"Cancer may kill you, but your head destroys you. You saved my life."
These are the words of someone who has been supported by the professional staff at Maggie's.
There are 23 Maggie's Centres across Great Britain, with more in-planning. Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, thousands of people living with cancer are able to find the free practical and emotional support they need at what is possibly the hardest time of their lives.
The first Maggie's opened in 1996 in the grounds of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, just over a year after the death of co-founder Maggie Keswick Jencks. The centre was based on blueprints laid out by Maggie as she lived with advanced cancer for two years. Her vision was for a place where people would not 'lose the joy of living in the fear of dying'.
All of the centres are drop-in and can be found in the grounds of main NHS cancer treatment hospitals. Professional cancer support specialists are on hand to answer any questions while also offering immediate, bespoke practical and emotional support.
Expert staff also offer help with money worries, advice on eating well, gentle exercise and stress management. The evidence-based programme of support also includes support groups for specific cancers and specially-designed courses such as Getting Started for those recently diagnosed. The Where Now? programme supports those who have finished treatment and are facing the questions and emotions which come with 'returning to normal'.
Visitors can also relax in beautiful surroundings designed to enhance wellbeing, or maybe chat around the kitchen table to be found at the heart of every centre.
Maggie's has now received over £16 Million thanks to our players. 2019 was the tenth year Maggie's has benefited from player support.
Laura Lee, Maggie's Chief Executive, said, "I can't express how grateful I am to all players of People's Postcode Lottery as it is thanks to them that we are able to reach as many people as we do living with cancer across the UK. Your support is invaluable to so many charitable organisations like us. Thank you."