Together give £50,000 in latest donation to Build it Together appeal

Together have sponsored three rooms within the new building totalling £105,000, with the company donating even more money to the charity.

Cheadle-based Together has offered specialist personal and business loans for 50 years. This is the third donation that we have received from the company, which has previously sponsored a counselling room and a family breakout room for the new hospice building through their staff’s fundraising efforts.

With this new donation of £50,000, we will also be building a family overnight room in our new hospice site in Heald Green.

Emma Dixon, Director of Clinical Services at St Ann’s Hospice, says: “I want to thank Together for the incredible amount of money they have raised to go to our new hospice.

“The difference these rooms will make to our patients, our families and our staff here at the hospice is indescribable.

“The counselling room will allow for a comfortable room for patients, families and those that need our support, to meet their counsellors and to receive one-to-one support in a comfortable and safe environment.

“The family breakout area is much-needed for our hospice. Our current build has no private areas for families, meaning families are often crowded together in a bay with other patients and families, or put into a side room where there is no space at all.

“This breakout area will allow patients and families to celebrate being with each other to spend valuable time together and do normal fun activities that families would do if they were at home.

The overnight room, which is Together’s third donation, will be incredible for the new building. For many patients an overnight stay with their families is really needed to allow them to spend time together as a family and spend time with their loved ones at what is quite often one of the hardest times they will experience.
Patients will now be able to stay in a comfortable and safe environment, either with family members staying with them or just down the corridor from them. The difference this room will make will be unbelievable so thank you Together Money for this incredible donation.

Emma Dixon, Director of Clinical Services

The Build it Together campaign, which launched in June 2022, has already raised more than £800,000 and we’re urging people across Greater Manchester to get involved.

Sarah Nield, Group Chief Compliance Officer at Together, said: “St Ann’s Hospice provides exceptional support to patients and their loved ones who are going through the hardest of times, and we are proud to play our part in supporting them in the creation of this new overnight room.

“Supporting a local charity is very important to us and we’re so glad to provide St Ann’s with the much-needed funds to build the counselling room, the breakout area and now the overnight room.”

The long-term project at St Ann’s Hospice will transform the end-of-life care experience for future generations of patients. To find out more information on how you can help with our Build It Together appeal, see here.

St Ann’s Hospice excited to join Manchester Pride Parade for first time

St Ann’s Hospice are delighted to announce that they will participating in the Manchester Pride Parade for the first time this year on Saturday 26th August.

We have a walking entry in the iconic parade, which follows a route from Castlefield through Manchester city centre, ending near Piccadilly. Staff and volunteers from across the hospice will be taking part to represent St Ann’s, alongside supporters of the hospice and some representatives from partner organisations.

At St Ann’s Hospice we believe in pride and dignity in life and death. No matter who you are or who you love, we care for everyone in our communities right across Greater Manchester.

We firmly believe that love knows no boundaries, and we are resolute in our promise to provide unwavering support, if you ever need us.

Paul Jarvis, Director of Business Development, St Ann’s Hospice

St Ann’s walkers will be wearing t-shirts and holding banners bearing their message, and their entry will pumping out some classic pride hits along the route.

There are many events that are taking place in the Gay Village across the weekend, with the Parade happening on Saturday 26th August. The Parade encompasses thousands of LGBTQ+ people and their allies who all march together through the city centre.

St Ann’s Hospice will also have a stall on Monday 28th August in the Community Lane area of the Manchester Pride festival. Resources will be available that St Ann’s have developed, giving advice on palliative care for the LGBTQ+ community and how to reduce the specific barriers they face.

Manchester Pride is the latest Pride event in the calendar for St Ann’s Hospice, who this year have also had a presence at Stockport Pride, Salford Pride and Trans Pride Manchester.

Heidi McIntyre, Palliative Care Coordinator at St Ann’s, spoke on a panel at one of Trans Pride Manchester’s events on Saturday 12th August. She said: “Over the last 18 months I’ve been co-delivering St Ann’s Hospice’s Inequalities Workshop to St Ann’s staff and external health and social care colleagues, which includes a focus on the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities within palliative and end-of-life care.”

Services often focus on LGBTQ+ communities as a collective, however each community experiences quite specific barriers. For trans and gender-diverse people this is especially true, so having a presence at the first Trans Pride in Manchester felt particularly important for us and what we’re trying to achieve.

Heidi McIntyre, Palliative Care Coordinator, St Ann’s Hospice

The presence at local Pride events is the latest step in St Ann’s journey in building relationships with groups that have traditionally faced inequity in palliative care, to ensure that they are a fully inclusive organisation. Over the last year, this work has also encompassed delivering the Inequalities training workshops, working with the homeless community, and working with the LGBT Foundation on projects including the development of LGBTQ+-specific palliative care resources and Advance Care Planning workshops.

Suzanne Willians is one of the staff members taking part in the Manchester Pride Parade this year. She works in the hospice’s inpatient unit at its site in Heald Green.

I’ve worked at St Ann’s Hospice for nearly 30 years and feel privileged to represent the inclusive care we give to all our patients. It’s important to reach out to LGBTQ+ community to show that St Ann’s Hospice cares. I’m looking forward to being part of this important day in Manchester.

Suzanne Willians, Heald Green Inpatient Unit, St Ann’s Hospice

If you would like to walk with St Ann’s Hospice at the Manchester Pride Parade, or if you have any feedback or ideas to share about how St Ann’s could support the LGBTQ+ community further, please email

First Audit and QI Seminar at St Ann’s a great success

The first annual Audit and Quality Improvement Seminar was held at St Ann’s Heald Green Hospice on Wednesday 21st June.

The event was organised by Katherine Lamb, Quality and Governance Lead, and Consultant Dr Lesley Henson. There were five presentations and 12 posters showcasing the clinical audit and QI work at the hospice over the last 12 months.

The presentations were from Dr Sarah Clelland, Fran Brown, Dr Ben Anderson, Jennifer Forsyth and Dr Roisin Porteous.

The posters and presentations were judged by a panel made up of Medical Director Dr Dave Waterman, Heald Green Ward Manager Louise Pinney, and Trustee Melanie Ogden.

The winners of the Best Poster were Fran Brown, Emma Barclay and Emma Dixon for their poster ‘How a rehabilitative approach helped us to transform patient outcomes and our hospice culture.’

The winner of the Best Oral Presentation was Dr Ben Anderson for his presentation ‘Using simulation training to improve management of opioid induced respiratory depression in the hospice setting: a quality improvement project’.

Katherine said: “We are always looking for ways to improve and develop our services and strive to provide the best possible care for our patients. The seminar was a great opportunity for clinicians and other colleagues from across the hospice to come together, review some of the amazing quality improvement projects carried out over the last 12 months and share best practice and ideas.”

Feedback after the event was very positive with one attendee saying: “Really motivating and inspiring to see what has been done.” Other feedback praised the session for being “educational and forward thinking.”

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.

Junior doctors strike update

The junior doctor members of the British Medical Association (BMA) are expected to participate in a national 72-hour strike on Monday 13th, Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th March.

We want to assure you that we have made every effort to ensure that patient safety and wellbeing will be maintained throughout this period. Our dedicated team of medical staff, including consultants and senior doctors, will be working closely together to provide the highest quality medical care to our patients.

We will do everything in our power to minimise any disruption and encourage you to contact your hospice team if you have any concerns or questions.

We are committed to maintaining open communication with our patients, their families, and our staff during this time, and we will update you with any more news.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time.

What do the new hospice plans for Heald Green mean for our hospice in Little Hulton?

Depending on where you live, you may not know that St Ann’s has two hospices in Greater Manchester – one in Little Hulton, Salford and one in Heald Green, Stockport. 

Understandably, most people know and care deeply about the hospice that is closest to where they live – especially if it was where we cared for a loved one in their final days. 

Both of our hospice sites are hugely important to us as we plan for the future care needs of Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire and look to safeguard hospice care for future generations. 

The benefits of having two hospices in Greater Manchester

Operating more than one hospice site means that our care can be provided more locally and patients and loved ones never need travel too far to come to our hospice.  

With the pressure on NHS beds and an ageing population, we know that there will continue to be demand for our services and the need for both hospices. 

Operating two hospices in Greater Manchester also gives us advantages of size and scale. No hospice is unaffected by the current economic climate including the pressure on household budgets and rising energy costs. But being a bigger organisation operating across a larger patch means we are better placed to weather the storm than we would otherwise be. 

Investing for future generations

We have recently invested in our hospice in Little Hulton, including re-imagining the reception, cafe and outdoor areas so that patients and their loved ones can enjoy time together in a more relaxing, modern environment. We have also upgraded our medical equipment, beds, and furniture in our Being You Centre and family rooms. 

The next investment in our hospices is a purpose-built new hospice in Heald Green. Our current hospice there occupies an old Victorian building that has served us well, but which is now showing its age and costing us many thousands each year in expensive repairs and maintenance. Unlike our more modern hospice in Little Hulton, it has very few private bedrooms for patients and very limited outdoor space. 

The new hospice will include individual en-suite rooms and access to private outdoor terraces.  It will have a brand-new education centre which will be used to train all our staff in the latest advancements in end-of-life and palliative care.  

The improved facilities will also mean we can welcome many more health professionals to our specialist training. We will be able to rent rooms and have a bigger coffee shop that is open to the public – all providing valuable revenue streams and giving us money to invest in providing exceptional care at both our hospices, as well as in the community. 

We hope that no matter where you live, you will support our plans for a new hospice in Heald Green. But rest assured, our Little Hulton hospice remains as important to St Ann’s as ever. 

Let’s Build It Together

There are lots of ways you can get involved – with your help, we can build our new Heald Green hospice.

Find out more

Rachel McMillan on the importance of hospices

We have had health and social care devolution in Greater Manchester since 2016 – that means that there is now more say at a regional level about how health budgets should be spent. The changes are intended to give local people more say in how their care is provided too.

St Ann’s Hospice is one of seven adult hospices in Greater Manchester. We are charities and not part of the NHS in the same way the hospitals are, but we work collaboratively as part of the wider health and care system and the NHS contributes towards some of our care costs. On average hospices receive a third of their income from the NHS – we rely on the generosity of the public to keep us going.

We are all going to die. And we all want the best possible care for ourselves and for the people that we love at the end of their lives. There has been a big change this year which means that the importance of good end-of-life and palliative care has been recognised by the government in the way it never was before. The Health and Care Act means that for the first time it is now a legal requirement to provide palliative care in England where local people need it. That is intended to end a postcode lottery where there may be better end-of-life care in some areas more than others. It also means that the vital role of hospices for people at the end of their lives can’t be ignored or forgotten about.

An important part of my job is to make sure that we are shouting from the rooftops about the excellent care provided by St Ann’s and the other hospices across Greater Manchester, united and with one voice.

In October I was delighted to welcome Sir Richard Leese, who is chair of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board, and Mark Fisher, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Integrated Care, to our hospice in Heald Green to talk about the ambitious plans we have to help transform end-of-life care for residents, including by building a much-needed new hospice for the people of Greater Manchester next door to our existing hospice in Heald Green.

We also talked about how we are collaborating with the health and care system in Greater Manchester more than ever before. We all know that the pandemic brought huge challenges and devastation to our doors, but I also saw first-hand everyone in health and care working together as hard as possible to get people in the right place at the right time to receive the right care. Through a mutual aid philosophy we worked closely with our colleagues across all the hospices in Greater Manchester, in hospitals and care homes to go above and beyond to make this happen. At our inpatient units in Heald Green and Little Hulton we can look after patients with complex palliative and end-of-life care needs, with a wide range of symptoms to manage. Improving patient flow in the wider health system is so important – it’s only by better care in the community, including in hospices, that precious hospital time and beds will be freed up.

We are a charity and not a NHS hospice which means we have to fundraise for a large proportion of our income. Our costs are going up all the time. We are not shielded from the huge increase in energy costs for example. At the same time many of our valued supporters will have less disposable income due to the cost-of-living crisis. There are difficult times ahead but as one of the UK’s biggest hospices we are better able to weather the storm than most.

Lots will be changing in the months ahead. What remains constant is that the compassionate end-of-life care delivered by hospices including St Ann’s remains as vital as ever. We hope you will continue to support us into the future and thank you for all your help and support to date.

Could you donate or fundraise for our Build It Together appeal?

There are lots of ways you can get involved – with your help, we can build our new Heald Green hospice.

Find out more

Understanding occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is a vital part of the care that hospices provide, but not something that everyone always understands or talks about very much.

In fact, St Ann’s Hospice is quite unusual in that Emma Barclay, who is Head of Clinical Services at our Heald Green hospice, is a registered occupational therapist – which we think is something to celebrate this Occupational Therapy (OT) Week.

But what is occupational therapy and what difference does it make?

Emma explains: “Occupational therapy is finding out what people want to do and helping them to achieve it through rehabilitation or by adaptation. The philosophy is all about doing and being engaged in purposeful activity.”

We are all doing beings. COVID made many of us stop what we normally do and that gives you a clue about how it feels when you suddenly can’t do what you’re used to. We help people do the activities they want to do, which might be something as small as being able to get out of bed on their own, but which can make a real difference to their mood and how they feel.

Emma Barclay, Head of Clinical Services (Heald Green) and OT

Physiotherapist Emma Barclay

“One of our patients we helped was feeling too tired to have tea with her children when she came home from school and it was really upsetting her. We looked at a way of redistributing her energy during the day so that she had a window of energy to have that normal family teatime together. It’s a small thing, but also really big at the same time. That’s why we need occupational therapy at the hospice.”

Most patients who are admitted to our inpatient units at either Heald Green or Little Hulton will be referred to support from our team of occupational therapists, for things like being able to get comfortable in bed, for support with sleep and rest, or for being able to walk outside in the gardens.

Emma adds: “We’re in a hospice. We’re not going to make fatigue go away but we can help to get it under control. We ask people what they value and what is important to them. For some people they want to do the ironing, for some people they aren’t bothered about doing the shopping but they really want to be able to do some gardening. So, we look at what’s possible and where they can save energy for the things they really want to do.”

The Being You Centre

Did you know that if you are aged 18 or over and have a life-limiting illness you can refer yourself to our Being You Centre and benefit from our support?

Find out more