 21 October at Seel Park in Mossley. The family-friendly event will also include local club mascots, a penalty shoot-out challenge, charity raffle, inflatable assault course, axe throwing, archery and face painting. All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.

The match is being organised by GMPs Tameside Division with support from Emmaus Mossley, Mossley A.F.C and Oldham Athletic Community Trust.

Players taking part in a previous Emmaus Charity Football Match-at-Seel-Park

PC Steve Naylor from Greater Manchester Police, said: “Homelessness is a big issue in Tameside and something we come across on a daily basis which is why we are passionate and happy to support such a worthwhile cause. This is why myself and other officers from Tameside have given up our own time to help organise and take part in the event.”

Some of the great raffle prizes have been donated by Active Tameside, Cineworld, Nando’s, Hollywood Bowl, Indian Ocean Restaurant, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, 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 has donated the winner’s trophy and player of the match award. Jigsaw Homes has sponsored the event, by supplying the inflatable activities from Jalmac Leisure, and One Adventure Droylsden are supporting the event with activities on the day. St John’s Ambulance will also provide first aid support on the day.

The Emmaus team consists of formerly homeless people who are now supported by Emmaus communities in the North West. 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.

Harry Barlow, Community Leader at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Our Emmaus team are looking forward to playing at Seel Park again and taking on the players from GMP Tameside. This event is a great way for the community to come together for a fun afternoon to raise awareness and funds to help tackle homelessness.

“I would like to give massive thanks to GMP Tameside, Mossley AFC, Oldham Athletic Community Trust and all of the businesses who have donated raffle prizes to support this event.”

The Emmaus Charity Football Match will take place on Sunday 21 October from 1pm 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.

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

To find out more or support Emmaus head to