ROYALTY arrived in Hindley yesterday, Monday, for the official opening of a new centre at Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
Prince Edward visited the hospice for a tour of the Woodview Centre, a new £1.5 million building which houses the Hospice in your Home team and specialist nurses, to meet staff, trust members, patients and volunteers.
Primary school pupils from St Peter's, Hindley Green County and St John's Hindley Green greeted the Earl of Wessex with excited cheers while waving Union Flags.
He was then introduced to chief executive Alan Baron, Mayor of Wigan Clr Phyllis Cullen and other dignitaries before the tour and ended his visit by unveiling a plaque that will be displayed in the centre.
Mr Baron said: "It has been excellent - from the moment he arrived and saw the schoolchildren lining the car park the event has been very special.
"His Royal Highness took the time to speak to some of the children and I am sure they feel very proud.
"The hospice feels honoured to have had His Royal Highness here to open the new centre. It has been 18 months in planning and building and it allows us to spread our reach and care for more people right across the borough.
"He was great company on the tour, he was very engaging and he spent a lot of time with patients who were really excited about meeting him."
The prince spoke to some of the 850 volunteers who help fundraise, run the hospice or work in the 13 hospice shops as well as the specialist nurses and the Hospice in your Home team.
Prince Edward said: “It has been a great pleasure to open the new centre and to see all the services that you provide here – you all do some really excellent work here.”
The centre houses complementary therapy rooms, two counselling rooms, a new outpatient clinic and a training facility where the hospice education team will deliver courses to visiting healthcare professionals and students.