This morning Mark visited Charing Cross Hospital to see how London’s first Maggie’s Centre is helping those in the capital who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Maggie’s Centres aim to empower people living with cancer by bringing together professional help and communities of support. The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996 after cancer sufferer, Maggie Keswick Jencks, noted the shortcomings of the environment in which patients have to discuss difficult and sometimes life-threatening problems with medical staff. Along with her husband, architectural writer, Charles Jencks, Maggie believed in the ability of buildings to uplift people and began raising money to fund inspiring buildings from which cancer sufferers could receive advice and support.
Opened in 2008, the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital is a remarkably peaceful oasis away from the bustle of Fulham Palace Road. Mark was shown around by Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee, and was taken aback by the homely and relaxed feel to the centre and the absence of the clinical feel that so often creates anxiety within patients. Laura also showed Mark the exciting plans the charity has for Bart’s where it is hoped planning permission will be granted for a new Maggie’s Centre that could provide a similarly warm, uplifting and supportive environment for patients in East London.