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Volunteers recognised at Willowbrook Hospice awards ceremony

Dedicated volunteers from Willowbrook Hospice have been honoured with the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services at the hospice’s annual volunteer and staff celebration evening.

The Award - described as 'the MBE for volunteers' – recognises outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community; improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

The hospice currently has an army of 480 volunteers from St Helens, Knowsley and beyond who help provide services such as catering and housekeeping, meeting and greeting, day therapy as well as supporting fundraising events such as the annual Moonlight Walk.

Long standing volunteer Ros Davies from Knowsley accepted the award on behalf of Willowbrook from Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside.

Ros who volunteers in Willowbrook Page Moss Charity Shop said: “It is a great honour to represent the volunteers on such a memorable occasion. I’ve been volunteering for Willowbrook for over 25 years and have loved every minute. The hospice is a wonderful place and has helped so many local people and their families over the years.”

Neil Wright, Willowbrook Hospice’s Chief Executive said: “We’re thrilled to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The award acknowledges the contribution of all our volunteers who give their time, skills and commitment all year round. Our volunteers are the backbone of the hospice and allow us to continue offering such a high standard of care.”

The evening, which was compered by BBC North West News presenter and hospice patron, Roger Johnson, also included the presentation of long service awards for both staff and volunteers.

Hospice grounds are bloomin’ marvellous!

Willowbrook Hospice has won the prestigious ‘North West in Bloom’ gold award for the high standards of its grounds and gardens.

‘North West in Bloom’ is part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s national ‘Britain in Bloom Awards’. The awards encourage local communities to improve their environment through the imaginative use of trees, flowers and landscaping.

Hospice Gardener Juliet McLorie said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to win the Gold Award in our category this year and it’s testament to the hard work and dedication that the garden team put in all year round, most of which are volunteers.”

Juliet attended the award ceremony at Southport Convention Centre alongside Alan Chick, Chairman of Willowbrook Hospice’s Board of Trustees, Sheila Thomas, volunteer gardener and Paul Hindley and Paul Curley from Knauf Insulation on Friday 30th October.

Neil Wright Chief Executive of the hospice said “We are thrilled with the North West in Bloom Award. Juliet and her team of volunteers work incredibly hard all year round to ensure that the grounds are colourful, welcoming and well maintained. This year we’ve also been fortunate to have the support of volunteers from locally based companies such as Sky and Knauf Insulation. The gardens and grounds are such an important part of the hospice for both patients and their visitors. The 3 Japanese gardens are particularly spectacular and tranquil offering a peaceful place for reflection.”

Green scheme gets the green light

A big thank you to St Helens Council for choosing Willowbrook Hospice to be one of the three local charities who can benefit from their big recycling initiative.
Remember, please register your recycling points with the council and support this great initiative, then go on to support Willowbrook Hospice.


Dasah & raise cash on 5 December

This year’s St Helens Santa Dash has been launched, with organisers hoping to encourage as many local people as possible to pull on their Santa suit to help raise funds for two local charities- Willowbrook Hospice and the Steve Prescott Foundation.

The launch saw the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillors Steve and Lynn Glover dash over to the Steve Prescott Bridge - alongside members of the Steve Prescott Foundation, the Willowbrook fundraising team and Willowbrook mascot, Brookie the Bear.

This year’s 3k dash, with support from Tesco, St Helens Council and St Helens Rugby League Club, will take place on December 5, starting in Church Square at 11am.

Entry is £12 for adults who will receive a complimentary Santa Suit and £6 for children who will get a Santa hat. Children under five go free.

Councillor Steve Glover said: “I’m looking forward to seeing St Helens become a sea of red on Saturday 5 December for what will be a great event for the town.

“I’d encourage you, whether you’re an experienced runner or not, to sign up and get involved. You’ll feel proud afterwards knowing you’ve contributed to helping raise money for two local charities that are close to a lot of people’s hearts.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice, added: “Christmas is a great way to get people together to take part in something that is fun, while helping to raise funds for two very worthwhile local charities.”

For more information and to register, please visit www.sthelenssantadash.co.uk

BBC Children in Need funds play area at local hospice

Willowbrook Hospice in Prescot recently played host to Pudsey Bear as he helped open the hospice’s new outdoor children’s play area.

Funded by a grant of £9, 690 from BBC Children in Need, the play area provides a safe and enjoyable facility for young children to play while visiting adult relatives who are being cared for at the hospice.

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook says: “We recognised that the hospice can be a scary and restrictive place for young children, particularly if they are visiting a close member of their family. The grant from BBC Children in Need has allowed us to develop an outdoor play area where children can go to relax, play and behave in a normal way even though they and their family may be going through one of the most difficult times in their lives.”

Elizabeth Myers, BBC Children in Need Regional Head for the North said: “BBC Children in Need are proud to be supporting Willowbrook, and are delighted that the funding will benefit young lives for many years to come. ”

Marathon effort raises more than £1000 for hospice

Local man Bryan Davies recently took on the Chester Marathon to help raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice.

Father of two Bryan, 44, decided to take on his first ever marathon as a tribute to his mum who is currently receiving support from the hospice, having been diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

Bryan said: “Although my mum’s cancer isn’t considered to be operable, Willowbrook has played a significant part in helping her manage her condition and keep as physically and mentally strong as possible. My mum finds great comfort in the counselling and activities Willowbrook provide be it massage, craft or even singing Mull of Kintyre!”

With support from family and friends (including best friend Johnny Vegas!), Bryan completed the run in just over 5 hours, raising more than £1150 for the hospice.

Bryan continues: “ My mum is inspirational in her strength of mind and purpose and we cannot thank Willowbrook enough for all they have done for her and I am sure the families of other patients would say the same.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice said: “Every year it costs just under £4 million to run the hospice, including providing our day therapy and outpatient services. It’s thanks to people like Bryan that we can continue to care and support people with life limiting illnesses in our local community.

Kirstie raises a whopping £1,165 for hospice in memory of nan

Local hairdresser Kirstie Mempham, 22 from Huyton has raised a whopping £1, 165 for local charity Willowbrook Hospice after serving up a treat at a fundraising coffee morning.

The event was organised by Kirstie in memory of her nan, Rose Levens who was cared for at the hospice, after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

Kirstie said “I was really close to my nannie - she was really like a second mum to me and I loved her to bits. Words cannot describe the care they gave her at Willowbrook. The staff and nurses made her and my family feel like she was the only one in there and nothing was ever too much for them.”

After Rose sadly died on 5 August 2015 aged 78, Kirstie decided to hold a coffee morning in her nan’s honour to help raise funds for the hospice.

Kirstie continued: “I decided to do a coffee morning to raise money for Willowbrook as I found out how much it costs to give the care and support they gave my nannie and the family. I don’t think the hospice gets enough credit for what they do for local people and their families. It’s only when you’re there that you realise what a special place it is.”

Emily Naylor, Community Fundraiser for Willowbrook said: “It costs around £4 million each year to run the hospice and it’s thanks to people like Kirstie that we’re able to continue to provide the high level of care and support that we offer to local people.”

Anyone interested in organising a coffee morning, afternoon tea party or a get together can either visit www.willowbrook.org.uk or contact Emily on 01744 453798/email: EmilyN@willowbrookhospice.org.uk for more information.

Hospice Open Day

Members of the public are invited to Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane, Prescot on Saturday 10 October to have a tour of the hospice, meet the hospice staff and volunteers over light refreshments and hear first-hand the type of service and facilities available.
There will also be a range of crafts and plants on sale.
There is no need to book a space - just turn up on Saturday 10 October between 11am – 1.30pm

Willowbrook Hospice Open Day
• Saturday 10 October 11am – 1.30pm
• Free parking
• Nearest train station Eccleston Park

The Open Day takes place during Hospice Care Week (5-11 October) and coincides with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (10 October).

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© 2015 Willowbrook Hospice.
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Registered charity no. 1020240
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Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane
Prescot, Merseyside L34 2QT
Tel: 0151 430 8736
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54/56 Claughton Street
St Helens, Merseyside WA10 1SN
Tel: 01744 453798
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