Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Imagine walking around Hyde town centre; minding your own business, just looking to search out another fabulous bargain, when around the corner you suddenly come face to face with a live-sized dinosaur.

No, not one of our town councillors, but an enormous dinosaur – a creature that weighed over seven tonnes, which at 13 feet tall and 40 feet long was one of the largest land predators to ever to stalk the subtropical forests of ‘Tameside’ millions of years ago.

Well, if you get down to Hyde’s Civic Square on Saturday April 13th 2019, don’t forget to take your cameras, because that’s day when a dinosaur will be making a popular return to Jurassic Hyde.

Building on the tremendous success of the day when ‘dinosaurs’ last roamed the town; Hyde Town Team have once again arranged for a huge dinosaur, to meander around the town centre, as part of the town’s Dino Event.

As a further addition to the ‘Dino’ event, the Town Team have also teamed up with The Tameside Reporter and Findel Education’s Philip Harris Brand, who are a leading supplier of equipment for school science; to invite young primary school children and year 7 secondary students to get involved in the event by entering a ‘create a model Dinosaur’ competition.

This will be judged on the day by Hyde & Stalybridge MP Jonathan Reynolds and the Philip Harris Brand Manager

It’s a great way for the kids to show off their creative modelling skills, with the best model maker winning £100 of equipment for their science programme together with a winner’s plaque to be permanently displayed in the winning model maker’s school.

So mark Saturday 13th April 2019 as a day to bring your little dinosaur hunters to Hyde …. It promises to be a pretty awesome sight with one of the largest walking Dinosaurs roaming the town’s markets ready to amaze the adults and children; – but don’t worry the Town Team’s Rangers will keep a close eye on him.

And after you’ve, enjoyed your Dinosaur Adventure, what better reward than a coffee, tea or hot chocolate with cream and a homemade cake in one of the Hyde many cafés, or perhaps make it a lunchtime visit and enjoy a hot meal, or a glass of wine or beer.


Make Hyde Town Centre your number one shopping town this April where visitors and shoppers can expect plenty of Easter activities and fun across in the Indoor and Outdoor Markets and within The Clarendon Shopping Centre.

A local group of walkers are swapping the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside for Manchester City Centre this April.

The team from across the North West has signed up to take part in this year’s Manchester Midnight Walk to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice.

Jackie Oldham, leader of the team ‘Awelonites’, is also Chair of the hospice.  She explained:  “The Manchester Midnight Walk is such an iconic event in the city’s annual calendar and even before I was involved with the hospice I was aware of how important it was in raising money for local patients.

“Our team is made up of walkers aged between 25 and 65.  We usually enjoy heading into the Welsh countryside to walk together and relax, but we’ve decided to put our walking boots to use in aid of a good cause and take part in the Midnight Walk this year.

“As volunteer Chair of the hospice’s board I’m privileged to see first-hand the amazing, holistic care provided to local people, right when they need it most.  St Ann’s needs to raise £20,000 a day to keep that specialist care provision going for patients and their families, and I know that every penny raised in our sponsorship for the 10km walk will make a real difference to their lives.”

The Manchester Midnight Walk, which will take place on Friday 26th April, has become a staple on the city’s fundraising calendar, with last year’s event raising £163,795.09 for St Ann’s, bringing the total raised since its launch to more than £2million.

The event has pulled in the crowds every year since it began in 2007, creating a unique late-night party atmosphere.

Manchester Cathedral has supported the event, along with headline sponsor BetFred.

The walk leaves Manchester Central at midnight, with music and entertainment on the event stage starting at 9pm.

The 10km route covers landmarks such as Manchester Cathedral, St Ann’s Square and Spinningfields.

Organisers are urging anyone interested in taking part to register as soon as possible.

Many fundraisers walk in memory of loved ones, with others happy to join the fun at this family event.

*To register please visit or call the hospice on 0161 498 3631.

*To sponsor Jackie’s team, please visit


Sylvia Clayton had a ‘wheelie’ great day recently, when she was taken out to enjoy a morning of cycling by a kind-hearted hospice volunteer.

When Sylvia, 74, from Heaton Chapel, who has been attending St Ann’s Hospice in Heald Green as a Day Therapy patient, told the team there that she’d love to ride a bike again, they set about making it happen.

One of the hospice volunteers, Nicola, took Sylvia to Wythenshawe Park where non-profit organisation Wythenshawe Wheelers run regular inclusive cycling sessions with several types of bikes for people with different abilities.

Sylvia said: “It was definitely a fun morning. I felt happy and energised, and it stopped me from focussing on my problems.”

Sylvia is unable to talk, and she communicates by writing things down. She said: “I used to ride a bike before I was ill, but now I can’t balance on a two-wheeler. I tried four different bikes and I liked the Pashley Bike, but there was also a trendy, laid back one too.

“I’ve very much enjoyed coming to day care at St Ann’s, all the staff are wonderful. My every need has been met, and I didn’t imagine being taken for a bike ride!”

Day Therapy Team Leader at St Ann’s, Amanda Connors, said: “We always like to help our patients achieve things they didn’t think possible. We’re so glad that we could arrange this for Sylvia, and that she had such a great time.”


Homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley is gearing up for a special evening charity sale on Thursday 21 March at their Second-hand Superstore.

The ‘Emmaus Spring Sale’ will kick-start a week-long sale of vintage, retro, modern and pre-owned clearance items. The event will be a real showcase of all things Emmaus – ideal if you’re interested in unique furniture, retro fashion, bric-a-brac, bargain tools, project pieces or something interesting for your home.

Paul Barnes, one of the people supported at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Turn your spring into summer and come along to our next event. These evenings are a great introduction for those who have never visited Emmaus before. I enjoy the events as its good to welcome new faces along with seeing lots of our passionate Emmaus regulars.”

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.

Hazel Hodkinson, Retail Manager at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Like many people, here at Emmaus Mossley we’re planning to have a big spring clean. We’ll be raiding our sorting rooms, making space in our stores and collecting together some of the long-lost treasures that have been donated to us over the years.

“At our Emmaus Spring Sale event, all these items will be out for sale and Emmaus Mossley will be full of unique displays, themed areas and rummage boxes to inspire and excite. Hopefully many of our supporters will be able to attend, bag a bargain or few and help to support our charity.”

The ‘Emmaus Spring Sale’ event will take place on Thursday 21 March from 6pm 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.


Staff at the LEAP Centre in Ashton are appealing to local tradesmen to volunteer their time and help refurbish the centre’s Child Contact Centre.

The family contact room at the centre, which is to keep separated families in touch, is in need of a facelift.

Joanne Parry-Gee, Chief Officer at the LEAP Centre explained: “Any children who have lost contact with a parent through divorce, separation or other issues, it’s a place where they can come and meet their parents safely in a neutral, child-friendly setting.

“It’s very, very child-focused. It’s all about the best outcomes for the child and it’s all about making sure that children have the opportunity to stay in touch with their absent parent.

“We are accredited with the National Association of Contact Centres. We are a charity, so we do charge for the service but it’s not for profit.”

Some of the jobs that need doing in the family contact centre include removal of electrical trunking, new shelves fitted, new flooring installed, a false ceiling fitted and some plastering & decorating.

The LEAP Centre has received help in the past with developing its pre-school nursery and garden.

The contact centre at the LEAP Centre is the only such facility in Tameside and helps bring families together from all across the borough.

“We do get a very high number of referrals coming into the centre,” Joanne said. “We work with a lot of families and we have got evidence that it makes a real difference. There have been plenty of success stories where children and parents have continued to have a relationship after that initial reintroduction.

“We would be extremely grateful to anybody that can offer any help. It’s not a cash injection we’re looking for, it’s time and resources, but it will make a huge difference to local children and families.”

Anyone who can help the LEAP Centre with time or resources can contact the centre directly on 0161 214 8300 or e-mail


One of the borough’s biggest and best loved fundraising events is returning as part of Willow Wood’s twentieth anniversary celebrations – the Midnight Wander.

There was always an incredible atmosphere as the pink-clad Wanderers set off on the 10km walk at the stroke of midnight.  At its peak, over 1,900 walkers took part, and as Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “I’ve been asked since I joined Willow Wood if it’s coming back, and I can tell you that online registration is now open for our Midnight Wander on Friday 20 September.

“We’re aiming to make this the biggest and best ever, and it’s open to everyone, men, women, boys and girls.  There are no age restrictions, so the whole family can join in.  Although we are providing special T shirts, we do hope that everyone will get in the spirit of the Wander and dress up.  Anything goes – so long as it’s pink!’

While the main elements of the walk will remain the same, this year it will set off and finish at the Astley Sports Centre, who are very kindly sponsoring the event.  There’ll be face painters, music, food and merchandise stalls and a raffle before the walk starts, plus a mass warm up session to get everyone raring to go.  On arrival back at the Centre, walkers will be presented with a medal and a very welcome hot breakfast bap.

Chris said: “We do know that it can be difficult for some people to raise sponsorship so we can provide one of our themed fundraising cards, which enables you to easily raise £100 – plus a cash prize for the winning answer.  The Midnight Wander is a very important part of our fundraising calendar, as we need over £6,800 each and every day to maintain our services, and the registration fee only covers the costs of the event.  We’re also offering to refund the fee for those who raise over £250; our super supporters!”

Those who have taken part in the Midnight Wander before will know just how much fun it is, with many supporters attending every one of the walks between 2007 and 2015, and Willow Wood staff and volunteers are really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on the night.  If you’d like to be involved but don’t want to take part in the walk itself, could you be a marshal along the route?

Contact Chris to find out more at:, or ring 0161 330 7788.  And for everyone who does want to be part of the Pink Parade, register now by going to – there’s an early bird discount until the end of March.

Grandmother Brenda Jones has been a busy bee enjoying a passion for knitting since she was a little girl.

Her latest handy work will be on show at the Manchester Midnight Walk on Friday, April 26, organised by St Ann’s Hospice.

Brenda’s stylish bee badges will be worn by entrants at the moonlit 10km walk, famed for its yellow and black theme.

Organisers are adopting a bee theme this year, recognising the working bee motif which symbolises the city’s industrial heritage.

Brenda has close links with the hospice apart from living near its Heald Green site.

She was a volunteer at St Ann’s when it opened in 1971 and older brother Bill Farrell was a patient and died there in 1998.

Ruth Labrow, Creative Therapist at the hospice, suggested that Brenda’s knitting skills could help raise funds for the charity.

Brenda said: “I sit next to Ruth in the Decibelles Ladies Choir and made the brooches to wear when we sang at a concert to mark the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena tragedy.

“The florist where my daughter works also sells them to raise funds for the charity and they were on sale at the hospice summer fair. I also make woollen bees to hang in cars. It just took off and I didn’t realise how popular they would be.”

Brenda’s badges are being sent to team leaders organising groups in the walk. They will also be on sale on the night at Manchester Cathedral where the walk starts and ends.

The popular event has raised more than £2million since it began 13 years ago, and the money raised helps St Ann’s continue to provide specialist care to local patients and their families.

The walk starts at midnight with warm up entertainment from 9pm, with music, disco and refreshments available.

Interested walkers can sign up by visiting or call 0161 498 3631.




Willow Wood is joining forces with other hospices across the UK to support a new campaign aimed at widening access to the vital support we provide for people with life-limiting conditions and their loved ones.

The Open Up Hospice Care campaign, which launched on Monday 4 March, is led by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK and highlights how hospice care is available beyond hospice in-patient units, including in people’s homes.

One in four people in the UK miss out on the care they need according to earlier research by the national charity.  This can be for a number of reasons, but includes low levels of awareness about hospice care and where and when this support is available.

Studies have also shown that people from economically deprived areas, BAME (black and minority ethnic) communities and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people can experience barriers to accessing end of life care services.

Hospice UK and local hospices throughout the country, are working to tackle this through initiatives to extend care to more people, by expanding community services and reaching out to the different groups of people who have been missing out on vital support, including those caring for their loved ones at home.

Willow Wood’s dementia service is a good example of this community support.  Our dementia support team will visit patients to provide support, advice and care in their own home.  This care also extends to their loved ones and includes counselling and bereavement support in addition to our specialist palliative care.

On Monday Hospice UK published the findings of a new survey by ComRes which found that seven in ten UK adults (72 per cent) say that support from a local hospice would make them feel more confident in supporting a loved one with a terminal condition at home.  And more than eight in ten (82 per cent) UK adults surveyed say the role of hospices will become more important in the next decade. Eight in ten (83%) of those who think this, say it is due to the growing care needs of the UK’s ageing population.

The ComRes survey also showed that half of UK adults surveyed (48%) are aware that hospices receive the majority of their funding from fundraising and donations (e.g. via charity shops, communities, lotteries). Nearly a fifth of those surveyed (17%) incorrectly think that hospices receive the majority of their funding from the NHS.

Karen Houlston, chief executive of Willow Wood said: “As our services develop and extend, we are able to reach out to more of those who need our specialist care, and we are constantly looking at new ways to provide this support.  We are so very grateful to our community who support us in turn, whether as one of our 600 volunteers, as a fundraiser, or in any other way.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “For some, hospice care can seem a remote reality but we are all living longer, often with complex health conditions, and more of us will need this care in the future ourselves, or will be caring for a loved one who does.

“As our survey shows, the British public clearly values the role of hospices and recognises they will become more important in future given the seismic shift in our rapidly ageing society and with the increasing strain on the NHS. However despite this, many people find out about hospice care far too late.

“With its focus on comfort not cure and promoting quality of life and what matters most to people, hospice care can help them live well until the end of life and support their loved ones and it is available in more places than most people realise.

“We want to share the benefits of hospice care more widely so that everyone is able to get this vital support and wherever they want.”

A former pro-boxer from Glossop is fighting his dementia head-on by undertaking the Great North Run this September in the hopes of raising vital funds for treatment.

Peter Flanagan, 61, originally played for Manchester United’s youth football team before he changed direction and dedicated his career to boxing.

He fought 32 times in the welterweight division, but was ultimately forced into retirement after suffering from severe boxing injury, which left him blind in one eye.

But in 2017, Peter quickly developed a number of symptoms that lead to a shock diagnosis of dementia pugilistica CTE, a form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by repeated concussions which results in brain damage.

It is usually found in professional athletes and boxers who have been subjected to multiple head impacts.

It has left Peter with short-term memory loss, confusion, paranoia, agitation and occasional hallucinations.

Peter’s daughter, Tina Flanagan, 42, said their family and friends were devastated by his diagnosis – but said he was set on doing something positive.

She said: “Within an hour of receiving the news, Dad said he didn’t want to wait around and wait for his condition to get him, he wanted to come out fighting while helping others.

“He did an 80k trek across the Great Wall of China last year that raised nearly £10,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society with the help of our local community, and we’re really thankful for all their help.

“Dad also raised almost £1,000 that went to the Dementia Ward at Tameside Hospital by running the Manchester 10k.”

But after years of putting others first, the family is now fundraising to get Peter the pioneering treatment he needs.

Tina, who also runs her dad’s campaign pages, social media and blogs, said that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment is the best bet for Peter’s symptoms – but they need £3,000 to access it privately in Manchester.

To help raise funds, Peter has enlisted to do the Great North Run on September 8, with his friend Colin Jordan, who has supported him every step of the way since his diagnosis.

The Flanagan family has already raised a third of the money needed in just over a week on their gofundmepage, with £500 pledged by the British Boxing Board of Control.

If you’d like to donate to Peter’s cause you can find his gofundme page at or for more updates on his progress, follow his Twitter page @PeterFlanagan01

Actor Greg Kelly is preparing for his next part – playing the role of a doctor on the run in the London Marathon.

Wearing blue scrubs, a white jacket and a stethoscope  he will be hoping to earn a place in the record books on Sunday, April 28, and raise funds for St Ann’s Hospice.

The fastest time for completing the Guinness World Record in a doctor’s outfit is two hours and 53 minutes.

Greg has only run one marathon quicker than this time in the 16 marathons he has completed.

Greg, from Reddish, said: “My first marathon was in London 2005 and took over five hours. Attempting a world record in under three hours there seems hard to believe.

“I’ll have my work cut out with this attempt because not only will I be wearing a doctor’s outfit, but I’ll also have to adapt to potential weather issues.

“Scorching temperatures at the London Marathon last year had a knock-on effect and understandably slowed down all runners. Fingers crossed the weather is a little kinder this year!

“Guinness World Records have confirmed they will be present on the day to adjudicate and no-one has set a world record for St Ann’s Hospice in this kind of fundraising which is also a big motivation.

“It’s something different and the doctor role has an obvious link with St Ann’s where they play a vital role in caring for patients as I know from my own family’s experience. ”

Greg and his family have already raised more than £12,000 for St Ann’s where his late father Ian was a patient three years ago. Sister Rachel raised £2,000 last year, helped by a generous donation from her employers PwC in Manchester.

Greg has also appeared in Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and various TV roles.

* To donate to Greg’s fundraising and help him and his family reach their target go to, or to sign up for your own challenge in support of the hospice email or call 0161 498 3631 for more information.