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Hospital 'Teen Zone' officially opens

Following a year of fundraising from staff, members of the public and local businesses, a new area designed especially for teenage patients has officially been opened at Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

The new ‘Teen Zone’ on the Rainbow Ward at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s Wigan site, is a bespoke area created to provide young adults on the ward a space to relax and recuperate in a modern and age-appropriate environment.

The top ten donors to the project were invited to celebrate at a special event, where 15-year-old Ellie Pugh from Leigh, who regularly attends the ward for long-term treatment, cut the blue ribbon to the room and became the first patient to cross the threshold.

Ellie Pugh with Albert the Bear

Ellie Pugh with Three Wishes Charity mascot, Albert the Bear, at Teen Zone opening

Welcoming visitors to the ceremony, and thanking Ellie for officially opening the area, WWL CEO, Silas Nicholls said: “Being in hospital at any time is difficult, but when you’re a teenager in hospital, that can be even more so.

“Having a place especially for teenagers is really important and what we’ve got now is a great facility.

Silas with plaque“I think it’s going to be a great place for our teenage patients to use.”

Ellie said: “The Teen Zone is amazing; it’s really going to make a difference.

“Even the smallest details have been thought of like the floor – having a smooth surface rather than a padded or soft floor will help patients wheel their IV stands into the room with no trouble. I love it!”

Fundraising efforts to raise the money needed to create the ‘Teen Zone’ have included a 20 mile Pier to Pier walk, family raffles, fun runs, a charity car wash, a tea party to celebrate the Royal Wedding and local businesses naming the Trust’s Three Wishes Charity as their charity of the year.

Three Wishes Fundraising Manager, Janet Pennington said at the event: “This is the perfect example of doing more for our patients.

“We’ve really been able to go above and beyond thanks to the very kind donations from everyone who attended the event.

“They should all feel really proud, this is a legacy that will benefit patients for years to come, making a massive difference to young people at this hospital.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of money that has been raised and the way people have taken the project to their hearts.

“Collectively, over £35,000 was raised for the Teen Zone and we’re just in awe at such an incredible amount being donated”

Teenagers receiving treatment on the ward will now be able to enjoy comfortable couches, brand new games consoles, music systems and dining area.