Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear MBE has stepped in to help a Greater Manchester hospice after hearing that they had been forced to cancel their 21st anniversary events due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Heywood-born actress has donated a large amount of personal jewellery to Willow Wood Hospice to be sold in aid of funds later this year.
And fans may recognise many of the items worn on Coronation Street, including the iconic birdcage earrings which Bet wore when leaving the Rovers in 1995.
“I have always taken a keen interest in Willow Wood Hospice, which is a fantastic local charity, as their founding patron was my dear friend Roy Barraclough who played my screen husband Alec,” said Julie.
“When I heard that they had been forced to cancel almost all their fundraising events in this, their 21st year, I wanted to do something to help.”
The jewellery will be sold via an on-line sale in the run-up to Coronation Street’s 60th birthday this December.
“We are very proud of our links with Roy Barraclough and his family, who continue to support us, and thrilled that Julie has chosen to help us in this way,” said Karen Houlston, Willow Wood Hospice’s Chief Executive.
“The hospice relies on volunteers and charitable donations to serve the community of Tameside and Glossop and this year has been tough.”
The Hospice had been planning a fundraising night to coincide with Corrie’s 60th birthday whilst marking the Hospice’s own 21 years of service to the local community.
The charity enjoys many Corrie connections with the founding patrons having been Roy Barraclough and Kathy Staff, both actors who appeared on the famous cobbles, and current patrons include Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper).
“We have a lot of Corrie fans amongst our supporters and volunteers so were really looking forward to a pint, a bowl of hotpot and a lot of Corrie anecdotes from our patron Mark Llewellin who has been connected with the show for over two decades and a Coronation Street tour guide and expert,” said Karen.
“It was such a shame when we had to cancel and of course, it has certainly affected us financially.
“We were delighted however when Mark offered to make a fan film all about the show and its local connections, and then Manchester production company Show Motion Media and ex BBC Radio Manchester host Jane Hodson came on board all offering their services for free – and then Daisy Nook Garden centre offered to sponsor it – so suddenly the idea just snowballed into something very unique.
“The result is a special film made by fans for fans, featuring lots of Corrie tales from the show’s 60 years and a look at our local connections.
“Mark also managed to persuade many of his friends amongst the cast, past and present to record some anecdotes.
“Corrie legends Julie Goodyear, Sally Ann Matthews, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Ted Robbins, Amanda Barrie, Jennie McAlpine, Chris Gascoyne, Rula Lenska, William Roache and supporting artiste Adam Blease are amongst those taking part.
“Rather than just showing it to our existing supporters we are hoping that Corrie fans around the world will make a donation and download the film to watch at home wherever they are.
“Every penny will go to providing palliative care and to support those in our community with other long-term issues such as dementia.
“We can’t thank people enough – Corrie fans are definitely streets ahead!”
Details of how to download the film, which will be available to watch from 9th December (Coronation Street’s 60th Birthday) will be on the charity’s website willowwood.info.