Tears of Joy as Marilyn Jones WINS Rochdale’s Woman of the Year 2018

On Friday 27th April the annual Women of Rochdale Luncheon took place at Rochdale Town Hall’s Great Hall in aid of Springhill Hospice.

The 2018 Luncheon saw 200 ladies come together for a delightful and exciting afternoon which saw Sing!

Littleborough entertains, double Olympic gold medalist Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE as Guest Speaker and Marilyn Jones awarded the prestigious title of Rochdale Woman of the Year for 2018.


Marilyn was nominated for her vision and growth of Rochdale’s Soup Kitchen, working tirelessly to reach out to members of the society who are less fortunate and have nothing or very little.

Marilyn Jones (right) and Daughter, when announced as Rochdale Woman of the year 2018 Image Credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography

While she is not the only person to be involved in Rochdale’s Soup Kitchen, without her ambition, determination and drive it may not be the success it has grown to be.

Julie Halliwell – Chief Executive Springhill Hospice – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography
Angela Corric (Woman of Rochdale Committee Chair) – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography
Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE – Guest Speaker – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography
Choir – Sing! Littleborough – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography
Melanie Caffrey – Woman of Rochdale Committee member – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography

Marilyn said “I was absolutely dumbfounded.

To be nominated was an honour but to win, I am delighted.” She continued “I am still so shocked as it was so unexpected, it is wonderful to be able to shine a light on the whole team at the Soup Kitchen”.

Marilyn and friend Vida Slater had the vision to set up a soup kitchen in Rochdale and on Christmas Eve 2013, they decided to take a pan full of soup down to the Town Centre, and it evolved from there.

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Marilyn shares that “from starting with one pan full of soup, we now have over 50 volunteer soup makers, cake bakers and those who fund us financially.

On average we serve 30 portions of food on a weekday and up to 70 portions at the weekend”.

The Soup Kitchen functions from its premises at Chapness Hall and aims to reach out to the homeless and socially isolated across Rochdale.

It is open Tuesday through Friday from 6 pm and Saturday lunchtime. Their future aim is to be able to open throughout the week from lunchtime.

Along with homemade soup further facilities the team offers have grown to include an impressive range of support from hairdressing to washers and dryers and visits from the Homeless Alliance Response Team which consists of volunteer Doctors and Nurses.

“As we completely rely on donations we are so lucky to have so much support throughout the borough especially from; Tesco Express, M&S, Morrisons, Lidl, Greggs, Bunnings, Rochdale Council, the Masons of Rochdale and Hopwood Hall Students to name a few,” says Marilyn.

Events and Corporate Fundraiser at Springhill Hospice, Sophie Ansley, says “ every year the Women of Rochdale Luncheon recognises the excellent work of Women throughout our borough and what a worthy winner Marilyn is for this year.

This year’s event was a huge success, providing valuable support to the Hospice.

I would like to express our sincere thanks to event sponsors Mike Goldrick Blinds LTD and Jackson Jackson & Sons for their continued support”.

Ladies at Women of Rochdale Luncheon – Image credit Kerry Hargreaves Photography

Next year’s Women of Rochdale Luncheon will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Springhill Hospice and is sure to be an extraordinary event.

Make sure you save the date for Friday 26th April and join us at our 2019 Women of Rochdale Luncheon.

Springhill Hospice (reg. charity no. 701798) is a 16-bedded In-Patient facility providing care and support for people with life-limiting illnesses across the Rochdale Borough and parts of Rossendale, Oldham and North Manchester.

We are registered for a further 16 patients per day in our Day Hospice, provide Out-Patient clinics, a Community Support Service and education and study facilities in the purpose-built Margaret Geoghegan Education Centre.

We aim to provide a range of medical and nursing palliative care services to patients for whom a cure is no longer available.

As hospice care is provided free of charge, we have to cover our costs by raising over £3.25 million each year – around £8,928 per day – with approximately 70% of that coming from voluntary income, donations, our shops, our Hospice lottery, legacies and a full calendar of fundraising events.

Contact – Sophie Ansley, Events and Corporate Fundraiser, Springhill Hospice.
Telephone: 01706 64179


If or when the time is right for you to include a gift to a charity in your will, please remember Springhill Hospice.

Springhill Hospice (Rochdale)
Broad Lane
OL16 4PZ

Telephone 01706 641790
Mobile 07760 275 895

Web: www.springhill.org.uk

Images kerryhargreavesphotography


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