Festival shining a light on hospice's work

Lucy Atkinson from Wigan and Leigh Hospice
Lucy Atkinson from Wigan and Leigh Hospice
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One of the borough’s biggest charities is putting the spotlight on wellbeing with a major festival dedicated to living happier, healthier lives.

Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) is putting on the three days of Oak Fest to show how the centre at its Hindley-based headquarters boosts the quality of life of Wiganers with life-limiting illnesses.

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Healthcare professionals, carers and residents are all invited to the Oak Centre at the charity’s Kildare Street base for the ambitious event.

The Oak Centre supports anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to set themselves goals and make the most of their situation, with a huge range of therapies and creative activities being run.

And now Wiganers will be able to see that work for themselves.

Lucy Atkinson, creative therapies co-ordinator at the Oak Centre, said: “Oak Fest is a first for us and we’re really looking forward to welcoming local people and healthcare workers to show them how the Oak Centre can really make a difference to people’s lives.

“Oak Fest is a chance for people to speak to Oak Centre members first-hand, try some of the workshops we offer and get a real feel for what the centre is all about. When people come here they talk, they laugh, they meet people and they find it’s a really safe space.

“They can be themselves and be in a place where their illness doesn’t define who they are.”

The Oak Centre offers services including physiotherapy, complementary therapies such as aromatherapy and reiki, occupational therapy and counselling. It also runs an array of regular and one-off arts and crafts workshops such as the Wool Warriors knitting and sewing group, a quilting session and flower arranging and has its own choir.

Healthcare professionals can refer people to the Oak Centre or encourage them to go through the process of referring themselves.

Most of the Oak Centre’s activities are free but some require a donation of £5 and some have to be booked in advance as places are limited.

Oak Fest runs from Monday September 24 to Wednesday September 26. Find out more by ringing 01942 525566 or email oakcentre@wlh.org.uk