Monday, April 6, 2020
Families Matter

Laura Stansfield, the head of Tameside law firm Bromleys’ Wills, Probate and Planning for the Future department, is blazing a trail after becoming a fully- accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

She is the only Tameside-based member of SFE, which is a national association of independent lawyers who are acknowledged as experts in dealing with the legal issues faced by older clients.
Laura acts for clients across Tameside as well as beyond the borough in areas including Saddleworth, Manchester, Wilmslow, Altrincham and Alderley Edge.

As part of the process to become a fully-accredited member of SFE, Laura passed rigorous assessments and received specialist training in working with older and vulnerable clients and understanding their needs.

Her areas of expertise also include lifetime planning, drafting wills and powers of attorney, inheritance tax planning, succession planning for business owners and arrangements for future care.
Laura said: “The SFE accreditation shows that an independent body recognises that my clients receive the best-possible expert service.

“SFE membership also demonstrates that I have a real breadth of experience, enabling me to advise on unusual situations and circumstances.”

Mark Hirst, senior partner of Bromleys, said: “Laura’s achievement is excellent news for her, the firm and our clients. “It sets her apart from her peers and recognises that she has the expertise to deal with any eventuality and put in place the right processes to ensure the well-being of our elderly clients, providing peace of mind to them and their families.”

St Ann’s Hospice is thanking local people for their support after two summer events raised thousands of pounds for the charity.

The hospice’s annual summer fairs in Little Hulton and Heald Green have become a popular addition to the annual calendar for local families, and this year’s events raised more than £7,000 to help St Ann’s care for local patients.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of the hospice, said: “What an amazing show of support and generosity from our local communities once again. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and we hope they had fun, picking up a bargain, and joining in with some of the many activities on offer at the fairs. We were helped out on the day by more than 70 volunteers too, who selflessly gave up their time to make the events such a success. We couldn’t do it without them.

“We’re approaching our 50th birthday soon, and it’s amazing to think that we’re only still here, caring for thousands of patients every year, thanks to those people in the local community that offer us their unending support. We simply wouldn’t be here without the generosity of everyone who gives money, time and kindness to St Ann’s, and we never take that for granted. Thanks very much for everything you do for our patients and their families.”

The hospice provides care for people with a range of 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.

It is one of the largest and oldest hospices outside of London, having been supporting local patients for almost fifty years.

*For more information or to make a donation, please visit

Clinical assistant Emma Craigmyle would like to share her story of why she took part in the 2014 Midnight Wander for Willow Wood, and why she’s raising funds by doing it again in 2019.

“I’ve worked at Willow Wood for seven years now, and feel very proud and privileged to do so. It’s an amazing place; I work every day with our patients and their families, and know just how our services can help and support in so many ways.

“However, although we do not make a charge for any of our services, it does cost £7,340 every single day to provide our care and we only have funding for around 21% of that figure. That’s one reason why I, together with my partner Chris, have signed up for the Midnight Wander again. The other reason is that we had a really good time, it honestly was great fun!

“The thought of walking 10k through Tameside at midnight may seem a little daunting, especially after working during the day, but the support from the other walkers really buoys you up. We were chatting, and laughing, sharing stories about why we were walking and every one was different. Yes, some were walking in memory of a loved one who benefitted from our care, while others may not have had a personal experience, but knew of the work we do in the community. And we met some groups who were just having a great night out! It’s an excuse to wear outrageous accessories, have your face painted, do something you wouldn’t normally do and raise money for an amazing charity all at the same time.

“If you’ve any reservations about being out and about during the early hours there’s no need to worry. Willow Wood have marshals along the route, they have drivers at the front and bringing up the rear, so you know you’re totally safe and well looked after. There are also first aiders – it’s all covered!

“I’m looking forward so much to taking part in the Midnight Wander again, I really can’t say enough just what a great night it is. Please think about joining Chris, me, and hundreds of others on Friday 20 September, and help us make a real difference to the lives of so many in our community. I’m lucky; I’m privileged to be allowed into our patient’s lives and help them through difficult times. But you can help them too, please sign up for the Midnight Wander online at: now, and help us continue to care.”


Could you make your own will?
The simple answer is ‘yes’. However, more importantly, should you?
Wills & Probate specialist Sue Darlington at Bromleys Solicitors LLP says:
“In my 20 years’ experience I can recall seeing less than a handful of ‘do-it-yourself’ wills which are problem-free.
Most do not do what they are supposed to, by reason that the wrong legal words and phrases have been used. Many are not valid because the formal requirements about signing have not been met.
Wills made through solicitors are tailored to suit individual requirements and advice will be given about various options to help you plan for the future.
Our advice is to always consult a professional who has the training and experience to ensure your wishes are followed and your will, if challenged, is as watertight as possible.”

How we can help:
Should you need to review your will or need advice in making a will, please contact our experts to arrange your free initial meeting.

Contact our expects:
Laura Stansfield at
Sue Darlington at
Susanne Furness at
You can also contact us on 0161 330 6821 or, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries – no appointment necessary.

A wonderful evening of glitz and glamour, the Willow Ball makes a welcome return – and this year, it’s coming home to Tameside!
Willow Wood is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, and invites supporter’s past and present to join with them to mark this very special occasion.

Held at the Best Western Smokies Park Hotel, the Ball, on Saturday 5 October, is certain to be a sell-out. Elaine McConnell, event organiser said: “We’re planning a fabulous evening of dining, dancing and more.

“The wonderful Andy Powell and his 8-piece Swing Band will be topping the bill. They’ll be playing all the best-loved Rat Pack numbers while we eat, and then more up-tempo numbers to get everyone on the dancefloor. We’ve got two further acts as well – but I’m afraid I can’t say who they are as that would really spoil the surprise!”

The evening will commence with a Prosecco reception before a delicious three course dinner is served. There will be a luxury raffle and dancing until the early hours, with both Andy Powell and a disco playing all the classic hits.

Elaine also commented: “We’ve been able to keep the tickets to a very reasonable £50, or £480 for a table of 10, as we see the Ball as a thank you to our supporters as much as a fundraiser. We wouldn’t be able to provide our care without the backing of our community, and we’re really looking forward to a wonderful night celebrating this milestone anniversary together.

“However, there are significant costs involved, and I’d like to thank Guide Bridge MOT who, as long-term supporters of the Hospice, have already committed to sponsoring the table decorations and providing a raffle prize. The generosity of people like Jan Lord and her team will ensure that our patients and their loved ones are able to gain maximum benefit from the evening.

“There are a wide range of sponsorship opportunities available, and I’d be happy to discuss these with you. We will be only too happy to acknowledge your generosity, unless, of course, you prefer this to remain private.

Contact me by phone at 0161 330 7788, email me at or you can go to our website to find out more or to book your tickets.”

Sixty kind-hearted volunteers raised more than £2,000 for a local charity, to help support hospice patients and their loved ones.

The supporters gave up their weekends to help St Ann’s Hospice raise funds at a series of collections in Manchester City Centre and Trafford Centre. They were joined by hospice mascot Stan, who was a big hit with passers-by.

Fundraiser Helen Taylor with Stan the hospice’s mascot

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive, said: “So many local people donated to the hospice as part of these collections, and we were thrilled to have raised such a fantastic amount.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the selfless volunteers who gave their time to help us on the days, and I’d like to thank them very much for all they do for the hospice.”

The volunteers were also joined by members of local choirs who performed at the collections, including the Greater Manchester Rock Choir, the Manchester Survivors Choir, AKTheatre Arts (with soloist Emily Kate), and the Salford Community Choir.

St Ann’s Hospice supports people with life-limiting illnesses from across Greater Manchester 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. With around a third of their funding received from the NHS, the rest, equating to around £20,000 a day, is fundraised through a range of events, activities and trading initiatives.

Eamonn added: “Every day as I walk through our hospice buildings, I see the difference the care our patients and their families receive makes to their lives, and we can only do that because of the kind generosity of people in our local communities. Thanks again to everyone for their support of the hospice. It’s very much appreciated.”

For more information, or to make a donation to St Ann’s, please visit or call 0161 498 3631.


A Team of young people from across Tameside and Stockport have just completed the 12 week Prince’s Trust Team Programme with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service. The group of 10 young people completed the 12 week programme and held a presentation event at Hyde Town Hall.

The Team received their completion certificates from GMFRS Group Manager for Stockport and Tameside, Phil Nelson. The event was attended by local councillors, friends and family and other representatives from local community groups to celebrate the achievements of the young people involved.

The young people involved raised over £900 during their fundraising efforts and used this to fund their Community Projects at Haughton Green Young People’s Centre clearing an overgrown outdoor space and Wimborne Close in Stockport, a resource centre for the elderly, completed some gardening work to improve the outside areas for residents and visitors.

Both Teams undertook Team Challenges to support local allotment projects that work with adults with additional needs and help to tackle social isolation. Hyde Team members worked at the Bloom allotments in Hyde, and the Stockport Team spent a day with volunteers at Heathside Community Allotment in Cheadle with a group called Socially Yours.

Support was also offered to Elderly residents at Appleton Lodge, Bredbury and Kendall House in Stalybridge. Both Teams provided a day of entertainment with quizzes, Bingo and a sing along. Afternoon tea and other refreshments were also provided.

The Final Challenge for Team members was to support Fire Fighters form Hyde with their training. They needed volunteers to be part of a mass decontamination exercise. It was a real insight into the work that crews face.

Team members also undertook two week work placements and training in Food Hygiene, First Aid at Work, Manual Handling and Health and Safety.

Young people from the programme have gone on to follow many different career paths, including a Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship, Electrical Installations and further programmes with The Prince’s Trust including Get Into Coding and Get Into the NHS.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service will be running new Prince’s Trust Team programmes at both Hyde Fire Station and Whitehill in Stockport starting on 6th September. The FREE 12 week Personal Development course is open to anyone aged 16 – 25 who is currently unemployed and benefits are not usually affected.

If you know anyone who could benefit from this course or you have a project that you think may be suitable for the Team to tackle, please contact Emma Sercombe, Hyde Team Manager on 07973 966407 or email for further details.

You can also visit Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service’s website for further information.

Often pensions are considered one of the largest assets for divorcing couples so it’s imperative that the fairest settlement is achieved.

The long-awaited guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce, was published on 11 July 2019 by the Pension Advisory Group (PAG) which is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals specialising in the field of financial remedies and pensions on divorce.

The report sets out best practice to legal practitioners, financial experts and judges working in this field to encourage fairer settlements for their clients and reduce any risks to the professional managing the settlement.

The guide is a result of a need to address the variation of financial settlements across England and Wales and to provide clarity as to valuations, sharing or offsetting of pension fund assets, tax issues and potential interactions with mean-tested benefits.

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, said of the guide “I am extremely grateful to the Pension Advisory Group who have worked hard to produce guidance which de-mystifies this area and establishes clear ground rules for the proper approach to be taken in every case.”

Hilary Woodward from Cardiff University said “The aim of this guide is to help judges and practitioners navigate their way with more confidence through the tricky field of pensions on divorce, and ultimately improve the fairness of outcomes for those going through divorce,”

                                                    How we can help

Should you need any advice in relation to pensions on divorce, or any other family matter, please do not hesitate to contact our expert family team on: 0161 330 6821 or email:
Keith Bull –
Alternatively, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries.  No appointment necessary.

A local garage is driving up donations for St Ann’s Hospice with its latest fundraising initiative.

BI Appleton in Heald Green is donating £5 from every MOT it carries out in July and August to the charity.

Phil Evans, General Manager, explained: “We have decided to donate to St Ann’s because we can see what a great charity they are. The work they do for the local community and nearby communities is breathtaking. The team works every second of every day to help the lives of so many people that need to be loved and cared for. One day, a loved one may need to go to a hospice, so if we can help out St Ann’s with our special MOT offer, then we will sleep easy knowing we are donating to a wonderful charity.”

In 1939, Basil Appleton opened a repair garage and petrol station, and the business has continued to grow over the decades, still providing repairs and other services for local people from its Styal Road base.

Phil added: “Old businesses are dying off but we are growing just like St Ann’s Hospice. We are only a few minutes away from their Heald Green hospice, and have been maintaining their vehicles for many years now so have built a solid relationship.”

St Ann’s Hospice cares for people from across Greater Manchester from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and at The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, as well as via a range of community and outreach services. St Ann’s is a charity, and receives around a third of its funding from the NHS with the rest – around £20,000 a day – fundraised thanks to the kind support of its donors.

Hospice Chief Executive Eamonn O’Neal, said: “Our local community is so important to the hospice, and we’re incredibly appreciative of all the support BI Appleton give us. We rely on donations from businesses like theirs, as well as individuals, to ensure we can continue providing the specialist care our patients need. Huge thanks to the team there for thinking of the hospice and supporting our patients in this way.”

Stepping into the shoes of a nurse probably isn’t something that many local people have ever thought they’d do, but a brand-new charity challenge is asking supporters to sign up to do just that.

The Step Up for St Ann’s challenge, sees St Ann’s Hospice appealing for local people to pledge to walk or run a set distance through the month of September in aid of their patients, reflecting the distance their nurses walk each day whilst providing care.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, explained: “Our hospice nurses walk an average of two miles a day when caring for our patients, often more, so in our latest fundraiser we’re asking local people to walk or run 30 days in their shoes. It’s a concept we’re hoping supporters can fit around their lifestyle and it’s really easy to be part of. People simply choose a distance – or number of steps – they pledge to walk or run during the month of September, and can complete the distance whenever, and however, they like.

“We know people are busy, so wanted to make this challenge something that supporters could fit around their normal daily activity if they want to. For example, adding up the distance it takes to walk the school run each day, the number of steps it takes to get home from work, or even the distance to the local shop for groceries. It all adds up.

“Perhaps people could decide to walk or run as far as our nurses, so 60 miles over the month, or they could take on the distance equivalent to walking from our Heald Green site, to our Little Hulton site, to our Neil Cliffe Centre site, 40 miles. Doing that distance in a week would be approximately 6 miles a day, or if spread over a month would be just over a mile a day. It’s flexible and really is up to the supporter to decide what works for them.

“We’d be enormously grateful if as many people as possible went to our website to sign up. Whatever distance they choose, they can be sure that the sponsor money they raise will help us to make a real difference to the lives of local patients and their families.”

St Ann’s Hospice cares for patients from its three Greater Manchester sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital. The teams there also run a range of community and outreach services to support even more people with life-limiting illnesses, right from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

The hospice receives around a third of its funding from the NHS, with the rest – equating to around £20,000 a day – fundraised.

Eamonn added: “Our nurses do such an amazing job every single day of the year, and it’s only thanks to the kind generosity of local people who support our fundraising activities that they can continue to provide that much-needed care. Hopefully lots of you will get behind this latest challenge and walk in the footsteps of our nurses during September. I’ve signed up as it’s a great way to acknowledge all their hard work – and to get fit. It really will make a huge difference to our wonderful hospice.”

For more information, or to sign up to take part in the challenge, please visit or call the hospice fundraising team on 0161 498 3631.