Derian House hospice youngsters challenge Wigan Warriors stars to boccia and curling

Wigan Warrior stars with young people at Derian House hospice
Wigan Warrior stars with young people at Derian House hospice Credit: Derian House

Wigan Warriors rugby stars say their visit to their local children’s hospice was an incredibly 'humbling experience'.

The team met staff, volunteers and children at the Chorley-based Derian House and learned more about its care for more than 450 families of seriously ill children from across the North West.

Things got competitive when Derian’s young people challenged the Warriors to a few games of soft ball boccia and curling.

Wigan Warrior stars curling young people at Derian House hospice Credit: Derian House

There were smiles all round as the rugby legends tested their sense of sight, smell, and taste in some sensory activities in the hospice messy play zone.

A meditation session saw the team relax and unwind under the calming instruction of Derian’s family counsellor in a meditation session.

Wigan Warriors play in the sensory room at Derian House Credit: Derian House

Matt Peet, Head Coach of Wigan Warriors, said: “We’ve been blown away, not just by the services at Derian House but by the level of care that they provide for families.

"None of us want to have to need to use a hospice, but it’s comforting to see that these services are here to support families if they need it.

“It was very humbling for us all. We felt it when we went home over the weekend to spend time with our families. No matter what happens in our next few games, this experience has really put things into perspective for us all.”

Wigan Warriors in sensory session at local hospice Credit: Derian House

Derian House provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 450 children and young people across the North West.

Lynn Grayson, Director of Clinical Services at Derian House, said: “It meant a lot to have the Wigan Warriors here. Not only did their visit bring joy to our young people but it also showed the staff how valued they all are. They do some amazing work.

“I’d like to thank the Wigan Warriors for giving us the opportunity to talk about and share what we do here. It is so important for us to raise awareness of our services so that the families who need us know we are here. 

“I wish the Wigan Warriors the best of luck in their next game – I know there’ll be a few of us here cheering the team on!”

Wigan Warriors team meeting young people and staff at Derian House Credit: Derian House

Wigan Warriors will take on the Leeds Rhinos in their next game on Friday 16 September.