A NEW day service aimed at improving the lives of people with a life-limiting illness has been launched in the Borough.
The Oak Centre at Wigan and Leigh Hospice in Hindley opened to the public on Monday, January 15th with the first of three Open Days taking place throughout the week.
Potential clients, their loved ones and healthcare professionals were all invited to find out more about the new service which seeks to enhance the emotional and physical wellbeing of local people throughout Wigan Borough who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
Eric Hunter, 60, from Lowton has Motor Neurone Disease and popped in to see what the Oak Centre had to offer. He said: “Most people are afraid of hospices; they think it’s a place to go and die but it’s like a home from home and you get a lot from meeting other people. I’m interested in finding out more about the therapies on offer, such as reflexology which relieves the swelling in my limbs, and in meeting new people.”
Manager, Jacqui White, said: “We are really excited to be delivering this new service and we’ve enjoyed meeting potential clients, their loved ones and others with an interest in what we do.
“The Oak Centre is a safe haven for people from diagnosis onwards who want to retain their independence and make the most out of life. Our staff and volunteers will support people to achieve their personal goals and continue to support them as their illness progresses.”
A programme of activities and workshops will be made available and tailored to individual needs. Clients will also have access to a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, two rehabilitation assistants, a creative therapies co-ordinator, complementary therapies and counselling.
The service launched at 10am with the unveiling of the first of four peace poles to be erected in the hospice grounds.
All have been designed and created by children from The Keys Federation Academy Trust* and are themed on the seasons. The first to be unveiled was Winter and was erected in the Oak Centre garden.
Lucy Atkinson, Creative Therapies Coordinator at the Oak Centre, said: “The federation contacted the hospice because they wanted to do a creative project for us and I thought peace poles would really stand out in our gardens and provide the children with an interesting challenge.
“The first peace pole looks absolutely fantastic and provides a real focal point for the Oak Centre garden. We’re so grateful to the children and everyone who has been involved including Kevin Foster of Wigan Timber for supplying the oak peace poles and Brookhouse Contracting for installing the poles.”
By the end of January the other peace poles will be installed with the second near a large pond, the third on a hill at the rear of the Inpatient Unit and the fourth in an area which later this year will become a wildflower retreat.
The Oak Centre has also become a temporary home to pieces of art created by members of Swinley Art Group. Founder members of the group visited the centre to display and hang 24 pieces of original art, many of which are for sale.
Anyone who lives in the Borough and has a life-limiting illness which is palliative can self-refer to the Oak Centre for assessment by contacting the team on 01942 525566 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oak Centre is based at Wigan and Leigh Hospice on Kildare Street, Hindley.
* The Keys Federation Academy Trust is: St John’s CE Primary School, Hindley Green; Hindley Green Community Primary; Hindley St Peter’s and Abram St John’s