Maggie’s Centre has recently opened and Amanda Procter, Centre Head shares with us what the new centre is all about.

A warm and welcoming place where people with cancer, as well as family and friends, can find support is how we like our Maggie’s centres to be described and, as Centre Head for the new Maggie’s centre in Leeds, I am delighted to say that’s exactly what we have in our beautiful building in the grounds of St James’s Hospital.

Of our centre, designed by Heatherwick Studio, one person has said: ‘A wonderful, supportive environment.  To visit an amazing building and receive a warm welcome in addition to being supported by a caring staff, makes the burden of cancer easier to bear.  Thank you’

As a Centre Head it is wonderful to hear such words and to know that after a busy few years of campaigning and building work we now have somewhere here in Leeds for people from across Yorkshire to find free practical and emotional support when they are going through with what is possibly the hardest time of their lives.

We are here to offer whatever support every individual most needs.  That can simply be a quiet space for a quiet moment, a chat with others round our kitchen table or a one-to-one drop-in session with out Cancer Support Specialist Helen who can answer questions, provide emotional support and guide people towards other services.  Aisha, our Benefits Advisor, is also here to offer help with money worries as well as practical support to help with extra money and application processes.

In time we will develop our programme of support to include groups and classes.  Our Managing Stress programme, led by our Clinical Psychologist and designed to encourage different ways of relaxation and ways to manage anxious thoughts, will start this month. Our Where Now? course will also start soon to help people at the end of treatment and with the uncertainty this often brings.  Our expert staff will also help people on this course with the practicalities of going back to work, staying active and positive.  

We will at times also be linking with the expert dietetic team at the St James’s Hospital to deliver our nutrition workshops.   These will be a chance for centre visitors to meet and talk to other people with cancer, discuss dietary options and discover what foods suit you best. 

We will also be linking up with the charity Look Good Feel Better to offer wonderful pamper sessions for ladies to help manage the visible side effects of cancer treatment. We will also be running our expressive art group, yoga and developing our networking groups. 

So if you are living with cancer, either with your own diagnosis or as a loved one of someone with cancer, please do just come in.  I look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful centre and introducing you to our support designed to help you to live well with cancer.  As our founder Maggie Keswick Jencks said: “Above all, what matters is not to lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.” 

Amanda Procter, Centre Head.

For further information contact 0113 4578364.  

Or just come in 

Maggie’s, St James’s hospital, Alma Street

Leeds LS9 7BE


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