Why you should take on St Ann’s Hospice’s Firewalk this November

I’ve worked for St Ann’s Hospice as the Innovation and Digital Fundraiser for the last five years. I took on the Firewalk – walking across 20ft of burning wood embers with bare feet – to prove to myself I could do it, and absolutely loved the challenge!

A few years ago my sister raised money for another charity and did a Firewalk, so I wanted to prove to myself that if she could do it, I could too.

I did the Firewalk in 2021 and was very nervous in the lead up to the challenge, but it really was amazing.

This year’s Firewalk will take place on 5th November 2023 at our Little Hulton hospice and is open to anyone over the age of 14 (accompanied by an adult). We are looking for some brave “soles” to take on the challenge!

Everyone who takes part will be in the safe hands of a Blaze ‘Fire Master’ instructor who will take you through a motivational Fear Buster session prior to the Firewalk, helping you to leap into this challenge feet first.

The motivational exercises you do before the walk get you and the group you’re with really excited. There’s a lot of ‘mind over matter’ exercises that help you prepare.

Whenever I tell people I took part in this challenge they always ask me whether it hurts, and it honestly doesn’t – but there’s no doubt that it’s very hot!

You get to see the fire being lit which makes the challenge very real very quickly, but it’s great to be involved in all aspects of the event.

All of us that took on the Firewalk in 2021 enjoyed it. I did it with a friend and we definitely got an extra buzz from doing it together.

I wanted to take on a challenge for St Ann’s Hospice to raise money for a charity close to my heart, and enjoyed doing this with my friend as it was a shared experience between us.

I had a lot of comments from people saying I was mad to be doing such a crazy challenge, but I’d recommend it to everyone! 

Each person who takes part has a sponsorship target of £150, with a registration fee of £30.

I was so pleased to raise £385 when I did this challenge, as all money raised helps us to continue our work supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

For more information click here or contact the Events Team on 0161 498 3631 or events@sah.org.uk.

Book your house clearance with St Ann’s to help your local hospice

For St Ann’s Hospice, a house clearance comes with many challenges, from working out how many vans are needed to making sure we can re-sell as many items as possible to raise funds for the hospice.

The clearance of a loved one’s property is often an emotional experience but our friendly team are here to help and advise throughout the journey, whether that is providing a value of items for probate, or reuniting families with missing photos or cherished items.

Often the knowledge that the proceeds are going to support patients with life-limiting illnesses and that many items go on to be loved and cherished again helps ease the burden.

Over 95% of items from house clearances are re-used or recycled, with most furniture and electrical items re-sold through our furniture shops in Ardwick and Ladybarn.

All other items are either sold online, at auction, in our shops or at our monthly £1 clearance sales at our warehouse in Reddish. If any items haven’t sold, they are then either sold to a rag merchant to be turned into insulation and cleaning products or sorted by material at the recycling centre.

How long have St Ann’s Hospice been doing house clearances?

We have been doing house clearances for over five years now, and they have proved a good source of income for the charity as well as stock for our shops.

How does a customer get in touch and what is involved?

Once a customer gets in touch by email or phone (0161 477 7839), we book in a time and date to visit the property. The property visit takes about 30 minutes and whilst there we take a list of all items that are to be removed and note any items which will be staying.

We will take as much or as little as the customer needs. Once the property visit has been completed, the customer will receive an email quote which says how many days the clearance will take and a breakdown of costs.

What happens if a customer doesn’t want to pay for a house clearance?

After the visit, we also provide a list of furniture items which we can collect for free should the customer not wish to pay for a full house clearance. The full house clearance service means we will pack all items and clear cupboards, wardrobes, cellars, lofts, sheds, and garages, no matter the condition of the furniture or items.

We can even remove fitted furniture, carpets and appliances. Whilst we try to resell as much as we can, there are sometimes items which we are unable to sell either due to condition, furniture trends or other factors.

Do we charge to dispose of unsaleable items?

We are a registered Trading Company with a Waste Carriers Licence so we do get charged for visiting the recycling centre to dispose of items – the same as any other house clearance company (we do have a charity tip pass but this can only be used 12 times per year and has to be used for disposing of unsaleable donations that have come into the shops). The costs of disposing items are included in the quote.

Do we only clear residential properties and for individuals?

We will clear any property (commercial, residential or industrial) and a lot of our clearances come through estate agents and solicitors.

How much does a house clearance cost?

The price varies depending on the size of the property, the amount of items to be disposed of, and access to the property (a long walk to the front door or upstairs to a flat increases the time it takes to complete the clearance). Whilst the estimated value of items within a property is taken into account, it is unusual that we wouldn’t charge for a full house clearance due to the amount of work involved to pack all items, load these onto a van and then transport them.

What happens once the house clearance is completed?

Once the clearance is completed the customer will receive an invoice, usually within 3-5 working days, which can be paid via cheque or bank transfer.

Someone we recently helped with a house clearance said: “I would like to thank you and your team for all the assistance you gave us for the house clearance. Your advice and help was invaluable and you carried out the work with great efficiency, understanding and professionalism at a difficult time.”

Really glad we got in touch. We didn’t know where to start or what to do. Ryan and the team talked us through the process and were always available when we needed them.


If you’d like to enquire about a house clearance, please see our website here for more information or ring 0161 477 7839 to speak to one of our team.

How runner Liz will be helping us get our new hospice appeal to the finish line

I first became involved with St Ann’s Hospice as a fundraising volunteer while at university. 

I knew I wanted to work for a charity when I was a student, and volunteering for a day a week during my studies was a great way to gain invaluable experience. Eventually, this led me to my first job after university in the St Ann’s fundraising team! 

After leaving St Ann’s, I went on to work with some bigger charities, most recently at the Co-op’s HQ working on its national charity partnership. This experience has given me great insight into the support businesses expect from their charity partner. 

I’m delighted to have returned to St Ann’s where I’m working to increase the amount of business support for our campaign to build a new hospice in Heald Green. 

Re-joining St Ann’s honestly feels like coming home. My main remit will be working to increase the level of support the hospice receives from the business community and helping those businesses who have already pledged to sponsor rooms, achieve their fundraising goals. 

I’m really looking forward to meeting our amazing partners and am keen to network and speak to as many new businesses as possible about our exciting new plans for the hospice. 

If you own a business or work for a company that might get involved in supporting the hospice, I would love to hear from you. There are so many ways to support our new hospice appeal from choosing us as charity of the year, payroll giving to taking on a challenge such as entering a team in the Tour de Manc cycle this April or our St Ann’s Golf day on 11th May. We also have a range of sponsorship options available for businesses wishing to sponsor aspects of the new hospice. 

Whether you buy a brick or take part in a big collective push to sponsor a patient bedroom, it all makes an incredible difference.  

I’m also making sure I raise money for the Build It Together appeal too – I’m a member of Chorlton Runners and I’m preparing to take part in the Stanza Stones Ultra! This is a 24 hour, 50 mile route which takes place in Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters as well as the Stanza Stones, well known for having poems by Simon Armitage inscribed on them before finishing in Ilkley.   

You can get in touch with me at lgreenwood@sah.org.uk and on 07872 373 560. 

You can also sponsor me on my Just Giving page –  


Remembering loved ones with St Ann’s Forget Me Not appeal

Will you join our Forget Me Not appeal to help the patients and family members who need the support of St Ann’s Hospice?

As we approach summer, for many this is a time of reflection in the sunshine and time spent in the garden, which is a time to come together and remember the ones you love.

This summer you can attend one of the Forget Me Not celebration events as well as dedicating a flower in memory of a loved one in St Ann’s Hospice’s online Memory Meadow. This allows you to share your photos and memories with family and friends.

Patrick Clark, Senior Counsellor for St Ann’s Hospice, is speaking at the celebration events in aid of the Forget Me Not appeal. Patrick says: “My hope is that our Forget Me Not celebrations will bring some comfort and encouragement as we come together to celebrate the lives of those who have gone from our sight, but not from our memory.

“This is the first year that our Let’s Talk Team is leading the Forget Me Not celebration events, and we will be around at the end of the events to speak to those who wish to learn more about how we can help.”

Many people find the gardens at our hospice sites are a place of tranquility and a space to reflect. The timing of this year’s celebration and the Forget Me Not appeal, being in the summer, gives us the opportunity to see those gardens in full bloom as we remember our loved ones.

Patrick Clark, Senior Counsellor, St Ann’s Hospice

St Ann’s Hospice provides counselling, bereavement support and psychological support given through the Let’s Talk service.

The trained team of counsellors and assistant practitioners are there to support those in need of the service. The Let’s Talk Team helps enable bereaved people to try to live the best life they can from today, knowing that someone’s loss might always be with them.

Patrick says: “We provide support through creating a safe space to share, active listening, being open and honest, having an unconditional positive regard and empathy.”

We welcome referrals from family and friends of people who have a connection to the hospice to our service. The service is free and available for anyone who has had treatment at the hospice or is a family member, carer or friend who is grieving someone they’ve lost.

Patrick Clark, Senior Counsellor, St Ann’s Hospice

The Forget Me Not services at both hospices are open to everyone as an opportunity for reflection and celebration of the lives of loved ones. They will take place on Saturday 1st July and will be led by the Let’s Talk Team, part of the hospice’s Patient and Family Support Team.

If you would like to attend either of these special events, please register for Heald Green here or Little Hulton here, or call us on 0161 498 3631.

You can support the Forget Me Not appeal in other ways, such as purchasing a bespoke stained glass forget me not suncatcher to display in your garden, home or place of remembrance; or donating to the hospice by making a dedication on the online Memory Meadow. All details of the appeal can be found here.

Cycling 2100 miles from Lisbon to Manchester for St Ann’s Hospice

I’ve reached halfway through my European cycling challenge, as I approach the border of France having cycled from Lisbon through Spain clocking 1200 miles as of yesterday.

I’m still so pleased to be taking on this challenge for two charities that are close to my heart and mean so much to me.

My mum was cared for by St Ann’s Hospice by the Hospice@Home Team and at their Little Hulton site. After my mum died in 2017, I almost immediately started bereavement counselling with Hazel Wilcock from the hospice’s Patient and Family Support Team.

Hazel was instrumental in helping me through some of the darkest and toughest times of my life. I was devastated to hear she died in 2021 when I tried to get back in touch with her, so I ever since I have wanted to push myself to raise as much money for the hospice in her memory.

Another charity I am supporting is the Jamie Horrocks Trust. Jamie was a friend of mine, we were friends since being teenagers and played football together for over 10 years. He was well loved by everyone in the local area and is sorely missed. The trust was established in February 2015 in memory of Jamie who took his own life in 2013, aged 37.

The trust raises funds in Jamie’s name for community-based projects that reduce the risks and support those affected by suicide.

I have always been mindful that I wanted to take on a particularly challenging fundraiser, and losing these people close to me has given me the motivation to dedicate myself to this.

Neil Williamson, Supporter

I’ve set the target of £5000 to raise, as I attempted this challenge last year but had to drop out as I injured myself and couldn’t continue. I am determined to finish my challenge this time.

Taking on this cycling fundraiser again, I want to raise even more to beat last year’s efforts and make myself to do something that’s going to push me far beyond anything I’ve done before!

As well as covering over 2000 miles, I’ll be riding up hills that are equivalent to riding up Everest nearly three times – almost 80,000 feet of climbing!

I was hoping to cycle at least 130 miles a day, with my target set at 16 days to cycle from Lisbon, down to near Gibraltar and then up through Spain and France before I arrive back in England and up to Manchester.

I’ve enjoyed cycling through Spain despite the hot weather which I’m sure will continue into France! I’ve been averaging 100 miles a day but hoping to raise that as I get to a flatter route through France.

Both charities mean so much to me, I want to honour both of them with my fundraising. I’ll be forever grateful for St Ann’s Hospice who supported my mum, and on the back of that support she was able to live again for a short period before she died.

Please donate if you can to my JustGiving page, it would be amazing to give as much as possible to the charities that I have such special connections to.

You can keep up to date with my cycling progress on my Instagram or Strava, where I’m posting daily about my challenge. Live tracking can be found here.

The Manchester Midnight Walk is nearly here!

There’s not long to go until you can get your glitter and glow on with us at the iconic Manchester Midnight Walk!

Registrations are still open, so what are you waiting for? Sign up now for a night to remember!

Here are just a few of our fabulous supporters who are walking and fundraising for St Ann’s next Friday…

Ed Cutler

(above, with the PRP team)

“I work at PRP Architects’ Manchester Studio, and my team and I are excited to embark on another Midnight Walk.  

“I took part in last year’s Midnight Walk and it was brilliant. There is such a big party beforehand it’s an absolute buzz, everyone in costumes and face paint – we even saw a few dogs in fancy dress too! 

“The rest of my team that are doing the Midnight Walk are intrigued and excited to see Manchester in a different way on a Friday night than we’re used to. 

“We’re hoping to get the PRP team dressed up and ready to glitter and glow!”

Tom Everett

“Myself and my grandson Matthew, aged 17, are among the oldest and youngest of those taking part in this challenge for St Ann’s Hospice as I’m 81 years old. 

“We took part in last year’s Manchester Midnight Walk, enjoying it so much we’re joining hundreds of other supporters again! 

“We have been supporting St Ann’s Hospice for a few years, since my wife Carol was cared for by the hospice. Carol died in 2021 from cancer, aged 76; we had been married for 51 years. 

“I would like to raise as much as I can to ensure the hospice helps more families like ours. Carol was a wonderful person and she was absolutely enthralled by the service she got there, so it’s important to us to help them in any way we can.”

Joanne Parks

“I took part in the Manchester Midnight Walk last year and it exceeded all my expectations! The community spirit of the evening was amazing, and everyone was so friendly and supportive of one another. 

“It was fantastic to be part of the walk, by just giving a few hours of your time you really get to give something back to the St Ann’s community and be part of that for the night. 

“We made many friends that night through learning about the connections other people had to the hospice, it was then that we realised we were doing so much by walking.” 


You can sign up to the Manchester Midnight Walk now, on the day or even at the event itself!

Volunteers’ Week 2023

Volunteers’ Week runs 1st-7th June, and this annual celebration is a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities.

St Ann’s Hospice would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers who support us in so many ways. We simply could not continue to provide our care without their help and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of them for their support.

We’re shining a spotlight on just a few of our team of incredible volunteers to celebrate them this Volunteers’ Week.

My favourite thing about volunteering is seeing the variety of items people donate – it’s really interesting. I would recommend volunteering at St Ann’s to anyone, and I have done! My husband is going to start at the shop as well.

Sheena, Volunteer, Distribution Centre

At the time I signed up I was suffering from chronic fatigue and needed purpose. I wanted to give something back to the community.

Tracey, Volunteer, Distribution Centre

Read Sheena & Tracey’s story here.

I volunteer to help the hospice and also increase my knowledge and learn about eBay, so it’s two-fold. I would really recommend volunteering to meet people. It’s better than staying in! Plus you get the knowledge and new skills – you might become an eBay millionaire through learning at St Ann’s!

Jeff, Volunteer, Online Sales Team

Read Jeff’s story here.

Early retirement has given me the time and opportunity to volunteer, including supporting the Fundraising Team in their ongoing Build It Together campaign, as well as being a volunteer driver for the Being You Centre. I hope that supportive role can further evolve as building works for the new hospice begin, allowing me to share in the St Ann’s journey at this most exciting time.

Graham, Volunteer

Read Graham’s story here.

I needed to do something moving forward and decided to give back to St Ann’s after they cared for my mum. I’d never worked in a shop before, but I like meeting people, talking to them and having a joke with them. I get on with the team and get a real reward out of doing it.

Ian, Volunteer, Sale shop

Could you volunteer at St Ann’s?

You’ll be challenged, inspired, and empowered to help us achieve our purpose and to play your part in making a difference.

We’re currently looking for volunteers across the organisation in our shops, Online Sales Team, Fundraising Team and in our hospices. Find out more here.

Volunteering at St Ann’s

Find out more information about all of our current volunteering opportunities.

Find out more

St Ann’s Hospice supporter has phoned home after cycling from Manchester to Abersoch on an extraordinary (and extra-terrestrial) fundraising mission

Ben Griffiths set off at 5am on Friday 31 st March from Urmston and cycled all the way to Abersoch in an extraordinary challenge raising money for St Ann’s Hospice.

The famous film character ET took on the challenge with Ben who was dressed as Elliot. ET was strapped into the basket of the bike and went along for the ride!

Ben took on a 117-mile bike ride from Manchester to Abersoch and completed an incredible 102 miles, before his friends cycling with him agreed Ben had pushed himself to the limit.

Ben says: “I’m gutted that I didn’t make the full distance but by the time I got home I realised the importance of the groups decision to call time on my effort.”

After Ben completed the ride, he says: “My official ride stats are 165km cycled, 1920 metres of elevation, and an average speed of 13.8kmh.”

“I took on this challenge in memory of my grandad Len, and to show my support to the staff and patients at the hospice – you were always in my thoughts.”

Ben Griffiths, Fundraiser

Ben’s Grandad, Len Morris, was at the hospice earlier this year for a few weeks and died on Monday 30 th January at our Heald Green site after celebrating his 84th birthday in the hospice.

He was at our hospice for end-of-life treatment due to being ill from T-cell lymphoma that had developed into skin cancer.

“My grandad has a bungalow near to Abersoch in Llanbedrog, a small town on the coast. This has been the holiday home for our family since I was about 2 years old – my entire family has so many memories there. I have been so fortunate to spend my childhood there with family and even friends as I’ve got older.”

“I just wanted to pay tribute to my grandad as I wouldn’t have any memories there if it wasn’t for him. We will also be scattering his ashes there this summer.”

Ben rode a £20, 1970’s, 3 speed Raleigh shopper bike for 12 hours – an incredible amount of effort and physical endurance all done for our hospice.

“With your help we have raised £4060, doubling my original target!”

Ben Griffiths, Fundraiser

Ben’s target was to raise £2000 and promised that if he reached this in 2024 he will do the everesting challenge.

“Everesting is where you choose a hill of your choice and ride up and down repetitively until your elevation gain equals the same amount as Mount Everest. One of the main rules is that riders aren’t allowed to sleep so it would be my greatest challenge!”

To donate to Ben and support him with his challenge, his JustGiving page can be found here.