My life, my choices
Online lifeline: Looking for care and support? Need help getting out and about or advice on being a carer? Don’t worry – help is at hand.
The council’s new online service ‘My Life, My Choices’ –
Wigan Council - My Life My Choices (external link)
offers up to date information about care and support services available for adults living in the borough. Including information from local organisations such as the council, health, housing and leisure partners, independent, community and voluntary associations, My Life, My Choices signposts to a wealth of help and advice designed to support people who want to organise their own care package, those who organise health and care support on behalf of someone as well as social care, health and other professionals.
If you haven't got a computer at home or need support to find information online check out your local library who provide free Internet access (for library members) as well as offering beginners IT courses. For more information go to:
Wigan Libraries (external link)
Local people urged to back charity
Wigan’s Mayor is urging the public to back a local charity supporting research into the causes, treatment and cures of cancer. Cllr Michael Winstanley backed the Wigan Cancer Research Fund – founded by a group of volunteers and the then Wigan Mayor Cllr Oliver Somers in 1958.
The group has supported the appointment of a series of clinical research fellows investigating gynaecological cancer, led by specialists at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. The funding means results in the lab have been transformed into benefits for patients.
Councillor Winstanley said: “For many, cancer is a terrible, terminal and unspeakable fear – but because of the support of local people, some of the best research in the world is being carried out in the region, and it’s having real clinical success. “I would urge people to think locally if they are able to contribute – and donate through the Wigan Cancer Research Fund. For many years their kindness has funded results and changed lives.” To find out more, or to make a donation or even a legacy, contact the group via
Wigan Cancer Research Fund - P R W Northridge
Borough all set for election special
LOCAL council elections will take place on Thursday 5 May.
This year, as well as elections in all wards of the borough there will be parish council elections in Shevington and Haigh, and a referendum on the Alternative Vote system (AV).
The referendum will be asking if people would prefer to keep the first passed the post method of selecting a candidate for parliamentary general elections or whether they want to change to the Alternative Vote system.
The Electoral Commission will be issuing guidance to every home in the country during the coming weeks which will explain the system in greater detail. If you will be working away or on holiday and don’t want to miss your vote you can apply to vote by post, or you can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
New postal vote applications must reach the elections office by – 5pm Thursday 14 April (if you wish to change an existing postal or proxy this same deadline applies). Postal votes are usually issued between 7–10 days before the date of election.
If you will not be at home to receive it then you should consider appointing a proxy instead. New proxy applications must reach the elections office by 5pm Thursday 21 April. If you have recently moved house you should check that you are registered on the Electoral Register at your new address.
Applications to be included on the register must be submitted by 5pm on 14 April to be eligible to vote at elections on 5 May 2011.
More information and all forms are available on our website:
Wigan Council - Elections
. If you need any help or advice please call the elections helpline 01942 827168.
Sam Houghton is a Knockout!
Twelve months ago, Sam Houghton went along to an amateur boxing class as part of a youth project.
Just one year later and she’s teaching the thing! Seventeen year old Sam is now training to become a qualified coach at Wigan Amateur Boxing Club on Wigan Road, Landgate.
Sam, from Marsh Green, said: “It’s dead enjoyable to get involved here and everyone is really friendly – they look out for you as soon as you join.”
Sam originally found herself at the club following her involvement with the X-Zones – a project led by Wigan Council’s Youth Service teams aimed at providing positive activities for young people on Friday and Saturday evenings.
For more information on Wigan Amateur Boxing Club call 01942 207347. For more information on the X-Zones project led by Wigan Council’s Youth Service call 01942 486256.
Sessions show helping children is as easy as ABC
SUCCESS STORY: Elaine Jones (centre) is ready to read with (left) headteacher Pauline Rowley, Callum, aged 11 and (right) Emma Mitson, Courtney, 11 and Britney, 10.
“YOU’RE always volunteering for things, so I thought you’d enjoy this.” Little did Hawkley Hall local Elaine Jones realise at the time that these words would be the start of a journey.
A journey that would see her helping children discover the joys of reading and see their school achievement soar.
Elaine had received some information about national charity Volunteer Reading Help from her daughter Susan.
After training, Elaine was placed at St James’ CE Junior and Infants School, just round the corner from where she lives.
She has now become a familiar face at the school and visits twice a week to give the children a little bit of extra help. “It takes a bit of patience and lot of smiles but it is really worthwhile,” said Elaine. “To see children who had little interest in reading not only improve but actually decide to read in their own time for pleasure gives me a fantastic sense of achievement.”
Recent examples have seen Elaine coach some of her young charges to increase their reading age by two years in the space of just six months.
Volunteer Reading Help has been helping primary school pupils across the country to improve their reading skills for nearly 40 years now.
In Wigan, under the West Pennine Branch, currently nine schools are involved but Emma Mitson, who is the charity’s Volunteer Services Manager, wants a volunteer in every school in the borough. Pauline Rowley who is the head at St James’ is obviously a big fan.
“Once a child gets that light switched on, there really is no stopping them,” she said.
“It’s been a real success in our school and it’s all down to people like Elaine who have given up their time to help.”
For more information about how to get involved with Volunteer Reading Help you can contact Emma Mitson on 0845 4500335 or 01204 532421. You can also visit the national website:
Volunteer Reading Help (external link)
Easy guide to find a trader you can trust
TRADING PLACES: Wigan Council's Chief Trading Standards Officer Julie Middlehurst and Deputy Leader Cllr David Molyneux are backing the good trader scheme.
IT’S spring, time for daffodils… and DIY.
Yes, it’s the time of year when many Borough Life readers are considering improvements in and around the home.
But if DIY = SOS, if a toolbox isn’t your bag, you’ll need a trader you can trust. And fortunately, you’re in the right place!
Wigan Council’s ‘Good Trader’ scheme is a database of around 200 of the borough’s best – traders who put customers first, time and time again.
“Reputable local traders are just a call or a click away with the Good Trader scheme”, said Cllr David Molyneux.
“To earn their ‘Good Trader’ stripes, traders agree to tick the right boxes when it comes to consumer protection and other relevant legislation, and commit themselves to dealing fairly and honestly with their customers. Again and again.
“Although the scheme is administered by Trading Standards, it’s customer satisfaction that counts. “Traders must provide excellent customer references upfront to apply, then allow future customers to submit a star rating of up to five gold stars for any work carried out – and the more satisfied the customer, the better the business rating.
“So let the Good Trader scheme take the stress and worry out of finding a reliable trader. Honestly, what have you got to lose?”
Wigan borough residents can access the Good Trader scheme directory online at
Wigan Council - Good Trader
or by ringing Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 and ask for Wigan Council’s Good Trader scheme.