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Get on your bike for Willowbrook

Local cycling enthusiasts are being asked to ‘saddle up’ to raise cash for Willowbrook Hospice by taking part in Ride 45 on Sunday 17 July 2016.

Now in its third year, Ride 45 offers a choice of 2 cycling routes through the local countryside, either the original 45 ‘miler’ or a short 20 miler – with both routes starting and finishing at Rainford Technology College.

Mark Pilkington, Challenges Fundraiser for Willowbrook said “As in previous years, Ride 45 draws cyclists from all over the North West. This year we’ve changed the route slightly but there’ll still be a well-earned rest stop at the half way point! It’s a great experience for everyone taking part. The ‘Ride is for people of all abilities - whether you’re an experienced riders or a weekend cyclist…although there’s a few challenges along the route to watch out for!”

John Cheshire, Secretary of St Helens Cycling Club, will be taking part in the ‘Ride for the third year. John, whose daughter Emily works at Willowbrook says: “Ride 45 is a fantastic cycle ride through some beautiful countryside. I love taking part each year and with Emily working at the hospice I know how important events like these are in helping to raise funds to support and care for local people and their families.”

Entry is £20 and anyone wanting to sign up can visit www.eventbrite.co.uk (and search for Ride 45) or call 01744 453798.

Hospice kitchen garden created

Willowbrook Hospice recently unveiled its latest addition - a new kitchen garden and state-of-the-art wheelchair friendly greenhouse.
The project is the brainchild of hospice gardener, Juliet McLorie and has been developed thanks to the generosity of the now disbanded Pilkington Horticultural Society who provided a generous donation to the hospice for use in the gardens.
As well as offering an additional day therapy activity for patients, the kitchen garden will also be used to grow fruit and vegetables either for sale or to use in the hospice all year round.

Juliet says: “Gardening has well known therapeutic benefits such as alleviating stress and anxiety and we’ll be encouraging any of our patients who are well enough to come along and take part in our gardening sessions. The greenhouse has been specifically designed to enable wheelchair user access and a couple of the raised beds will also be wheelchair height, again so that patients can actively take part. We’re also hoping that the kitchen garden will allow us to grow as much produce as we possibly can. The patients and customers of the café will be able to benefit from ‘freshly picked’ potatoes, beans, courgettes, onions, herbs, leeks and cabbage and so on.”
If you are able to donate items such as topsoil, seeds, plants, and compost please contact Juliet on 0151 430 8736.

Moonlight Walking for Willowbrook

Saturday night saw 580 people don their pink wigs, cowboy hats, feather boas, tiaras and special pink Moonlight Walk t shirts to walk the streets of St Helens and Knowsley to celebrate Willowbrook Hospice’s 10th annual Moonlight Walk.

Starting and finishing Willowbrook’s new building – The Living Well, walkers got in the mood with entertainment provided by DJ Terryoake, dancers from the Jan Williams Theatre School and the Anvil Street Drummers.

Just before the start of the walk, the sky turned into a sea of pink as people remembered and celebrated the lives of their loved one with a balloon release.

After a lively ‘glo-fit’ warm up led by Heatone Fitness and countdown from Willowbrook patron and BBC North West newsreader Roger Johnson, the walkers were off, taking on either a 12 km route or a ‘mini moonlight’ of 6km.

On their return, every walker received a well-earned Moonlight Walk medal, a brew and a bacon butty.

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice said: “This year’s Moonlight Walk was extra special – not only because it was the ‘walk’s 10th anniversary but also because it’s the first time we’ve hosted the event from our new Living Well building. The atmosphere on the night was amazing and it was lovely to see so many people coming together to remember their loved ones and help raise much needed funds to ensure that we as a hospice can continue to care and support our patients and their families. On behalf of Willowbrook I’d like to thank every single person who was involved with the event, whether as a walker, a steward or a volunteer!”

Willowbrook Hospice has been open since 1997 and costs over £4million a year to run, the majority of which needs to be raised through the effort of the communities which it serves.

Diane Humphreys, Senior Fundraiser at Willowbrook would like to extend thanks to the following people and organisations for their generous help and support in making the event a success:
• Barrs Soft drinks
• Terryoake
• Roger Johnson
• Jan Williams Theatre School
• Anvil Street Drummers
• Heatone Fitness
• St Helens Council
• Morrisons, Baxters Lane
• The Olive Grove
• Masterprint
• Nijman Zeetank
• Phil Durrans and family
• Palletland

Keith takes on the ‘Tunnel for hospice

32 year old Keith Underwood from Prescot will be donning his running shoes this Sunday to join an estimated 2, 800 entrants in the Mersey Tunnel 10K event to help raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice.

Father of two Keith who works in the Acute Respiratory service at Whiston knows all too well the vital role Willowbrook plays in caring and supporting patients with life limiting illnesses.

Keen runner Keith said: “Willowbrook Hospice is a place that I have wanted to raise money for a while now. My work often involves liaising with organisations such as Willowbrook who are involved in palliative care. Although I haven’t had a relative admitted to the hospice I know what an amazing place it is and how well the staff there look after people who are at their most vulnerable, including relatives.”

Now in its 11th year, the race starts at Pall Mall in Liverpool, goes beneath the river through the Kingsway Tunnel and ends in New Brighton.

Keith continues: “I’ve already done several charity runs but it’s my first time doing the tunnel 10k. Coming out of the tunnel will be the toughest bit as it’s so steep, but I’m sure there’ll be a great atmosphere and hopefully I’ll be able to raise as much money as possible for Willowbrook."

To sponsor Keith and help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KeithUnderwood1

Volunteers join the royal street party

Four long term Willowbrook hospice volunteers were treated to ‘a right royal knees-up’ as they joined 10,000 specially invited guests for the Queen’s Patron’s Lunch on 12 June.

The Patron’s Lunch was the culmination of a weekend of celebrations to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday and commemorated The Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations.

Husband and wife Ron and Rita Teed and sisters Sheila Jones and Rita Canning who have racked up over 65 years of volunteering for the Prescot based hospice were delighted to be invited along to join in the celebrations.

Sheila who alongside Rita (Canning) has helped raise more than £100, 000 for the hospice said: “It was a real honour to be invited to celebrate such a momentous occasion on behalf of Willowbrook Hospice and an experience I will never forget! There was a great atmosphere down The Mall and it was wonderful to be part of such a fabulous day.”

Ron and Rita (Teed) who have been volunteering at the hospice award winning gardens for over 18 years, downed their trowels to take part in the regal spectacular.
Ron said: “Being part of the Patron’s Lunch was fantastic! All down The Mall was a sea of red, white and blue. It was like a classic British street party with so many people gathered together to celebrate her Majesty’s birthday– it was amazing!”

Willowbrook Hospice marks National Volunteering Week by saying “Thank You” to all its dedicated volunteers!

To mark National Volunteering Week, Willowbrook Hospice is this week saying “Thank You” to its army of dedicated volunteers. National Volunteering Week, which takes place from 1-12 June, is an opportunity to recognise the inspiring work of volunteers all over the country and highlight the incredible value and impact of volunteering to local communities.

The Willowbrook Hospice Volunteer Programme sees more than 525 regular volunteers, who offer their services all year round, providing a variety of roles within the hospice, such as reception cover, hospitality, driving, gardening, photography, dog therapy and day therapy services.
In addition, many hospice supporters in the community continue to volunteer their time, energy and organisational skills by helping out at Willowbrook Hospice events throughout the year, such as the Moonlight Walk and Ride 45 as well as working in the hospice’s 12 charity shops.

Ian Turnbull, Volunteer Coordinator for Willowbrook Hospice, says “National Volunteering Week highlights the amazing work and invaluable contribution volunteers bring to our hospice. Each volunteer makes a real difference to the quality of life of everyone using our services. Willowbrook Hospice is a richer place because of each one of our volunteers and their commitment, dedication and energy is truly inspiring. We must raise £4 million every year to maintain our current level of service free-of-charge and this is only possible through the support of individuals and groups in the community who volunteer their time and energy to help us achieve this. Willowbrook Hospice is for all of us. It’s our hospice, in our community, for our community and we’d like to express our sincere gratitude to all our amazing volunteers.”
Willowbrook Hospice recruits volunteers and volunteer supporters on an ongoing basis. Anyone who might be interested in volunteering for Willowbrook Hospice activities can contact Ian Turnbull on on 0151 430 8736 email IanT@willowbrookhospice.org.uk. Volunteering opportunities are also advertised at: www.willowbrookhospice.org.uk

Pucker up for Willowbrook!

Willowbrook Hospice is encouraging people to join them on 29 May in the Kiss-May national selfie campaign to raise awareness and funds for hospice care.
With the population rising and people living longer, the need for hospice care is continually increasing. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness should have the support they need to make their final moments count. Britain’s 232 hospices need to collectively raise £1.8million every day to ensure that these crucial services can continue to care and support patients and their loved ones. Willowbrook Hospice alone needs to raise £10, 656 every day. Without the public’s support, local Hospice Care would not be possible.

That’s why Willowbrook is asking people to pucker up and send a kiss to someone they miss, texting the words KISS29 £2 to 70070 to donate £2.

How to get involved:
• Before the 29 May, like the Kiss-May Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
• Put on some red lippy, pucker up and take a selfie – on your own or with a group of friends if you prefer. Guys, you can take part too by having a cheeky lippy imprint on your cheek.
• Share your selfie online at the Kiss-May Facebook page or Twitter feed, using the tag #KissMay. Why not dedicate your kiss to someone you miss?
• Send a text message with the words KISS29 £2 to 70070 to donate £2. The cost is £2 plus the standard message charge for their phone tariff).

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice says:
“We’re incredibly proud of the care and support Willowbrook offers to local people and their families, many of whom are going through the most difficult time in their lives. The Kiss May campaign is an easy and fun way for people to help raise funds for Willowbrook and we’re hoping that all of our supporters will share a ‘red lipstick selfie’ for #KissMay.”

Andrea Fragata-Ladeira, CEO of The Care2Save Charitable Trust, organisers of #KissMay, says:
“Hospice Care is something that may affect all of us at some point in our lives and hospices need to raise growing amounts of money in order to continue providing the essential care they do. We hope the public join us in supporting #KissMay for hospice care. It’s time we declare our support for hospices around Britain to help secure their future.”

Daughter runs Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in memory of mum

Clare Brown, 43, from Prescot will be pounding the streets of Liverpool on 29 May as she takes part in the Rock and Roll Marathon in memory of her mum, Liz Elms.

For mother of two, Clare, this is the latest in a series of challenges she’s undertaken over the last few years to help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice which looked after Liz during the final few months of her life before she lost her brave battle against cancer in September 2012.

Clare says: “My mum originally went into Willowbrook for a couple of days to get her pain medication under control but as her condition gradually worsened, being at the hospice was the only way to control her pain.

“The hospice was unbelievable. At first I had to persuade my Mum to try it as she thought it would be like a hospital but after the first time she felt so relaxed and happy there. All the staff were amazing and really looked after her and our entire family with dignity, respect and love. I honestly don’t know how we would have got through it without Willowbrook. It was, and still is, the most painful part of my life and having my Mum so well looked after in the hospice and her wanting to be there (she was desperate not to be in hospital) made an awful experience a little bit better.”

Before Liz sadly passed away, one of her dying wishes was that Clare help raise funds to support the work of Willowbrook and as Clare says: “You can’t break a promise to your mum”.

Since then, Clare has taken part in the St Helens 10km and the Cheshire Triathalon - raising more than £5,000 for the hospice – before taking on her toughest challenge, the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

Continues Clare: “The marathon has definitely been the hardest to train for. The St Helens 10k got me back into fitness, the triathlon whilst hard was enjoyable as it was different events. The marathon however is just relentless running. Due to the sheer amount of training it takes it has literally took over my weekends and when you work full time and have 2 children it’s been really difficult to fit it in but it will be worth it and I know that my mum would be proud of me. From personal experience I realise the difference that the hospice makes – not just to the patients but to their families as well and want to do my bit to ensure that they can carry on doing this.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook says: “The hospice needs to raise over £4 million every year in order to run and develop its services. We depend on the generosity of the communities of St Helens and Knowsley and it’s thanks to people like Clare that we can continue to care for local people and their families. She’s an inspiration!”

To sponsor Clare and help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Clare-Brown20

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© 2017 Willowbrook Hospice.
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Registered charity no. 1020240
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Registered Office
Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane
Prescot, Merseyside L34 2QT
Tel: 0151 430 8736
Fundraising Office
Willowbrook Hospice - The Living Well
Borough Road, St Helens, WA10 3RN
Tel: 01744 453798
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