A MYSTERY benefactor has given our campaign to extend the Edinburgh Maggie’s Centre a massive boost by pledging £100,000 of match-funding to the appeal.
The generous donor, who does not wish to be named, promised that she would donate the sum on the condition that the charity raises the same amount from people who have already supported Maggie’s in the past.
It offers a major lift to the Buy a Brick appeal, which aims to build a £1.2 million extension on the centre at the Western General Hospital.
The Evening News has joined forces with Maggie’s and inspirational fundraiser Lisa Stephenson for the campaign, raising nearly £40,000 in donations in the first six weeks.
The donor said: “I am delighted to be able to support Maggie’s, an organisation I have long supported, by offering £100,000 to the Edinburgh extension campaign with the caveat that Maggie’s be successful in encouraging people who have previously supported Maggie’s to make donations whose total matches or exceeds my offer.
“I believe whole-heartedly in the vital support offered by Maggie’s Centres and understand the desperate need for an extension in Edinburgh so the staff there can help even more people affected by cancer.
“With internationally acclaimed architect Richard Murphy designing the extension, we will again witness the restorative powers of what we call ‘the architecture of hope’.
“Evening News readers have been tremendously generous in their support and I am hoping that by laying down the gauntlet in the paper, readers will come forward and help ensure the extension campaign receives the triumphant amount of £200,000.”
For the last 20 years Maggie’s has offered emotional and practical support to thousands of cancer patients and their families from its flagship centre in Edinburgh.
The centre was established in memory of landscape architect Maggie Keswick Jencks, who was inspired to act after being left to deal with the news that she had terminal breast cancer in a bare hospital corridor.
The plans for the new extension will allow the charity to see an additional 5000 people a year, including the creation of three new therapy rooms and extensions to the gardens.
Andrew Anderson, centre head of Maggie’s Edinburgh, said: “It is incredibly generous of our anonymous donor to pledge £100,000 to Maggie’s Edinburgh extension campaign and asking for match funding is a tremendous way of encouraging other people to support as well.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the anonymous donor and to everyone who has supported us so far and those who will help us to secure £200,000 to our cause.
“The campaign has gathered such tremendous momentum thanks to the Edinburgh Evening News’ readers, ensuring everyone involved with Maggie’s Edinburgh will have confidence knowing that 2017 is the year we will get our extension and be able to widen our welcome to even more people in need of the vital support on offer at Maggie’s.”