Discover Embrace

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Embrace Wigan and Leigh is a user-led charity dedicated to helping people with all types of disabilities and their families who live, work or use services primarily within the borough of Wigan and Leigh, gain the support they need to live a fulfilling life. Embrace offers information, advice, support, training and advocacy to help ensure people with disabilities live a life as inclusive and meaningful as possible. Embrace believes everyone has a right to live the life they choose and not to become isolated.


A history of Embrace

Embrace has been established for 17 years. A public meeting was held at the Town Hall in Wigan circa 2000 to decide what should be done with a pot of money (£150k) that had been sitting in an account for years. The money had been fundraised for Mere Oaks Special School in Wigan, but over the years the group of people that had raised the funds had either passed away or had other commitments and so the money ended up just sitting in a bank account. The public meeting was held to decide if the money should be dispersed to all local charities in Wigan, or whether the public wanted to see another charity set up to serve the people of Wigan and Leigh.

It was decided that the public wanted another charity to be established which would provide information, advice and advocacy and wanted the charity to be Scope (previously known as The Spastics Society) That evening a management committee was established and three original members of that management committee still sit on it today. One thing was changed straightaway: the public wanted the charity to widen the offer of support to any person with a disability, not just individuals with cerebral palsy.

In the very early days the management committee met once a month with aims and objectives. However, because everyone had lots of other commitments none of the aims and objectives was ever met. So it was decided that a community fieldworker would be employed for five years to deliver information, advice and advocacy until the funds were depleted. However, 15 years later and Embrace is still going and in a stronger position than ever before.

We changed our name in 2006 from Scope to Embrace because we were constantly getting associated with National Scope and we deliver a completely different service. Embrace is growing from strength to strength due to the level of service we provide, and hopefully our model of delivery will be replicated within neighbouring boroughs within the next couple of years.

the history

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How we are run

Embrace are overseen by our Management Committe who are made up of dedicated volunteers. The Management Committee then feed direction to our Strategic Team who implement the aims and objectives of the charity.

Can anyone join the committee?

Anyone can request to join the Management Committee (who are made up of volunteers who wish to give back to their community).

If you feel you have the skills, experience and passion to aid your local community then please contact our Chairperson.

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Our Chairperson

Currently our Chairperson is Joanne Barrow who has a huge passion for inclusion and equality within our Borough.

If you wish to contact our Chairperson please email:

joanne barrow

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