Maggie's wants to build a £5m cancer centre in Southampton

Maggie's centres are designed around comfort to put patients at ease and encourage them to interact with staff and each other

Maggie's centres are designed around comfort to put patients at ease and encourage them to interact with staff and each other

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

BEING diagnosed with cancer can be the most devastating news for a patient and their family.

It can leave people feeling stranded and isolated, with no idea what to do when it comes to their job, supporting their children and making the most of their future.

But the launch of a new multi-million pound specialist centre for cancer patients in Hampshire is about to ensure that no one has to go through their battle alone.

Daily Echo:

Maggie's centres offer a variety of support from counselling to nutrition and financial advice

Today the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal that charity Maggie’s plans to build a new £5m hub at Southampton General Hospital – providing cancer patients with all the vital lifelines they need for free.

From one-to-one counselling sessions with a psychologist, to relaxation therapy and financial help – the centre provides a full range of services, offering everything but medical treatment, which is left to the doctors.

It will also give patients and their relatives an uplifting haven to escape to, being able to leave behind the cold, clinical atmosphere of the hospital wards.

Although the centre is still in the early stages of development, the aim is to welcome its first patients in 2018.

There will be around six staff on the payroll, including a head of centre and psychologist, plus an army of volunteers supporting their work.

Grant Robson, campaign manager for Southampton, said Maggie’s wanted to address a gap in the market for this type of service in the south.

He said: “For people in Southampton and beyond there is nothing there like Maggie’s and it makes sense for the hospital to look to someone like us to bring a centre to the site.

“The hospital’s cancer network extends into Salisbury, West Sussex, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and Dorset so people are travelling a long way, which makes the need even greater for a welcoming, spirit lifting environment as hospitals can be unfamiliar and scary places.”

Centres are designed around comfort to put users at ease and there is no reception desk or offices to ensure people feel equal when they walk in.

Daily Echo:

Maggie's centres are designed to be bright and comfortable

Instead, a kitchen table is always the focus of the centre so service users can come in and make a cup of tea and interact with staff, volunteers and other patients as much as they are happy to.

Mr Robson added: “One of the questions we get asked the most is why the NHS does not do this.

“They do try to in some places but if it came from the NHS the clinical side of things would come through and you would not get that homely feeling that we are trying to create.

“Centres have a clinical background so there is informed knowledge and the programme of support offered here is through working with the NHS in an integrated partnership.”

On average, centres deal with around 80 people per day but some have welcomed up to 140.

Daily Echo:

Exercise classes are one of the services Maggie's provides

A Southampton centre has been in the works for the past year but the project is now set to motor ahead with planning permission expected to be submitted before the end of the year.

The charity needs to raise £5m to cover capital costs as well as running the centre for the first two years and it is currently setting up a board to oversee a fund-raising campaign.

Around £1.5m has already been raised through the private sector but Maggie’s expects to launch a public fundraising drive later this year or at the beginning of 2015.

Comments (4)

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10:16am Thu 28 Aug 14

forest hump says...

This is excellent news! How sad though that we have to rely on charity to get it built!
Meanwhile we are actively encouraging teenage mothers to procreate, handing out billions to wasters who cannot be bothered to get off their backsides and for the lily-livered, pansy racist card players out there who continually whinny and whine I will not mention are guests.

Just think what we could do without this continual drain on the honest taxpayer? Still...I guess it is votes that count??
This is excellent news! How sad though that we have to rely on charity to get it built! Meanwhile we are actively encouraging teenage mothers to procreate, handing out billions to wasters who cannot be bothered to get off their backsides and for the lily-livered, pansy racist card players out there who continually whinny and whine I will not mention are guests. Just think what we could do without this continual drain on the honest taxpayer? Still...I guess it is votes that count?? forest hump
  • Score: -9

4:00pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Summer77 says...

It's so lovely to hear that there's new support for cancer patients and their families in SGH.....but what will happen to the macmillan centre there? It really helped my husband and I when I was diagnosed, before and after treatment. There are lovely volunteers who help there and it'll be sad if they're not there anymore.
It's so lovely to hear that there's new support for cancer patients and their families in SGH.....but what will happen to the macmillan centre there? It really helped my husband and I when I was diagnosed, before and after treatment. There are lovely volunteers who help there and it'll be sad if they're not there anymore. Summer77
  • Score: 5

4:19pm Thu 28 Aug 14

StopMoaningPeople says...

There should be charities for all the scumbags on benefits and the government should fund this initiative, rather than the other way round. Would be interesting to see.
There should be charities for all the scumbags on benefits and the government should fund this initiative, rather than the other way round. Would be interesting to see. StopMoaningPeople
  • Score: -2

2:47pm Fri 29 Aug 14

ukmeow says...

Maggie's Centre does sound good, but seems to be duplicating a lot of the support that is already offered at the Macmillan Centre located at the hospital. I and my family valued the support the Macmillan Centre gave during a difficult time, while Nan was so unwell with leukaemia. We had the use of a quiet room to sit as a family to take in, understand and discuss the diagnosis in a safe haven. We also took advantage of their complementary therapies and the helpful team ensured we were well looked after and helped us get the information we wanted. The Macmillan Centre is still open and in fact have just undergone an extension being built. Thank you Southampton's Macmillan Centre team for the love and support you shared and continue to share.
Maggie's Centre does sound good, but seems to be duplicating a lot of the support that is already offered at the Macmillan Centre located at the hospital. I and my family valued the support the Macmillan Centre gave during a difficult time, while Nan was so unwell with leukaemia. We had the use of a quiet room to sit as a family to take in, understand and discuss the diagnosis in a safe haven. We also took advantage of their complementary therapies and the helpful team ensured we were well looked after and helped us get the information we wanted. The Macmillan Centre is still open and in fact have just undergone an extension being built. Thank you Southampton's Macmillan Centre team for the love and support you shared and continue to share. ukmeow
  • Score: 2
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