• Creating a Community Where Everyone Belongs

My Life Opportunities

Welcome to My Life Opportunities

Learn, make friends and have fun!

At My Life Opportunities we create opportunities for people to take part in things they enjoy doing.

We offer a wide range of meaningful person-centred activities for all ages and abilities, including people with special educational needs and disabilities.

From creative arts to music, horticulture, bushcraft, equine and animal care, cookery, woodwork and more, choose what you’d like to do, either for a full or half day!

Receive your own personalised plan of exciting opportunities and get regular progress reviews too. Whatever you’d like to do, we’ll adapt any activity to your needs!

Take a look at our latest programme of exciting opportunities, here.*

*Please note that activities may be subject to change and can be weather dependent.


Putting you first

As a part of My Life, we like to focus on ‘what matters’ to each individual person, rather than ‘what is the matter?’

As a result, we listen to our members, see who they are and what they have to offer and together, we go on to do great things.

When we say that our activities are ‘person-centred’ we really mean it. Every My Life Opportunities activity is built around your wants and needs, so that you can get the most out of it.


Preparing for Adulthood

We help our members to prepare for adulthood, to live the full life that they want, both now and in the future. 

We do this by giving people experience and confidence, the chance to improve their independent living skills and to take part in opportunities including volunteering, paid work, micro-social-enterprises, community interaction and much more. 

Find out more, here.


Support tailored to you

Whatever your support requirements, all our staff are fully trained and are matched to support a variety of needs – this may be minimum support or tailor-made arrangements.

Fully accessible facilities

Our activities take place within a dedicated area at our site in Standish, which is set in 84 acres of beautiful farmland and also at our home at Leigh Sports Village, with state-of-the-art facilities.


We’d love to welcome you to My Life

We are proud to have created an environment where everyone can flourish and feel at home. Whether this is through learning new skills, making new friendships or building confidence, there is a place here in our community for everyone to develop, make friends and have fun.

Please get in touch with us today to find out more.

Tel: 01257 472 900

Email: info@my-life.org.uk

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Why choose My Life Opportunities?

Live your life the way that you want to

As part of My Life, we have a clear vision – for people to have a good life.

We believe that everyone should be able to achieve what they want to achieve. That’s why, at My Life Opportunities, everyone has the opportunity to do everything, if they want to.

We will adapt any activity to your needs.

We’ll find out what you’d like to do, maybe even what you’d like to do but don’t think you can do it, and we’ll find a way to make sure that you’re able to take part in whatever that activity is.

Find out more about our exciting activities here.


Become part of a wider community

My Life is a completely inclusive environment, where members can interact and have conversations with a wide variety of people, many perhaps outside of their usual sphere.

You’ll have the opportunity to become part of a wider community, one that includes our other members and My Life Opportunities staff, but also many people in a range of different roles, from our CEO to our chefs and handy people, animal experts, administrative staff and teachers.


Enjoy unique experiences

Whilst we do have a timetable of planned activities, our inclusive community approach also enables My Life  Opportunities members to enjoy unique experiences, with activities created just for them!

From a member who wanted to help our joiners refurbish our chalets, to another who learnt to make cakes with our chef in our café, by listening to you and understanding your needs and wants, we can make our activities more fluid, to accommodate you.   

Members can also become involved in the planning and preparation of the wide variety of events we hold, including our summer music festival, giving them exciting real-life experience and skills.


Experience a sense of purpose

As a community, My Life is a living, breathing entity.

Our activities are often much more than simply a session. Whether taking part in a drama performance or the creation of a beautiful flower bed, members are able to contribute to our community and feel the satisfaction of taking ownership of a project, from start to finish.


Make lifelong friendships and build confidence

We work hard to develop our members’ confidence, both in terms of their skills and social connections.

We also actively encourage members to support each other, leading to many developing lifelong friendships and enjoying social time outside of their My Life Opportunities activities.

Why not contact us today and find out more?

From friendships to life skills, enjoying a sense of community and more, you’ll soon see that with our My Life Opportunities, the activities are just the start.

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Exciting activities

We offer a wide range of activities, giving you the opportunity to develop new skills and independence, make new friends and build your confidence.

Whether you fancy the relaxation of mindfulness and yoga, or the adventure of bush craft, there is nothing that our members can’t do if they want to.

We will adapt any activity to your needs. We’ll even create new activities, just for you!

You can choose from the below – and much, much more.


Stable Management and Small Animals

Learn everything there is to know about horses and get hands on with our equine friends and smaller animals down on our farm.

Bush Craft and Outdoor Education

Be inspired, achieve and develop your confidence through these hands-on learning experiences in our own beautiful woodland setting.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Take some time out with our horses in an environment designed to promote emotional growth and learning.


Drama

Improve your skills and excel your talents in this exciting creative field. All the world is a stage!

Yoga and Mindfulness 

Relax, as we create a safe space to explore both mind and body.

Music

Enjoy the opportunity to play multiple instruments in different musical situations, genres, and styles.


Dog Grooming, Walking, Care, Health and Nutrition

Enjoy exercising by walking our furry friends, as well as exploring local areas and those farther afield. You’ll also learn the different grooming skills needed for our various breeds of dogs, how to care for them and how they need to live and eat to stay healthy.

Creative Arts

Explore your own creativity and make a variety of works of art by experimenting with different art mediums and materials.

Equine and Animals

Learn about all aspects of animal care, from feeding and grooming, to maintenance and enrichment, on our own farm!


On the Farm and Pet Portraits

Spend time learning about and caring for our farm animals and pooches in our Doggy Day Care. Experiment with a range of different artistic techniques to create portraits of them and our occasional special guests, like this owl and his friends!

Horticulture and Small Animals

Learn where our food comes from, how it gets to our plates and how we can manage the world’s resources in a more sustainable way. Spend time with our smaller animals, learning how to care for them and keep them healthy.

Cooking with Head Chef Paul

Learn a variety of tips and techniques from Head Chef of The Stable Door Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour, Paul Plumbley. Discover all there is to know about healthy eating, try new ingredients and cook up the most mouth-watering dishes!


Prop Making and Set Design

Design and build props for our many events and productions! Use your imagination and learn techniques used in the world of Theatre, Film, Photography and Television.

Workshop and Maintenance

Learn new maintenance skills, either within our fully kitted up workshop or in the real-life environment of our sites. Get creative as we upcycle and repurpose by-products, waste materials and useless or unwanted products into new items!

Quiz and Karaoke

This is where many friendships are cemented, as we enjoy a good sing song and test our knowledge, with My Life’s famous Quiz!


Floristry

Learn the key techniques involved in the art of floristry – and all about the beautiful varieties of flowers too. From bouquets to button holes, corsages, garlands and more, we’ve made many a friend’s day with our floral creations!

Healthy Eating and Lifestyle

Discover what makes our bodies tick, from nutrition to exercise and relaxation. What do we need to do to stay healthy?

Football and Sports at Standish Leisure Centre

Enjoy a wide range of sports at Standish Leisure Centre, develop new skills and learn how to work as a team in the process! 

Please note that the availability of activities varies, dependent on our Standish and Leigh sites.

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Our facilities

My Life Opportunities Standish

At our Standish site we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy an inspiring setting of 84 acres of green land with our own woodland.

Add to this our own farm and on-site café and we have the perfect environment in which to experience many activities including catering, animal care, bush craft and horticulture.

We often sell our home grown produce at our many events, in which our My Life Opportunities members play an active part!

Our other facilities include classrooms, a sensory garden and indoor and outdoor activity areas.

Entirely accessible, our Standish site has specialist healthcare support staff and facilities, including a fully accessible hygiene suite, also available to members.


My Life Opportunities Leigh

Our fully accessible Leigh site is based within Leigh Sports Village, with state-of-the-art facilities including a leisure centre, swimming pool and fitness centre.

We pride ourselves on our ‘home from home’ atmosphere and offer daytime activities onsite and offsite, some of which take place on Leigh Harriers’ running track and fantastic outside gym.

Our three working areas inside Leigh Centurions Ruby Stadium include a fully equipped accessible kitchen, used for building skills in Catering and Hospitality, plus space for socialising and hosting our wide timetable of activities.

Add in excellent accessible hygiene facilities and you can make yourself at home at My Life Leigh!

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Our team

Our team below and our army of volunteers all have one aim in mind, to help our members live a good life and enjoy the opportunities that we offer!  


Teresa Harfield, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Standish  

Teresa has worked in the care sector for twenty-five years. During this time, she has undertaken a variety of roles, working with people with a range of different needs.

Having begun her career working part time in an EMI unit whilst still at school, Teresa progressed to become a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and then made her way up to Registered Manager status.

Since then, as part of a Learning Disability Team, Teresa has used her vast experience to assist a variety of health professionals within the NHS and now, we are pleased to have her as our My Life Opportunities Manager at our Standish Site!

Teresa says:

“My passion is seeing other people achieve and succeed. I feel it is important to have a creative mind and make these things accessible to all. I also enjoy the horticulture and growing aspects of My Life Standish and have real vision for this in the future!”


Amber Hornby, Deputy Manager, My Life Opportunities, Standish

Amber has worked in social care since 2009, starting out within Theatre in Education. After a period of time spent in Youth Work management, Amber undertook a Masters degree and became a Safeguarding Officer, working with young adults with complex disabilities and a variety of health needs.

This inspired Amber to move to Cyprus and Greece, where there is a huge amount of inequality for children and young adults with additional needs. Here, she used her wealth of experience to train staff and build policies.

After returning to the UK and working in a more office-based capacity as a Safeguarding, Compliance and Training Lead, Amber is now delighted to be providing face-to-face support at My Life. Amber says:

“I love working at My Life because every day is different. I get to see how much of a difference we are making by being in the centre of everything, every day!”


Jodie Crompton, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Leigh

After taking part in My Life’s Pathways to Employment course in 2016, Jodie was immediately inspired to become part of the My Life team.

Since then, Jodie has become part of the fabric of My Life, having undertaken many roles within the organisation. As Jodie says:

“I have worked within all departments in some form, which has been invaluable in giving me knowledge of the organisation as a whole and how everything we do fits together.

This has helped me to really understand My Life’s ethos and the story of how the charity has evolved, as well as how we can all continue its work best, to make a better life for everyone in our community.”

A very positive person, with a passion for people and all things travel, Jodie lives in Standish with her partner and cat Will. Jodie also has a twin sister, which as she herself says, means that there is two of her – so that must be how she gets so much done!


Nigel Lyons, Manager, My Life Opportunities, Leigh

Nigel is qualified as a Social Worker and is a former Registered Learning Disability Nurse, dual qualified in 2003. Throughout his career he has mostly worked managing registered complex behavioural care settings.

Nigel is an integral part of My Life, having been with the charity since its very earliest days. After starting as a music facilitator, he went on to lead My Life’s Advocacy service for five years and now manages Leigh’s My Life Opportunities. Nigel is also a key member of My Life’s leadership team.

With a passion for understanding autism and behaviours, Nigel delivers a variety of training for My Life, including practice educating student Social Workers. Nigel says:

“I believe in my work at My Life – we are built on the foundation of improving the experiences of our members through their real community connections. I continue to be inspired because I have seen the seeds first planted develop and grow beyond all our expectations.”


Activity Facilitators

Our workshops and sessions are led by very talented professionals in their fields – Head Chefs, professional artists and crafters, outdoor adventurers who’ve travelled the world, fully qualified mindfulness and yoga teachers and more. 

Paul Plumbley, Catering Facilitator 

As well as being Head Chef of our Stable Door Café, Paul also leads on all of our catering and hospitality activities.

Having begun his career over thirty years ago after training at St Helens Catering College, Paul has worked in many UK hotels and restaurants, focusing on Lancashire and the Lake District, where he gained a wide knowledge of seasonal food.  

Paul has also owned his own local gastro pub, which became well known for its fresh local produce.  Prior to joining us, Paul won awards during his ten years catering at Manchester City Football Club, then, as Paul says:

“My life took a turn for the better and I found My Life! So far this has been the most rewarding career opportunity I have had. Here, I can see the joy that cooking can bring to people. I plan to spend many more years at My Life, sharing my catering and hospitality knowledge with all our members and staff.”


Wendy Rowberry, Art Facilitator

A trained art teacher, our immensely talented Art Facilitator Wendy leads on our art activities, all of which are bespoke and tailored to meet a person’s individual needs.

Wendy says:

“I have a passion for art and its capacity to instil real change in people’s lives. As well as developing new skills, art can help us to relax, have fun and is a fantastic communication tool. It can be used to find out about what really matters to people: what they enjoy doing and what they want to do.” 

Wendy is also My Life’s official Artist in Residence and an Associate Member of Cross Street Arts in Standish. When she is not facilitating our art activities, she spends time creating her own artwork.


Tiffany Whitter, Yoga Facilitator

Our Yoga Facilitator Tiffany is a 200hr IYN approved yoga instructor and has further qualifications in Teen Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga for CFS/ME and supporting the Pregnant and Post Natal student.

A very busy person, as well as facilitating our classes here at My Life, Tiffany owns The Den Yoga Studio, provides online classes to bring yoga into people’s homes and teaches yoga to the children at Standish Under Five’s Preschool.

Tiffany says:

“I’m incredibly passionate about yoga being accessible for everyone. You really get a buzz from seeing the benefits that people receive when you guide them through positive movement, breathwork, meditation and relaxation. It’s a way for them to hold a safe space away from the chaos of everyday life.”

Our members love yoga with Tiffany, and we have to say, we do too!


Louise Southern, Dog Grooming and ‘Doggy Day Care’ Facilitator 

After leaving school in 1993, Louise began her career in retail. Having always had a love of dogs, she took a dog grooming course in 2003 and started her successful dog grooming business.

During this time, Louise also supported a young man with complex needs, a job that she found so rewarding, she began working for My Life.  Having recognised the benefits dogs can bring to people, Louise introduced her love of dogs and grooming to the charity, becoming our dog grooming and ‘doggy day care’ facilitator.

Louise says:

“I really enjoy my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it, leading the dog walks with My Life members, providing dogs for dog therapy and organising day trips, meals out and mini breaks, as well as continuing to support a young man with complex needs. Coming to work, making a difference to others’ lives and seeing them smile makes my day.”


Janice Rogers, Art Facilitator 

After graduating from art college Janice spent 16 years designing surface patterns for the interior design industry.

When patterns became predominantly computerised in the early millennium, Janice switched career and went into teaching, initially at Runshaw College and then Lancashire College, as well as teaching art and design in numerous schools.

Janice has been using her vast experience to teach art at My Life for just over two years, working  three days a week with us and spending the rest of her time as a professional artist, selling to collectors all over the world.


Lincoln Yates, Forest School. Workshop and Bush Craft Facilitator

Captivated by outdoor adventure from an early age, Lincoln has spent fifteen years exploring over sixty countries, living with different cultures and learning about their way of life.

During his career, Lincoln has been a textile and sewing machine mechanic, climbing instructor and mountain guide.

He has also owned two companies, one of which became the leader in the travel security products industry after he designed and patented the innovative “Saklock” travel bag security lock.

Voted by the Times as ‘the second-best person to know’ regarding adventure travel, Lincoln is currently writing a book about his adventures.

A Level 3 Forest School practitioner, Lincoln enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with My Life’s Day Opportunities members and says:

“From an early age I was engrossed, captivated and excited by the outdoors and adventure, it is a passion, a part of me that will never disperse, fade or become tiring. The wilderness and the outdoors are part of my being and who I am and always will be.”


Tracey Turner, Associate

Tracey is the founder of Birdie and Blossom, a local artisan craft business based in Standish.  

As well as working with My Life, Tracey collaborates with other talented makers to produce beautiful products and designs quality workshops.

We are very pleased to have Tracey here to run bespoke craft workshops for our My Life Opportunities members, from needle felting to wire sculpture, free-motion embroidery and painting.

Tracey says: “I believe it is important to share different craft skills and experience the therapeutic benefits of taking time out for yourself to find your creative side.”


Elaine Murphy, Deputy Site Manager

After a long career in food production, Elaine changed direction and spent 18 years working for Wigan Council’s Social Services. She has a wealth of experience supporting adults with learning difficulties, having worked for Wigan’s Children and Young People’s service and also in mental health rehabilitation, supporting adults working towards their recovery.

Elaine joined My Life in September 2019 and, having her own horse and being a breeder of Polish and Silkie chickens, is very at home here at our Standish base! As our Deputy Site Manager, her DIY skills come in very handy. Elaine is also the leader of a community volunteer group that aims to support the environment, so is a great source of information when we’re undertaking our site improvements.


Support workers

Integral to our team, our support workers work closely with our members to help them get the most out of our fun activities. 

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What our members say about us

We regularly ask our members and their families for feedback, after all, it is because of them that we do what we do!

This is what they say about us.

“He can’t wait to go to My Life. When he comes in from a day there, he’s full of hugs, smiles and laughter. The security that he’s having a good time at My Life has given our whole family freedom too.”

“Life has changed a lot, I can talk to people more, I’m not as nervous, I’ve moved into supported living and I’m learning to play the piano when I never thought I could.”

“He was lonely, isolated, frustrated. But being at My Life has totally changed his outlook… I do think that with the right support, that he could in the future fulfil a meaningful role in the community, outside of the environment of Standish.”


“It was if we had suddenly walked into the world she had needed for years. How you have created this haven where young people feel so safe mentally that they can thrive and do things I do not know.”

“The staff at My Life have been extremely supportive and provided an incredible package which has allowed her to blossom into an independent young lady. It is evident that she loves it at My Life as she is extremely happy, relaxed and confident within herself.”

“Absolutely the best provider of social care we have seen, and we have seen many. The quality of care, the setting is great, and each member’s needs are professionally tailored into their own package.”


“Everything is just right. The only place we would send our son who has complex needs with confidence.”

“My Life for me means my independence. It has helped me gain confidence, along with lasting friendships. The staff are helpful and lovely.”

“Where do I begin with what My Life have done for Jess? They’ve given her the tools to pursue what she is really passionate about, the things in her life that give her the most joy.”


“I wanted to let you know how happy I am that Khalifa is so settled at My Life. The staff have shown such kindness to Khalifa and our family which has meant that we feel confident with the care he receives at My Life.” 

“We are very pleased with My Life.  Even after her first day, Rebecca came home looking stimulated and happy.  Emmalene tells us what’s been happening each day and it’s clear that Rebecca’s enjoying the walks, the music and dancing and the interaction with others.  This is exactly what we wanted for Rebecca.

“All she wants is to start next week. That is it. End of. Loved working with Dan, Karen and Sian. She even feels she might have found peers. I’m trying to hide my tears. It isn’t a surprise believe me, but it is the difference between night and day and what she has needed for five years!”

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Contact us

Like to know more? We’d love to hear from you!

Tel: 01257 472 900  Email: info@my-life.org.uk


Standish site

My Life, Thompson House Equestrian Centre,

Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan,

Lancashire, WN6 OPP

Leigh site

My Life, Leigh Sports Village,

Sale Way, Leigh,

Lancashire, WN7 4JY

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Safeguarding

The welfare of all our members is paramount.

Our highly qualified Safeguarding team are dedicated to ensuring the wellbeing of our members and have a vast wealth of safeguarding experience between them.

For more information please read our Safeguarding policy below or call 01257 472900. 

Safeguarding policy

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Thompson House
Wigan Council
Alocura
Lancashire County Council
CCG
Calico
Shop 4 support
Care Quality Commission
NHS England

Registered charity number 1167858 - Registered office: Thompson House Equestrian Centre, Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, WN6 0PP

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