Friday, 2 May 2008

Maggie’s Centre Opens At Charing Cross Hospital With Call For Local “Friends”

Maggie's opened their new Cancer Caring Centre last Tuesday at Charing Cross Hospital. It is a wonderful place offering information, psychological and emotional support and practical advice to anyone affected by cancer. Maggie’s proudly proclaims that it is open to everyone - not just to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, but also to their families, friends and carers. All their services are free of charge and they work in partnership with local NHS Trusts.

Sarah Brown, the PM’s partner, and Nigella Lawson , the TV cook and food writer, opened the centre. Janet Ellis, the television presenter and former actress gave a moving speech about the support and hope Maggie’s Centres provide. I thought the atmosphere was lovely.

Londoners raised £1 million in the Evening Standard campaign alone to get this centre built and Maggie’s are keen to recruit more Active Friends who can raise money and spread the word. Contact Leah Jeffries, their Community Fundraiser, if you’d like to help. You can phone Leah on 07920 848 825 or email her by clicking here.

The garden design around the Centre was undertaken by Dan Pearson. The Centre itself was designed by Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, based nearby in Hammersmith. They said that they hoped to create a building that offers “a calm, home-from-home sanctuary a step away from the hospital”. I think they pulled it off.

1 comment:

Rosemary Pettit said...

This is a lovely place inspired by Maggie Keswick Jencks, who died of breast cancer, but before she did so set the ball rolling with her husband Charles Jencks. The Jencks' Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfrieshhire was (and is)a much visited and admired work of art. There are already several Maggie's in Scotland, all with their trademark architectural excellence and fine landscaping.

The Maggie's at Charing Cross hospital is the first one of its kind in England - but not the last.

Since Maggie's centres are built and maintained by voluntary contributions, anything you can do to support them would be very welcome.

I first heard about Maggie's a couple of years ago when a friend invited me to join a sponsored Night Hike through London. It was one of the most worthwhile actions I've ever undertaken, and my sponsors raised over £1000 towards our own Maggie's at Charing Cross hospital.

A drop in the ocean.... but such a worthwhile endeavour.