Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres are dedicated to offering free emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer and their friends and family. Helped by funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, the charity recently opened a brand new support Centre at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. This Centre will help patients affected by the disease, from those who have recently been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment to those in post-treatment and recurrence.
Built as part of the Joy of Living campaign, this is the 16th fully operational Maggie's Centre. It offers a place where people dealing with cancer feel valued, safe and are able to better deal with the isolation and despair of a cancer diagnosis. Currently, there are more than 5,500 new cancer diagnoses across the North East of England each year so the Centre will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the local community. Its doors are open to anyone who wants to talk about cancer with understanding and compassionate experts.
Laura Lee, Maggie's Chief Executive, is overjoyed with the new Centre: “It is wonderful to know that Maggie's in Newcastle will now be offering social, emotional and practical support to the people of the region.
"To watch a Centre come into being is an incredible journey, one I have been privileged to share with every Maggie's Centre built so far, but nothing compares to seeing the Centre filled with those people who need the support on offer.”
Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chief Executive of The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, agrees: “I am delighted that Maggie's is now open in the grounds of the Freeman hospital and to know that those who come to the Northern Centre for Cancer Care for their treatment, and their friends and families, will be able to access vital information and support right across the road at Maggie’s.
Local cancer patients are similarly delighted with the opening. Mum-of-two Steph Boyle, 60, of Cullercoats was diagnosed with both breast cancer and ovarian cancer eight years ago and understands the comfort the new centre will bring to local patients.
“When you are diagnosed with cancer you do feel like you are on your own”, said Steph. “I was very lucky to have good friends and family, but there are many people who don’t and I know I would have struggled for support early on without them."I think people will benefit hugely from having a Maggie's. It will help them just to know they are not alone, for them to see that people with cancer can have a good quality of life, can find joy and make friends.”
Sarah Brown, Patron of Maggie's, said of the Newcastle Centre: “The real magic of Maggie's is coming into that warmth. That combination of a gorgeous building, the most warm, welcoming people and a kettle with the button always switched to on are what makes a Maggie's for me.”
Sarah thanked players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their generous contribution to the project which will “help so many people who are suffering from cancer get a lot of hope and a bit of joy”. Since its launch in 2007, People's Postcode Lottery players have raised more than £2.4 Million for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, helping their amazing work to continue.
The Maggie's Centre in Newcastle has been designed by Cullinan Studio, an award-winning architectural practice specialising in sustainable design. The architects at Cullinan Studio have created a beautiful and comfortable setting to make it easier for those dealing with the trauma of cancer to engage with professional help and connect with others going through a similar experience.
Maggie's also believes in the power of nature to help heal, restore and rejuvenate just as it believes in a direct link between architecture and wellbeing. For this reason, a lot of time and effort has resulted in a beautiful surrounding garden, which offers a healing space to patients to help them through their cancer journey.