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New Maggie’s dream another step closer to reality

PICTURED from left: Sean Hanlon, Jim Carroll, managing director, Carroll Ltd; Steve Morgan, chairman, Steve Morgan Foundation; Dame Laura Lee, CEO Maggie’s, and Alexis Redmond DL, Chair of fundraising committee, Maggie’s Clatterbridge

A TOPPING out ceremony has been held at the brand-new Maggie’s Centre in Wirral ahead of its opening in early 2021.

Maggie’s Merseyside is being built within the grounds of Clatterbridge Health Park and will provide additional support for people living with cancer across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

The Steve Morgan Foundation is building Maggie’s Merseyside and a new Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said it was a proud moment to witness the build of the new cancer support centre reach its highest point.

Mr Morgan, who was accompanied by his wife Sally for the socially-distanced topping out ceremony, said: “So many people have been affected by cancer, or know someone who has been affected by cancer.

“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.”

The project is one of the Steve Morgan Foundation’s largest capital projects to date and forms part of a £5m donation to build two new Maggie’s Centres.

“Our involvement in this project extends far beyond funding,” explained Mr Morgan. “We’ve also been responsible for the planning, design and construction, which is exceptional for a foundation.

“That’s why being here for the topping out ceremony gives everyone involved so much pride and joy.”

The existing interim facility, which will be replaced by the new building, was built in 2014 for 3,000 visits a year but has been attracting more than 17,000 as demand has soared.

It was back in June 2018 that Mr Morgan revealed plans and images for the new facility and the team at Maggie’s launched their ‘Million for Maggies’ campaign with the aim of raising crucial funds to secure the running costs of the new centre. The team is now close to reaching the ‘Million for Maggie’s’ milestone.

The new centre has been welcomed by some of the thousands of visitors to Maggie’s.

Jane Dabner, of Bebington, Wirral, said: “Maggie’s Merseyside had just opened as I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. I found myself unceremoniously catapulted into a world that was terrifying and alien to me. Thank goodness Maggie’s was there to help me navigate my way through.”

Kathy Wright, centre head at Maggie’s Merseyside, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone as it brings us a step closer to the official opening.

“A new Maggie’s Centre will allow our team of qualified professionals to provide high quality support to people living with cancer at their most vulnerable time, in a warm and welcoming environment.

“We are extremely grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation and we cannot thank them enough for making that a possibility. Without their help we simply could not manage to sustain the level of support with the growing centre visitor numbers as the current interim centre does not have the capacity.

“As a team we are excited for the future of Maggie’s Merseyside and we know this will have such a positive impact on our centre visitors.

A second Maggie’s Centre funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation will be built in the grounds of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre once the new Maggie’s Merseyside facilities are operational.

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