Sometime at the start of the Treacle Market back in 2011 Bob Jenner borrowed some space on a friends stall to sell a few old books that were taking up valuable shelf space, the £2-3 made were donated to East Cheshire Hospice (a project close to his heart as sadly both his brother and two close friends had spent the last few weeks of their lives in their care).
Two markets later, Michael Jones (PR Jones) suggested they could make a bit more money if they set up a table outside the shop on Chestergate. The first time, in December 2011, the total donation was £37.52! That was the start of an enterprise that grew in size, in every way, with markets being staged every month for two years. With massive support from friends (too many to name) and local companies (Nick Hynes Real Estate, Broadstock and PR Jones) and assistance from Cris Henshaw, donations rose month on month through to March 2013 when we amassed £390.50. The market continues to grow in size, the stock of books has grown and improved in range and quality and our annual donation to the hospice in a normal year tops £3,000.
2015 was not normal; one market was cancelled and four others curtailed by adverse weather on the day but as a testimony to the generosity of our 'customers' we still donated nearly £2,500. That generosity combined with better weather conditions has seen 2016 break two records and likely to break a third. In May £441.45 was donated (best monthly amount ever), then in July £485 was donated and 2016 should provide a record annual donation close to £3,300. From the small beginnings of a £2-3 donation from the first ever market the total donation to date is just short of £13,000.
With improved facilities and stock we are resetting our aims to achieve an average of £345 from each market, which provides for one day's complete care and attention for a hospice patient and their family. If this target is achieved then donations will have grown by 30%. And to further boost the amount donated the Treacle Market team have a long term aim to stage weekly markets which will clearly make a major impact on the provision of care at the hospice.
As a proud supporter of the crucial service provided by East Cheshire Hospice we look forward to seeing you at future Treacle Markets. For more information about the next market please visit http://www.treaclemarket.co.uk/
Should you wish to make a donation to this magnificent cause please connect at http://www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/donate