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Sunday, 17 June 2018

New Ways To Protect You This National Neighbourhood Watch Week 2018

Neighbourhood Watch

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New Ways To Protect You This National Neighbourhood Watch Week 2018

It’s National Neighbourhood Watch Week 2018 (NNWW18) and we’ve got some exciting news to share with you!

This year to mark NNWW18 we’ve created a fantastic, brand new section of our popular website to share new and important information on keeping you and your neighbours safe. Because crime is changing and we want to do our bit to make all communities safer and stronger across England and Wales .

Click here to look at all the new information we’re sharing about crimes and modern issues that cause such significant harm in our communities.

NNWW18 runs until next Sunday, June 24– it’s our annual week of social action across our network of 2.3 million member households - so it’s a perfect time to take a look and share the knowledge!

On our website you’ll find new information, statistics and practical Toolkits that you can share on:

•             Domestic Abuse – which we know affects all communities

•             Serious Violence – particularly knife crime

•             Vulnerability and loneliness – affecting more people as families become more mobile

•             Fraud and scams – electronic and traditional

•             High harm crimes – Modern Slavery, Child Sexual Exploitation etc.

Please do tell us what you’re doing to mark NNWW18 – email Lisa Parker so we can showcase your good work across our media channels!

The Twitter hashtag for the week is #NNWW18 and you can follow us at @N_Watch

Have a great week!
Neighbourhood Watch Network

Courier Fraud

Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Courier Fraud

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud.

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;

- Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.

- Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.

- A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.

Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine.

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.
Protect Yourself

Your bank or the police will never:

- Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.

- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.

Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud

Stay in control

If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

For more information about how to protect yourself online visit  and

Supporting rural life across Cheshire East

Cheshire East Council will again be supporting rural life across the borough at two of the largest agricultural events and urging residents and visitors to attend.

The Royal Cheshire County Show is a two-day event, which this year is also celebrating 180 years of the Cheshire Agricultural Society, held on Tuesday and Wednesday (19 and 20 June). This is to be followed by the Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards on 25 July.

The Royal Cheshire County Show will see and hear pupils from 15 primary and secondary schools from across Cheshire East perform at the music bowl to thousands of visitors on the Wednesday.

As a principal partner of the show, this year’s event will include a range of branded Cheshire East Council banners spread across the Cheshire East Rural Life Area to highlight its ongoing commitment to supporting rural life and associated local economy across the borough.

During the last 12 months, the council has implemented an improvements initiative which has included a £2.4m leadership programme. This has supported more than 60 rural businesses and colleges, including Nantwich’s Reaseheath College, through the closely linked Local Development Order programme.

In Cheshire East the rural economy represents 32 per cent of the borough’s £3.6 billion economy and provides work for more than 65,000 people.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council deputy leader, said: “It’s important we are backing these magnificent rural events. During the year, we have been working closely with local businesses to support them in a variety of ways. We are very fortunate in Cheshire East to cover 450 square miles of beautiful countryside across the borough –   this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we have to offer.

“We are keen to promote Cheshire East as a visitor destination hotspot so that people can see the area in its full glory, as well as the good ongoing work. Our villages have been highlighted and recognised for Britain in Bloom awards as well as best kept villages. These events really help to encourage local people and visitors to spend more time and money in our beautiful borough.”

Each year, 16 million people visit Cheshire East, which last year generated an income of more than £895m.

Visitors planning a journey to The Royal Cheshire County Show will benefit from a free shuttle bus service to and from the showground, which has been kindly organised by the council. The service will run to and from Knutsford and Hartford railway stations.

The events will be held in Tabley, near Knutsford, and the Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards, held at Dorfold Park.

In addition, the Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards will be open to the public on Wednesday, 25 July, where they will be able to see winning cheeses from more than 130 countries. Councillor Janet Clowes, portfolio holder for rural affairs will also be awarding the trophy for Champion Farmhouse Cheshire Cheese.

For further details about the shows please go to: or

Wistaston Village Fete

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Village Fete took place on the afternoon of Saturday 16th June 2018. This annual event is organised by the Wistaston Community Council and took place at Wistaston Church Lane Academy, Church Lane, Wistaston, by kind permission of the Academy.

The event began with a procession from Wistaston Memorial Hall led by Scottish Piper Reg Flower, followed by Wistaston Scout group’s Beavers, Cubs and Scouts carrying the Union Flag, and St Mary’s Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. The procession also included the retiring Wistaston Rose Queen (Jessica Doano) and retiring Attendant (Elise Kennerley) in a vintage car and this year’s Wistaston Rose Queen (Poppy Bellingham) and Attendant (Lyla Manfredi) in a Bentley Continental GT Convertible car. The procession was supported by Pochin Construction and Dutton Contractors for the third year running.

Procession led by Scottish Piper  Reg Flower

Once the procession had arrived within the Arena at the Academy the retiring Rose Queen (Jessica Doano) thanked Wistonians for their support and stated that the magnificent sum of £1,500 had been raised for WaterAid during her year of office. The money will go towards providing clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene in poor communities around the world.

St. Mary's Wistaston Rector Mike Turnbull then passed the crown from Jessica to this year's Rose Queen, Poppy Bellingham, aged 13 from Willaston and a pupil at Malbank High School. Poppy stated that her chosen charity this year is Save the Children. This year’s Wistonian of the year, Ray Westwood, then officially opened the Fete. The Fete's theme this year was Suffragettes as this year is the 100th anniversary since Parliament passed a law which allowed the first women, and all men, to vote for the first time.

Aerial view of Fete and surrounding land

Ken Sambrook was the Master of Ceremonies and introduced each event in the Arena. Bob Squirrell setup and monitored the sound system.

Several children took part in the fancy dress competition which was judged by Her Worshipful The Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Mrs Lesley Smetham and her Consort Mr David Smetham. Entries included a Suffragette, a Queen of Hearts, a Votes for Women campaigner, and a unicorn. The competition was won by Perdita Jones with her Suffragette costume.

The Arena hosted a performance by Dope Male Performance Company with their hip-hop dance, Dee-Sign British Sign Language choir, and Alison Gallacher School of Dance. The wind was too gusty for a flying demonstration by Eskdale Hawks Falconry so they gave an informative talk about falconry.

Eskdale Hawks Falconry - Rod Van Daalen (peregrine) and Jane Banks (barn owl)

In the school hall there was entertainment from Wistaston Church Lane Academy choir and Laura Cunliffe who sang and played the guitar. On the front playground there was a Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service appliance.

The Laurie Twiss Award for journalism was won this year by Maria Price. The Award is open to all young people in Wistaston aged under 16 years old who are asked to submit a short story or article of no more than 200 words. The submission date for next year’s competition is 31st May 2019.

There were thirty-three stalls representing local organisations and charities. Refreshments were available in the school hall and outside from the Wistaston Scout group.

Dee-Sign British Sign Language  choir stall - Suffragette costumes

The event took place in mainly dry weather and was enjoyed by several hundred people.

Dane Chaplow (Chairman, Wistaston Community Council) said, "The procession and the crowning ceremony were a success and there was excellent entertainment both outdoors and indoors with a splendid range of stalls. So many people attended to show their support. We are very grateful to the Academy for allowing us to use their premises. We are also indebted to all the volunteers, stall holders, parade car drivers and local businesses who have supported the event. We hope that lots of money was raised for local charities and the Wistaston Community Council.”

St Marys Wistaston Rector Mike Turnbull passes the crown to this years Rose Queen Poppy Bellingham

Admission to the Fete was by donation and proceeds from the gate receipts and Wistaston Community Council stalls will go towards other Wistaston village events, such as the Flower and Produce Show, Spring and Christmas Concerts, and the November Fireworks Display. The Wistaston Community Council always welcomes new members to help organise next year’s Fete, as well as the other Wistaston-based events. Please visit for further information if you would like to join.

Summer Concert’

Reporter Jonathan White

St Andrew’s Church are hosting a joint ‘Summer Concert’ with the TCTC Group Band and Singing Sensations at St Andrew’s Church (Bedford Street, Crewe CW2 6LE) on Saturday 30th June 2018 (commencing at 7:30pm).

The TCTC Group Band are a Crewe-based championship section brass band, formerly known as the Co-op Funeralcare Band. Singing Sensations are a well-known and popular South Cheshire-based choir.

All profits will be divided between Bowel Cancer UK and the St Andrew’s Church community centre.

Tickets are £7 including refreshments.

Further information and tickets please contact Robin 07947 571564 or Charlotte 07891 912821.

St Andrews - Summer Concert - Crewe  - Sat 30-6-18

A local brass band is looking for new players

Crewe BrassReporter Jonathan White

Crewe Brass tune in for new members.

A local brass band is looking for new players to bolster its ranks.

Crewe Brass are a friendly first section band, based in Crewe near J16 of the M6, who cover the North West region of England. The band are looking for people who play Cornet, Baritone, EEb Bass and BBb Bass to perform music from their wide repertoire. They rehearse on a Monday and a Friday (7:45pm to 9:45pm) at Shavington Primary School.

Crewe Brass Musical Director Matt Pithers said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Musical Director of Crewe Brass. The opportunity of being a part of such a warm, friendly, driven group of musicians was too good to miss. The band is full of potential coupled with a willingness to learn and improve. Having just been promoted to the First Section at the beginning of the year, the future is looking bright. I look forward to achieving continued musical excellence with them in the years to come.”

For further information relating to Crewe Brass please visit or contact Musical Director Matt Pithers via telephone 07921062732 , email: .

The next Crewe Brass performance is a Summer Concert on Saturday 14th July 2018 (7:30pm) at Longton Salvation Army, Heathcote Road, Longton ST3 2LY. Tickets = £5 and are available on the door.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

60th Anniversary Dinner’

Reporter Jonathan White

35th South West Cheshire Wistaston Scout Group are hosting a ‘60th Anniversary Dinner’ on Friday 29th June 2018 (7:30pm til late, carriages at 12am) at Crewe Alexandra Football Club. Price = £35 per head. Dress code – formal attire. Tickets must be bought in advance and are available from Alex Smith 07736326395 or . Proceeds will go to the 35th South West Cheshire Wistaston Scout Group.

Firelink Enewsletter - June 2018

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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Firelink Enewsletter - June 2018

Welcome to the June edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.

New Chief Fire Officer announced

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Cheshire Fire Authority has confirmed the appointment of a new head of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Mark Cashin, currently Cheshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, was selected to become the Service’s new Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive after an interview panel and subsequent Member confirmation at a meeting of Cheshire Fire Authority (May 22).

Mr Cashin (49) will take up the post on 1 July 2018, succeeding Paul Hancock who recently announced his retirement.

Find out more - New Chief Fire Officer announced

IFE Centenary Conference

IFE conference

In September 2017 Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) opened the doors of a new state-of the-art lifeskills centre, Safety Central, aimed primarily at keeping young people safe. This prompted the Service’s decision to focus their forthcoming Institution of Fire Engineers centenary conference on and around young people.

The one day event, '100 Years Young - futureproofing Generation Alpha', hosted by North Western Branch and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and sponsored by Paragon Creative, is on Thursday 19 July at Safety Central, Lymm, Warrington, Cheshire and is open to both IFE and non-IFE members. The title celebrates the IFE Centenary as well as highlighting the focus on young people born after 2011, designated Generation Alpha and predicted to be the most transformative generation ever.

Find out more - IFE Centenary Conference

Drowning prevention - be water aware

Water rescue by firefighters

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences.

Many people that drown just happen to be near water - such as runners, walkers and fisherman.

Find out more - Drowning prevention

Summer safety


Stay safe during the summer months, use the links below to access fire safety tips and advice:

The Royal Cheshire Show 2018
Children having a discussion about escape plans with a Cheshire firefighter

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will once again be at The Royal Cheshire Show, engaging with members of the public delivering vital road and fire safety information, along with the famous children's yellow helmets.

Find out more - The Royal Cheshire Show 2018

Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

Find out about your local fire station - where it is, what open days or special events they are holding and how to get in contact with them.

Find out more - Your local fire station

Changes to bus services

Further changes to bus services in Cheshire East are to take place next month.

The changes are to commercial bus services which are not subsidised by the council. Operator D&G Buses has decided there are too few passengers to make services, or parts of some services, economically viable.

The main changes will affect the following bus services:

● 12 Shavington – Leighton Hospital (Sunday only change). The 12 service will be withdrawn on Sundays. The weekday and Saturday service is not affected. Services 3, 38 and 84 continue to provide services within Crewe on Sundays;

● 78 Nantwich – Leighton Hospital. This service will be withdrawn. Alternative services are available using services 8, 42, 84 and 85, which cover parts of the 78 route;

● 87 Knutsford – Lilac Avenue – Tabley Road. This service will be withdrawn. Passengers are advised to use the 47 (Knutsford to Warrington) or 89 (Knutsford to Northwich) services instead; and

● 88A Knutsford – Wilmslow Colshaw Farm. This service will be withdrawn. Passengers between Knutsford and Wilmslow are advised to use the 88 service instead, which will be diverted via Longridge along the present 88A route. Passengers between Wilmslow and Colshaw Farm are advised to use the Arriva 130 service.

In addition, smaller changes will also take place to the following services:

● 5, 6 Macclesfield – Upton Priory (Sunday only change). All Sunday services will now operate via the service 5 route with some minor changes. Weekday and Saturday services operated by Arriva are not affected;

● 38 Macclesfield – Crewe (Sunday only change). Small changes to the Sunday timetable. Weekday and Saturday services operated by Arriva are not affected; and

● 88 Altrincham – Wilmslow – Knutsford – Macclesfield. This council-subsidised service will now operate via Longridge to replace the 88A, with timing changes made to improve reliability.

All changes will take place from 22 July 2018

The full list of bus services and upcoming changes can be viewed on the council’s website at:

Borough’s road schemes reach a further milestone

Three major highways schemes planned for Cheshire East have taken a further step forward following decisions by Cheshire East Council’s cabinet.

The council is moving to the next stage in its preparations for Congleton Link Road, the Middlewich Eastern Bypass and the dualling of the A500 between Junction 16 of the M6 and the outskirts of Crewe.

All three projects are expected to be delivered over the next three to four years and are intended to eradicate serious congestion points on the borough’s highways network.

Cabinet has also chosen a preferred bidder for the £90m Congleton Bypass project – but details will remain confidential until all bidders have been informed. 

The council’s final business case for this scheme will now go to the Department for Transport together with a request for confirmation of a £45m government grant. Cheshire East will contribute nearly £24m with the rest of the cost met from developer contributions.

The 3.5-mile highway will relieve Congleton town centre of congestion, release new housing and employment sites and create improved connectivity from Macclesfield to the M6 and from Congleton to the north and to the west.

The whole scheme is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2020. In March this year, the secretary of state gave the council the green light to proceed with compulsory purchase orders for the land acquisitions required.

Nearly 2,000 new homes and 6,500 new jobs are predicted to be created following construction of the Middlewich Eastern Bypass, which is also moving into its next phase following a consultation which showed 79 per cent of respondents complained of traffic congestion and said that a bypass would be the best solution.

Frank Jordan, the council’s executive director for place, will now prepare a planning application and commence the process for acquiring the land to build the road, prior to starting the procurement process for a contractor.  He will then obtain final confirmation of funding.

The Middlewich scheme will cost an estimated £58m, with nearly £12m coming from a combination of developer contributions and council funding.

The council has set aside an additional £400,000 on top of the present £4.1m budget for the preparatory work required to progress the A500 dualling scheme, which will improve links between Crewe and the M6 motorway at Junction 16.

A key objective of the £55m dualling scheme is to improve connectivity in preparation for HS2 construction traffic and to relieve a major pinch-point in the highways network of the borough.

A funding decision from the Department for Transport on the business case is anticipated by the end of 2018, hopefully giving the green light for the project to go ahead subject to the necessary planning approvals, which will be sought this year.

Widening the A500 between Meremoor Moss Roundabout and Junction 16 will also improve road safety and deliver potential employment and housing sites in the south of the borough.

Both the Middlewich Eastern Bypass and the A500 Dualling scheme are still subject to the necessary planning approvals.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, said: “Subject to planning, we have three major highways schemes which are about to get off the ground and which will make an immense contribution to an enhanced road network in the borough.

“With other planned road schemes elsewhere in the borough we expect to enter the next decade with a highways network to be proud of and which will enable more business opportunities, new homes and economic growth.”

For further information on all these schemes visit:

Annual accounts confirm council's sound financial performance

Cheshire East Council has released accounts for the 2017/18 financial year – and they confirm that the authority remains in a healthy financial position.

Despite a challenging year where, nationally, local authorities faced the combined effects of increased demand for services and a reduction in government funding, Cheshire East maintained general reserves at a balanced level for 2017/18.

This meant that the council was able to continue to deliver much-needed services within a challenging budgetary position and make some significant improvements.

The strength of the council’s financial position, which is currently being audited, has enabled the authority to deliver some key achievements, including;

● School exam results being second best in the North West and above the national average;

● Launching a new information and support service aimed at carers called the Cheshire East Carers and Young Carers’ Hub;

● The opening of the environmental hub in Middlewich;

● National ‘Green Flag’ awards for the borough’s parks, including Tatton Park and Queens Park in Crewe;

● Collaboratively working with central government and Network Rail to develop the HS2 hub station; and

● Winning and being shortlisted for more awards than ever before.

Cheshire East had a capital expenditure in the last financial year of £88.2m, which comprised key schemes such as a highways investment programme spend of £10m, an £8.5m spend on a schools improvement programme and £3.5m on a complete finance and HR business software solution called ‘Best4Business’ which will further improve council efficiencies.

The borough’s unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent of economically active people aged 16 and above, is considerably lower than the national and North West average of 4.4 per cent. It equates to approximately 5,600 of our 377,100 residents. 

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “The last year hasn’t been easy in terms of the economic climate but Cheshire East residents can be assured that the financial position of this authority is very sound.

“To be able to report an unchanged bank balance reserves of £10.3m, despite the national challenges we have faced, is a credit to the officers delivering this work daily.”

The draft accounts are available for public inspection up to 12 July. To see the full accounts, visit the Cheshire East Council website at:

£6m health and wellbeing boost approved

A £6m fund to help boost local health outcomes has been approved by Cheshire East Council.

Nine schemes will benefit from the fund that was approved by cabinet today (12 June), covering areas such as ensuring there is continued provision of care following a service user returning from hospital, better Bank Holiday and weekend support and increased capacity and an improved range of specialist beds.

The improved better care fund will directly support three key care areas:

● Meeting adult social care needs;

● Reducing pressures on the NHS, in particular focusing on the reduction of delayed transfers of care; and

● Ensuring that local social care providers are fully supported.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “The improved better care fund has been created to support some of our most vulnerable residents to provide better-integrated health and social care services.

“Getting this go-ahead today enables us to work with our partners to reduce the amount of time people need to spend in hospital and to provide the resources that will enable people to enjoy happier and more independent lifestyles within their own homes, which is a priority for Cheshire East and the NHS.

“It is another example of our commitment to providing the right care in the right place at the right time.”

£2m fund approved to improve local communities

Cheshire East Council’s cabinet has approved a scheme to provide funding that will assist communities where new housing developments have been built.

The new homes bonus community fund is an initiative that supports residents to improve their local communities through visible, sustainable projects.

The scheme is designed to achieve positive benefits based on locally-identified needs.  It empowers local communities to engage in delivering specific projects for local people, giving them a voice in determining schemes that can shape and characterise their environment. This could be almost anything from a youth scheme to a highways project or community hub.

The fund, which provides a total of £2m up to 2020, will give local communities an opportunity to present their ideas for projects to ward members and town and parish councils for consideration. The best ideas will go to Cheshire East Council for approval.

The minimum grant figure to be awarded for these projects is £10,000. The project cost has been pitched at that amount as it ensures that the programmes of work approved will be of sufficiently significant prominence and ensure sustainability.

The fund will be split across the borough based on the location of housing developments, allowing communities the opportunity to engage directly in how it should be spent.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “The idea of the new homes bonus is to allow any groups and communities, that are affected by new housing developments, to come forward and tell the council what projects can make a positive difference to their local communities.

“These projects need to be ambitious and must be sustainable projects that will have a significant positive impact on people living immediately in the areas where the developments have been built.

“It’s a very positive scheme, as it allows those that understand the areas where the projects will be undertaken to tell us what support could be provided. I’m looking forward to seeing what plans are put forward that can benefit from this first round of funding.”

Funding released under this scheme will be subject to clear protocols to ensure outcomes are achieved. The council has undertaken a significant review of grant payments and a corporate grants policy will be considered by cabinet next month.

Details of how to apply for a new homes bonus will be published soon. 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The annual Wistaston Village Fete

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The annual Wistaston Village Fete takes place on Saturday 16th June 2018 at Wistaston Church Lane Academy, Church Lane, Wistaston, CW2 8EZ.

The event will start with the Rose Queen parade from the Wistaston Memorial Hall at 1:30pm with a tour including Westfield Drive, White Hart Lane, Kings Drive, Princess Drive, Holyrood Drive, and Sandringham Drive, arriving at the school field for the official opening of the fete at 2pm.

Attractions include arena entertainment, falconry, bouncy castle, candy floss, tombola, stalls & games, lucky dip, plants, ice cream van, hot food and a tea room.

The theme this year is ‘Suffragettes’.

Admission to the fete is by donation and proceeds will go towards other Wistaston Community Council village events.

Wistaston Villege Fete 2018 -  publicity photo - aerial photo

Willaston resident completes 10in10 marathon fundraising challenge

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Paul Dean, 37, from Willaston, near Nantwich successfully ran 10 marathons in 10 days to raise money for charity. Paul started his gruelling coast-to-coast 262-mile challenge in Skegness by the North Sea on Friday 25th May 2018, then travelled across the country through Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Flintshire, Denbighshire and finished in Llandudno in north Wales by the Irish Sea on Sunday 3rd June.

Paul raised several thousand pounds for blood cancer charity Bloodwise . Paul ran in memory of his father, David, and two friends Mark and Will, who all succumbed to the illness. Bloodwise fund world-class research into all types of blood cancer and provide information and support to those affected.

Paul Dean said: “I’m pleased and very much relieved to have completed the challenge. Ever since my first attempt 3 years ago it's been bugging me that I wasn't able to finish last time. I've been quite worried that I might get injured again; as it happens I did suffer a couple of minor injuries but nothing too serious. With two days to go my ankle swelled up (exactly as it did last time), but as I was close to the end I was able to hobble the last few miles. I think if there had been an extra marathon to run after Sunday I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

I'm really grateful to everybody who has encouraged and helped throughout the build-up and during the event itself. Several people came to see me en route and a few ran with me - that certainly helped my morale; the miles seemed to pass quicker when I had company. Special mention must go to my wife Stephanie who was there every step of the way. The event would have been impossible without her.

The JustGiving page has now reached just under £4,000 which is great - many thanks to everybody who donated - it's a great cause, progress continues to be made in the fight against blood cancers.”

Liz Boffey, from Bloodwise (South Cheshire), said: “Bloodwise South Cheshire are indebted to Paul for this fantastic achievement and raising awareness for all blood cancers. It really has been an amazing challenge and every penny raised goes directly into research of all blood cancers. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all Bloodwise Branches for supporting Paul throughout. Well done Paul!”

To add to Paul’s fundraising total please visit:

Paul Dean at the finish at  Llandudno with supporters

Monday, 28 May 2018

Love on the Rocks

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Representatives from ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ pebbleart groups joined other pebbleart groups from around the country in Manchester on Tuesday 22nd May 2018 to pay tribute on the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack.

#AHeart4Mcr decorated hearts in  Manchester - photo by Fenella Williams

The groups had all painted bee designs on rocks with over 2,500 rocks laid in the city centre. The worker bee symbolises Manchester’s industrial past and has now, in the present, come to represent the healing power of art and creativity after the attack. Twenty-two rocks were placed outside Manchester Arena along with a hand-made plaque remembering the twenty-two people killed in the atrocity. The suicide bombing also left more than 800 people with physical and deep psychological injuries. The remaining rocks were placed in St Anne’s Square around the monument, on seating and around the water fountain and in Exchange Square with visitors encouraged to take a bee rock home as a remembrance gift.

Fenella Williams, from ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’, said: “I had painted some stones and crocheted some bees so thought it would be lovely to go and hand deliver them in Manchester. I hadn't really thought about what to expect but was not prepared for all the wonderful tokens of love that people had been leaving on the streets. Almost every available space or handrail was draped with hearts or flowers, the Trees of Hope were filled with beautiful notes, the painted stones in St Anne's Square were amazing, and so many of them.  It was wonderful to hear people asking the organisers about the stones and loving the idea so much they chose stones to take home with them. Whilst being a very emotional day, it was also very serene and peaceful, incredibly uplifting and full of love.”

Nikki Lunn, from ‘Stockport Rocks’, who organised the tribute, said: “The tributes were incredible - the feeling of pure love and solidarity for each other regardless of if you knew them or not. I was moved greatly by meeting many of the survivors of the Manchester attack and I feel very emotional with it all but feel that is was such a positive move. We were asked to do it yearly by many people and lots of people wanted to donate money to the rocks - however we refused finances as this was a gift and love ethos. The whole day was just incredible.”

Other creative commemorative events in the city centre included #AHeart4Mcr with decorated hearts tied to string, a Trees of Hope trail with people invited to write a message on a card and hang it from the tree, Spirit of Manchester Flower Festival with floral tribute displays, and a Manchester Together - With One Voice concert with thousands of singers from local choirs. The events aim to strengthen relationships and solidarity for all Mancunians, whatever their religion, their background or politics.