After many years of admiring and supporting the great work that Maggie's Cancer Caring charity do, I was honoured recently to have the opportunity to visit a Maggie’s Centre for myself. Maggie's Centres are based all over the country and are available for use by anyone who is affected by cancer. The objective of each centre is to provide "emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends". "Maggie's unique model of psychosocial support transforms the way that people live with cancer" and their vision is to provide access to " high quality, evidence based psychological, emotional and informational support" to everyone in the UK who is affected by cancer.
Inspirational architecture is integral to the ethos of Maggie's Centres. Each Centre is designed by a different architect with the brief "to create a space that is both uplifting and protective, in which people can find the strength to live with hope and joy in the face of a cancer diagnosis". I visited the centre located at Charing Cross Hospital in West London and was imediately struck by the liveleness of this small bright orange building with its floating roof, its high quality architecture and the thoughful attention that's been given to the landscape around it. This building is immediately welcoming as you approach it up a winding path flanked with stone sculptures and wooden benches. Inside the building greets you with a domestic scale that creates an environment that is at once open and friendly. This particular centre was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, with gardens by Dan Pearson and was opened in 2008.
I was grateful to see the great work that goes on within Maggie's and am keen to continue my support for them.