Walking for a teen zone at Wigan Infirmary

Staff from the Rainbow Ward prepare for their run
Staff from the Rainbow Ward prepare for their run

Hospital staff in Wigan are certainly going the extra mile to help youngsters on their ward.

In fact, members of the Rainbow Ward at Wigan Infirmary are planning to go 20 miles.

Staff are organising a sponsored walk from Wigan Pier to Southport Pier to raise money for new facilities on the children’s ward.

They want to create a “teen zone” for adolescent patients staying in hospital.

Nurse Jodie Southern said: “At the minute we have got a play room where all the kids can go. It’s got a soft play area and a couple of PlayStations, but that’s mainly for the younger children.

“The older ones tend to stay in their beds. There are some portable TVs that they can use as well.”

So the staff want to create a separate area for teenagers being treated there, who could be in beds alongside crying babies and noisy toddlers.

Miss Southern added: “Teenagers want somewhere they can retreat and relax on their own. It will give them somewhere to have some peace and quiet.

“Also, if they are here for a while, they become friendly with each other. They can get away from their parents and have a chat amongst themselves.”

A room on the ward has already been identified for the teen zone and staff have spoken to their teenage patients about what they would like to see there.

Miss Southern said: “One said they would like a jukebox. They have said beanbags, a TV and one of the girls suggested having things to do their nails with. We hope to have some kind of arcade games, pool table or something with different games so they can choose.”

A Wigan firm has already made a donation to pay for fixtures in the room, but more money is needed.

So staff will put their best feet forward for the sponsored walk on Saturday, August 11. They expect it will take around seven hours to get to Southport. As well as hospital workers, their friends and family will be taking part.

Wiganers are invited to join the walk to help raise money for the project. To get involved, call the ward on 01942 778762. Donations to the appeal can be made at www.justgiving.com/wiganrainbowward.