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Sisters to tackle Great Wall of China for Willowbrook Hospice?s 20th anniversary

In October this year, sisters Dianne Jones (49) and Margaret Hickey (46) will be undertaking an epic trek by walking part of the Great Wall of China in aid of Willowbrook Hospice 20th anniversary celebrations. Dianne said, "We wanted to support the Hospice because we've both had friends who've been cared for at Willowbrook. Both of us have also been affected by breast cancer. Thankfully, we've come through it, but other people sadly don't. I saw the advertisement for the China trek whilst I was having my treatment and immediately wanted to do it. As soon as I mentioned it to Marg she wanted to do it as well, so we signed up. I think all too often we see opportunities which sound great fun, but don't do anything about it. After our little health blips we both treat life very differently and wanted to give something back. Dianne and Margaret will set off on 14 October bound for Manchester Airport and their flight to Beijing. The trek will include 1,000 giant steps in a very humid climate with some sections of it covered on their hands and knees. The sisters are already in training and have been working hard to reach the £3000 sponsorship required to take part in the challenge.Dianne says: "The support for our fundraising has blown us away and we've already raised an amazing £6,500. We had a Race Night at The Bird I'th' Hand which raised over £2000 and an afternoon tea at The Coach and Horses in Rainhill, which raised a fantastic £1900. A colleague of mine ran 3 marathons in 3 days, raising £1000 for our fundraising which was fantastic. To round off our fundraising we've also got a gin tasting fundraiser at The Cinema Bar on 18 March and 'The Ball that isn't a Ball' at The Stobart Stadium on 20 March which promises to be a great night! We're both so excited about our trip. We have never been to China or completed such a trek. We are both now training hard !! It really is an opportunity of a lifetime, but also a great way to raise money for Willowbrook. Mark Pilkington, Willowbrook Challenges Fundraiser said, "As the hospice is celebrating our 20th year we thought it was the right time to organise an overseas challenge to mark our special year with something really different...and where better than China to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Dianne and Margaret are really up for the challenge and have done an amazing job so far in securing their sponsorship. Hopefully they'll both make memories which will last a lifetime as well as raising vital funds to help Willowbrook to continue to care and support local people and their families.

If you wish to support Dianne and Margaret fundraising, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/Marg-and-Dis-MargsGreatWallofChinaTrek2017

The 14 October China Trek is now sold out but places are available for the trek starting on 28 October. For more details, please contact Mark Pilkington on 01744 453798 or email events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk

Get your glad rags on for 1920s ball

Prescot based WillowbrookPrescot based Willowbrook hospice is urging people to get their glad rags on and party the night away at a fundraising spring ball.

The glamorous 1920s themed event at The Venue on Friday 17 February as part of the hospice’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Guests will enjoy a three-course meal followed by live music from The Mason Brown Connection who will take the crowd back to the 1920s with a mix of jazz, swing and rat pack music to tempt guests onto the dancefloor.

Those attending can also bid for one of the many auction prizes on offer, or try their luck in the raffle and casino.

Diane Humphreys, senior fundraiser at Willowbrook, said; “This is a very special year for us as we are celebrating 20 years of care so we wanted to organise a very special event to tie in with the 20s theme.  The dress code for the ball is formal wear with the option of 1920s attire, so anyone wanting to dress as a gangster or a flapper and show off their Charleston moves, is more than welcome!

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve cared for thousands of local people with life limiting illnesses and helped them and their families through the toughest days of their lives.

“Right now, we’re caring for more people than ever before and we really do need your support. So come along, have fun and do your bit to help us raise the money we need to continue to care for people in your local community.”

Tickets cost £45, to include a drink on arrival, three course meal, live entertainment and casino.

For more information, to donate a prize for the auction or raffle, or to book tickets, call 01744 453798 or email events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk

Willowbrook-The Living Well honoured at North West Property Awards

Willowbrook Hospice’s The Living Well building has been honoured with the prestigious Judges’ Award at this year’s North West Property Awards.

Willowbrook’s Chief Executive Neil Wright and Alan Chick, Chairman of the Willowbrook Board of Trustees joined more than 250 guests at the black tie award ceremony on 20 October at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral which saw members of the region’s top commercial and business community competing for gongs in a variety of categories.

The Judges’ Award was awarded in recognition of the work undertaken in returning the once derelict Alexandra House on Borough Road, St Helens into the multi-functional Willowbrook – The Living Well. 

In receiving the award Neil Wright said: “We are delighted that the judges awarded Willowbrook Hospice their ‘Special Award’ for bringing a derelict building back to life to create a facility that the community can be proud of.  Although it was a difficult project refurbishing the building, this is not the end, but the beginning of supporting more local people in need of the special care that Willowbrook provides. “

Willowbrook-The Living Well opened in February this year and houses the Hospice’s fundraising and Advance Care Planning teams as well as a café and shop – both of which are open to the public six days a week.  The site also has a large function room which is regularly used for training and health awareness sessions. Over the next few months, community wellbeing sessions will be available at The Living Well which will offer local people the chance to enjoy a relaxing massage or take part in one of the creative therapy classes.

Kirstie raises over £750 for hospice in memory of nan

Local hairdresser Kirstie Mepham has raised a whopping £761 for local charity Willowbrook Hospice after serving up a treat at a fundraising coffee morning at St Mary’s Church Hall, Knowsley Village.

Kirstie, 23, from Knowsley Village, first decided to hold a Willowbrook coffee morning last September in memory of her nan, Rose Levens, who was cared for at the Prescot based hospice before losing her brave battle against lung cancer in August 2015. Kirstie was so overwhelmed by the 'amazing response' that she decided to do it again this year in the hope of raising more money for the charity.

Kirstie said “The staff at Willowbrook were amazing with my nannie and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. When I found out how much it costs to run the hospice and how much they need to raise each year, I knew I had to do something to help. It’s only when you’re there that you realise how special places like Willowbrook are.”

“I really enjoy organising the coffee mornings and it’s a great way of bringing people together to raise money for Willowbrook. I know my nannie would be really proud that I’m doing my bit to help the hospice to continue to care and support other local people.”

Nicky Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook said: “We’re extremely grateful to Kirstie and know how much Willowbrook means to her and the rest of her family. It costs around £4 million each year to run the hospice and it’s thanks to people like her who give their time and effort to raise funds for us that we can continue to do what we do in supporting local people who are facing a life limiting illness.” 

Anyone interested in organising a coffee morning, afternoon tea party or a get together can either visit www.willowbrook.org.uk ring 01744 453798 or email: events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk for more information.

Lynnís concert hits top note for Willowbrook

Local soprano Lynn Jones has once again enchanted music-lovers at her annual fundraising concert at St Thomas Church, St Helens, raising over £1000 for Willowbrook Hospice.

Cancer survivor Lynn from Rainhill was treated at the Prescot based Hospice in 2010 and has been a stalwart supporter ever since, using her musical talents to raise more than £7, 000 over the past 7 years.

With support from Aughton Male Voice Choir, guitarist/vocalist Alex Roberts and pianist Joanne Fairclough, conductor Andrew Lord directed the concert while husband Robert acted as compere and master of ceremonies. 

Speaking after the event Lynn said: “It’s always a pleasure to help raise funds for Willowbrook. The hospice is such a fantastic place and the staff there do an amazing job of supporting and caring for seriously ill people in our community.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice, said: “On behalf of Willowbrook, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Lynn, all those who took part and everyone from the church who helped out during the evening. I’d also like to thank everyone who attended and helped to raise over £1000 for Willowbrook, every penny of which will help enable us to continue to care for people in St Helens and Knowsley who have life limiting illnesses.” 

Bringing Home the Gold - Local Care Homes re-accredited for end of life care

Four local care homes have been re-accredited with the prestigious Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in Care Homes Quality Hallmark Award in recognition of the high quality care they provide to people nearing the end of life.
The GSF is a systematic, evidence-based approach to help ensure that care home residents approaching the end of their lives are receiving the care they want where they want it. The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in Care Homes Training Programme is also reducing the number of inappropriate hospital admissions, increasing the numbers of residents dying in their preferred place, their care home, whilst delivering significant savings to the NHS at the same time. Supported by the Advance Care Planning Team based at Willowbrook Hospice, staff from Appleby Court Nursing Home (Knowsley), Parr Care Home and Stocks Hall (St Helens) and St Luke’s Nursing Home (Runcorn) have worked tirelessly to achieve re-accreditation by maintaining systems and procedures to ensure every resident receives the best possible end of life care in line with their individual needs. The Awards were originally presented at the Bi-Annual GSFCH Award Ceremony in London on Friday 30 September but were recognised locally at The End of Life Care Forum at Willowbrook-The Living Well on 13 October.                                                              

Neil Wright, Chief Executive of Willowbrook Hospice said: “I’d like to congratulate the staff in all four care homes in achieving re-accreditation of the Gold Standard Framework. The development of the GSF, and its use within care homes, has helped to establish a nationally recognised standard for end of life care and helps demonstrates that services such as care homes are delivering person-centred care.”

High Sheriff visits local hospice

Willowbrook hospice recently played host to the High Sheriff of Merseyside, James CM Davies OBE DL, his wife Mrs Shirley Davies and the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor David Banks and Councillor Jeanette Banks.

Having been welcomed by Neil Wright, Chief Executive of Willowbrook and Alan Chick, Chairman of the hospice’s Board of Trustees, the dignitaries were given a tour of the facilities as well as an update on the latest developments at Willowbrook and their plans for the future. During the visit, the group also had the opportunity to meet patients and their relatives as well as talking with some of the hospice volunteers and members of staff.

Neil said: “We were delighted to welcome the High Sheriff, his wife Shirley and the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens to the hospice and demonstrate the vital work we do to provide care, support and comfort to people with a life-limiting illness in St Helens and Knowsley.”

Following the visit, the High Sheriff commented, “My visit to Willowbrook Hospice was informative, reassuring, heart-warming and inspiring. I valued so much being able to meet some of the patients and many of the caring staff and volunteers. Willowbrook offers so much care and support to local people and their families and it is obvious that what the team at the hospice do is valued and appreciated so much.”

Members of Sheltered Accommodation schemes raise funds for local hospice

Staff and residents of the Fieldway and Fairclough Road sheltered accommodation schemes (managed by Huyton Co-operative for the Elderly) have raised more than £747 in aid of Willowbrook Hospice.

Scheme Managers Helen Power from the Fairclough scheme and Christine Shennan from Fieldway joined residents in organising tea parties to raise money for the Prescot based hospice.

Helen said: “Several of our residents have been cared for at Willowbrook or have had relatives who have looked after there so we know how vital places like the hospice are.  Both the tea parties attracted fantastic support from the residents, their friends and families as well as members of the local community. One of the residents’ daughter in law from the Fairclough scheme even baked a Willowbrook cake which we raffled off. It was great to see people from all walks of the community coming together to raise money for such a great cause as Willowbrook.”

Nicky Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook said: “We are delighted to receive the donation from the staff and residents of the Huyton Co-operative for the Elderly housing schemes. To raise as much as they have is fantastic and every penny will help us keep our doors open and allow us to continue caring for local people with life-limiting conditions.”

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Registered charity no. 1020240
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Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane
Prescot, Merseyside L34 2QT
Tel: 0151 430 8736
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Willowbrook Hospice - The Living Well
Borough Road, St Helens, WA10 3RN
Tel: 01744 453798
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