Sunday, June 16, 2019

A local charity is appealing for volunteers to join them for a few hours to help raise money for local patients, families and carers.

St Ann’s Hospice is holding a series of charity collections throughout Carers Week (between 9 and 15 June) in the Trafford Centre and Manchester City Centre, and is looking for help from people who might be able to volunteer their time to help them raise as much money as possible.

Lucy Leeming, Fundraising Manager, said: “At St Ann’s we’re proud to support not just the patients who come to our hospice sites or are visited by our teams in the community, but also their carers and loved ones too.  That’s why we wanted to run these collections during Carers Week, to try and raise as much money as possible to help us to continue providing that invaluable support at such a difficult time.

“We’d love as many local people as possible to join us, even just for an hour or two, to help raise vital funds for that much-needed care.  There are flexible slots throughout the days, and we can promise it will be lots of fun.  Our mascot Stan will be coming along to join us, and there’ll be entertainment and props on the days too!

“Please do let us know if you can help out – even for an hour or two – as your time really will make a huge difference to local patients, their carers and loved ones.  We’d love you to join us.”

The collections will take place on Saturday 9 June, Friday 14 June and Saturday 15 June in Manchester City Centre, as well as in the Trafford Centre on Saturday 15 June.

For more information, or to talk to a member of the team about volunteering your time, please email                                 or call 0161 498 3631.



Willow Wood is pleased to announce that the champion fundraiser in our 20/20 Challenge is the Ashton based ‘Your Tax Shop,’  Between February and the end of April the team of accountants flung themselves into a flurry of fundraising and raised the wonderful amount of £1,740.82.

They were presented with a beautiful glass trophy and certificate from Willow Wood chairman, Pat McCloskey during the awards evening which was held at Stalybridge Celtic Football Club on Wednesday 8 May. Partner Yvonne Cookson said: “We’re delighted to win, and so happy that these funds will help support such a fantastic local charity.”

Elaine McConnell, corporate fundraiser said: “I can’t thank Your Tax Shop and the other 19 local teams enough.  Together, they’ve raised over £7,000 for Willow Wood – and that’s with some funds still to come in and any Gift Aid claimed on the sponsored events

“The runners up were Stalybridge Archery Club who raised £1,204 with a 24 hour sponsored arch-a-thon, and I must mention the Crafty Crafters who brought in £1,040 with the sale of their pet snuggle mats. However, we’re deeply grateful to all the teams for everything they did to raise vital funds.  We’ll be repeating the challenge next year and hope even more teams will take part.”

Full details of the Challenges and donations raised are on the Willow Wood website,


The new Greater Manchester’s Mayor’s Charity has been launched by its Patron, Andy Burnham, at a speech in central Manchester.

Focussed on raising money for the issues people care about in Greater Manchester, the independent charity will initially look at helping to reduce homelessness. One of the projects it will support is Bed Every Night, set up to help deliver the Mayor’s ambition to end the need for rough sleeping in our city region.

The charity has taken over from the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, launched two years ago as the Mayor took office. More than £640,000 has been raised, with £96,000 given out to support Bed Every Night and help people get off the streets. Any unallocated money from the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund has now been transferred to the charity and the fund closed down.

The charity’s Trustees come from of a mix of public and private sector backgrounds with a blend of skills, who represent the community which the Charity hopes to serve. Together, they will share the responsibility for governing the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity and directing how it is managed and run.

Capital and Centric’s CEO, Tim Heatley, will chair the Trustee Board alongside a board that includes retired athlete and sports charity founder Diane Modahl, Manchester Methodist Central Hall’s Minister, Rev. Ian Rutherford and PWC Partner, Jane Forbes.

Tim Heatley said: “I’m very pleased to be appointed Chair of the new Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity which will play a key role as the city-region comes together to tackle homelessness.

“While this is our initial focus, and particularly supporting Bed Every Night, we will also set out to tackle social issues and support vulnerable members of our community. I’m looking forward to working with our fantastic trustee board and harnessing their skills and expertise as we face these big challenges head on.”

Charity Patron, Andy Burnham, added: “In Greater Manchester we don’t walk by on the other side.  It was people here who demanded that as a city-region we tackled the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping head on, and we have.  But I know people want to do more and this Charity will now give us all a focal point where we can direct our efforts and make a real difference.

“Greater Manchester’s A Bed Every Night scheme has been a real success with more than 1,400 individuals supported off the streets in just half a year.  Around 480 people, more than a third, have also been assisted into more secure accommodation.  The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity will now play a vital role in helping this work progress to its next stage.”

Find out more on the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s new website, which has gone live today, at

Dinner lady Jackie Clayton was the toast of family and friends at a Ball to celebrate her life.

The special event in Jackie’s memory raised £14,121 for St Ann’s Hospice where she spent her final weeks.

Jackie died on her 64th birthday in March last year and the ball at the Alma Lodge Hotel, Stockport, coincided with the first anniversary of her death.

Jackie, who worked at Hazel Grove Primary School near her home for 30 years, had been diagnosed with cancer two years earlier.

The ball was organised by sons Andy and Ric, daughter Amanda and their partners.

Daughter-in-law Jodie Clayton said: “We didn’t expect to raise anything like that amount but family and friends were so supportive, with many local businesses donating prizes.

“We wanted to organise an event to thank St Ann’s because the change in Jackie in their care at the Heald Green hospice was unbelievable. They gave her back her smile.”

Two of Jackie’s eight grandchildren Alfie (12) and Rebecca (11) raised a further £2,000 by taking part in the hospice’s Manchester Midnight Walk in April.


His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited Salford today to mark a very special moment in St Ann’s Hospice’s history. 

The charity, which cares for patients with life-limiting illnesses from across Greater Manchester, is celebrating 40 years since its site in Little Hulton opened, and The Duke joined staff, patients and volunteers as they marked the occasion.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to The Duke of Gloucester for taking time in his busy schedule to come to St Ann’s.  We were honoured to show him around our Little Hulton site, and to introduce him to some of our patients and their families, staff and volunteers.”

“Our second hospice site in Little Hulton began receiving patients in 1979, and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal came to officially open it in May that year, so it’s an honour to have The Duke join us as we celebrate this special anniversary.”

“It’s an exciting time for the hospice, as we approach our 50th anniversary of the organisation as a whole in 2021.  It’s a real testament to the local community that St Ann’s has been able to provide specialist care to people from Greater Manchester for so long.  Whether that’s the support we receive from fundraisers who generously help us raise the £20,000 a day we need to keep our services running, the endless time our army of more than 700 local volunteers give to help staff and patients, or the businesses and health care professionals who collaborate with us in so many ways – we simply wouldn’t have been here for so long without you, so thanks for all you do for St Ann’s.”

The Duke was given a tour of the hospice, and planted a special commemorative tree to mark the occasion.  He met patients and families being cared for at the hospice, and spoke to volunteers and members of staff about the work the charity does in the local area.

St Ann’s Hospice is one of the oldest and largest hospices outside of London, and cares for patients from its three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green, and The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital.  Staff also provide a range of community and outreach services, as well as training and development for healthcare providers and other professionals in the field of palliative and end of life care.

The hospice employs more than 350 people, with another 700 volunteering their time to help out across various departments.  St Ann’s also runs a Trading Company to help raise funds for the charity, which includes fourteen shops and a hospice lottery.

Eamonn added:  “It’s so interesting looking back and reflecting on St Ann’s unique history and how privileged we have been, over the years, to have touched the lives of so many families. What’s interesting is that while hospice care changes and its breadth and ambition is probably unrecognisable to the care provided when the early hospices opened around half a century ago, the ethos of what we do remains the same.  We always want to provide individualised, holistic care to our patients, and our overarching aim is to ensure they have the very best quality of life as possible.  That hasn’t changed in almost half a century, and as we look ahead and evolve and develop our services for the future, we know that will always remain most important to us.”

To make a donation to the hospice or find out more about its services, please go to






Hale Golf Club Lady Captain Caroline Perkins has come up with the recipe for fundraising success with her latest charity initiative.

Caroline, who alongside her passion for golf, cites her hobbies as food and travel, has created a special cook book which showcases recipes from all over the world.

She has been selling copies of the World Cook Book for £7 each, with all money raised donated to St Ann’s Hospice.  Recipes featured have all been developed by members of the golf club for inclusion in the book.

Caroline explained:  “I have chosen St Ann’s Hospice for my Lady Captain’s Charity.  They looked after my dad and his family so well during the last six days of his life.

 “Whilst they provide all their services to patients free of charge, only a third of their funding comes from the NHS, relying on donations and fundraising activities for the rest.  I’ve been encouraging people to buy the book and help St Ann’s Hospice be there for others as they were for us.

“I’d like to thank all the Hale Golf Club members who have donated recipes and artist Jill Gower-Jones too.”

Caroline presented a cheque of monies raised from the book totalling £4,850.87 to St Ann’s volunteer Judith Lacy.

Left to right: Hale Golf Club Lady Captain Caroline Perkins and St Ann’s Hospice Volunteer Judith Lacy.

There’s nothing nicer on a summer’s day than to attend a traditional Village Fete, and the Gee Cross Fete is one of the best.

Organised by, and raising funds for, Willow Wood Hospice and the Rotary Club of Hyde it’s always well attended and is full of activities and entertainment for all tastes and ages. This year will be their 26th year!

As always, the Fete will be held on the Sam Redfern Green and will open at 11am on Sunday 23rd June with a church service. The entry fee has once more been retained at £3 for adults and accompanied children are free, and that represents great value for a really great day out.

Circus Sensible are old favourites at the Fete, and they’ll once again be delighting the crowds inside the Marquee. DJ Keeley D will ensure that the atmosphere never flags and Spindrift and Catherine Cooper Music and Tuition (CCMTT) will also be keeping the audience entertained.

There’s a great mix of music, singing, and dancing in the outside main arena, with the Belle Vue Brass Band, Freedom Dancers, Willow Wood Choir, Bom-Bomb Fitness and ARTSync guaranteeing a mix that won’t fail to entertain.

In addition this year we have the Scruffs Dog Show, craft stalls, tombola’s, raffles, children’s rides and much more. Refreshments will be available all day, including a licenced Gin bar and alcohol refreshment bar. It really is a great day out for all the family.

And if you need another reason to visit the Gee Cross Fete, remember that all proceeds will be divided equally between Hyde Rotary and Willow Wood, so you’ll know that you are supporting two great organisations that, in turn, support your local community.




 The Scouts of Denton and Hyde areas held their Annual General Meeting at the Headquarters of 1st Haughton Green Scout Group where they reported on another great year.

The Chair of the District, Sandra Marston, welcomed all the leaders and the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Denise Ward, her Consort, Councillor David McNally, and Ken Marks, the Deputy County Commissioner GME.

The District Commissioner, Liz Rowles, presented the Annual Report of the activities that the various Sections had done during the year. These included swimming galas for Scouts and Cubs, 5-a-side football competitions, Beaver and Cubs trips to Magna and Gulliver’s World. Other trips included visits to Blackpool Zoo. Cycling lessons and trips to Total adrenalin, night hikes over Crowden to achieve the Expedition Challenge Badge. Taking part in the Jurassic International Camp in Dorset, visiting Brownsea Island, the site of the first scout camp held by Baden-Powell. Another group visited the Chamboree International Camp in Cheshire. Camping also took place more locally at Dunham Massey Scout Camp, Ashworth Valley Scout Camp and Boarfold, the District campsite.

During the year 2 Queen Scout Awards were awarded to two Network members of the District.

Mr A Arrowsmith a representative of the Rotary Club of Denton and Audenshaw gave a short talk about the teamwork they had done with the Scouts of the District especially with the Santa Sleigh at Christmas. Last year they raised £5,500 for local charities. These included Polio Plus, Wheelchair Stars, Forget-Me-Not and Rueben’s Retreat. He presented the District with a cheque towards the cost of the Scouts going to the World Jamboree later in the year.

Ken Marks presented long service awards to Susan Hulley, 6th Denton, 30 years; Graham Hulley, 6th Denton, 25 years; Thomas Taylor, 1st Dane Bank, 10 years; Katie McCarthy, 1st Broadbottom, 5 years; Wood Beads were presented to Heather Proctor of 3rd Gee Cross Scout Group. He congratulated them all and thanked them for their hard work and service.

The Mayor thanked all the leaders and helpers for their behind the scenes work they do week in and week out. During her year as mayor she has seen the planning and training that takes place before any activity undertaken by the young members.

Liz Rowles thanked all the Leaders and Adults for their work in the past year and feels the District is going from strength to strength with their help and support.

If you would like to help in Scouting please contact Alan Fish at: or phone on: 07931 765120. 


Homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley is going inter-galactic next month for a special sci-fi and fantasy themed charity event on Saturday 4 May.

The ‘Emmaus May The Fourth Be With You Day’ is being organised by community members of Emmaus Mossley who all share an interest in science fiction and fantasy films, TV shows, games and culture.

Fleet Admiral McVittie, one of the people supported at Emmaus Mossley, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming all forms of life in accordance with Starfleet directives. We are particularly looking forward to meeting the alien known as Pierre whom we understand to be friendly.”

The event will include a visit from two giant puppets from Global Grooves, a fancy-dress competition with prizes for kids and adults, a rocket building workshop with Manchester Museum, a sci-fi and fantasy quiz, Star Trek Online taster sessions and futuristic food and drinks.

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people (companions) by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and up-cycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares.

Hazel Hodkinson, Retail Manager at Emmaus Mossley, said: “This is the first of our events to be entirely organised by Emmaus Mossley companions. As well some great fun-filled activities, our Secondhand Superstore will be stocked full of bargain toys, memorabilia, retro games, books, comics and DVDs, all with a sci-fi and fantasy theme. This event promises to be a great day for all ages to enjoy whilst supporting our charity.”

The ‘Emmaus May The Fourth Be With You Day’ will take place on Saturday 4 May from 10am at Emmaus Mossley, Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.

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.



Preparations are well underway for a family fun day to be held around the Willow Wood Bubble Rush.  As well as the Bubble Rush itself, there will be music, merchandise and much more, with the fun starting at 10am in the Event Village on Bessages Fields.

Tameside Radio will be keeping everyone entertained with their usual great mix of chart-toppers and classic tunes.  There will be a bouncy castle and fairground rides for the youngsters, glitter face painting, and special Bubble Rush tattoos (don’t worry – they’re not permanent), great photo opportunities with the ‘Incredibubble’ bubble machine, and lots of colourful merchandise and other stalls.

If you fancy a late breakfast, lunch or just a snack you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice with the refreshments.  Ranging from Indian street food to handmade pizzas and the more traditional burgers and hotdogs, there’ll also be sweets, candy floss, popcorn and ice cream for those with a sweet tooth.  Speciality coffees and soft drinks will be available too.

The main event, the Bubble Rush itself, starts at 12 noon with a mass warm up, before the bubble cannons start pumping out the brightly coloured foam.  Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “If you can’t envisage what a Bubble Rush looks like, check out last year’s event on the Willow Wood Hospice Facebook page.  There are videos, loads of photos and some wonderful comments posted by many of the 1,220 people who took part last year.  I’m really looking forward to the day, it really is brilliant fun.”

The bubbles themselves are totally safe, and you can even take babies and toddlers through the four bubble stations.  Since the circuit round Bessages Fields is only 1.5km long you’ll get double bubble as everyone will round twice to create a 3km course.  As it’s not a race; families and friends can spend as long as they like in the foam – it’s a fabulous selfie opportunity!

Chris said: “Although it’s such a fun day there is a serious side too – it’s a fundraising event to enable us to continue caring for our community.  If you’re unsure about asking for sponsorship, why not ask for one of our fundraising cards? They’re like the football cards and if fully completed will raise £100 for us, with £20 going to the lucky winner. And if you register online at you can order your fundraising cards there.”