Tuesday 21 Sep 2021
Philanthropist Steve Morgan today spoke of his ‘overwhelming pride’ as he formally opened the brand-new purpose-built Maggie’s Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building in the grounds of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Wirral.
The centre was completely commissioned, designed, built and funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation to replace the previous interim centre which opened in 2014, and has given the charity more space, allowing its team of professional staff to deliver more of their core programme, courses and support groups.
Mr Morgan, CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “I feel a sense of overwhelming pride at opening Maggie’s Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building.
When my wife Sally first introduced the foundation to Maggie’s all those years ago we had no idea that it would be the start of a journey that would end with the opening of this wonderful facility.
There are 18,000 new cancer diagnoses every year in Merseyside and Cheshire alone, but each case is different and the new building at Maggie’s Wirral really reflects that.
The centre is welcoming, calm and peaceful. It’s a place where patients and their families can relax and reflect away from home or hospital whilst gaining the emotional or practical support they may need.
It is a lot more spacious than the previous interim centre and the library and private rooms offer individual and family support space away from the openness of the centre.
The new building has already enabled Maggie’s to support more people with cancer in a centre that has been described by staff as truly uplifting and inspirational.
It’s a proud day for the Steve Morgan Foundation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and we’re already looking forward to starting construction work on the next Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.”
Today’s formal opening comes three months after Maggie’s moved its programme of support to the new centre. Since then the average number of visits to the centre has more than doubled.
Maggie’s has 25 years’ experience of supporting people with free cancer support and information in centres across the UK. The charity puts people with cancer at the heart of everything they do and believes that everyone should have access to professional psychological and emotional support to help change the way they live with cancer.
Whilst Maggie’s knows that there is a lot of value in digital support, they also know that face-to-face support is incredibly important. The new centre is open to see people alongside its digital support. Support by professional staff is available face to face in the centre or by phone, email or online to help people with stress, fear and anxiety as well as money worries and questions about treatment.
Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive at Maggie’s, said: “It’s fantastic to be here for the formal opening of our new Wirral centre and to see how it is already supporting the people who need it most, especially at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever.
We couldn’t have done it without the extremely generous support of the Steve Morgan Foundation. Their support in commissioning, designing, building and funding this centre, as well as two others – a brand new Maggie’s to be developed on the grounds of the New Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre, and another in North Wales – is the only way we would have been able to support as many people as possible across the region.”
Maggie’s helps people take back control when cancer turns life upside down, with support for anything from treatment side effects to money worries. The centres’ professional teams provide help and information and run groups and activities, all designed to make coping with cancer easier.
Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is wonderful to know people being treated at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Wirral will now be supported at the new permanent Maggie’s.
We have seen how beneficial Maggie’s professional, practical, emotional and psychological support has been since the interim centre was built on site and we know the new centre will provide support to many more people at what is possibly the hardest time of their lives.”
Kathy Wright, Centre Head of Maggie’s Wirral, said: “Our new centre has given us more space which means, when possible, our professional staff are 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 to see so many people coming in to make the most of the support already.
We are also seeing more complex psychological and emotional distress because of the trauma experienced by people living with cancer during this pandemic and I am delighted we are here to support then at a time when they need us more than ever.”
Cassie Mitchell is living with secondary breast cancer.
The 43 year-old often visited the old centre but since the purpose built centre opened at the end of June she has been visiting more often.
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.
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.
A second Maggie’s commissioned, designed, built and funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation is planned within the grounds of the New Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre once the new Maggie’s Wirral facilities are operational, this centre will also support patients from Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool.
The site for Maggie's at the Royal Liverpool has been agreed, but the design work hasn't yet begun. It is hoped construction will begin at the earliest in 2022.
A third centre in North Wales is also in the early stages of development.
Visit Maggie's Wirral to find out more about the programme of support offered or to get involved with fundraising or call 01513 344 301.
To find your nearest Maggie's centre, enter your postcode or town below.
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