Keen walker Tom Everett and grandson to tackle the Manchester Midnight Walk!

Keen walker Tom is bravely tackling the 10-kilometre circuit of the city centre, having turned 80 just three days before the event on Friday, May 20.

He will have a heavy heart leaving Manchester Cathedral after losing his wife Carol (76) to cancer 18 months earlier.

The Sale couple had been married for 51 years and retired sales manager Tom will always cherish the beautiful poems written by his beloved wife, a tax officer.

He compiled them in a book and presented a copy to St Ann’s in Heald Green where Carol was cared for.

He even read Carol a verse from a favourite poem, entitled My God, at her hospice bedside during final precious moments together.

The beautiful thing was that after I’d read the first verse she squeezed my hand and relaxed. I didn’t even know that Carol had been writing poems since she was a teenager.

She wanted us to look after St Ann’s as they were so good to us all in the month she was there. I visited her twice a day every day with our son Andrew and they were brilliant.

Carol was a wonderful person and I was astonished she accepted my invitation to go out on a date all those years ago. I thought I must be in a queue! She had steely determination.

Tom Everett

The couple’s daughter Rachel died of cancer in 2004, aged 31.

Matthew, a pupil at Wellington School, Timperley, is excited by the walk.

I’m sure it’s going to be fairly tough for my grandad, but he walks every day and I’ll be there every step of the way to support him.

Tom’s grandson, Matthew

The moonlit walk, starting and ending at Manchester Cathedral from midnight, costs £19 to enter, £11 for under 18s. For those unable to make it, a virtual walk is £10 and £5.

Fancy joining Tom at the Manchester Midnight Walk?

Find out more information on how to sign up…

Click here!

Relaxation Session for Businesses!

Employees from local businesses are being offered the opportunity to join a free virtual relaxation session to help them unwind and take time out. 

Our Complementary Therapist Ruth Dawson will be running the free session online on Thursday 25th March at 3pm, giving people the chance to take 30 minutes break to help relieve stress. 

Ruth said: “At St Ann’s relaxation is such an important part of the care we offer to patients and their loved ones, and during the pandemic in particular, many members of our staff have also found it extremely beneficial to both their physical and mental health. 

“After seeing the benefits, we thought that staff from other organisations might also like to take part, and I’m hoping they will leave with more energy and a clearer and calmer mind. 

“Taking time out to relax can actually improve productivity, and it also helps to relieve stress, slow down breathing and the heart rate, and can increase the flow of blood to our muscles too.  It’s a short session, so hopefully people will find it easy to fit it into their day, and will be able to take away lots of ideas on carrying the practice forward too.

It’s arguably more important than ever for people to look after not only their physical health but also their mental health too, and we’re really pleased that Ruth has agreed to run this session for local businesses. 

It will hopefully not only leave participants feeling rested and with tools they can apply to their daily life in the future, but will also give an insight into one of the less well known services we offer to patients and their loved ones. 

Megan Kemp, Corporate Fundraiser

Our Corporate Fundraiser, Megan, went on to say: “When people think of hospices, they often think about end of life care and patients on our wards, but while that’s a huge and important part of what we do, we also provide a range of other services that support patients from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, through treatment and beyond. 

“Ruth and the other members of the Complementary Therapy Team play an important part in that holistic care provision, and we’re hoping people from across the Greater Manchester business community take advantage of this session and join us on 25th March. 

To book onto our Relaxation Session click the link below and for more information on other ways your business can get involved with St Ann’s Hospice in our birthday year, or to find out about other planned events and activities, please contact Megan Kemp at or by calling 0161 498 3631.

Book your place today

Relax and unwind with your colleagues by booking your free place for our Relaxation Session

Click here

Spotlight on… our Lymphoedema Team

Lymphoedema is a swelling which can occur in any part of the body. Lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system does not drain properly. This can be for various reasons such as genetic conditions, traumas, vascular problems and cancer and it’s treatments. 

Lymphoedema is a chronic condition, which means that unfortunately currently there is no cure. But our Lymphoedema Team help patients to manage their symptoms, reduce swellings and reduce the risk of the condition getting worse. 

We’re proud to have a dedicated team of specialists who work hard to support people living with lymphoedema.

This Lymphoedema Week (1st – 6th March), we wanted to celebrate Fiona, Lucie and Lisa in our Lymphoedema Team by sharing some of the brilliant feedback we’ve received from patients and other organisations we work with…  

A card to the Lymphoedema Team which is handwritten and reads: I would especially like to thank Fiona, Lucy & Lisa the Lymphoedema Team for the work they have done with me all through the pandemic. Their proficiency, kindness and cheerfulness has and continues to help me get through it all. My donation is my way of thanking them. Please pass on my thanks to them. Best wishes.

“I’ve got my mobility back and am much more active now. I don’t have as many leg appointments any more, so I’ve got more time to do things I enjoy. Me and my wife are even thinking about going away on holiday for the first time in years. I feel like I’ve got my life back.”

Retired taxi driver and patient  

 You can read Dennis’ full story online on the Legs Matter website.

Fiona, Lisa and the team have made a massive difference to my life. Things are looking good. I had never heard of the Lymphoedema service, until I needed to use it. However, I now KNOW it is an essential service that should be available in every area. I can’t speak highly enough of the people who carry out this service.

Lymphoedema patient

“As the Macmillan programme manager for Greater Manchester Cancer’s Lymphoedema programme during 2019 -2020, I worked extremely closely with St Ann’s Hospice Lymphoedema service.

“I worked particularly closely with Fiona Sanderson, Lymphoedema Specialist. Fiona has driven forward the patient’s voice, and shown the results of how she can turn someone’s life around by treating their condition with her expertise in intensive treatment. Fiona has also driven forward education for the palliative care and end of life workforce that will be implemented across Greater Manchester and I cannot wait to see the long-term outcomes of this piece of work.

“Fiona wouldn’t have been able to drive this transformation without the rest of her team, so I also thank Lucie and Lisa for all their hard work and commitment to lymphoedema. St Ann’s Hospice was an integral part of the two-year programme and will also continue to drive forward change for people affected by lymphoedema.” 

Debra Allcock
Facilitator for the GM Lymphoedema Transformation Network 

The lymphoedema team receives referrals from 7 CCG’s for people with both cancer and non-cancer related lymphoedema. Lymphoedema services are not easy to access and our patients are so grateful that the Hospice supports the team and continues to help it develop. We with other services across Greater Manchester and Lucie is on the British lymphology Society committee. We hope we can continue to learn and develop so we can continue to offer this support to more people. We love what we do and we love it more when we can see how it benefits people.

Fiona and the Lymphoedema Team

Our services

We don’t just care for people with cancer, we also support people with conditions like Lymphoedema, at all stages of their illness. All our services are free of charge, and the sooner we’re involved, the more we can help.

Find out more about our services

St Ann’s Senior Counsellor featured on international news site

As a hospice, our role is far from over when someone dies. Our therapy service, Let’s Talk, supports people to come to terms with loss or process their illness by offering psychological support to patients, carers, friends and family.

We have continued to offer counselling, bereavement and psychological support over the telephone or via video calls throughout the pandemic. Initially, some clients preferred to wait until we could offer face-to-face services again. However, as restrictions continue, we are seeing more people get back in touch as we all accept that we need to acclimatise to making connections in a different way.

Hazel Wilcock our Senior Counsellor at St Ann’s and she recently told ehospice about developing our psychological support service to reach more people during the pandemic.

You can read the article online on ehospice.

Bereavement support

Many of us welcome talking to others when a person who is close has died – and usually rely on friends and family. But sometimes it can help to talk to someone who is not so closely involved. This is where we can help.

Find out more

Move More at Home

Physiotherapist - Bobby Magee Clinical

“The Being You Centre at St Ann’s helps you when you’re living with a life-limiting illness to get back to feeling like yourself again. 

“We’ve recently started running our popular Move More exercise classes virtually, so people can join in at home. Move More at Home is a gentle exercise class, designed by our physiotherapists to help you keep active at home and learn new exercise techniques. 

“Patients from The Being You Centre join in once a week for a five-week programme of virtual classes, with a mixture of chair-based exercises and simple relaxation techniques. Seated exercise is a great way to get you moving, maintain muscle strength and have fun all at the same time.

It’s especially important that we all keep active, especially as we’re all spending more time at home and lots of our other usual activities have changed or stopped. Some of the people who join us are shielding, are housebound or might have symptoms that prevent them from coming to the hospice in person. So, we’ve designed these virtual classes to make sure that everyone is able to join in.

Physiotherapist - Bobby Magee Clinical

“We know how important the social element is, so this is something we wanted to keep at the heart of our classes. Many people have really missed not being able to come to the hospice and miss the services we offer and face-to-face contact with the teams here. Going virtual has meant our services are now accessible to so many more people and we can still see each other, chat and have fun together while exercising in our own homes.  

“It has been rewarding and fun to help people engage with our services in a new way. Not only have we been keeping fit and active, staff and patients have also learnt new digital skills by going virtual. 

“Feedback from patients so far has been excellent, which has been really encouraging. They say they have been able to stay more independent, stay motivated, and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Our classes have been so popular that we plan to run three sessions every week, so more people who are living with a life-limiting illness across Greater Manchester can join in from home.”

The Being You Centre

Read more about our programmes in The Being You Centre. Find out how you can make a referral to join our services online, over the phone or in-person

Find out more

Creative therapy online

Ruth Creative Therapist Daycare

The Being You Centre at St Ann’s helps you when you’re living with a life-limiting illness to get back to feeling like yourself again. 

We offer a really popular six-week course, during which we cover five different art and craft activities. We use basic art materials, along with items that can be collected from in and around the home. Patients get the opportunity to share ideas, build on existing confidence, or discover new skills, which can be developed once the course has finished. 

Due to current restrictions, we’re not able to offer our conventional in-house creative service at The Being You Centre, so we’ve recently started virtual creative sessions. It’s lovely to be able to engage with patients online where possible. 

Ruth Creative Therapist Daycare Painting

Our virtual creative therapy sessions give patients the opportunity to work creatively within a group, but from the comfort of their own homes. Our intention is to continue to offer this online option alongside our usual services once we can get patients back on site to enable us to reach patients who otherwise would not be able to access the service. 

The benefits of creative therapies are already well known, but during these current times, having something to absorb, distract and interest us has become more important than ever. Even with the best of intentions, it can be very hard to motivate ourselves independently, so our aim is to get like-minded people together, using what means we have available, such as starting this virtual service. 

As well as our six-week course, we also have a series of craft sessions on our YouTube channel. In each video, I make some of our Being You Centre’s most popular crafts. These are free for anyone to watch, so you can follow along in your own home or share with anyone you think might benefit from them. 

If you’re interested in joining our five-week programme, these videos are also a great way of trying out a craft session at home to see what it’s like and if you’d like to make a referral to join our programme virtually. 

The Being You Centre

Read more about our Creative Therapy and other programmes in The Being You Centre. Find out how you can make a referral to join our services online, over the phone or in-person

Find out more

Being You Centre outpatients

A new sign with the Being You Centre logo and reads Outpatients Unit

At St Ann’s we know that everyone’s needs are different, so our Being You Centre team take the time to really listen to our patients and tailor our services to each person’s individual needs.

Since March, we’ve had to stop seeing Being You Centre patients face to face at the hospice. Instead, our teams at Little Hulton, Heald Green and the Neil Cliffe Centre have taken our support online, on video and over the phone. We’ve been in touch with our patients regularly, and from August we’ve also started running some of our groups and programmes virtually.

But for some patients, meeting our teams in person is still what’s right for them. Our teams have worked hard to create a new, accessible Being You Centre outpatients unit based at Heald Green to make face to face appointments possible.

Lots of our patients have really benefited from support over the phone or video, and our virtual services that we’ve run online have been a success so far. But we know that these aren’t accessible for everyone, and to really meet some patients’ needs it’s best to see them face to face. So we’re really excited to now be able to have patients in our new, accessible outpatients unit. We had our first patient last week and it went really well. You really can’t underestimate the benefit of seeing someone face to face, for both patients and staff.

Amanda Connors, Team Leader at The Being You Centre

Our teams have worked so hard to make sure we can offer face to face outpatient services for our Being You Centre patients. We know how vital these face to face services are for some people, so we’ve invested time and resources to adapt our services to meet the needs of our patients. Every detail has been carefully though about, from new signage to dementia-friendly clocks. Safety and accessibility is paramount, and I’m proud of how our clinical and facilities teams have come together to create spacious, accessible consultation rooms and flexible appointments that are tailored to each individual.

Emma Dixon, Head of Clinical Services

The Being You Centre

The Being You Centre is here to help you get back to feeling like yourself again. Find out more about our services and how to make a referral.

Find out more

St Ann’s Homeless Counselling Lead featured on international news site

At St Ann’s Hospice, we’ve been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to continue providing the highest levels of care, and adapting our services to make sure we meet the changing needs of our patients.

One of the services that we’ve developed during this time is our homeless counselling service. We provide free counselling to people who are homeless themselves, or staff working in the homelessness sector who have experienced a loss of any kind.

This week, Joanne Brown, Counselling Lead of our Homeless Palliative Care service, told ehospice about setting up this much-needed service during the pandemic:

You can read the article online here.

Homeless palliative care

We support clients, keyworkers and health and social care staff when someone’s health is getting worse.

Find out more