Shauna’s Christmas wish

Staff from Care Choice North West, Wigan, from left: Carla Barnes, Shauna Barton, Julie Lanaghan and Kerrie Johnson
Staff from Care Choice North West, Wigan, from left: Carla Barnes, Shauna Barton, Julie Lanaghan and Kerrie Johnson

A selfless Wigan mum who set up her own care business to nurse her dying grandad is hoping to make the festive period special for lonely people across the borough.

Shauna Barton, 29, from Whelley, is appealing for volunteers to help her bring a touch of magic to people on Christmas Day who may otherwise spend it alone.

The mother-of-two, who is expecting her third child, has decided to run a Christmas day meal for the community with her family and “anyone else” who wants company on the day.

Through her business, Care Choice North West, which she set up with her mum to care for her grandad as he suffered with terminal cancer; Shauna hopes to provide food, music and gifts for people attending to make it “a day to remember”.

Three years since she launched the service, Shauna and her fleet of carers spend around 1,300 hours a week collectively visiting and caring for people in Wigan, Standish and Atherton in their homes.

“My staff said they will make Christmas dinner and take it round,” she said. “I thought why don’t we all get together and make it a day to remember.

“I’m bringing my kids. It’s not just our clients but some of my staff don’t necessarily have family close by them, and it’s for anybody else, for the community of Wigan.

“This isn’t just for elderly people, we have got people in their 40s who have lost friends and family due to illness.

“We do get them back in the community, but it can be a little bit too much too soon, we have to take little steps with them.”

Shauna has already approached Fur Clemt, a Wigan charity which has offered to donate some food for the occasion. She has also contacted Wigan Council to ask for venue recommendations.

“I just want to get the word out there if people want to come and help us with dinner or serving,” she added.

“I have volunteered once, it was really nice. There was a guy there and I used to look after his mum. His mum and dad had died and he had no one else. When he saw me his face lit up.

“Everyone exchanged gifts. It was just lovely, but it has never been put on again since. It’s people like him we could help.”

Care Choice North West staff will still be visiting each of their clients on the day, but are hoping that anyone who wants to will attend the dinner.

Anyone interested in helping or donating food or gifts can contact Shauna on 01942 825766.