St Ann’s Hospice celebrates Volunteers’ Week

This Volunteers’ Week we want to shine a light on some of the brilliant volunteers that dedicate time to helping St Ann’s Hospice, and volunteer roles you could take up too.

Mark is a Volunteer Online Sales Assistant based at our Distribution Centre in Reddish.

Mark says: “I was fortunate to be able to retire early at 56 years old, but I wanted to do something that could keep me active. I also wanted to give something back to the community in some way.

“You definitely need to come into volunteering with the right end goal, which is seeing what you can do for the hospice. There is so much camaraderie and teamwork, the Distribution Centre is a great and chilled place to volunteer.

I would definitely recommend volunteering to people, particularly for St Ann’s Hospice, where there are so many roles available, you are sure to find a role which suits you.

Mark, Online Sales Volunteer

St Ann’s Trading Company have many volunteer vacancies open to people who want to support their local hospice. These include distribution centre volunteers, online volunteers, Stockport shop volunteers, and Sale shop volunteers.

Harsha has been volunteering in St Ann’s Hospice’s Fundraising Team for the last two years.

Being in the fundraising office, hearing and seeing first-hand the incredible work the team do, their sheer commitment and joy rubbed off on me. I joined the Autumn Fair committee last year and we had a great time organising the event.

Harsha, Fundraising Volunteer

Harsha is also on the Summer Fair committee for this year and she loves being part of it.

The Community Fundraising Team at St Ann’s Hospice are looking for volunteers too, including people that can help with collection tins and those wanting to be in a new fundraising committee that will be set up in Sale and Altrincham.

Margaret has been a volunteer since 2006. She was inspired to volunteer at St Ann’s after the care shown to her father by the hospice, experiencing the kindness and care shown to him and all his family.

Each year she has worked tirelessly on our Light up a Life appeal leading up to Christmas, helping to create the Book of Honour with over 1,000 dedications. Last month, she was Highly Commended in the Long Service Award at the Stockport Rocks! Volunteer Awards.

Our Clinical Team are also looking for a volunteer driver for The Being You Centre. The purpose of this volunteering role is to transport patients who have no alternative means of transport to and from The Being You Centre. The hours for this role vary between 9am-4pm on Monday to Friday.

Retired physiotherapist and post-graduate educator Jenny Caunt started volunteering at St Ann’s in May 2022.

It keeps my brain working, I get a real sense of satisfaction and feel like I am contributing to St Ann’s. What’s so nice about St Ann’s is they are looking for volunteers to use their skills and for projects that benefit the volunteer as well as the hospice. It’s really nice to carry on with something worthwhile.

Jenny Caunt, Volunteer

For more information on how you can start volunteering at St Ann’s Hospice and make a difference in your community, click here.

St Ann’s fundraising team members gain diplomas

Two St Ann’s Hospice employees recently took the next step in their fundraising careers and successfully gained their Level 3 Fundraising Diplomas.

Marie Foster, Innovation and Digital Fundraiser, and Heather Bennett, In-Memory and Legacy Fundraiser, both completed the Level 3 Fundraiser Apprenticeship, which was fully funded via the Corndel Levy Pledge in partnership with Hospice UK. This is a professional development programme which uses gifted levy funds to enable learners to gain qualifications without any cost to the hospice.

The course also gave the team members a professional qualification, the Foundation Certificate in Fundraising and Foundation Certificate Qualified Membership MCIOF (FCert).

Marie has been a key member of St Ann’s Fundraising Team for over five years.

When I started the course in January 2023 it was with the aim of increasing my knowledge on all aspects of fundraising and putting my learning into practice here at the hospice to make me a better fundraiser. The bonus was gaining a professional qualification after assessment at the end of the course.

I’ve enjoyed the learning over this past year and also the opportunity to meet other UK hospice fundraisers. Although it was difficult at certain times, it was worth it to gain the qualification – and it’s always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone!

Marie Foster, Innovation and Digital Fundraiser

Heather, a former solicitor, has worked in the team for almost two years, having previously volunteered on the ward at the Little Hulton hospice.

It was so important to me to learn about the wider workings of fundraising and how we as a hospice, and I in my own role, can be there for our wonderful supporters.

Having a wider understanding of the importance of fundraising for charitable organisations means I can in turn be a better fundraiser for our supporters. Whilst at times the course was challenging, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn more about the charitable sector.

Heather Bennett, In-Memory and Legacy Fundraiser

Everyone at St Ann’s would like to congratulate Heather and Marie on their commitment and achievements.

“The hospice doesn’t close at Christmas”

Our Christmas appeal raises vital funds to support the patients and families that need us on Christmas Day.

Tia is a Staff Nurse in the Inpatient Unit at our Heald Green hospice. She has put herself forward to work on Christmas Day this year.

“I worked the late shift on Christmas Day in my first year at St Ann’s. The hospice doesn’t close at Christmas – our patients and their loved ones still need us, so we come to work and carry out our duties like any other day.”

Fundraising is essential to the running of the hospice. Without your support we would not be able to keep our doors open, as only around one third of their income comes from the NHS.

Your donation, no matter how big or small, is invaluable to St Ann’s and the families that Tia will care for this Christmas.

It’s not just about the patients but about making it special for their families and visitors coming into the hospice on Christmas Day. It could be their last Christmas together – we want to do everything we can to ensure they have special moments and make lasting memories together.

Tia, Staff Nurse

Just £20 could help to stock the drinks trolley so that patients and families could enjoy a hot drink or festive tipple together this Christmas Day. £30 could pay for a counselling session for someone who has been bereaved and struggling with their first Christmas since losing their loved one.

This Christmas, please donate anything you can to help St Ann’s. It would mean so much to the patients and families who rely on us and would be lost without us this Christmas.

Your donation makes a difference. To donate today please call St Ann’s Hospice on 0161 498 3631 or click here.

Our staff raise £8,564 hiking the Camino de Santiago trek together

The pair had originally planned to take on Kilimanjaro, but this was in 2019 just before the pandemic, so even though they had done all their fundraising, the trip was cancelled.

At this time they were doing the challenge with a group, but after the pandemic just the two of them were left so decided to take on the Camino instead.

The Camino is a historic pilgrimage route in Spain, covering the final 67km of the famous Camino Frances – the French Way.

Lisa, Donna and the previous Events Fundraiser Sam O’Reilly raised a combined total of £8,564 for St Ann’s Hospice.

It was a great challenge to be part of a very, very hot but a great experience. We are proud to do it for St Ann’s Hospice and would highly recommend it to anyone who wanted to give it a go.

Lisa Corbett, Patient and Family Support Team

“We enjoyed seeing so many people on the trek, but it never felt overcrowded or too busy which was nice. We both like walking so it seemed like a great challenge to take on, with lots of comradery on the route too.”

Donna says: “During the time we fundraised we both gained a new understanding for just how much dedication is given from the fundraising team every single day to raise money, it takes so much effort, especially when times are hard.

“Wherever we were fundraising, either at fairs, packing bags in supermarkets or doing raffles, so many people recognised St Ann’s Hospice and had such lovely comments about it.

“We are both so proud to have raised money for our hospice, and it was great to hear so many other people taking on The Camino for hospices near them too.”

Celebrating International Volunteers Day with Beth

I start work at 10am and it’s always lovely to be welcomed so warmly by Esme, the Shop Manager, and Duck, (David), who also works Wednesdays. 

Jackie is also often in on a Wednesday and it’s so nice to see familiar faces. 

When your life revolves around being at home with your kids, it gives an extra sense of belonging. It’s not a stuffy, serious vibe at work, it’s very much a friendship feel, with good banter and a chance to get to know each other.

This means the team can feel like your support system, when you’re waffling about the trials and tribulations of life, or parenting! It also extends your friendship circle when you bump into them whilst out! 

One of my main duties now includes working on Facebook. I check with Esme which section she wants me to concentrate on that day, e.g. Ladies, Men’s, Kids, Christmas etc, and I take lots of pictures of things that I think will sell well. I then upload them to the St Ann’s Romiley Facebook page, along with details of all the ways people can get in touch with us and details of any special offers on that day. 

Once uploaded, I then share the post to many different Facebook groups around the Stockport area. Once that’s done, I reply to any messages that come through, checking the size of an item, or price, or asking us to hold an item for up to 48 hours.

As well as Facebook duties, I also work on the till., putting purchases through or printing out labels for donations received. I also encourage customers to sign up to Gift Aid

When customers come into the shop with bags of donations, I take them through to the back so that they can be sorted. I’m a very social, outgoing person, so I love interacting with the customers and will always greet them as they enter and leave the shop. 

I’m more than happy to chat with them if they look like they’d appreciate that!

I love knowing that whilst I get a lot out of volunteering, it’s also for a bigger cause and a bigger picture.

Beth Crowcroft, Volunteer Shop Assistant

I finish work at 12pm, having packed lots into the two hours I’m there. Over the course of the five years I’ve been at Romiley St Ann’s shop, the amount of time spent volunteering weekly has varied. I initially did one morning a week and then built it up to two mornings a week.

Due to home circumstances, I then needed to go back down to one morning a week. I love the flexibility that comes with volunteering here. 

Here’s to many more years volunteering at Romiley St Ann’s shop, as it really is such a welcoming, friendly place!

Striking a pose for the new hospice

St Ann’s Hospice are delighted to announce that £3660 was raised from our night of fashion and fun at John Lewis Cheadle.

The catwalk show featured doctors, nurses, volunteers and other members of the St Ann’s team modelling festive fashions from across John Lewis’s women’s, men’s and children’s wear ranges.

Funds raised at the event will be going towards our Build it Together campaign, which is raising the final £2 million that we need to build a much-needed new hospice in Heald Green, Stockport.

Lesley Jackson, Outpatient Clinical Services Secretary, took part as a model for the Fashion Show.

I’ve worked for 20 years at the Heald Green site, so I see every day how our current building is deteriorating and how essential it is that we get a new hospice built for our local communities. I jumped at the chance to model at the John Lewis Fashion Show – what a treat to do something different, raise vital funds and get my hair and make up done!

Lesley Jackson, Outpatient Clinical Services Secretary

The models were glammed up on the night by John Lewis’s premium makeup concessions in store, before having a drinks reception and getting dressed in their outfits for the two shows – Autumn/Winter Fashion and Party Wear.

Attendees enjoyed entertainment from the Crystal Chords Barbershop Chorus during a drinks reception and the interval, as well as hand massages provided by the St Ann’s Complementary Therapy Team and Clarins.

We’re so grateful to John Lewis Cheadle for supporting us to raise funds for our much-needed new building. We’d also like to thank our St Ann’s colleagues, Celine and Beverly at Glossy, Crystal Chords, and everyone who came to the event for their help and support in ensuring we will be here providing specialist support and care for generations. What an amazing show!

Anne-Marie Wynne, Head of Fundraising and Capital Campaign

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. To find more information on how you can help, see here.

Nurses and doctors modelling at John Lewis fashion show in aid of Build it Together appeal

We’re so excited to be partnering with John Lewis Cheadle for a Fashion Show tomorrow evening (Thursday 12th October) in aid of our Build it Together appeal. The appeal is raising the final £2 million that we need to build a much-needed new hospice in Heald Green, Stockport.

The catwalk show will feature doctors, nurses, volunteers and other members of the St Ann’s team modelling festive fashions from across John Lewis’s women’s, men’s and children’s wear ranges.

Our fabulous models have been attending their appointments over the last week with John Lewis Cheadle’s stylists, who have specially chosen outfits for each person based on their colouring and body shape.

The models will be glammed up on the night by one of John Lewis’s premium makeup concessions in store, before having a drinks reception and getting dressed in their outfits for one of the two shows – Autumn/Winter Fashion and Partywear.

Here our models tell us about what they do at St Ann’s and being part of the John Lewis fashion show.

I started at the hospice two and a half years ago. My friend and I really enjoyed doing the Midnight Walk this year and I raised just over £300. I decided to do the fashion show because I did one aged seven and it was loads of fun! I thought this would be fun too and nice to do something with colleagues. I think one thing you learn at the hospice is that life is too short, so why not?!
I’m looking forward to having some of my friends and family come along to the fashion show to support me – I’ve told them I’m doing it so it’s too late to back out now!

Roisin, Specialty Doctor

I’ve been at St Ann’s for three years now. I have done fundraising for St Ann’s before – I raised just over £300 for illustrating windows and doors in the hospice in Christmas 2020 and we couldn’t have Christmas decorations on the ward.
I got involved in the fashion show because I thought it was a good opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have also returned back from maternity leave in the last six months and thought it would be a way to boost my self-confidence after having a baby. I also really believe in celebrating real bodies of all shapes and sizes.
I’m most looking forward to getting glammed up – and a break away from my two small children for the evening (who I love immensely by the way!)

Jodie, Staff Nurse, Heald Green Inpatient Unit

I’ve worked for 20 years at the Heald Green site, so I see every day how our current building is deteriorating and how essential it is that we get a new hospice built for our local communities. I jumped at the chance to model at the John Lewis Fashion Show – what a treat to do something different, raise vital funds and get my makeup done!

Lesley, Outpatient Clinical Services Secretary

I’ve been at the hospice for 23 years, since March 2000. I was on the ward until 2016 then moved to what’s now The Being You Centre.
I ended up working for the hospice after working at a hospital as a link nurse and going on a course where I spent a week at St Ann’s. I had had several bad experiences with people dying in hospital and not having the deaths they wanted or their wishes not being fulfilled. After spending the week at St Ann’s I realised that’s where I wanted to be.
I modelled at a previous St Ann’s fashion show with Lesley and another colleague in 2015, and we loved it!
I’ve fundraised and been involved in things at St Ann’s before. I did Born Survivor a few years ago with colleagues. It’s really nice to do something for someone you work for when it’s a charity.

Jo, Staff Nurse, Heald Green Being You Centre

I’ve been at St Ann’s for almost five years. I love my job for so many reasons! But, particularly because it gives me a unique and humbling opportunity to support patients and their loved ones at such a challenging season in their lives.
I don’t know why I said yes to walking in the fashion show as it’s really out of my comfort zone! I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve bene involved with hospice events like Light up a Life, and my husband has also done some fundraising for the hospice.
I’m just looking forward to having a bit of fun with my colleagues on the night!

Lucy, Senior Staff Nurse, Heald Green Inpatient Unit

Tickets for the fashion show are £15 per person and include a glass of fizz on arrival, a hand massage from the St Ann’s Complementary Therapy Team and Clarins, entertainment from the Crystal Chords Barbershop Chorus and a £5 voucher to spend at John Lewis.

They will be on sale right up to the start of tomorrow’s event at 5:30pm. To purchase a ticket, click here.

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