By Anne-Marie Wynne, Head of Fundraising and Capital Appeal, St Ann’s Hospice

Thanks to the generosity of the local community, St Ann’s Hospice has raised over £750,000 towards our Build it Together appeal for a new hospice in Heald Green!

We want to be here for our community long into the future, and reaching this fantastic milestone in our appeal brings us even closer to making our new hospice a reality.

Last summer we launched the public appeal with the ambitious target of raising the final £2 million we need to future-proof hospice care for people in Greater Manchester. Our new hospice is not a ‘nice-to-have’ option; it is an absolute necessity.

Rachel McMillan, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “Our existing Heald Green hospice has served us well, but it was never intended to be a hospice at all – it was originally a school. And at over 150 years old, and with Victorian plumbing and a roof that often needs patching up, we cannot keep making do and mending for much longer.”

We have been overjoyed by the response from local people, businesses, schools and community groups, who have really stepped up to help us reach this incredible milestone.

We recently held a new Autumn Fair at our Heald Green hospice, organised by a committee of fundraising volunteers, which managed to raise over £4,000 and brought us one step closer to our vision. But people in our community have been raising funds in lots of creative ways.

Our dedicated corporate supporters have been feeling sporty: Sellick Partnership facilitated the Manchester Professionals Football League (MPFL) five-aside tournament, raising more than £10,000 from that and their professional cricket league; and Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) completed a 24-hour row-a-thon, covering 305,792 metres – the distance from their offices in Sale to the Isle of Arran – and raising money towards their target of £33,000 for a counselling room in our new hospice.

Manchester Central chose us as their Charity of the Year, and helped us to hold a huge discount flower sale following the Interflora Word Cup, which was held at the venue in September, raising over £1,700.

Local golf clubs have contributed too. Bramall Park Golf Club have been fundraising for St Ann’s for 20 years, and this year raised an amazing £19,500 towards a family room in the new hospice at their annual fundraiser.

People have been taking on all kinds of challenges – like Poynton residents Barry and Claire Hawker, who embarked on the 96-mile West Highland Way walk this summer, exceeding their fundraising target and raising over £1,200 by rallying friends and family to donate.

All of this incredible support makes a huge difference and brings our vision for a new purpose-built hospice closer to reality.

We recently took ownership of the land for our new hospice, next door to our current building in Heald Green, which means building work can start very soon.

In total, building the new hospice will cost around £24.5million. This will be money well spent. If we are to reach our target and raise the final £1.25 million we need, we will need the ongoing support from the community and local businesses to continue. We’re asking you to lend your support to break ground on the new St Ann’s.

If you could donate and help us to purchase a pallet of bricks, the materials to lay the foundations, or hire a skilled local workforce to build the new hospice, please click here or phone us on 0161 498 3631 today.

We’d love to see you at some of our upcoming fundraising events. We’re hosting a fabulous fashion show in partnership with John Lewis Cheadle on Thursday 12th October. Tickets are just £15 and include a £5 John Lewis voucher and a hand massage from our Complementary Therapy team and Clarins. They can be purchased at here.

If a company, school or community group you know or work for has not already decided on a charity to support in the year ahead, our Fundraising Team would be delighted to hear from you.

We’re so grateful for everything you have done so far, and can’t wait to break ground on our new hospice with your support soon. Let’s get digging!