Wigan hospital staff pledge to create 'teen zone' for young patients

Rainbow ward staff getting ready for their trek
Rainbow ward staff getting ready for their trek
Share this article

A project has been launched to create a “teen zone” for poorly patients at Wigan Infirmary.

And members of staff on the hospital’s Rainbow ward are limbering up for a 20-mile trek to raise money for it.

The area that is to be transformed

The area that is to be transformed

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 an area that adolescent patients in particular will be able to frequent, given that most of the facilities at present are geared towards younger children.

Once complete the recreation area - currently more of an office with a few stickers on the wall - could resemble a well-stocked youth club.

Employees will be leading the gruelling charge but are inviting members of the public to bolster their numbers, including former junior patients and their families.

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 said: “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 teenaged 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.”

One recent Wigan Infirmary teenaged patient, who did not wish to be identified, said: “The care I received could not be criticised and the staff were very caring and friendly.

“But I have to admit that the days could be very long if you weren’t getting visitors. There seemed to be plenty to do for the younger patients but very little for people of my age to enjoy.

“I think this teen zone is an excellent idea and I wish all the fund-raisers the best of luck.

Another said: “I have had a couple of long stretches in hospital and the days do drag. Fair enough, some patients don’t feel up to being entertained or entertaining themselves but for others they want to keep their minds active.

“A book and your mobile only go so far so this sounds like a great idea!”

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

So staff will be donning their most comfortable shoes for the sponsored walk which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 11.

They expect it will take around seven hours to get to the holiday resort, joking that they hope will get lifts back home rather than have to make the return journey on foot too!

As well as hospital workers, their friends and family will be taking part.

And Wiganers are invited to join the walk to help raise money for the project too.

To get involved, call the Rainbow ward on 01942 778762.

Donations to the appeal can also be made at www.justgiving.com/wiganrainbowward.