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Over 140 take part in duathlon for hospice

Over 140 competitors were put through their paces as they took part in last Sunday’s duathlon to raise funds for local charity, Willowbrook Hospice.

Starting and finishing in the grounds of Knowsley Safari Park, the gruelling challenge involved a 3km run, followed by a 30km cycle ride through Knowsley and St Helens, culminating in a further 3 km run.

 Frank McCoy 34, from Liverpool was first passed the finishing line with an amazing time of just over an hour, closely followed by Stuart Baines 41, from Hebden Bridge with third place going to Ian Williams, 50, from Liverpool.

Organiser Mark Pilkington from Willowbrook’s Fundraising team said: “It’s the first time that we’ve organised a duathlon and the turn-out was fantastic – particularly given the 7am start! All the competitors were amazing and really dug deep to complete the challenge and raise money for Willowbrook.”

St Helens couple to take on duathlon for Willowbrook Hospice

Local couple, Seb Miller, 31 and fiancee, Becky Pledger, 27 are set to test themselves to the limit as they take on this Sunday’s Duathlon to help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice.

The challenge which starts in Knowsley Safari Park includes a 3km run, transitioning into a 30km cycle, finishing with a 3km run

Seb said: "Although Becky and myself only moved to St Helens a few months ago, we’ve both had family members who have been cared for at hospices and we understand how invaluable places like Willowbrook are, not only to patients but also their families and friends.
“We’ve done charity events before, including the Great North Run, but we’ve never taken part in a duathlon so this is a huge challenge, and one that we are both really looking forward to.”

With over 150 signed up, the Duathlon promises to be to a repeat fixture on the Willowbrook fundraising calendar.

Mark Pilkington, Challenges Fundraiser at Willowbrook says: “This is the first year we’ve held a duathlon and we’ve been amazed by the response we’ve had. As well as fantastic local support, we’ve got participants from as far afield as Durham and West Yorkshire!
“Although many people will have their own individual targets for completing the duathlon, we’re hoping that everyone will try to raise as much money as possible to help us to continue to care for our patients and their families.”

Local heroes take on charity walk

Willowbrook Hospice is inviting local people to sign up and walk, run, or fly around Huyton as they take part in their annual Superhero fundraising walk on 3 October.
The event starts at 10am from Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and is designed for all ages and abilities. Participants are simply asked to dress up as their favourite superhero, get sponsored and complete either a 6km or 3km route. For those who don’t fancy donning a pair of tights and a cape, the hospice will provide them with a limited edition Superhero t-shirt.

For local man Andy Cringle, the walk is a chance to pay tribute to family members who have been affected by terminal illnesses as well as raising vital funds to support the work of the hospice.
Andy said: "Having lost family members to terminal illnesses, I recognise the important role Willowbrook provides to members of the local community.“I have so much respect for the work they do at the hospice and the care and support they offer to patients and their families is second to none. Taking part in the Superhero walk makes me feel like I’m doing my bit to help support people in my local community and ensure the future of the hospice.”

Andy will be joined on the walk by his sons, Frankie (6) and 6 month old Finley.

Nicky Saunders, Fundraising Manager at Willowbrook says “Although we don’t charge a penny for our care at the hospice, each year we must raise over £4 million. We can only do that because of people like Andy, Frankie and Finley who take part in our events, and of course everybody who sponsors them to do it. Our Superhero walk is a fun way to get involved and help us to raise much needed funds for Willowbrook.”

Registration is only £5 for children aged 16 or under. On completion of the walk, all entrants will receive a superhero medal. To join Andy, Frankie and Finley on our Superhero walk please contact 01744 453798, email: events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk or register online at www.active.com, searching for Willowbrook Superhero Walk.

Stephen’s leap of faith

On 20 September, Stephen Richardson from Huyton will be achieving the ambition of a lifetime as he skydives from 14, 000 feet in aid of local charity Willowbrook Hospice.

Father of two Stephen, 34, who is a manager at the Adelphi Hotel, is undertaking the skydiving challenge in memory of his mum, Mary Richardson. Mary who worked at the cardio-respiratory department at Whiston Hospital for over 37 years was cared for at Willowbrook after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in March 2010.

Stephen explained: “For years I’ve wanted to feel the adrenalin rush of a skydive but the opportunity had never really come up so it was a real surprise when my fiancee, Hayley presented me with my birthday present – a chance to take part in the 14,000ft Tandem Skydive in aid of Willowbrook Hospice!

“The support, help and care the staff at the hospice gave to my mum and my family went above and beyond the call of duty. She was such a special person who touched and inspired so many people so even though the nerves have kicked in, I know that my mum would be proud that I am taking the ‘leap’ for such an amazing charity.”

Nicky Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice said: “We need to raise £4 million a year to continue to care for our patients and it’s thanks to people like Stephen that we are able to do so. Having done the Skydive myself a few years ago I know what a brilliant experience it is!”

If you would like to sponsor Stephen, please visit www.justgiving.com/Stericho

Willowbrook Hospice celebrates 20 years of lottery

Willowbrook Hospice’s Lottery is celebrating its 20th anniversary, having raised over £9 million since the first ticket was drawn in September 1995 – while also giving out almost £3.5million in prizes.

Carol Pilkington, Trading Company and Lottery Manager at Willowbrook, said:

“In the 20 years since it was established, the Willowbrook Hospice Lottery has gone from strength to strength. With over 10, 000 members, we’re now close to hitting the £10 million fundraising barrier and we’re so grateful to have the continuous support from our members to enable us to collect such a significant sum for the hospice".

The Lottery still costs just £1 a week to play, which has never changed since day one. Each week more than £2,000 in prizes is awarded to lucky winners, including a £1,000 weekly jackpot. There is also a rollover prize, which could reach £10,000. The highest rollover winner, so far, received a massive £8,400.
Further details on joining the Willowbrook Lottery are available by calling Debbie Munro on 01744 766926 or by visiting www.willowbrook.org.uk. The lottery is open to players aged 16 and over.

Jeanette to go the distance in aid of Willowbrook Hospice

This weekend, local woman, Jeanette McGuire will be joining over 55,000 runners on the start line at the world’s biggest half marathon to help raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice.

Haydock-born Jeanette, 46 will be completing the iconic Great North Run as a tribute to her mum, Gwen, who was cared for at Willowbrook.

Jeanette explains, “My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2013 and spent the last seven weeks of her life at Willowbrook. The staff at the hospice were amazing and did everything - above and beyond - to make my mum feel comfortable and safe. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I don't know what me and my family would have done without them.”

Having competed in two Liverpool half marathons, keen runner Jeanette jumped at the chance to take part in this year’s Great North Run to help raise funds for Willowbrook.

Jeanette says “I have wanted to do the Great North Run for years so I was thrilled when I got my place. I know my mum would have been proud that I’m doing my bit to support the hospice and help them to continue to care for other local people and their families. The things I’m most looking forward are the atmosphere, running over the Tyne Bridge and obviously crossing the finishing line!”

Nicky Saunders, Willowbrook’s Fundraising Manager said, “Since Willowbrook opened in 1997 we’ve cared for almost 8000 people free of charge. Each year we need to raise over £4 million to maintain the level of care we provide at the hospice so it’s brilliant when people like Jeanette sign up to events like the Great North Run to help support us.”

If you would like to sponsor Jeanette as she takes part in the Great North Run, visit https://www.justgiving.com/Jeanette-Mcguire2

Can you help us name our new building?

We are looking for your help to help us to name our exciting new wellbeing centre on Borough Road in St Helens, which is opening in January 2016. We hope that this new building will encompass all that we are trying to do to help people to live well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             We will have a wellbeing suite to help us to offer support and care to our patients and their families, offering holistic care, information and counselling, and group sessions for patients and carers. This will help us to extend our caring into the community, and make sure that everybody is empowered to live their lives as well as possible for as long as possible.

The building will be open to all, with a shop and a café, a large meeting room available to book and which will offer classes such as tai chi, yoga and toddlers groups. Fundraising will be housed here and will run exciting new events like a Winter Fayre, as well as running smaller craft groups , and book clubs.
The emphasis of the new building will be on enjoying life and living well, in all ways. 

We would be really grateful if you can help us by considering a few questions and emailing your replies to: events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk Everybody who enters will be entered into a draw to win a box of Heroes!

  • What do you think about this new building?
  • What do you think about our services?
  • How could we improve what we do?
  • Do you have any suggestions for a name that tells people what this building is all about?

Manor Farm charity music festival

The historic Manor Farm public house in Rainhill, Merseyside is set to host a two day festival this weekend in aid of local charities, Willowbrook Hospice and Slow Down for Bobby.

Around 2,000 people, many of them families are expected to attended the two-day event ‘Rainhill Rocks’ festival which starts at 3.45pm on Friday 21 August. The packed line-up includes a host of local bands such as Salander, Roulette, Problem Child and Rollin’ Thunder as well as solo performers including Chris Schofield. There will also be entertainment for children such as donkey rides, face painting and much more as well as a barbecue and hog roast.

The festival is the brainchild of new Manor Farm managers, Sarah Shaw and David Smith.
Nicky Saunders, Fundraising Manager at Willowbrook Hospice said: “Rainhill Rocks promises to be a brilliant weekend and we’re really grateful to Sarah and David for organising the event and giving their support to help raise money for two very worthwhile causes.”

Manor Farm is a grade II listed building which dates back to 1662 and is popular with historians. A previous building on the site is thought to date back as early as 1200. Manor Farm was turned into a public house in 1973 and serves traditional ales and beers.

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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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