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John walks for Willowbrook

John Dodd, a 71 year-old pensioner recently took on a 200 mile trek from his home in Surbiton, Surrey to Lime Street, Liverpool to help raise funds for national and local charities, including Prescot based Willowbrook Hospice.

Dedicating his walk to Liverpool celebrities, Cilla Black, Billy Fury, Frankie Vaughan and Michael Holliday, John has been doing five celebrity charity walks each year for the past 6 years, raising over £15, 500 for cause after cause.

A former film extra, John is no stranger to celebrities – and indeed, they're often among his sponsors, from Richard Attenborough to Dame Judi Dench.
John says: "I've been sponsored by over 130 stars, throughout my time as a walker. Although I’m not related to Ken Dodd he has sponsored me, twice! He’s such a lovely man, and very kind to his fans. I did a walk for his 82nd birthday, and I’m planning another for his 90th next year!”

John’s recent walk lasted 14 days and took in sights such as London’s West End, St Albans and Cambridge before travelling through Yorkshire, crossing the Pennines and eventually concluding at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre on Lime Street, all in aid of Willowbrook Hospice, Claire House children’s hospice and Age UK.


Mum and daughter to run 10km for hospice

A mother and daughter team will be racing around the streets of Manchester to help raise funds to support Willowbrook Hospice.

Jill Culling 55, of St Helens and her daughter Louise, 18, are getting ready to take part in Great Manchester Run on 22 May 2016.

The duo decided to take on the challenge in appreciation of the ‘amazing’ care the Hospice gave to Stephen Culling – Jill’s husband and Louise’s father.

Jill said: “Stephen was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December 2010 and was referred to Willowbrook for treatment and respite care. Although he managed to come home for Christmas, he returned to Willowbrook soon after and passed away peacefully with me at his side on 16 January 2011.”
“The Hospice was fantastic with Stephen and everyone was so kind and caring. It made the world of difference that we could spend those last few days with Stephen together as a family. Every day that we spent at Willowbrook was a happy and peaceful time - we used the little time we had to reflect and prepare. All of the staff at Willowbrook, from volunteers to nurses to consultants, treated us all with understanding, compassion and dignity and prepared us for the hard journey we faced.”

In training since January 2016, Jill and Louise will be joining thousands of other runners on the start line for the 10km event, which starts and finishes in Manchester City Centre and passes Old Trafford along the route.

Jill continues; “Taking part in run is our way of saying thank you and ‘putting something back’ into the hospice after all the help and support they gave to us. We’re determined to complete the 10K in under an hour and raise as much money as we can for Willowbrook”

Louise, who works at a local primary school added: “Willowbrook Hospice allowed us to be a family when we needed to the most. I will always be thankful for the care my dad received and how comfortable and peaceful they made him through his care at the hospice. Raising money from our run will help ensure that more families are able to benefit from all that Willowbrook offers.”
“Although the training has been hard work – especially in the early days! - we’re both really looking forward to the run, especially as we’ve never done anything like this before. It’s going to be a great buzz at the end knowing that we’ve completed the run and helped to raise money for the hospice.”

All of the money raised by Jill and Louise will allow Willowbrook Hospice to continue to provide the highest standards of care and support to local people with life limiting illnesses.
To support Jill and Clare and help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice, please go to:
https://www.justgiving.com/jill-culling2 for Jill or https://www.justgiving.com/louise-culling for Louise


Clareís marathon effort in memory of Paul

Primary school teacher Clare Cronin (29) will be joining over 54,000 runners as she takes part in the Paris Marathon 2016 this Sunday to help raise funds for the hospice which cared for her friend and neighbour, Paul Fairchild.

Clare from St Helens says: “Paul was a lovely man and had achieved more in 29 years than most people do in a life time. He’d ran two half marathons to help raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research and had a beautiful partner Aneta, and two amazing children, Jamie aged 4 and Sophie aged 2.”

Family man Paul had already battled cancer three times when he was diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal cancer. Just 8 weeks later, Paul was admitted to Willowbrook Hospice, where he spent the final 2 weeks of his life.

Continues Clare: “Paul’s character, strength and determination carried him and his family through the darkest time of their lives. Paul was ‘living with cancer, not dying of cancer’ and the work, love and support Willowbrook offered Paul and his family and friends was beyond amazing.

“Training for the marathon has been a long journey with highs and lows. I've pushed myself to levels I never thought I'd achieve but what’s kept me going is knowing that I’m helping raise money for Willowbrook Hospice in memory of Paul. The hospice provides round the clock care and support for local families in times of need and I just want to do my little bit to make a difference.”

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


Annual Choir Festival raises over £800 for hospice

Singers from 12 local choirs sang their hearts out at the annual St Helens Choir festival which raised over £800 for Willowbrook Hospice.

The festival took place at St Mary’s Church, Lowe House on 30 March 2016 with the audience treated to a range of singing styles from gospel to accepella.

Organiser John Beirne of Avanti Hair in St Helens said, “It was fantastic to have so many fabulous singers – young and old - in one place, all enjoying themselves and doing their bit to help raise money for Willowbrook.”

The choirs singing at this year’s festival included Red V voices, Rainhill High Notes, Grand National Chorus, Asda Choir, Celebration Choir, New Street Singers, The Citadel Sing Out Choir, Reeves Court Singers, Sherdley Primary school, Jubilate Praise and Shine Gospel Choir.

John continues: “Next year will be the Choir Festival’s 10th anniversary and we’re hoping it’s going to be the biggest and best ever! If any choirs are interested in joining us they’ll be more than welcome!”

Nicky Saunders, Fundaising Manager at Willowbrook Hospice said: "Once again, the choir festival provided a brilliant evening of entertainment and we’d like to thank all the choirs who took part for supporting Willowbrook Hospice and of course, John Beirne for organising the event.
"We rely heavily on events like this to help us reach our £4 million annual running costs and the money the choir festival raised will help us continue providing specialist care to adults in St Helens and Knowsley with life limiting illnesses."


John walks for Willowbrook

John Dodd, a 71 year-old pensioner recently took on a 200 mile trek from his home in Surbiton, Surrey to Lime Street, Liverpool to help raise funds for national and local charities, including Prescot based Willowbrook Hospice.

Dedicating his walk to Liverpool celebrities, Cilla Black, Billy Fury, Frankie Vaughan and Michael Holliday, John has been doing five celebrity charity walks each year for the past 6 years, raising over £15, 500 for cause after cause.

A former film extra, John is no stranger to celebrities – and indeed, they're often among his sponsors, from Richard Attenborough to Dame Judi Dench.
John says: "I've been sponsored by over 130 stars, throughout my time as a walker. Although I’m not related to Ken Dodd he has sponsored me, twice! He’s such a lovely man, and very kind to his fans. I did a walk for his 82nd birthday, and I’m planning another for his 90th next year!”

John’s recent walk lasted 14 days and took in sights such as London’s West End, St Albans and Cambridge before travelling through Yorkshire, crossing the Pennines and eventually concluding at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre on Lime Street, all in aid of Willowbrook Hospice, Claire House children’s hospice and Age UK.


Golfers invited to swing into action for 10th anniversary fundraising day

Golfers are invited to tee off to help raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice as the charity hosts its 10th annual golf day.

Sponsored by GPW recruitment, the Willowbrook Hospice Challenge Shield takes place on Thursday 2 June at Huyton & Prescot Golf Course with a 2pm shot gun start.

Entry is £65 for individual players of £250 for a team of four. For more information or to register, please call Mark Pilkington on 01744 453798 or email MarkP@willowbrookhospice.org.uk


Concert for hospice is a resounding success

On Saturday 26 March over 150 people were treated to an evening of music and song at a ‘Grand Easter Concert’ which raised £2243.50 for Willowbrook Hospice.

The 3 hour concert at St Helens Town Hall was organised by long term Willowbrook supporter Frank Mernagh and attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor Steve Glover and his wife Lynn.

Compered by Graham Connolly, with accompaniment from Rachael Fright, the concert featured local sophrano, Lynn Jones, classically trained tenor Tom Loughlin as well as Haydock Male Choire and the Rainford Ladies Choir.

Speaking after the event Frank said: “It’s always a pleasure to help raise funds for Willowbrook. The hospice is such a fantastic place and the staff there do an amazing job of supporting and caring for seriously ill people in our community.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice, said: “On behalf of Willowbrook, I’d like to express my sincere thanks, not only to Frank, but to the singers and musicians, the volunteers and everyone who attended such a wonderful event. The money raised from the concert will enable us to continue to care for people in St Helens and Knowsley who have life limiting illnesses.”


Place your bets ladies and gentlemen!

Willowbrook Hospice is holding a ‘Big Screen Race Night’ at Prescot Town Hall on Friday 20 March from 7pm, with the first race under starter’s orders at 7.30pm
The fundraising event features an entertaining night of virtual horse racing. With odds calculated on the night, guests can place their bets on a virtual horse for £1 to be in with the chance of winning prize money during each of the eight races.

The hospice fundraising team is looking for people, companies or organisations to sponsor a race. For just £15 you can sponsor a race, which can be named after you or your company or as a tribute to someone special and you will receive a bottle of wine on the night.
Emily Naylor, Community Fundraiser at Willowbrook says: “With the Grand National just around the corner, what better way to get in the mood than a night with the runners and riders for Willowbrook. The evening is a great night out for all the family with the money raised going to help local people with life limiting illnesses.”

Entry tickets for the event can be bought in advance for £5, which includes light refreshments.

For tickets or to sponsor a race, contact the Willowbrook Fundraising Office on 01744 453798 or email: EmilyN@willowbrookhospice.org.uk


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Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane
Prescot, Merseyside L34 2QT
Tel: 0151 430 8736
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Willowbrook Hospice - The Living Well
Borough Road, St Helens, WA10 3RN
Tel: 01744 453798
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