VIP treatment for two Hospice patients

03 November 2015

Two patients of Wigan and Leigh Hospice have been invited to officially open its new shop on Hope Street in the centre of Wigan at 10am on Thursday (5th November).

Walter Shone (67), from Leigh, and John Hardman (65), from Winstanley, will receive VIP treatment when they cut the ribbon to officially open the new shop, which will be five times bigger than the former Hospice shop on Mesnes Street.

The new shop has two floors and will sell a much wider range of stock. On the ground floor, the store will be devoted to furniture and clothes, while upstairs will see the opening of a brand new "Occasions" department, selling bridal dresses and mother-of-the-bride outfits as well as Prom, evening and cruise wear.

John, who was only referred to the Hospice a couple of weeks ago, spent a week on the In-Patient Unit before being discharged back home. John has asbestos-related lung cancer and, when diagnosed six years ago, was given a prognosis of just nine to 18 months, which he has clearly outlived by a long way.

John said: "When I was first referred to the Hospice I was really worried but I quickly realised what a wonderful place it is and I left feeling in a much stronger and more comfortable state than when I arrived. I feel very honoured to be invited to open the Hospice's new shop in Wigan and I'm really looking forward to it and feel a bit like a celebrity."

Walter has been a patient of the Hospice since May and, sadly, lost his wife earlier this year. Walter has prostate cancer and receives weekly visits from Vicky Wilcox, a Hospice in your Home volunteer. He also sees a Hospice Nurse Specialist when required.

Walter said: "I am delighted to be asked to open the Hospice's new shop and I'm looking forward to supporting the Hospice as they have supported me for several months now. The Hospice in your Home volunteer service is such a lifeline to me. I really enjoy my visits from Vicky. She makes me laugh and we always have a good chat."

Kate Gaynor, Hospice Retail Manager, said: "I am delighted that John and Walter will be there on Thursday to do the honours and officially open our new shop.

"The Hospice's network of shops has now grown to 13 across the borough and raises over £600,000 each year for the Hospice so they are such a valuable source of income for us.

"Our new shop has enabled us to expand our range and take on a bigger and more prominent shop, which is more accessible for people from the pedestrianised area.

"Please come along on Thursday and see for yourself the fantastic range of products we have on sale in the run up to the Christmas party season."

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