HEALTH secretary Shona Robison has hailed the Maggie’s Centre as a “great success story” as it was celebrated at a reception in the Scottish Parliament.
Staff and volunteers at Maggie’s in particular, who provide free practical and emotional support for people living with cancer, were singled out for praise.
Robinson said: “Since opening their first centre in 1996, Maggie’s has been a great success story.
“Thousands of patients and their families benefit every year from the practical, emotional and social support that Maggie’s Centres provide, in partnership with our National Health Service.
“In order to make a lasting impact on cancer services in Scotland, we rely on working collaboratively with the voluntary sector and the dedication of our Health Service staff, as well as staff who provide services such as Maggie’s.”
The event, sponsored by Miles Briggs MSP, gave Maggie’s an opportunity to showcase how its evidence based programme of support, funded almost entirely by voluntary donations, helps people live well with cancer in Scotland.
Briggs MSP also paid tribute to the Edinburgh Evening News for their support of Maggie’s and in particular Maggie’s Edinburgh Centre visitor Lisa Stephenson.
He said: “I was delighted to be able to help raise awareness of the essential support Maggie’s offers by sponsoring this event at the Scottish Parliament.
“It was wonderful to see so many people come along to the Parliament to show their support for Maggie’s, but it was perhaps even more fantastic to hear the stories of those people who have benefitted so much by the expert support at their local Maggie’s Centre.”
Maggie’s Honorary Patron Kirsty Wark, who led the event, added: “The fact that in 2017 Maggie’s Centres in Scotland were visited 81,000 times by people looking for the essential, expert support they offer speaks volumes of how successful Maggie’s has been in the 21 years since the first centre in Edinburgh opened. What was wonderful for me about this event was that it also looked to the future and to ensuring that Maggie’s is able to help as many people as possible live well with cancer.”
Guests and MSPs had the chance to speak to staff and visitors from all eight Scottish Centres while also viewing four portraits taken by photographer Zoe Law for her book, LIFE.
Fundraiser Lisa said: “What a wonderful night for Maggie’s and a great way of spreading word of the essential support Maggie’s offers, and which has been a lifeline to me and my family. I would like to thank Miles for sponsoring the event as well as for his continued support of Maggie’s, though it was a complete surprise to be mentioned. What an honour.”