Philanthropist Steve Morgan has spoken of his pride after a landmark day in the history of the cancer support charity Maggie’s.
On Monday Maggie’s moved into a brand new purpose-built centre, funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation, within the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Wirral.
Mr Morgan, CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said, “This is a very proud moment for everyone involved in the project. It is one of our largest capital projects to date, but our involvement has gone far beyond funding.
“We’ve been responsible for the planning, design, project management as well as the entire funding, which is almost unheard of for a foundation.
“My wife Sally first introduced the foundation to Maggie’s, and we have watched with pride as the building has come to life. It has been a real team effort by our team.
“The sad reality it that cancer affects so many people’s lives and the work undertaken by the Maggie’s Centres has never been more needed. We know what a difference this will make to so many people.”
In 2014 Maggie’s opened an interim centre here with the anticipation that the centre would support 3,000 visits a year. In 2019 the interim centre supported more than 17,000 visits, and, despite the pandemic, the centre supported people 12,000 times in 2020.
The new centre, Maggie’s Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building, will provide more space, allowing Maggie’s professional staff to deliver more of the charity’s core programme, courses and support groups.
The library and private rooms will offer individual, one-to-one and family support space away from the openness of the centre, opening the doors to more people who are not ready for group support.
Kathy Wright, centre head at Maggie’s said, “Our new centre has given us more space which means, when possible, our professional staff will be able to deliver more of our core programme, courses and support groups.
“It’s wonderful to have a permanent centre here on the Wirral and we’re excited to be able to start supporting more people with cancer in the surroundings of a truly uplifting and inspirational building.”
The centre, designed by Dennis Swain of HB Architects and funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation, is open to see people alongside digital support.
Support by professional staff is available face-to-face in the centre or by phone, email or online to help people with stress, fear and anxiety as well as money worries and questions about treatment.
Liz Bishop, chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral said: “It is wonderful to know people being treated at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Wirral will now be supported at the new permanent Maggie’s.
“We have seen how beneficial Maggie’s professional, practical, emotional and psychological support has been since the interim centre was built on site and we know the new centre will provide support to many more people at what is possibly the hardest time of their lives.”
There are 18,000 new cancer diagnosis’ every year in Merseyside and Cheshire alone, Maggie’s Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building is hoping to be everyone’s home of cancer care across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, not only for new diagnosis’ but for people living with and beyond cancer, along with their family and friends.
A second Maggie’s, also funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation will be built in the grounds of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre and supporting patients of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool.
The site for Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool has been agreed, but the design work hasn’t yet begun. Maggie’s and the Steve Morgan Foundation hope to start construction at the earliest opportunity, likely, 2022.
Image: (L-R) Fundraising manager Sasha Mathias and Maggie’s centre head Kathy Wright. Credit: Deana Kay Photography