Latest Message of Thanks from Karen Houlston

This year has been so very difficult for all of us, and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Willow Wood over the past months. Your support, whether financial, gifts of goods and services, or just morale boosting messages of love and thanks has meant so much to us.

I would love to be able to thank everyone personally but of course there are far too many to mention. However, during the last week alone we have had donations of much-needed disposable gloves from Lloyd & Jones, from Dec Approved Ltd, and two of our furloughed volunteers, Pam and John Capper along with several others.

In the same time frame, we have had donations of gifts from the staff at Boots, Crown Point North who were each given a £10 voucher and used it to buy £150 worth of Christmas gift sets for our patients. Local organisation Hummingbird Hugs have also provided gifts for our patients, together with Christmas cards made by local school children.

One of our Hospice vehicles needed some major work, and the Motor Clinic in Stalybridge carried this out for us charging for parts and a very minimal amount of labour – a huge saving for us. Dekko Window Systems organised both a raffle and a customer collection totalling of £1,049.77, which is a tremendous amount.

And last month we had the wonderful jewellery donation from Miss Julie Goodyear MBE which raised a total of £16,306.34! Keeping the Coronation Street theme going, our patron Mark Llewellin has produced two fan films all about the Street with some wonderful messages and stories from cast members past and present. Packed full of anecdotes, facts and fun, these are available on our website,

We truly are blessed with our community. Throughout the lockdown, patients and visitors have shown us understanding and thanks as we have worked under difficult circumstances and in different ways. Our staff too have been amazing, taking the different rules and regulations in their stride and maintaining the highest standards with good humour and patience.

I’d also like to thank our volunteers, many of whom have been furloughed since March. However, our gardeners worked throughout, and our receptionists and retail volunteers are now returning and we hope, in the New Year, to welcome more and more back to the fold. A number of volunteers have been fundraising for us during the lockdown, and a special thanks must go to Chris and Joanne Hinds. They held weekly Zoom quizzes throughout both lockdowns, raising over £3,000 for Willow Wood.

Words seem so inadequate to express my thanks but they come from the bottom of my heart. Finally, on behalf of everyone at Willow Wood, may I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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