derek and jo

A COUPLE from Astley will get married for a second time at Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Derek Hall, 48, and Joanne Hall, 47, will renew their vows at the Oak Centre day service at the hospice on Monday, May 20th.

Derek, who has an inoperable brain tumour, began attending the Oak Centre in January 2018 every Monday to socialise, for exercise and physiotherapy to improve his wellbeing. Joanne accompanies him every week.

At 12noon on the day Joanne, who works at Moorepay in Swinton, will wear the wedding dress she first wore when the couple got married almost 12 years in July 2007.

Joanne said: “We’ve often talked about getting married again but with the journey we’ve been on the last 3 years brought home how much we wanted to do it.
“Derek was joking we’d do it in a pub but Jacqui at the Oak Centre suggested we do it there. We looked at each other and thought ‘why not?’ and I’m so glad – I couldn’t think of a better place.”

It was February 2016 when Derek was diagnosed with a tumour on his brain stem.

Derek: “I told Joanne when I was driving home from work having double vision and it just wasn’t right. I went to Bolton Eye Hospital and it was there they found it. For about six years before I’d had poor vision, headaches and didn’t know why.”

The Oak Centre

The couple felt they were left on their own to cope and were struggling until they discovered the Oak Centre.

Joanne said: “We had fallen under the radar for support because we looked like we were coping so well.
“We went from being given some shocking news and being in limbo – we didn’t know what to do – we had no support but the Oak Centre has given us the support we need.
“We’ve had so much going on it’s been an emotional rollercoaster the last few years. Being here opened our eyes – the people, the support – I said to my mother-in-law I didn’t know people like that existed.”
“Everyone at the Oak Centre is like our family and the centre is like a second home. When I get into the car park it’s like a big hug.
“As soon as the wedding was mentioned everyone said ‘I’ll do this’ and ‘I’ll do that’. It’s like one big happy family.”

The kitchen team at the hospice will make sandwiches, a cake is being bought and decorated by an Oak Centre friend and the bunting is being stitched together by more Oak Centre friends.

The shops team at the hospice is sourcing mismatched china cups and saucers for an afternoon tea for the wedding breakfast.

Joanne’s bouquet of wild flowers will feature photographs of both her grandparents and Derek’s.

Joanne’s father-in-law, Derek, will give her away while her mother-in-law Sheila will accompany her son down the aisle.

Guests will be some of Joanne’s friends from work, Derek’s parents and friends, volunteers and staff from the Oak Centre.

Jacqui White, Manager of the Oak Centre, said: “We’re thrilled that Joanne and Derek have chosen the Oak Centre as their wedding venue. I know it’s a really special place for them where they’ve made a lot of friends and found a great deal of support. We feel privileged that they will be sharing their wedding day with all of the users, volunteers and staff at the Oak Centre.”

The Oak Centre is a wellbeing day service open to people with life-limiting illnesses and their carers. It offers a range of therapies, classes and workshops to help people achieve individual goals and make the most out of life.

Drop-in sessions when anybody can pop in to find out more about the service are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10.30am to 12noon and on Tuesdays from 1pm to 3pm.

Call 01942 5255366 or email: to find out more.