Maggie’s, the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends, today celebrated the start of construction work for a new Centre built within the grounds of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. The Centre, designed by Lord Norman Foster and Foster + Partners, will be the charity’s largest to date and is expected to receive visits from 60,000 people a year from across Greater Manchester once established.
Lord Foster said:
“I have first-hand experience of the distress of a cancer diagnosis and understand how important Maggie’s Centres are as a retreat offering sanctuary and support. Our aim in Manchester, the city of my youth, is to create a building that is welcoming, friendly and without any of the institutional references of a hospital or health centre – a light-filled, homely space where people can gather, talk or simply reflect. That is why throughout the building there is a focus on natural light, greenery and views; with a greenhouse to provide fresh flowers, and an emphasis on the therapeutic qualities of nature and the outdoors. The timber frame, which is being installed today, helps to connect the building with the surrounding greenery – externally, this structure will be partially planted with vines, making the architecture appear to dissolve into the gardens.”
To mark the occasion Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, Roger Spencer, Chief Executive at The Christie and principal donors to the new Centre, unveiled a 20 foot high timber frame which will form the main structure of the Centre at The Christie. A time capsule was also buried on site containing personal mementos from donors and supporters to the Centre and a sketch from Foster + Partners.
Every year 50,000 people are diagnosed with cancer across Greater Manchester, facing tough questions, exhausting treatment and difficult emotions that can range from anxiety to loneliness and isolation. These challenges affect not only those with cancer, but their family and friends too. Working in partnership with The Christie the new Maggie’s Centre will significantly enhance the cancer support already offered across the region.
Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive said:
“I’m delighted that construction of Maggie’s at The Christie has been able to start in earnest, bringing us one step closer to the Centre opening its doors. My sincere thanks go to everyone who has supported Maggie’s and made our Centre at The Christie a reality.”
Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. The Centre will be there for anyone and everyone affected by cancer, offering an enhanced and unique evidence-based programme of support delivered in an uplifting, non-clinical environment, as well as a comprehensive service of complementary therapies including psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, art therapy, tai chi and yoga.
Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity aims to make the biggest difference it can to people living with cancer, their family and friends.