Sunday, June 16, 2019
Town Events

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.”

A very touching way to remember loved ones is to take part in Willow Wood’s Butterfly Memory Release, scheduled for Saturday 13 July.  Every life remembered is represented by a beautiful living butterfly, which will take flight from your hands into the landscaped gardens at the Hospice.

It is a wonderful spectacle as they open their wings and lift into the air, before coming to rest on the flowers, many of which have been planted to provide food for the butterflies. It’s quite poignant later in the year to see butterflies flitting in the gardens, and to wonder if they are descended from one you may have released in memory of a special person.

Elaine McConnell, event organiser said: “If you’re wondering why we’ve chosen butterflies for this memorial event it’s because, in folklore and myths throughout the world, butterflies are seen as a symbol for the soul.  Indeed, the ancient Greek word for butterfly was the same as their word for the soul.  And it’s not just in European myths; in Russian, Japanese, South American, Indian and Samoan tales butterflies are revered in the same way.  So, it just seemed both an appropriate and a magical way to remember those who mean the world to you.”

Butterfly Memories is such a popular event that there will be three releases during the afternoon, all of which follow a short blessing by Hospice chaplain, Eddy Inglis.  These short ceremonies are part of the Willow Wood Summer Fete and all who dedicate a butterfly will receive a complimentary ticket into the Fete.  As Elaine said, “It’s a lovely day altogether, and it makes it very special to be able to spend some time here, to reflect over a cream tea, light lunch or a glass of Pimms.  I must just say that the Butterfly Release is open to everyone, whether there is a past association with the Hospice or not.  We also give everyone a certificate bearing the name of your loved one as a memento of the occasion.”

If you’d like to take part in this most magical event, online booking has now commenced.  Just go to to find out more and to make your dedications.  Alternatively you can pick up a dedication form from the Willow Wood reception or any of our shops, or ring 0161 330 7788 and we’ll mail one out to you.

Comedy fans are invited down to the next Off The Rails Comedy Club fundraising event on Saturday 4 May in support of homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley.

Off The Rails Comedy Club, based at the Royal George, Saddleworth, regularly hosts the very best comedians from around the world. For the May fundraising event, proceeds from the night will be donated to two local good causes, Emmaus Mossley and Mossley SOUP.

Comedians on the night include Nick Doody, Gary Meikle, Tony Basnett, MC Rob Riley. Scotland’s Gary Meikle has climbed the ranks turning into an international comedy sensation. With his captivating stage sets and online social media rants, Meikle has drawn crowds at clubs around the world.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “We are pleased to be benefiting from the Off The Rails Comedy fundraising event in May. It’s a great way for our supporters to have a fun evening out whilst supporting our work to help people who have experienced homelessness.”

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 upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares.


The event will take place on Saturday 4 May from 8pm at the Royal George, 193 Manchester Road, Greenfield, Oldham OL3 7HX. Tickets are priced at £15 on the door or £12 in advance, available from


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.

Bromleys’ Laura Stansfield has been appointed as a governor of award-winning Tameside College.

Laura, who is the head of Bromleys’ wills, probate and planning for the future department, said she aims to assist the college by using her skills, experience and insight to help improve the life chances of its students.

Tameside College, which operates from four sites in Ashton-under-Lyne, has 6,500 students and 360 staff.

It is led by principal Jackie Moores, who said: “We are delighted to welcome Laura as a college governor.

“Our governing body already includes people who work in education; human resources, local government and finance, and we were seeking someone with legal expertise to expand the skill base.

“We approached Bromleys because the firm is a key local employer with whom we have worked in partnership for a while.

“Staff from Bromleys have been guest speakers at our careers events, and we have seen how the firm makes a great contribution to the area in other ways.

“Laura fits the bill perfectly to be successful as a governor and hopefully she will enjoy her role and see it as a positive way of giving back to the community.”

Speaking about her role, Laura said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to be a board member and play a role in strengthening the local economy.

“The college not only provides education but also prepares students for the workplace. There is a big difference between knowing how to do something on paper and being ready to go out into the world. The college works hard with local businesses to develop the skills necessary for its students to be ready to take on a job.

“I feel very privileged to be part of this and be able to give something back to the local community.

“I have been very fortunate to have a good education and career and would like to use the skills I have to help others where I can.”


Lots of mums were joined by their daughters at the Manchester Midnight Walk last night (Fri Apri 26). .

But no family could match the amazing story of Carol Higgins, from Burnage, who was accompanied by her identical quadruplet daughters!

It was hard to tell them apart as Louisa, Elaina, Rebecca and Sophia kept mum company on the 10k walk through the city centre.

The quads, who will be 29 next month, turned the charity event, organised by St Ann’s Hospice, into an early family birthday celebration.

Carol already had sons Carl and Barry when she underwent an emergency Caesarean section at 30 weeks pregnant. The babies, conceived naturally, were born within 60 seconds, each weighing under three pounds.

Carol said: “I didn’t think they’d all survive and knew I’d get them mixed up, so for six months they kept wearing the name bracelets from hospital. I kept the same baby in the same cot.

“The girls are very supportive and protective of each other and are typical sisters. They have similar tastes in clothes and all like sport.”

Their celebrity led to an appearance on the Jay Leno chat show in Los Angeles, aged nine. Elaina works in a bank, Rebecca is with the RAF and Louisa is a police officer.

Carol said: “Like me the girls love Manchester. I was born and bred here and have never lost my roots and my dad Cecil was a police sergeant in the city centre.

“Trying to us all get together wasn’t easy and was our first time doing the Manchester Midnight Walk which brings the community together.

“We’ve lost a lot of family and friends to cancer and know from experience the care and compassion that hospices offer patients and families.”

Many of the 1,000 were dressed as bees, a theme reflecting the working bee motif symbolising the city’s industrial past.

The Manchester Survivors Choir, a group set up after the Arena attack two years ago, entertained walkers before they set off from Manchester Cathedral.

The walk has raised in excess of £2m since it began 13 years ago and it is hoped to generate another £200,000 from last night’s event.

Hospice Chief Executive Eamonn O’Neal said: “What an incredible night and one that really highlighted what’s so special about people from Greater Manchester.


“Seeing everyone gathered together to raise money for local patients was amazing and as well as helping St Ann’s continue to provide our care, it was great to see that people had a fantastic night.”


A Star filled team of celebrities will ‘pull on their boots’ on Saturday 25th May at Hyde United’s Ewen Fields ground on Walker Lane to face a team of local lads with all proceeds being donated to Once Upon a Smile, a worthwhile charity who provide support to families that have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Match Tickets are now available to purchase online on: –

  • £6 per adult (16+)
  • £4 per child (2 -15 years)
  • Under 2’s Free of Charge (Must register for a ticket)
  • Disabled supporters please contact us at

Match ticket includes entry to the ground and 1 entry into the raffle (Prize TBC). Raffle to be drawn at half time. Drinks and food will be available to purchase in the ground.

Please note that the stand has some seating available which all seats are on an unreserved and unallocated basis. Standing areas are also available.

Match Tickets may also be available on the day to purchase but are not guaranteed. Please book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.


*Celebrity team TBC, but can be anyone from the list on the Once Upon a Smile website

**The organisers reserve the right to change the programme or venue and alter or cancel published dates without liability. In such circumstances, full refunds will be given.


The Hyde Rotary Dragons Den judges were in town last Thursday night at the Oakland’s Hall when 5 volunteer and charity groups were invited along to pitch for grants from the Rotary Club In front of judges Business Consultant Tony Moran, Hyde Rotary President Karen Dorney, and Hyde Estate Agent (On the Move Property Boutique) Annabelle Jardine-Jones

The successful applicants had ten minutes to present their charity or organisation and their monetary requirements following the presentations the Dragons dug a bit further with pertinent questions.
Chair of judges Hyde Rotary Karen Dorney said the presentations were of a very high standard and the donations given was based upon strict criteria, that had been established prior to the event. The total grants awarded on the night amounted to £2,000.00.

The organisations and charities that benefited from the evenings proceedings were: Believe and Achieve, Time 2 Talk, HOPE, PEEPS and Forget me not buddies.

Following the cheque presentations Community Chair Kevin Maddox said it’s always a difficult task to choose from a short list and I feel that this year we have rewarded people who go that little bit further in providing help and support to our community.


The third annual Greater Manchester Tractor Run was held throughout the streets of Mossley with 20 drivers taking on the four hour trek in a bid to raise money for local cancer charities.

The event, which started with a pre-run breakfast at The Hare and Hounds pub in Luzley, set off from Smithy Farm and had participants drive a 17-mile moorland route through Mossley, Saddleworth, Dovestones and Chew Valley Reservoir.

It took organiser Philip Davies months to plan, mostly spent getting permission and keys from United Utilities so participators could reach and enter the reservoir – but the event is very much a labour of love.

Philip, 70, is a retired primary school teacher and tractor owner, who first started the run after being surprised that Tameside, despite its rural community, did not have one.

He said: “Round here there are quite a few places that do Tractor Runs, like in Cheshire, all with the aim of raising money for charities.

“As I know farmers and other people with tractors I thought ‘I’ll try it – see if it works and if it doesn’t, we’ll do something else.’

“Well, it’s continued, and we’ve been raising money for the past three years. We made £1,412 this time around thanks to participators and the help of Denise Darbyshire, who organises the fund-raising raffle at the end of the run.”

The cash made from the run is split between the newly opened Macmillan Cancer Unit at Tameside Hospital and the Mossley Cancer Committee, who create special ‘lucky bags’ for new patients undergoing chemotherapy filled with perfume, gifts and things to do while receiving treatment.

Philip added: “It gives me a warm feeling inside to do something like this, it’s a bit of good news in the middle of so much negativity which is all you see these days.

“It gives people something to be happy about and everyone who took part
enjoyed the day.”

If you would like to find out more about the Tractor Runs, you can visit the Greater Manchester Tractor Run Facebook page


Willow Wood is proud to be teaming up with Tour de Manc to bring the Mini Manc back to Tameside once more.  And with four different routes to choose from there’s sure to be one for you, whether you’re a novice, whether you cycle for fun and fitness or whether you’re up for a real challenge.

Anthony Lord, head of income generation & marketing explained: “Last year, for the first time, we partnered with Tour de Manc to help us deliver the best cycling experience for our supporters.  It was so good; we’re doing it all over again!”

Chris Hayden, event organiser agreed: “Tour de Manc is a not for profit organisation, it’s run by volunteers and it has a similar ethos to Willow Wood – it’s all about living your life to the fullest.  Our partnership ensures that the whole process is as smooth and streamlined as possible, whether that’s easy online registrations, clear route signage or a great back-up team once the cyclists are out on the road.”

The Mini Manc will take place on Sunday 7 July.  All four routes start from, and return to, the Tameside Cycling Circuit, Richmond Street in Ashton, so if mum or dad are up for a 48km cycle, big sister wants to do the 16 or 32km and the youngest wants to stay on the level circuit, then the whole family can take part and fundraise for their local Hospice.

The first of the four routes is on the 1km flat cycle track and so is suitable for young or inexperienced cyclists who can decide themselves how many circuits, up to a maximum of eight, to do.  The 16km route is mainly along quiet roads and country lanes so this could be the one to choose for those who just want to enjoy a leisurely ride.

There are some fairly taxing hills on the 35km route, and while the 48km ride is not as long as many organised cycles, there are some extremely significant inclines along the way so it really will test your stamina.

Chris concluded: “We had wonderful support from our community at last year’s event and are looking forward to another great day’s cycling.


Online booking is open, just go to to sign up for your chosen route.  It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s secure

As Easter approaches, a local charity is inviting people from across Greater Manchester to join them in a range of fundraising activities to help the patients it supports.

St Ann’s Hospice, which provides care for patients from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, as well as via a range of outreach services, has developed a special free fundraising pack full of Easter tips, hints and ideas.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice, said:  “Our fundraising team have put together a huge raft of ‘egg-cellent’ ideas to help raise money for our patients this year.  From quizzes, activity sheets and egg hunt ideas, to fancy dress days and baking challenges, there are lots of ways local people can have fun, help us out, and really make a difference to the lives of the people we support.

“It’s fitting that so many people choose to support us at Easter as we always make a real effort to ensure our hospice sites are decorated with amazing art, and that there are lots of cakes and treats for our patients and visitors to enjoy.    Our creative therapists often work with patients on special Easter artwork or crafts too – in fact, the whole hospice is a hive of activity, and it’s great to be part of it.

“If you don’t have time to take part in one of the special activities from the pack, perhaps you could consider donating the price of an Easter Egg or two to the hospice instead?  A donation of £8.55, for example, would pay for meals for one of the patients on our wards for a whole day.  Any donation, however large or small, really does make a difference to the people we care for, so thanks very much in advance for your support.”

To request a free Easter fundraising pack, or discuss your ideas for supporting St Ann’s, please contact the hospice team on 0161 498 3631. 

You can also make a donation by visiting