81 Days ‘Till #LondontoParis!

chris_joanne_l2P edit

Left To Right: Jo & Chris

It’s getting ever closer to this year’s London to Paris Bike Ride, an awesome and epic cycle through 300 miles of rural towns and countryside from the 20th – 24th July, our twelve strong team are working hard to train and raise funds for the hospice in preparation for this adventure. One member of last year’s team, Chris, spoke to us recently about her experiences with last year’s London to Paris Cycle.

What made you take part in the event?

“As I was an employee of the Hospice observing how hard the staff work in order to support patients and their families, I felt a strong desire to help their efforts and to raise as much money as possible. Jo, who completed the cycle with me, has also worked as a nurse and was keen to be involved.”

How did you find the fundraising side? What was the best way of raising funds?

Fundraising was lots of fun and a great learning experience. We found the best method of fundraising is communication and involvement of family, friends and colleagues. There are many events which, in our case, proved financially beneficial towards our target e.g. coffee morning, fashion shows, pub quizzes, raffles, etc. all time consuming but great fun.”

What did you enjoy about the cycle ride?

“The cycle was awesome from start to finish. Beautiful English and French countryside with local residents and passers-by clapping and cheering encouraging all the cyclists. The finish cycling around the Eiffel Tower is a wonderful, wonderful memory. It is a lifetime experience not to be missed and we have no doubt one we hope to experience again. It surpasses my 7 global marathons and is an achievement we are both very proud.”

What advice can you give to this year’s riders?

“Enjoy the training and include a few hills!! It will be well worth it.”

Another one of last year’s riders, Frank, is doing it all over again this year, he shared with us why he wanted to do the challenge a second time.

IMAG0804 - Copy edit“I’m taking on the London to Paris ride for the second consecutive year. I think that tells you something in itself. It was such an inspirational trip for me. Not just in terms of the personal challenge and the wonderful countryside which the ride passes through between the two capitals. But the shared experience, friendship and support my fellow riders gave to each other was something very special. This July, it will be a privilege to ride again with others who are taking on this challenge for Wirral Hospice St John’s.”

Cycling from London to Paris is one of the great cycle experiences in Europe covering over 300 miles in 4 days. With long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, the sight of the Eiffel Tower, the finishing point, evokes a real sense of achievement. It is an inspirational and challenging experience to treasure forever.

If you would like to take part in the 2017 London to Paris challenge simply call Michelle on 0151 343 0778 or email michellet@wirralhospice.org for a full information pack and everything you need to take part in this fantastic event.

Author: Jacinta Warwick

Is it the real @Status_Quo & @willyoung performing @wirralrocks?

In a word, yes! Wirral Hospice St John’s really and truly are bringing real life rock legends Status Quo to the Wirral! We promise you it’s not a tribute act, it will most definitely be Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt!

The mighty Quo will be performing an amazing back catalogue of hits old and new, at our Wirral Rocks concert at Prenton Park on Sat 21 May 2016.

Approved-image-2-webreadyWill Young approved 1

But before all that, the very real, funky hunk Will Young will be belting out some fabulous tunes at Wirral Rocks’ opening night on Fri 20 May 2016.

But where did this idea stem from? Well, it was a light-hearted chat between some Hospice colleagues that snowballed to where we are today! We wanted to put on a much bigger fundraising event than we have ever done before to try to raise awareness of our special care within our local community and importantly raise a significant amount to contribute towards that special care our charity provides to hundreds of families across Wirral each year, which although free to our patients costs in the region of £3.5million per annum – only a third of which comes from NHS funding.

In an increasingly tightened economy, we need to have a wide range of opportunities for people to support us. We know not everyone is in a position to give cash donations time and time again. Getting value for money is understandably important to people, so if that can be coupled with a rather good night out in aid of charity (like at Wirral Rocks or perhaps one of our other, smaller fundraising events) then even better!

We went through a comprehensive process to ensure that our plans for Wirral Rocks were discussed appropriately with our charity’s Board of Trustees before gaining a seal of approval. We need to be honest with our supporters though, this event is not happening for free. Although there are some elements that are free or have come with a significant charity discount. But because of this financial outlay, it’s essential that this event is a success. And for that we are calling on you for your help!

How can you help?

  • Buy tickets to either (or both, we don’t expect this at all!) of the concerts http://www.wirralrocks.com
  • Like and share information about Wirral Rocks on social media
  • Distribute posters and flyers to your neighbours and to local shops, or join one of our volunteer promo teams handing out flyers in a group
  • Volunteer at one of the nights – we’ll need ‘volunteer crew’ marshals dotted all over the stadium to help make sure guests get to their seats

We want our supporters and ticket buyers to be reassured that all profits Wirral Rocks makes will be put to immediate and important use in providing crucial care and support for our patients and their loved ones at their time of most need. And we look forward to sharing how much money the event helps us to raise afterwards.

This is the biggest and boldest event we’ve ever committed ourselves to, and we will be promoting is heavily on social media and is some of the local newspapers over the coming months. Even if you’re not a Status Quo or Will Young fan, please be patient with our promotions about it – it’s all for the fantastic cause that we know you all care as much as we do about. It will all be helping to raise lots of interest in who we are, what we do and hopefully people who don’t know very much about us may come away after the event feeling proud of playing a part in helping us to raise much-needed funds for our charity.Wirral Rocks Status Quo & Will Young poster

Tickets for both acts are on sale via www.wirralrocks.com or you can call Ticketmaster on 0844 844 0444 (premium number) to book standing or seated tickets. Will Young tickets are £35 and Status Quo £35.50, both subject to standard booking and postage fees.

If you’d like to help distribute flyers or join a volunteer promo team one night and/or pop your name on our list for ‘volunteer crew’ members for one of the nights, please contact the Fundraising Office on 0151 343 0778 or email my colleague, Michelle Talgam at michellet@wirralhospice.org.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, we do hope to see you at one of our Wirral Rocks nights, or perhaps at one of our other fundraising events in the near future.

Best wishes, Teresa xx
Teresa Nightingale – Head of Fundraising

The wonderful world of #Fundraising #Volunteers #Hospiceheroes

wirral_hospice_gift_shop_elvesFundraising volunteers make up a major part of the fundraising team and without volunteer support in the gift shop, the Fundraising Office, our six charity shops and out at fundraising events the Hospice would struggle to raise the funds needed to provide the very important care that it gives to the Wirral community.

Our Hospice gift shop is open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm from September to January and is staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers who get the first glimpses of new stock, label them up and put them out for customers to see and, hopefully, buy. It is exciting every time new stock comes in and handbags and DSC_0211shoes always cause a bit of a stir within the office. This week, two of our shop volunteers, Linda and Barb, were labelling up some gorgeous new jewellery that had just arrived and they shared why they loved volunteering at the shop.  ‘I like being part of the fundraising team and giving something back’ says Linda, who looks forward to seeing customers she sees every year who buy their Christmas cards and gifts from our shop, Linda says ‘it’s really nice to get to know people and see them again and again’. Barb’s personal experience with the hospice bereavement group is part of why she volunteers ‘It was hard going to the group that first time, but I made some amazing friends and I’m glad I went’ Barb explained that she volunteers so that services like the bereavement group can continue.

DSCF5050The Fundraising Office has a volunteer on reception every day of the week, and each day in the office is different, along with answering calls on the reception desk, opening the post and doing admin duties, our office volunteers find themselves doing all manner of jobs to help the fundraising team each and every day. Sometimes it’s modelling the latest ebay item (we recently saw our Friday morning volunteer Pat out in the sunshine in a designer waterproof cape soon to appear on ebay– see picture), or wrapping the constant stream of raffle prizes for our events throughout the year, often our volunteers are answering the phone while labelling up the next weekend’s ever popular tombola. Karen, our Friday afternoon volunteer remembers coming in on a hot summer’s day wearing a Christmas jumper for a photograph for reopening of the Gift Shop (see above), Karen says ‘it was hot, but very funny and definitely worth it!’

Away from theJoanne Ashworth Fundraising Office we have six charity shops across Wirral; Claughton, Heswall, Liscard, Moreton, New Brighton and West Kirby. Each of these shops need on average twenty five volunteers per week to operate fully. This army of volunteers receive donations, organise and arrange stock, clean, tidy and decorate the shops along with greeting and selling to customers. Volunteers in these shops love to see what treasures have been donated, some of the largest being a 1980s trailer tent and a 1960s pram.  Sometimes we get some very unusual donations which cause a bit of a buzz among the retail team; often these rare beauties are taken back to the fundraising office to be listed on our ebay shop.

Along 03with volunteers who come into the Hospice and shops regularly we also have volunteers who come to our fundraising events and stalls to assist with tombolas, raffles, selling goods & refreshments etc.  Each event is different and there are many funny stories of wild British weather, or crazy fashion shows and fancy gala dinners. Behind many events there is a great deal of cake, and where we have refreshment stalls we have cakes lovingly baked for the Hospice by our baking volunteers who are called upon before an event to see if they are free to get cooking.  These donated cakes not only keep our refreshment stalls well stocked but provide great variety to each event, as there is always a different flavour available from the classic Victoria sponge to marmalade and butterscotch.

Our wonderful volunteers make the Hospice what it is today, whether they are in fundraising raising money, helping with the running of the hospice, serving refreshments in the Hub Café or supporting patients & their families, without their dedication and support the Hospice would struggle to exist.  We always need more volunteers and are looking for;

  • Fundraising Office Reception volunteer on Wednesday afternoons 1-4
  • Charity shop volunteers
  • Ebay volunteers

If you would like to join the fundraising team please call 0151 343 0778 or email jacintaw@wirralhospice.org and we will be able to provide you with more information on what opportunities are available.

Hospice nurse takes on 3 challenges to raise funds for care #hospiceheroes

One of our very own nurses here at Wirral Hospice St John’s will take part in a trio of challenges in 2015 to raise vital funds for patient care.

Lucille Buttery’s [centre in photo] first challenge – a zip wire at Zip World Velocity in Bangor on 25th April, will see her fly across Penryhn Quarry down the longest zip line in Europe and fastest in the World.

“I signed up to this challenge as I imagine it to be the closest thing to flying – I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer!”

But Lucille’s dreams don’t stop there – she has also set her sights on a tandem skydive and a marathon too! Lucille’s decision to take the plunge and sign up for a skydive was inspired by one patient in particular whom she helped to care for at Wirral Hospice last year.

“He was always planning his next adventure, even during his illness. One night we chatted about how fantastic it would be to do a skydive and from there, I knew I had to do it. Sadly this patient is no longer with us”.

Lucille’s trio of challenges will come to a close in October when she will run 26 miles in the MBNA Chester Marathon. Although her feet will be firmly on the ground, Lucille reveals that this will be the hardest challenge of them all.

“The marathon is my most dreaded challenge because it requires the most mental preparation and dedication. I’m hoping my determination will get me to the finish line though – I’ve got the time to really commit and will work hard to finish on a high!”

Friends of Lucille, Sarah Orchard and Pauline Lawrence will also be taking on the zip wire challenge to offer their support. Like Lucille, Pauline also understands how important the Hospice is to patients and their families through her work as a bank nurse.

“The Hospice is an amazing place that gives patients some control during a very difficult time in their lives, in a place where they feel safe and have full support”.

Sarah adds, “I hear from Lucille about the amazing work that goes on at the Hospice and I am in awe of the staff every day for making a huge difference to people’s lives. With this in mind, I couldn’t say no when Lucille asked me to join her on this fundraising journey. I may not be able to help in the way that Lucille and Pauline can, but I can help by doing this”.

If you would like to support Lucille, Sarah & Pauline’s zip wire challenge visit:

Lucille’s page: www.justgiving.com/LUCILLE-BUTTERY

Sarah’s page: www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Orchard1/

Pauline’s page: www.justgiving.com/Pauline-Lawrence1/ 

If you would like to take part in a challenge event for Wirral Hospice, please call 0151 343 0778, email kerryt@wirralhospice.org or please visit our website to find out about the exciting events we have planned for 2015/16!

The beautiful game…zorb style! #football #zorbing

zorbIf you’re looking for an event that’s a bit different, active and very entertaining, then take a look at Zorbing Football!

Zorbing is becoming increasingly popular for those into their fitness – you’ll see zorbs being used in many boot camp classes and for those just looking for a bit of fun!

You can ‘harness zorb’ and speed roll down a hill at 30mph, ‘aqua zorb’ and have complete movement inside a zorb which is pumped with around 30 litres of water and of course, zorb whilst playing a glorious game of football!

Interested? Of course you are! Type ‘zorbing football’ into YouTube and we guarantee you’ll be inspired to try it! With this in mind, we’ve decided to bring the fun to you and will be hosting a Zorbing Football Tournament on Saturday 11th July at Croxteth Leisure and Wellbeing Centre, 10am-12pm for those adventurous enough to have a go!

The event begins with a safety briefing and practice session, where players will get used to the zorb suits. This means you will be running around bumping and crashing into each other. When you have the feel for your suit, the fun can truly begin!

Rather than tackle, use the more effective barge to win the ball off your opponents, sending them flying end over end in the process. When in control of the ball, if you can stop yourself howling with laughter for long enough, dribble it forward before smashing it home past the goalie, but beware, a barge could come from any direction!

The event will finish with games including Zorb Bulldog / Last Man Standing and a zorb crossbar challenge!

Whether you enter as a team with your friends or an individual, you are guaranteed to enjoy this hilarious version of the beautiful game!

Playing time: 120 minutes (players will be rotated on and off frequently to allow players to catch their breath!)

£30pp – includes full use of the suit, participation in tournament and games, team photo for each player

To book call 0151 343 0778 or email Kerry at kerryt@wirralhospice.org

If you would like to find out more about what we have planned for 2016, visit our fundraising and challenge events pages on our website.

%d bloggers like this: