Tuesday, February 19, 2019

There’s no doubt that people of all ages who volunteer, provide their time and efforts for a wide variety of reasons. For some its pure altruism, others for social contact, personal interests, and emotional needs. But whichever the reason the primary motivation is that volunteers want to help others.

The Helping Hand Charity shop based in Hyde, offers a variety of opportunities for volunteering. There you will be helping a lot of people whilst also gaining new skills, meeting new people and having the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference.

If you would like to work in a relaxed and friendly shop along with other volunteer friends, then The Helping Hand Methodist Church Charity Shop could be the answer!

They are open from10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. And there’s Free Tea & Coffee, (bring your own biscuits).

The shop offers a relaxed, friendly social work place, where what you do makes a difference. They’ll provide all the training you may need and there are no performance targets

The Charity is committed to providing donated goods at the lowest price possible to those most in need from our communities. In fact the average cost of every item sold since January 2013, has been only £1.31!

If you are interested in offering a Helping Hand, please contact: Harvey Beeley. Mobile: 07841-614646

You can also e-mail: harveybeeley0101@gmail.com or just call in for a chat with one of the volunteers.

You can find The Helping Hand Charity Shop, 57 Market Street, Hyde. SK14 2AB

A group of amazing and inspiring year 7 students from Longdendale Hugh School in Hollingworth, took altruism above and beyond during the last half term break, when they raised a sizeable amount of money and collected a huge amount of donations in support of two homeless charities.

As part of the Year 7 ‘Project Curriculum’ students were given an open brief of how to enrich peoples’ lives in their community, especially at Christmas time. Mrs Linari’s group, 7P, decided to fundraise to support homeless people as they felt that Christmas would be a particularly difficult time for people living on the streets. Not only due to the harsh winter weather conditions, but also the sad memories this time of year can provoke.

Some of the students were so motivated that they gave up nearly every evening and weekend to go into shops and businesses to ask for donations. Halle, Charlotte, Shaya, Aimee, Isabel and Isabella, composed well crafted letters and gave impressive speeches to gain the interest and support of many small and large companies; which brought in generous donations from big companies such as Marks and Spencer, Next, Costa, Tesco, B&M, the Co Op, Grace and Cole, Macdonald’s and many more.

In addition to the donations of items such as gloves, toiletries and food, the students also raised an incredible £650 in cash. They also ran a raffle and tombola using some of the gifts donated  raised extra money, resulting in donating over £700 to deserving charities. They also baked gingerbread biscuits, decorated bags and made cards so that they could give the homeless a Christmas gift. The project was designed to be totally student-led, so they had to demonstrate excellent teamwork, leadership and communication abilities as well developing their confidence.

On Friday 14th December, a number of teachers accompanied six of the students along with their parents, to the Church of the Apostles in Manchester City Centre, to see firsthand the work undertaken within ‘The Rolling Shelter’- a charity who works in conjunction with the Manchester Mayor’s charity, ‘A Bed Every Night’.

At the Church, they delivered the donations and the cheque for the money raised. They also brought food and decorated the hall to provide a Christmas party for the homeless people, who would be using the shelter that evening. Working as a team, they set up the beds and facilities and their hard work and professionalism was recognised and praised by the charity workers and the Vicar

On Thursday 20th December, 12 year 7 students, Halle, Shaya, George, Jessica, Charlotte, Reece, Isabella, Alice, Katie, Katie, Aimee and Isabel along with two year nines, Phoebe and Gabrielle, were accompanied by teachers to the Wellspring in Stockport.

The Wellspring is a charitable organisation who also supports homeless people by providing shelter, medical care, warm meals, showering facilities, mental health support and supplies. At the centre, the students handed over all the donations they had collated to the centre volunteers. They also distributed their beautiful Christmas gifts to the some of the homeless and attended a talk from one of the volunteers.

Receiving a warm thank you from the homeless people themselves, it was extremely moving to see the direct impact the hard work and effort the young students had put in, actually reaching a final success.

Mrs Linari concluded, “We are so proud of all of the students for their contributions, hard work and commitment. They have well and truly enriched the lives of homeless people in our community. It has been a great achievement.

Well done everyone!”


MORE than 700 people previously sleeping rough in Greater Manchester have been helped into warm, safe and supported accommodation since November, thanks to the ground-breaking A Bed Every Night scheme.

Greater Manchester is the only region in the United Kingdom pledging this level of support this winter for those sleeping on the streets. A Bed Every Night is a concerted and co-ordinated drive across all 10 boroughs to accommodate every individual who wants and needs to come indoors.

Since A Bed Every Night accommodation opened across Greater Manchester at the start of November last year, 707 people have accessed services with 183 people indoors on the first Sunday night of 2019.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “The fact that more than 700 people have been assisted into A Bed Every Night accommodation in a little over two months shows both the scale of the crisis we face but also the effectiveness of scheme.

“The numbers of people facing or experiencing rough sleeping in our city-region are simply unacceptable – it is a humanitarian crisis on our streets and something we have chosen to face full-on with A Bed Every Night.

“I want to pay particular tribute to all the organisations, staff and volunteers in the teams across all boroughs of our city-region who are working every single day and night to deliver on the ground. Without this level of commitment an ambitious campaign such as A Bed Every Night would simply not succeed – the people of Greater Manchester care for each other, as our progress here demonstrates.”

In addition to the 707 former rough sleepers helped indoors, the scheme is designed to act as a springboard for people into more secure and long-term supported accommodation. A Bed Every Night is the intended first step for many on a journey to a life permanently off the streets, and since its introduction 154 people have been assisted through the scheme and into their own living arrangements.

The number of beds available through A Bed Every Night and the variety of support on offer continues to grow. In Crumpsall a former children’s home has been repurposed with 30 spaces available in single and shared rooms.

Residents also have access to shared communal spaces and a kitchen where, alongside staff, they are encouraged to develop cookery skills and help feed others living in the building.

A Bed Every Night runs until the end of March. The public and business can continue to support by donating to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity via www.bedeverynight.co.uk. Monies raised through the Charity will be directed towards A Bed Every Night until the campaign’s end.

A fantastic Christmas present arrived for Blood Bikes Manchester in the shape of a brand new Mercedes Vito van.

The van has been kindly purchased and donated by Dave Mylett, one of Blood Bikes new volunteers. This donation will complete their fleet and put the volunteer group in the best position ever to assist the NHS with their transportation needs. The van, working alongside the 5 motorcycles and 2 cars will not only be call out ready for larger consignments or bad weather, but will enable them to tow their display trailer to events in and around the Northwest to further promote the work they do whilst raising valuable funds.

Dave is no stranger when it comes to donating vehicles to Blood Bikes, having previously owned Manchester Medical Services which operated a fleet of ambulances and response vehicles, he donated in the past a couple of vehicles that were no longer required to his business.

A delighted Paul Redfern, Chairman of Blood Bikes Manchester, said , “I can’t believe that Dave has bought this vehicle for us which will help us out immensely in the future, an unbelievable act of kindness so close to Christmas and I really can’t express my thanks to him enough.”

Paul explained that, ‘Fundraising has now started to try to raise £1500 which will pay for a tow-bar, the vehicle livery and call out ready equipment. We are hoping to put the van in full service by the end of February 2019. The vehicle is operational now; and will be utilized for emergencies in case we have really bad weather over the winter period.’

Over the festive period, Blood Bikes Manchester volunteers operated a 24 hour service to the NHS and Hospices; all done completely free of charge, enabling funds saved in transportation costs to be used elsewhere, for example patient care or the purchase of specialist equipment.




Don’t forget if you would like to donate to Blood Bikes Manchester, just use the Facebook donate button, the QR Code on the front page of the website, Just Giving or direct to PayPal at paypal@bloodbikesmanchester.co.uk

If we could get 1500 people all donating £1 then the van will be completely funded and ready to go.


A supporter of homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley, has set a New Year goal of running the London Marathon in 2019 to raise funds for Emmaus.

Jennifer Gregory, aged 35 and from Mossley, is one of five fundraisers who will take part in the 2019 London Marathon in support of Emmaus UK. 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: “As a person who lives in Mossley and is quite active in the community, I see how much good is done by Emmaus. The companions at Emmaus make it such a warm and welcoming environment, they also can be seen at events in our wider area and are actively involved in community projects.

“I spend a lot of time in Emmaus with my family and it’s a great place to go with young children that is affordable and fun! It’s a pleasure to try and help Emmaus to continue to help people in need. I want to try and raise as much as possible. If I can help to make sure someone is able to access a home and a purpose, and also welcome them into this community, then it’s going to be worth all the hard hours training.”

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

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “We are extremely appreciative of all our supporters, but Jennifer is definitely going the extra mile (or 26) to raise awareness and funds for Emmaus.

“It’s great to hear that Jennifer was inspired by her visits to Emmaus Mossley and the contributions made by our companions. We all wish her the best of luck for her training over the coming months and the London Marathon next April.”

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer’s fundraiser and donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jennifer-gregory6

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley.

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.


Last year, Willow Wood ran a very successful challenge where we asked local businesses to compete against each other to see who could be the most successful fundraiser.  In this, their twentieth anniversary year, they’re opening up the challenge to everyone in our community and expect to get many different teams and individuals joining the 20/20 Challenge.

Willow Wood’s event organiser, Elaine McConnell, explained, “We’ll be handing out two £20 notes on Friday 1 February, and we’re asking you to use your imagination and invest this to raise as much as you can for the Hospice over the next three months.   You could organise an afternoon tea at your church or social group; reinvest the profits and hold a family fun day.

Or how about sponsoring your boss to sit in a bath of custard or baked beans – that could be a very popular fun fundraiser!

Office Olympics, chest waxing, sponsored bike ride, car wash, quizzes, concerts, there are no end of ideas, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.  Willow Wood can help by publicising your event on social media, and we’ll be able to provide sponsor forms, posters or raffle tickets should you need them.  There’ll also be a league table on our website, so you can keep up-to-date with what the competition is doing.

Last year’s winner of the business challenge was Kathryn Orange of the TFL Group, who raised £1,000.  She was very proud to receive her trophy from Elaine McConnell, who said, “Our sincere thanks to Kathryn, and to all the other companies who accepted the challenge in 2018.  They not only had fun, but found that taking part was great for staff morale.  Knowing that they were raising money for a local charity really motivated them to work together and all the businesses are very interested in taking part again – proof of how valuable they found the experience.’

It’s easy to sign up.  Just go to www.willowwood.info and you can register online.  Of course, you can join in with the 20/20 Challenge at any time before the end of April, but the sooner you start, the more funds you can raise.

As Elaine said; “If you have any queries at all, I’m always available for advice or help.  Just contact me on 0161 330 7788 or elaine.mcconnell@willowwood.info.  I’m really looking forward to the start, there must be so many talented business brains in our community who will relish this fundraising challenge.”


It’s good news for one winner in postcode SK13 6JB in Glossop.

Their postcode got lucky in The People’s Postcode draw and they’ll soon be starting their New Year with a bang when they collect a thrilling £30,000 cheque in the Sunday Street Prize on Sunday 6th January 2019.

Congratulations to Glossop’s lucky winner!

People’s Postcode Lottery recently reached the landmark of having supported over 5,500 grassroots good causes around Great Britain, all thanks to the nation’s wonderful players.

Remember, 32% of the ticket price goes to charities and good causes.


2019 is Willow Wood’s twentieth anniversary; that’s 20 years of loving care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.  The continued support of our community ensures not only that we are able to care for our patients and their families, but to develop our services, maintaining our position at the pinnacle of Hospice care.  

Our fundraising events are essential to our success, and during 2019 we are organising a great mix of old favourites and new events.  These range from challenge events such as the IKEA Abseil, convivial nights out with our Foods around the World, family fun events like our Bubble Rush or events where you can relax with friends like our Cocktails & Dreams.

Later in the year we’re bringing back probably our best loved sponsored event – the Midnight Wander, and we are really looking forward to seeing many    hundreds of you dressed in pink once again!

That’s not until September however, so why not sign up for one of the two big fundraisers at the beginning of the year?  Our 20/20 Challenge starts on Friday 1 February and will be asking you to go head-to-head with other local teams and individuals to raise funds for Willow Wood.  We’ll give you two £20 notes as a starter fund to be invested however you like.  The challenge will run until the end of April when we look forward to seeing just how enterprising you’ve been.

A very different challenge is Back to the Fitness on Sunday 3 February and this will really give your New Year’s Resolution to get fit a kick start!  You can sign up online now for a two-hour 80s themed Zumbathon, a 90s inspired Clubberthon or, if you’re really keen, both on the same day!

We would love it if you could help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary by joining with one or more of our fundraising events.  There is such a wide choice over the year there is sure to be something to suit you.


To find out more about how we’ve developed over the last twenty years, or to sign up for one of our fundraising events just go to www.willowwood.info and help us continue our care.

Next year will see our 20th Anniversary; a real milestone in our history, and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful supporters for everything they have done for us during 2018 and the preceding years.

It is true to say that our community built Willow Wood.  A team of committed volunteers came together in 1993 with the dream of raising funds to provide a Hospice for the people of Tameside and Glossop.  That dream was realised when our doors opened to admit our first patient on 5 May 1999, a very special day for us and for our community.

The need for fundraising didn’t stop there however.  Back when we opened, estimated annual costs for Willow Wood were £750,000.  This current financial year our running costs are over £2.5million, and that we continue to be at the pinnacle of Hospice care is due to the support of our community fundraisers.  Without them, we would not be able to maintain and develop our services and continue to reach out to even more local people.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to our family of around 600 active volunteers. Without their time, their commitment, their skills, their love and their laughter, we would not be the wonderful place we are today.

There is not a single area within Willow Wood where we do not rely on our volunteers.  From counselling to complementary therapies, from office administration to gardening, from our shops and distribution centre to patient drivers, our volunteers are at the heart of all we do.  Indeed, if you visit Willow Wood the first face you see will be a volunteer as they man our reception desk, 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I would also like to pay tribute to every staff member who has passed through our doors at any time during the past 19 years. You have all helped Willow Wood become what it is today, with your dedication, unflagging good humour and skills.

My thanks then once again, to each and every person who has supported Willow Wood in any way, during this or any previous year.  Whether you have bought a lottery ticket, or an item from one of our shops; whether you have run a marathon, had your head shaved, or taken part in one of our own fundraising events; or whether you are one of our wonderful volunteers, you are part of the Willow Wood community, and we feel truly blessed to have your support.

Thank you.




Willow Wood’s two ‘Light Up A Life’ dedication services have now taken place and, as always, were both uplifting and emotional as hundreds gathered to remember loved ones.

For the first time this year the Book of Memories has been available online, and many in our community have left messages of love and remembrance.   The Book will remain open for the rest of this year and throughout 2019 so that dedications can be revisited at other special times, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

We know that this will bring comfort to many: indeed, by leaving the Book open dedications can be made at significant dates throughout the year.  It’s also good to know that as you remember your loved ones, you are at the same time helping those who need our care.  A £10 gift will pay for a patient’s meals for one day, £25 will pay for an hour of complementary therapy and £50 would gift a full half hour of nursing care in our in-patient unit.  What a wonderful way to honour that unique and special person.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped and supported ‘Light Up A Life’ this year, and we invite you to view your dedications by visiting www.willowwood.info .

Diners at the Amaani restaurant, during a recent ‘Foods around the World’

So, as we say farewell to 2018, the invariably cold month of January always seems a dark and dismal time after the parties and celebrations of New Year.  That’s why it’s good to have something different to look forward to, and Willow Wood’s latest FOODS AROUND THE WORLD – IN TAMESIDE & GLOSSOP which takes place on 30 January 2019, certainly fits the bill.

For the latest stop on our culinary cruise we’re visiting South Africa, with a very tasty meal at the Cask & Kitchen in Glossop.  There’ll be Biltong nibbles on arrival, skewers of Boerewars (spiced farmer’s sausage) and Pap (cornmeal with a tomato and onion sauce) as a starter and then a choice of Bobotie (fruity Cape Malay curry) or Oxtail Potijie (slow roasted Afrikaans stew).

Elaine McConnell, event organiser, said: “I do love organising the ‘Foods around the World’ trips.  They always have such a great atmosphere and this one should be really special.  Few of us have probably been to South Africa, so it’s an opportunity to sample their distinctive dishes, and at just £22 per person it’s a very affordable treat.”


If you’d like to be part of this gastronomic journey you can book online at www.willowwood.info, or contact the fundraising department on 0161 330 7788 or fundraising@willowwood.info.