Sam and Ria Powell

A Letter from Sam

My name is Sam Powell. I’ve played for Wigan Warriors RL Club for 11 years and during my testimonial year in 2023 I am supporting Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Like so many people in Wigan, my family has a very personal reason for supporting this essential community service. In 2011 my wife Ria’s cherished auntie Diane died in Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

The care she and our family received from the hospice was incredible, and ever since then we have supported this amazing organisation.

Reliant on donations

What we didn’t realise, and I only learned recently on a visit to the hospice, was just how much this essential community service has to depend on charitable donations to keep going. I was amazed to learn that the hospice receives less than a third of its costs from government and have to raise another £10,000 per day to keep their services running.

As a supporter of Wigan and Leigh Hospice, you play a vital role in making this vital service available to families all over Wigan and Leigh. Thanks to you more than 1,200 people living with life-limiting and terminal illnesses are supported every year.

But these services are under threat. Hospices are under enormous pressure due to the cost of living crisis, and Wigan and Leigh Hospice is no exception.

Rise in costs

The hospice is dealing with a rise in food costs, staff costs and other price increases, including energy costs which are set to more than double in March. As a result of the squeeze on everyone’s pockets the hospice is receiving fewer donations than this time last year but cannot pass on the costs as all of their services are provided free of charge.

This is why I’m asking you today to join my family in supporting Wigan and Leigh Hospice’s Daisy Chain. By joining the Daisy Chain you give a small regular donation to make sure that families like yours and mine can continue to reply on hospice care for many years to come.

If ever myself or someone in my family needed hospice care I would hope it’s here for them and that’s why we have to support it. The hospice looks after people when they are at their most vulnerable and you feel safe in their care. Now they need our help to look after them.

Thank You,



Ria’s Story

I was 18 when my auntie Diane went into the hospice. We were really close, she was like a mum to me, and I spent a lot of time with her son – my cousin – Daniel when I was growing up.

When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 she kept it really quiet. She lived at home until she couldn’t any more then moved in with my nan and grandad. When she couldn’t stay at home with my nan and grandad any longer she came into the hospice.


Peaceful and calm

I’d never even been to a hospice and had no idea what they did – I thought it was like a small hospital. But it was just lovely. Everyone was so helpful and it was so peaceful and calm. The staff would always come and ask if we wanted a cup of tea or some food and they always kept us updated on how she was.

I remember she loved firefighters and, I don’t know who arranged it, but while she was in the hospice the fire brigade came and she absolutely loved it! It took her ages to get outside but she refused to go in a wheelchair. When she got out she even tried on one of the firefighter’s jackets and it was far too big. It wiped her out – she was so tired afterwards – but it was fantastic.

My nan Christine and grandad Keith – Auntie Diane’s parents – still do a lot for the hospice. Whenever it’s birthdays or anniversaries they always ask for a donation to the hospice instead of a gift.


Difficult times

The hospice helped my Auntie Diane and our family at one of the most difficult times of our lives.

As this year we mark Sam’s testimonial year as a Wigan Warrior we knew straight away which charity we would choose to support.

Having spent time at the hospice we know that this amazing charity needs ongoing support to in order to carry on delivering the incredible care Auntie Diane and our family received.

Former supermarket worker Diane (pictured below) spent several weeks in the hospice before she died aged 45.