The start of celebrations to mark 40 years since Wigan and Leigh Hospice opened its doors

Celebrations will begin this weekend to mark the 40th anniversary of a Wigan charity caring for terminally ill patients and their families.
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A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Wilfrid’s Church, in Standish, on Saturday in honour of Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Running from 3pm to 4.30pm, it will provide an opportunity for anyone who has been involved with the hospice over the past 40 years to come together and celebrate its work, as well as for the charity to thank supporters for their contribution.

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St Wilfrid's Church will host the service of thanksgivingSt Wilfrid's Church will host the service of thanksgiving
St Wilfrid's Church will host the service of thanksgiving
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Since opening its doors in 1983, the hospice has delivered palliative and end-of-life care to patients across the Wigan borough, while also supporting their loved ones.

The first hospice opened in Poolstock on August 1, 1983, with five in-patient beds and a small community nursing service.

Since then it has relocated to Hindley and offers specialist palliative care to more than 1,300 people every year through its 14 in-patient beds and in their homes.

The hospice also provides training and support to other care providers in the borough on palliative care and end-of-life support.

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Pupils from Wigan schools have created pieces of art which will be displayed at the church for the community to admire.

An instalment of umbrellas adorned with words chosen by pupils to describe the hospice has been created at Standish High School, with the umbrellas representing the wide range of services and care provided.

St Wilfrid’s CE Primary Academy pupils have decorated wooden hearts, with between 80 and 100 to be displayed at the church in time for the service.

These displays will also be used at the hospice’s garden party in August, so they can be appreciated by everyone in the community.

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Sheila Fisher, the hospice’s chairman and a lay minister at St Wilfrid’s Church, said: “It will be a joy to share this time of thanksgiving for all our hospice has meant to so many over the years, what it means today and our vision and hope for the future.

“The energy, vision and creativity of the pupils of St Wilfrid’s C of E Primary Academy and Standish Community High School and the way they have captured, through art, the values we all share has been truly inspirational.”

The service will be followed by a reception at the church hall, which all are welcome to attend.

It will be the first of a series of events held over the summer and autumn to mark 40 years since the charity was founded.

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On July 13, staff and pupils at a number of schools in the borough will wear an item of purple clothing to “Turn Wigan Purple” and show their support for the hospice.

From July 24, the hospice’s 40 Days of Fitness Challenge will get underway, encouraging residents to get active and support the hospice.

The celebrations will conclude with the hospice’s 40th anniversary gala ball on Saturday, November 25 at the DW Stadium.

Anyone interested getting involved with any of these events can contact the hospice by emailing [email protected].

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