A NEW £3m centre to support people receiving cancer treatment at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital will open its doors tomorrow.
Maggie’s will move from portable buildings in a hard-to-find part of the site, opened in 2006, to a treehouse-style structure opposite the main entrance.
The centre serves as a meeting place for sufferers to meet and chat and get practical support from staff for issues such as benefits.
Centre head Claire Marriott said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to welcome people from across Oxfordshire to our wonderful new centre.
“We now have the space to develop and grow our programme of support, which will help more people with cancer in the region than ever before.
“We’ll be expanding our support groups as well as providing more workshops and courses with new additions such as tai chi sessions. We’ll also have a dedicated benefits adviser at the new centre five days a week.”
The design, by architects Wilkinson Eyre, is designed to integrate with the Boundary Brook Nature Reserve and meadow
The design, by architects Wilkinson Eyre, is designed to integrate with the Boundary Brook Nature Reserve and meadow.
It will offer four consulting rooms to cater for 7,000 annual visitors, including some of the 5,000 new diagnoses by county hospitals each year.
There will be five volunteers and five staff, including two clinical psychologists, a nutritional adviser, fundraiser and cancer support adviser. Network groups for those with lymphoma, leukaemia, renal cancer and cervical cancer will also be on offer.
A support group will be set up for carers, to support those who have suffered a bereavement, and men’s and myeloma groups will also be established.
Courses include a six-week Living with Stress programme from September and a four-week Introduction to Mindfulness course from October.
Work started in March last year and has been funded by individual donations and fundraising.
The current facility is a 10-minute walk through the hospital to the southern part of the site.
Karen Mitchell, lead cancer nurse at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We are delighted that the new centre in Oxford is opening and know that our patients will continue to benefit from the range of additional services and support available to them.”
Mum-of-two Tracy Edwards, 51, from Headington, visited Maggie’s in Oxford after suffering breast cancer.
The former administrator for Cancer Research UK said: “I had a phone call on Thursday to tell me the cancer has gone, which is a huge relief, but I will still have to come back for check-ups.
“Maggie’s has been a lifesaver for me and the new centre will be able to offer all kinds of support for cancer sufferers.”
The centre is free and will be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
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