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  1. ITV Report

New cancer centre that offers 'lifeline' set to open in Wirral

Katherine and John Blain have praised the support offered by the Maggie's Centre Photo: Maggie's Centre

A new centre that will offer free practical and emotional support for people living with cancer is set to open in Wirral.

A new purpose built permanent Maggie's Centre will be built at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre as part of an overall £4million investment for two new Maggie's centres by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The centres also offer support for family and friends, and are built in the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

Maggie's rely on voluntary donations and have been described as a 'lifeline' by visitors.

The existing interim facility at Clatterbridge has seen demand for services far outstrip expectations, with 14,000 visitors last year.

Subject to planning permission, work on the new permanent Maggie's centre is set to get underway within the coming months, and, in the longer term, a new Maggie's centre will follow at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Steve Morgan CBE, Chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said:

I am delighted that the Steve Morgan Foundation is to embark on its biggest capital project to date in partnership with Maggie's.

"So many people have been affected by cancer, or know someone who has been affected by cancer, and the work undertaken by the staff at Maggie's Centres across the country offers invaluable practical and emotional support when people who are being treated - and their families and friends -need it most.

"All of our trustees are delighted to be able to make such a substantial investment into these two new Maggie's centres, and now hopefully the Wirral public and other organisations will come forward and get behind Maggie's at Clatterbridge as they launch their appeal to raise funds for the ongoing running costs which will follow."

– Steve Morgan CBE, Chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation

A new 'Million for Maggies' appeal has now been launched calling on the community to get behind Maggie's, and help fund running costs to ensure that thousands of people with cancer in the local area can have access to the new Centre.

John Blain lost his wife Susan to cancer 14 years ago, and has made use of the interim Maggie's facility after his daughter Katherine was diagnosed with cancer twice within five years.

A new Maggie's Centre will be so important to anyone affected by cancer, just like the interim Centre has been for Katherine and I.

"I can't imagine there not being a Maggie's here, and so we are getting right behind the 'Million for Maggies' campaign to help the team reach their target."

– John Blain

Katherine added:

"Maggie's is so important to me, there is the sense of an extended family here to offer a friendly and much-needed hug on the days when I was really struggling.

"It is vital we raise the 'Million for Maggie's' for a new Maggie's Centre, to help others find the camaraderie and hope that I have."

– Katherine Blain

Kathy Wright, Centre Head at Maggie's said:

We are absolutely thrilled that the Steve Morgan Foundation has made a permanent Maggie's Centre at Clatterbridge a possibility.

"A new Maggie's Centre will allow me and my team to provide high quality support to people affected by cancer at their most vulnerable time, in a warm and welcoming environment.

"We hope the famous Merseyside and Cheshire generosity will help us reach our target to ensure the new Centre has the running costs it needs to keep it at the heart of our community."

– Kathy Wright, Centre Head at Maggie's
  • To find out more about Maggie's and how to fundraise to help bring the new Maggie's Centre to Clatterbridge please visit here or get in touch with Holly Smith at holly.smith@maggiescentres.org.
  • For further information about Steve Morgan Foundation please visit here.