More than 20 children have helped to make individual stars for the Light up a Life service at Blythe House, after visiting the hospice earlier this month.

Chinley Cubs came along to Blythe House on Tuesday 1st October to look at facilities and learn about the care and support that the hospice provides.

Alistair Rogerson, Volunteer and Support Services Manager said: ‘The Cubs began the evening with a Q&A session where they showed themselves to be well informed about the care that the hospice offers to local people with life-limiting illnesses.

‘They then explored the building; visiting the kitchen, dining area and gardens before moving to the art area and designing some individualised stars for our Light up a Life event on Sunday 8th December, which people can attend to remember loved ones.

‘The group was interested in the support Blythe House offers; enthusiastic about the upcoming events, and positive about the work undertaken. I know I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that this enjoyment was felt by staff too, who would love to see them again, and would welcome people of all ages to visit the hospice.

‘Blythe House is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and we are keen to open the doors to the public, to showcase the great work that is undertaken here.’

If you are a member of a local group that might like to learn more about Blythe House by a presentation at your meeting, or by visiting the hospice, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please call 01298 815 388 or email: communications@blythehouse.co.uk.

Volunteers in Chapel-en-le-Frith are hosting a special therapy day after the success of a previous event.

Ann Carter and Anne Cawthorn are hosting the Therapeutic Day at Blythe House on Saturday 9th November, to help raise funds for hospice care and services. A previous, similar event in 2016 helped to raise £2,000 for the High Peak hospice.

The all-day event will include workshops on Tropic beauty products, made from sustainably resourced ingredients; mindfulness; progressive muscle relaxation; and the HEARTS (Hands on, Empathy, Aromas, Relaxation, Textures, Sound) Process.

Ann Carter said: ‘We want guests to have the opportunity to relax and unwind from their busy lives, whilst also learning new things about beauty and complementary therapies.

‘All our speakers are experts in their fields. We are very pleased to have special guest speakers including Dr Peter Mackereth, who until recently was Clinical Lead for Complementary Therapies at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.’

Tickets – which include workshops, a 40-minute complementary therapy of your choice, lunch and refreshments throughout the day – are £50 and available on a first come, first served basis. Booking is essential and tickets can be secured by:
• Calling Blythe House on 01298 815388
• Emailing fundraising@blythehouse.co.uk
• Visiting Blythe House on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Find out more about the event.

A High Peak nurse, who became a Member of the British Empire in 2014 after decades of service to cancer care, has become a trustee at Blythe House Hospicecare.

Anne Cawthorn worked in renowned cancer and palliative care organisations during her celebrated career including The Christie Hospital, St Ann’s Hospice and the Neil Cliffe Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital.

The Chapel-en-le-Frith resident said: ‘I always wanted to be a nurse, so at the age of 17, I undertook nurse training for four and a half years at Manchester Royal Infirmary. I moved back to Chapel when I got married and held a variety of posts in rheumatology, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation at the Devonshire Royal Hospital Buxton.’

In 1988, Anne qualified as a nurse tutor and had a number of roles combining education and clinical practice, gaining qualifications in aromatherapy, counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.

Eight years later, Anne moved into cancer and palliative care, working across Greater Manchester before moving to The Christie in 2000 to take up a joint role as Lecturer Practitioner with the Psycho- Oncology team. She was also the module leader for the cancer, palliative care and communication skills courses at The University of Manchester.

Anne explained: ‘In 2008, I came to work at Blythe House Hospicecare, integrating the Living Well day-care service into the hospice, supporting adults with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses to live as well as they can. I am very proud that a number of hospices throughout the country have now adopted the supportive, rehabilitation model that I developed at Blythe House.’

After retiring, Anne has spent five years giving her time free at Blythe House supporting the fundraising team, and more recently as a spiritual care volunteer and befriender, playing a key role in welcoming new patients to the hospice and helping them to settle in; providing practical and emotional support.

Anne said: ‘I am delighted to be taking up a post on the board of trustees at Blythe House, an organisation that means so to me. We are so lucky to have all these facilities in the High Peak.’

Blythe House is governed by 12 volunteer trustees who oversee the running of the charity, attending on average 17 board meetings per year including an AGM and sub-committees for admin, financial and clinical matters.

Find out more about the hospice including its history and other trustees.

A gala ball to celebrate 30 years of hospice care in the High Peak has raised over £23,000 to support local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Hundreds of people including local businesses and volunteers attended the glitzy Blythe House event at the Octagon in Buxton on Friday 13th September.

A highlight of the night included an anonymous donation of £2,500 to sponsor a healthcare assistant to provide night-time support for two weeks in the home of a local patient at the end of their life.

The event also included silent and live auctions with special prizes including holidays, afternoon teas, meals out in the High Peak and sporting memorabilia, very kindly donated by local companies and organisations. The total amount raised is £23,015.

Becca Gregory, Fundraising and Events Coordinator, said: ‘Our first ever gala ball event was a huge success and it was fantastic to be able to celebrate the hospice’s very special pearl anniversary in this way.

‘On behalf of everyone at the hospice, I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who ensured the event was so great, including guests, donors and volunteers. We simply could not continue to provide the highest-quality care and services to local people affected by life-limiting illnesses without this unwavering support from our community.’

Reverend Betty Packham founded Blythe House in 1989, with a £1,000 legacy left to her by local parishioner, Stan Blythe.

The hospice needs to raise £3,600 every day to continue to provide free care and services to High Peak patients and their families. Find out more about how you could support the hospice.

See a full gallery of photos from the night on our Facebook page.

Local people are being invited to run, walk, dance, prance, jog and jingle to help raise funds for hospice care in the High Peak.

Our second annual Jingle Bell Jog is back by popular demand at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens on Sunday 1st December 2019.

The Jingle Bell Jog offers a 5k route around the idyllic grounds, alongside a 700m Children’s Fun Run for participants under 12 years of age.

Hundreds of people took part in last year’s triumphant event, donning Santa suits and hats to jog, walk and genuinely laugh their way around the park course.

Vicki Jordan attended Blythe House’s Living Well day-care service after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. The Disley resident said: ‘The Jingle Bell Jog last year was amazing. I was still recovering from treatment so it was not exactly a record-breaking time! However, the event was such a great thing to be a part of.

‘The support I received from Blythe House had helped enormously to get me through a horrible year, and I was very glad to be able to give a little bit back. I was so proud to raise almost £700, which was beyond my wildest expectations.’

The Jingle Bell Jog will help to raise vital funds to ensure that Blythe House can continue to provide free services to people across the High Peak who have illnesses including cancer, heart failure, COPD and motor neurone disease, as well as their families and carers.

Registration for the 2019 event opens on Tuesday 17th September, with a special early bird registration offer of just £10 for the 5k route with Santa suit and goody bag included, and £2 for the children’s fun run complete with Santa hat.

Sign up online.

It may seem early in the year to mention the C word but with just 15 Fridays left until Christmas; we really need to get our festive skates on and start discussing this year’s Christmas knitting appeal!

After last year’s appeal raised an amazing £1,200 for Blythe House care and services, we are feeling confident that we’ll be able to beat that total in 2019.

You can pick up copies of our popular knitting patterns in the main hospice reception, as well as our four shops across the High Peak in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and Whaley Bridge.

To make life a little easier though, and if you have access to a printer, please download the patterns here.

If you, or someone you know, cannot knit but would like to get involved, you can do so by donating Christmas chocolates including chocolate oranges and Ferrero Rocher – we can never have enough!

The little knitted luxuries – which make amazing stocking fillers or Christmas Day table treats – are sold during the festive period to raise vital funds for the hospice to continue to provide free care and services to local patients, their families and carers.

Finally, don’t forget to visit Facebook for knitting tips, tricks and ideas by finding the Blythe House Hospice Nifty Knitters group.

A local hospice service hailed by current patients as ‘wonderful’ is recruiting volunteers to support people in the High Peak who have life-limiting illnesses.

Blythe House Hospicecare’s community volunteer programme provides practical and emotional support in the homes of local patients dealing with illnesses including cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

Prospective community volunteers attend a comprehensive training programme to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to provide the best service. The next training opportunity begins on Monday 30th September.

Community volunteers are available to provide support including companionship, transportation and respite breaks for patients, family members and carers. A myriad of tasks have been carried out since the programme began in 2018 including mowing the lawn, clearing a room to receive a hospital bed, and simply just ‘being there’ so a carer could get some rest.

Local patients who have benefited from using the service commented:

  • ‘After three and a half years in my house I was desperate to get out and my volunteer is simply wonderful. We go out to Buxton in the car and have a walk in the park. Sometimes we will go out in the car for coffee somewhere in Chapel. It is freedom and a real treat – it is so lovely to get out!’
  • ‘All of the support I get from Blythe House is wonderful – nothing is too much trouble for them. Without my volunteer I would not be able to get out which I would hate.’

Community volunteers during training (L-R) Helen Wallis, Rachel Dennett, Margaret Charlton

Rachel Dennett has been a community volunteer since February. The Glossop resident explained: ‘My father died last year. In his last few days he was cared for by his local Hospice at Home team. I saw what a massive difference these carers made to both him and the rest of the family. Their support made an awful situation more bearable.

‘I was in a position where my children needed me less, giving me some spare time. I wanted to give something back to the community.’ Consequently, Rachel got in touch with Blythe House.

‘I’ve been involved with one patient so far. My brief was originally to provide some respite for their carer and companionship for the patient. However, in the last month or so this has changed to providing support for the carer while the patient is in hospital. I support them in a number of practical ways such as ironing, changing beds, shopping, cooking meals, along with being someone to talk to. It is a really satisfying and interesting role and I’d thoroughly recommend it. The training sessions were really helpful and often entertaining too!’

To find out more about the community volunteer programme and training – starting on Monday 30th September:

Local residents and members of the public are warmly welcome to attend our next fundraising coffee morning to help celebrate 30 years of hospice care in the High Peak.

The event will take place at Blythe House on Friday 20th September will see hot drinks and homemade cakes served, alongside a tombola and gift stall. A unique commemorative wall hanging will also be on display, as well as a special 30th anniversary video.

Reverend Betty Packham founded the hospice in 1989 after she received a £1,000 legacy from Fairfield man, Stan Blythe. Betty nursed Stan in the final weeks of his life in the comfort of her home.

To commemorate the 30-year anniversary, past and present Blythe House patients have created an intricate wall hanging displaying symbols, words and quotes, overseen by volunteer and local textile artist, Anne Humberstone.

Anne (left) said: ‘Everyone agreed that it should be a cheerful piece but at the same time expressing the journey that they have been on and the great support that they received along the way. The design was born incorporating everybody’s ideas and skills.

‘It soon became apparent what a great deal of talent and enthusiasm there was, and it was great to see the excitement and the sense of achievement as the work developed. I am proud to have been involved with this lovely group of people and to have been a part of this celebration of 30 years of this fabulous place.’

The coffee morning is taking place from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Friday 20th September and the hospice is fully accessible for all members of the public to attend.

Staff at Cooper Sons Hartley and Williams in Buxton have handed over a cheque worth £3,270 to Blythe House Hospicecare.

The Terrace Road firm hosted a Wills Month throughout June, providing a will writing service in return for fees being donated to the hospice.

As well as supporting Wills Month, Debbie Hall and Erica Bassett, who are both partners at the firm, regularly attend the hospice’s monthly coffee mornings to meet and chat to members of the public, offering advice and guidance on legal issues.

The firm’s support does not stop there though… another solicitor also took part in the hospice’s first-ever Glow Twilight Walk last month, and a member of the staff regularly volunteers their time for Blythe House.

Katie Holt, Fundraising and Communications Assistant at Blythe House commented: ‘The amount raised by Cooper Sons Hartley and Williams is truly amazing and is our best fundraising amount from one solicitor in a Wills Month.

‘We are so grateful to the firm; everyone who got their wills written or amended during the month, and for the team’s ongoing support in helping to raise vital funds for the hospice. All the money raised will go towards ensuring that care and services remain free to access for local people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.’

Andrew Cullimore, Senior Partner at Cooper Sons Hartley and Williams, said: ‘We are more than happy to help raise funds for Blythe House to enable them to offer members of our local community access to their much-valued services.’

Find out how you can support the hospice.

Patients, volunteers and staff from Blythe House Hospicecare got the opportunity to mingle with TV stars during a special day out provided free of charge by a local coach company.

Smiths of Marple offered the Chapel-en-le-Frith hospice free coach travel and entry to the first ever Countryfile Live event in Yorkshire on Thursday 15th August.

Leaflets and an email were distributed amongst patients, staff and volunteers to share the special opportunity, and spaces on the coach filled up within a day!

BBC Countryfile presenters including Matt Baker, John Craven and Ellie Harrison were big hits at the Castle Howard event, alongside outdoor activities including farming in action, rural crafts and the equine arena.

Volunteer, Alex Clark attended the event with her mum, Brenda Edge and auntie, Hilary Hadfield. The three women give their time to support Blythe House shops in Chapel-en-le-Frith and Buxton. Alex said: ‘It really was a wonderful day and we are so lucky to have had the opportunity to go; a huge thank you to Smiths of Marple.’

Anne Hibbs, Secretary at Blythe House, said: ‘A lovely day was had by all and we were very well looked after by our drivers, Tony and Paul. There was a myriad of interesting things to see and do, from maypole and Morris dancing to book signings. The Countryfile team was on top form and very entertaining. There was a great atmosphere and it was very well organised. Thank you so much to Smiths of Marple for such an amazing day.’

Ian Rigg, a volunteer driver, said: ‘My wife and I had a great time. Thankfully the weather was kind to us and there was plenty to occupy our time. A huge thanks for organising it and definitely to Tony for his generosity, as well as to him and Paul for driving!’

Angie Vernon, Managing Directing at Smiths of Marple, commented: ‘We were very pleased to be able to offer our support to Blythe House as it’s a charity close to all our hearts in the High Peak. We hope the hard working volunteers, staff and patients enjoyed their well earnt day out!’