Cancer centre Maggie's closes to finish extension work

Cancer support centre Maggie's will be closed for three weeks to complete the vital extension to its world-leading support centre at the city's Western General hospital.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 9:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 10:51 pm
Fundraiser Lisa Stephenson at Maggie's Centre. Picture: Jon Savage
Fundraiser Lisa Stephenson at Maggie's Centre. Picture: Jon Savage

The Edinburgh centre, which provides free practical and emotional support for people living with cancer, will temporarily close on October 1 and reopen its doors on October 22. It will be the first time the centre has closed since work on the extension started in January.

Andrew Anderson, Maggie’s Edinburgh Centre Head, reassured people living with cancer across the Lothians that they will still be able to access support during the closure. He said, “Closing now will allow us to welcome people to the beautiful new spaces in our larger centre as quickly as possible. We will continue to offer some level of support.”

Staff will be providing support by phone and e-mail for Edinburgh centre visitors, as well as helping out at the seven other Maggie’s centres in Scotland during the closure.

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Mr Anderson added that the extension will allow the centre to welcome “many more people at what is possibly the hardest time of their lives”.

Maggie’s receives no backing from the NHS, Scottish Government or city council. The centre offers emotional and practical support to thousands of patients and their families every year. Patients who have received support have described it as a lifeline.

Readers of the Edinburgh Evening News backed a campaign in 2016 and 2017 to raise funds to extend Maggie’s Edinburgh – helping to bring in more than £270,000 to hit the initial £1.2 million target.

The new extension, designed by Edinburgh architect Richard Murphy, is set to include three new therapy rooms allowing the centre to continue to offer more courses, workshops and support sessions to help those affected by cancer. It will also have a bigger garden, which can be therapeutic for sufferers.

It’s the third time the centre has been extended since the original Maggie’s opened in 1996.

Mr Anderson thanked people for their patience during the works. He said, “For nine months our staff have continued to work with great professionalism to provide essential support to people with cancer, as well as their family and friends, amongst the building work.

“We are greatly looking forward to using our new space to offer more support groups, workshops and classes as part of our programme of support and I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”

Since it first opened more than 420,000 people have passed through the doors of the Edinburgh centre.

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