Our 40 Year History


A vision is formed.

After one of his patients died at night, all alone, Dr Surman decided it was time for change. In conjunction with the Rotary Club of Wigan, he began his journey to recruit a team of night sitters to provide comfort to people in terminal distress.


In March 1980 £60,000 had been raised and St James with St Thomas Vicarage in Poolstock was purchased. And conversion into the hospice began.


Mrs Jean Peet is formally offered the post of Matron, and it was decided to open the
hospice in September 1993. The first patients were admitted to the hospice on 12th September 1983, cared for by a team of 16 nurses.


The grand opening.

On the afternoon of December 5th 1984, Wigan Hospice was formally opened by the Countess of Westmorland, the President of the National Society for Cancer Relief.


Introduction of the Day Care Centre.

Sister Shelagh Turner (now Pedder) was appointed Day Care Sister in December 1987, having worked in the hospice Inpatient Unit previously. The Day Care Centre was officially opened on 29th March 1988 by The Duchess of Norfolk.


The Hospice Lottery is launched.

The purpose of the lottery was to help fund the new build and keep the existing hospice running.


The start of a new era.

The new hospice building in Hindley is officially opened by The Duchess of Norfolk on 17th February 1999.


Facility development.

In April 2007 The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened the newly completed annex and day hospice garden room, which was largely funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the local Primary Care Trust, and the Mayor's Charity Appeal.


The Introduction of Hospice in Your Home.

This service continues to provide hands on care in people's homes, giving carers a time to rest, and provides overnight stays with the aim of enabling the patient to remain at home at the end of life.


The opening of the Woodview Centre, an eco-friendly building which houses the community nursing teams, complementary therapy and counselling rooms, outpatient clinics, education services and meeting rooms.


The launch of  Hospice in Your Care Home

This team provides education and training in end of life care to staff in care settings including nursing and residential homes.


Project major modernisation completes.

This refurbishment included a refreshed reception area, a new cafe, and a separate
ambulance entrance for patients arriving on the Inpatient Unit.


The pandemic hits.

The pandemic hit the hospice hard, with visiting limited, events cancelled or postponed, and Inpatient Unit places limited. Our staff continued to work tirelessly despite these difficult conditions, to provide care for the community.


The expansion of Hospice in Your Care Home to become Wigan Borough Palliative and End of Life Care Learning Hub. Our education centre currently provides training services for all care professionals across the Wigan borough.


Our 40th anniversary!