Who we are
Maggie’s is a charity providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online.
How we can help
Our Support Specialists, Psychologists and Benefits Advisors are here, if you or someone you care about has cancer.
Time to talk
Share experiences with others in a similar situation around the kitchen table in a centre, or in our online community.
Find a centre
Stories from our centresMore
Thanks to you...
in financial benefits claimed with our support
of people feel less alone after visiting a centre
feel more confident talking to their medical teams
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Spotlight on our volunteers
Is a centre fundraiser in Dundee who began as a volunteer.
When I was in my early 20s, my Auntie Jackie was diagnosed with bowel cancer in Ireland. Our family never really talked about it.
I was keen to help others and after various stints with other cancer charities, I discovered Maggie’s. I volunteered to help with fundraising. I loved all the activities and it also opened up conversations with my own family about cancer.
I was over the moon when I was offered a job as part of the Dundee team.
Two years on, with a pandemic thrown in, I am now fully settled into my role as the centre fundraiser, and it is amazing that this year, one of my main objectives is working with all of our local volunteers. I have to say it is one of the best parts of my job.
Liz , Cheltenham
I started to volunteer for Maggie's in 2006, four years before the centre actually opened. My husband had died from pancreatic cancer in 2004. That was devastating, but 18 months later I also got cancer of the tongue.
I have done many things at Maggie's over the years - meet and greet, gardening, helping with the library, giving talks. But as my background is in retail, most of my work is with the fundraising team. I understand the need to keep funds coming in and help in any way I can.
I set myself a personal goal to raise £1,000 every year. I have been making and selling face masks for the past 15 months.
I have given lots to Maggie's over the years, but Maggie's has given even more to me. And I have met, and worked, with so many wonderful people.
Mel, West London
My main task is to ‘meet and greet’ visitors. I explain a bit about what we do and show them around before finding them a member of staff to talk to.
Most people are so grateful for the contact and support and it is always amazing to watch how Maggie’s - the building, the staff, the environment - can make such a difference to their lives, and offer a ray of hope at a time of deep darkness. People often think the centre must be a sad place, but it really isn’t.
I had never done anything like this before, but I absolutely love it. I always say I meet everyone from 1-100 and A-Z, and my life is much richer for it.
I am Chairman of Guernsey Friends of Maggie's, with a relatively small committee of only five members, endeavouring to raise awareness of Maggie's within the local community and to help raise funds for the new centre in Southampton.
I was originally approached by a former colleague to see if I might be interested in getting involved. But it was really a subsequent visit to Maggie's at Charing Cross Hospital in London which convinced me that I should give it a go. The experience was humbling and highly emotional....I was simply blown away.
It has been quite a challenge to get where we are today but just to be associated with Maggie's ethos is reward enough.
I have had two roles at Maggie’s. The first was a ‘meet and greet’ role welcoming anyone over the doorstep. A cup of tea and a ‘wee blether’ put patients at ease, especially on their first visit.
My second role was as a ‘jack of all trades’ whilst also doing some statistical work. I am sure the number of coins I have counted over my time would stretch to the moon and back.
After leaving school at 16 I always worked for the NHS. I worked in the breast unit for 20 years. Latterly I managed the administrative part of the service so I had met Maggie Keswick-Jencks and knew Laura Lee well. Maggie’s was an exciting new project and felt like the right fit for me just as I retired and was looking for something else to do. I was not shy around patients with cancer and as a middle-aged woman with some life experience I felt I had something to offer.
Maggie’s is such a happy place and working here has inspired me every day. That has been why I stayed so long, and have found it hard to retire from.
I began to volunteer following the death from cancer of my best friend of over 30 years. He told me how Maggie's had supported him and his wife.
This was not my first experience of cancer taking loved ones, nor was it the last. I realised that everybody knew somebody who has been diagnosed with cancer. I had time on my hands; using that time to support Maggie's gave me a purpose.
I love working in teams, especially positive teams who pull in the same direction. I find the Maggie's work challenging and varied, and having indulged in Kiltwalk Golf and a hilarious off-the-cuff Hallowe’en event, I know it can be a lot of fun too.
I am a social media volunteer.
I saw first-hand how Maggie’s supported someone close to me through the hardest time of her life.
I have really enjoyed it as I have been able to see the difference Maggie’s makes to so many people, raise awareness about all their important work, connect with people and build a new online community in Southampton and the surrounding areas.
My sister, Alison, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. She sadly died in 2020. As a family, we all benefited from visiting Maggie’s. It was Alison's ‘safe place’.
I know personally that the first time coming through the main door can be daunting, so the first person that greets you and makes you feel at ease is very important.
Making people a tea or coffee, served in a proper mug, unlike the hospital plastic ones, helps to separate Maggie’s from the hospital environment and makes it non-medical and welcoming.
Volunteering is my way of giving back and helping other people.
A couple of friends had received support from Maggie’s so I knew about the fantastic services they provide and when I heard they were looking for volunteers I arranged to meet with the centre head.
As a former nurse, I thought I might be able to dust off my listening skills. I soon discovered that some things never leave you.
I love greeting the people who come through the door, showing them our beautiful building, sharing a relaxing ‘cuppa’ and helping them to identify their needs, whether this is a chat with a cancer support specialist or just a quiet place to sit.
Volunteer with Maggie's
Read more about how you can get involved and volunteer at Maggie's.
Maggie's shortlisted for Charity Award
The Charity Awards announced its shortlist on Friday 7 May, and is the sector’s longest-running and most highly regarded excellence recognition scheme.
All 27 shortlisted charities this year have been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated best practice in leadership and management, from which other organisations can learn.
The ten category winners, plus the recipients of the Overall Award for Excellence and the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, will be announced at a live-streamed online awards ceremony on 10 June.
The mental challenge of cancer – 3 in 5 people find it harder than the physical
A survey of 1,000 UK adults who have had or currently have cancer was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Maggie's in April.
The research published today revealed 3 in 5 (58%*) people who have or have had cancer feel that the mental challenge of cancer is harder to cope with than the physical treatment and side effects.
Despite the strain placed on mental health as a result of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, 52% of people with cancer felt there was support for the physical impact of cancer but not the emotional effects of cancer.
Furthermore, 47% of people with cancer didn't know where to go for mental health support.
The survey of 1,000 people who have or have had cancer, also revealed the shocking long-term impact of cancer on mental health**.
While practical support during diagnosis and treatment for cancer is widely available, the effect on their mental health is cited as a long term challenge, faced on a daily basis.
More than two thirds (69%) of people with cancer stated that low mood, sleeplessness and feelings of overwhelm, distress, loneliness and isolation were some of the hardest things to deal with throughout their diagnosis and treatment.
These feelings were even stronger post-treatment with 82% of people with cancer stating that the fear of cancer returning, not feeling like your ‘old self’, feelings of depression or low mood, pressure to ‘get back to normal’ and feelings of loneliness and isolation were some of the hardest things to deal with post their cancer treatment.
56% of those surveyed stated that the single hardest thing to deal with post-treatment was the fear of cancer returning.
Unsurprisingly the pandemic has also had a detrimental effect, with almost half (49%) of people with cancer stating that the combination of coronavirus, shielding, lockdown and their cancer diagnoses had a negative impact on their mental health.
We need to wake up to the fact that cancer is a mental challenge as well as a physical one and that people are not getting the support they need.
This has always been the case and is what we see and hear in our centres every day; that from the point of diagnosis onwards people can feel stress, fear, anxiety, low mood and distress - and often these feelings continue long after treatment has stopped.
But we have 25 years of expertise in helping people with the mental and emotional, as well as the physical challenges of cancer. Our expert staff in our centres, in particular our cancer support and information specialists and our psychologists, can help people manage their emotions in a way that helps them to live well with cancer.
We need to take these figures seriously and make sure as many people as possible get the support they need, now when they need it more than ever.
Dame Laura Lee DBE, Maggie's Chief Executive
Maggie’s is here for everyone with cancer, providing practical and emotional support, from the point of diagnosis onwards.
Professional staff can help you to manage your feelings when you have cancer, before, during and after treatment.
Support includes practical ways of dealing with a diagnosis, emotions and treatment, concerns around self-image, emotions after treatment, advanced cancer, dying and emotions and fear of cancer returning.
Every Maggie’s has a cancer support specialist who can help people when they are scared, worried or feeling down.
To meet more in-depth emotional needs each Maggie’s also offers appointments with psychologists, either one to one in private or in a group with family members.
Part of Maggie’s psychological support also involves bringing people together, either informally round the kitchen table, in courses and workshops, or psychologist facilitated support groups.
* Survey of 1,000 UK adults who have had or currently have cancer. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Maggie's from 08.04.2021-21.04.2021
** Survey of 1,000 UK adults who have had or currently have cancer. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Maggie's from 08.04.2021-21.04.2021