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Maggie’s is a charity providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online.
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Our Support Specialists, Psychologists and Benefits Advisors are here, if you or someone you care about has cancer.
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Share experiences with others in a similar situation around the kitchen table in a centre, or in our online community.
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Maggie’s Cheltenham – extension plans
The need for an extension
Maggie’s in Cheltenham is located near to Cheltenham General Hospital which sees over 23,000 cancer referrals and 2,200 new cancer diagnosis each year.
We provide free practical, emotional and social support to people living with cancer, their family and friends from across the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and beyond.
The centre, which opened in 2010, was designed by the late Sir Richard MacCormac.
Originally planned to accommodate 3,000 visits a year, in the first year it was open the centre received 7,000 visits, increasing to nearly 20,000 visits in 2019 – a reflection of the vital role Maggie’s fulfils to our local community.
Given the significant increase in numbers, and the current room space is at 90% capacity, there is a huge need to extend the centre.
The pandemic has highlighted the long-established need for vital additional space in our centre. We have been open and offering support and have found a lack of rooms and capacity for social distancing when people visit, has limited the number of visitors at the same time.
And though we have continued to support people in person, we have also delivered our programme virtually. Our team has been supporting more people online, over phone and through video calls, which means rooms are in demand as privacy is really important to us.
We recognise virtual support is an important way of reaching people who may not be able to come to our centre and will continue to offer this as part of a blended package of support.
Our support has never been more vital as people face the immense anxiety and stress caused by coronavirus.
Fundraise for Cheltenham
We are delighted to announce that a £250k match funding pot has been made available for this centre. Every donation you make to the project will be doubled and will take us closer to being able to break ground on our new extension.
To make a donation or fundraise towards our extension plans, please contact the Fundraising Team:
- 01242 896400
Our extension plans
Planning permission has been granted and the planned extension will be within the footprint of the existing garden.
This single storey will provide a further 75-85 sqm of floorspace to the existing 55 sqm, enabling the centre to accommodate larger group activities, in addition to new small group spaces - increasing the number of private rooms from five to nine, storage, and a WC.
- A new kitchen space. Enclosed in a curve that projects out into the garden creating a direct relationship with the entrance into the centre and where the kitchen table will be.
- A big communal kitchen table is the heart of every Maggie’s centre, where people come to benefit from peer support or simply enjoy a cup of tea.
- We will reconfigure the existing kitchen space to create two new private rooms and turn the current library space into a small group room with double leaf doors, hung in the existing openings, to provide some privacy as required whilst being unobtrusive when open.
- A new garden – this will extend to the front of the site, providing a welcoming walkway from College Baths Road to the doorway.
- A new seating area – replacing the garden seating in the existing courtyard – will be located in front of the lodge to take advantage of the suntrap.
With your support, we would be able to welcome more visitors to the newly improved centre in 2022 and continue providing our vital programme of cancer support to the local area.
Maggie’s Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building
The brand new purpose-built centre, funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation, will replace our interim centre, Maggie’s Merseyside.
Our new centre is still within the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Wirral and just a short walk from the existing interim centre.
In 2014 we opened our interim centre in the hope we would support 3,000 visits a year.
In 2019 our interim centre supported more than 17,000 visits, and, despite the pandemic, the centre supported people 12,000 times in 2020.
Our new centre will provide more space, allowing our professional team to deliver more of Maggie’s core programme, courses and support groups. The library and private rooms will offer individual, centred one to one and family support space away from the openness of the centre, allowing us to open our doors to more people who are not ready for group support.
Our new centre will give us more space which means when possible our professional staff will be able to deliver more of our core programme, courses and support groups. It’s wonderful to have a permanent centre here on the Wirral and we’re excited to be able to start supporting more people with cancer in the surroundings of a truly uplifting and inspirational building.
Kathy Wright, Centre Head
Our new centre has been designed by Dennis Swain of HB Architects and built by the Steve Morgan Foundation.
This is a very proud moment for everyone involved in the project. It is one of our largest capital projects to date, but our involvement has gone far beyond funding. We’ve been responsible for the planning, design, project management as well as the entire funding, which is almost unheard of for a foundation.
My wife Sally first introduced the foundation to Maggie’s, and we have watched with pride as the building has come to life. It has been a real team effort by our team.
The sad reality it that cancer affects so many people’s lives and the work undertaken by the Maggie’s Centres has never been more needed. We know what a difference this will make to so many people.
Steve Morgan, CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation
Cassie is living with secondary breast cancer and regularly uses the centre, she said:
The experience of cancer has taken my future from me and my future with my family. My children need me to be a mum, so I don’t get to be a cancer patient apart from the days I attend appointments. My treatment days are very long, and this is when I spend most of my time at Maggie’s, it’s my safe haven. I’ve been visiting for over 4 years and I know I will always receive a warm welcome. It makes my treatment days bearable as I can take time out between appointments to pop in away from the clinical environment.
Maggie’s provides me with so much support, just knowing that there’s always someone to talk to, whether it's regarding bad scan results or to even talk about the positives. There's something about going into a hospital or doctors that psychologically has an effect on you, but I don’t feel like that at Maggie’s.
Maggie’s has been a godsend for me and the friendships I’ve made at Maggie’s, have really helped over the last few years. I know the days would be much tougher without a Maggie’s Centre here . A new centre with more space was definitely needed and now it’s a reality. It can now provide the support for my family and I in the future and for so many more people for a long time to come.
As we move into our new centre we also change our name to Maggie’s Wirral as we believe this will best help people from the area to find us where we are situated in the grounds of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Wirral.
Whilst our name changes, our location and team remains the same and our doors are open to support people with cancer across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.
Our interim centre will be replaced with a garden for all of the people who visit and work in our centre to enjoy.
Get in touch
For more information, please call us on 0151 334 4301.
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.