Wigan disability service group under threat after being evacuated from home due to dangerously unstable wall at nearby mill

More than Words is one of several businesses and community groups affected by the wall collapse
More than Words is one of several businesses and community groups affected by the wall collapse

A Wigan group which provides invaluable services for disabled adults is under threat after they were evacuated from their site this week.

More than Words Advocacy CIC is currently seeking a temporary base after staff and service users were asked to leave the building on Pottery Terrace on Tuesday when a wall at Eckersley Mill became dangerously unstable.

The next day, More than Words were allowed back into the site but were forced to leave quickly when the council said the wall was at risk of “imminent collapse”.

The group, which runs on “very limited” funding is looking for a temporary space so it can continue to provide vital services for people with learning and physical disabilities in Wigan.

The community interest company gives its users a means of expressing themselves through the Self-Advocacy Board Project and have their say about life in the borough.

Members use art, drama, dance, games and poetry to explain and express the views of others – particularly those with more complex needs.

Sue Seager, co-founder and managing director, said: “We are desperately looking for a space so we can continue providing our service.

“All of our members have learning disabilities and we have some students with physical disabilities too.

“We are in a very tricky situation, we have to continue the service, so many families depend on us, they have to go to work.

“Not only that but because we have students here on the autism spectrum and those who have mental health problems, it’s a major upheaval.

“It’s a massive financial loss for us as well. We are a community interest company so we have very limited funding as it is, something like this has a major impact on us.”

Today they are based at Today’s Community Church, inside The Edge building, but Sue said it is only a temporary solution.

“We don’t know how long this could go on for”, she added. “Apparently the council needs consent from English Heritage before they can knock the rest of the wall down.

“We haven’t had an update it so we have no idea what’s going on, our main concern is to keep the service running for the vulnerable people we work with.”

Numerous other businesses have been affected including The Wendy House Nursery, which is also operating from a temporary room within The Edge.

A spokesperson for the nursery, said: “We will do everything possible to ensure we stay open and not let the children and families down.

“Ofsted have been informed of the situation and risk assessments have been carried out to ensure the safety and well-being of all children.”

Anyone who has a space free for More than Words can contact Sue on 07985 412234.

The council has provided a full report of the events which will be published on Wigan Today shortly.