Local Foundation’s £140,000 donation helps towards completion of Southampton Cancer Support Centre

Hampshire based Barker Mill Foundation is delighted that a new cancer support centre in Southampton, Maggie’s, is close to completion, helped by their £140,000 donation. The donation was a huge boost towards their fundraising target.

Maggie’s new cancer support centre in Southampton will be based next to University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s (UHS) oncology unit.

The facility, which is due to start providing virtual support this year and will open its doors, following all government guidelines, early next year, will provide much needed support to those living with cancer. Last year over 22,500 people from the area received a new cancer diagnosis. Maggie’s work will complement the treatments received by people of all ages and with any type of cancer, as well as the research taking place at Southampton hospital.

Maggie’s Southampton Centre Head, Gilly Howard‐Jones, who until recently worked as a cancer nurse specialist at UHS said: “We are looking forward to supporting people with cancer this year by phone, email and online and to opening our doors and welcoming visitors next year. We see people come into our centres across the country with the weight of the world on their shoulders, but they leave looking lighter and as if they feel hopeful once more. The coronavirus created a lot of fear, anxiety and even trauma for people living with cancer as treatments were delayed, appointments postponed and shielding caused isolation.

“We help people to live better with cancer by supporting them through their fear, anxiety, stress and money worries and much more

The impact of the coronavirus on people with cancer will be felt for a long time to come, but we will be here to support in any way we can.”

Gemma McKnight, Fundraising Manager at Maggie’s Southampton said: “We rely almost entirely on voluntary donations to support our work and we are so grateful to Barker‐Mill Foundation for their continued support.

“We know that our expertise will be needed even more in the months to come. The latest research from Cancer Research UK shows that millions of people missed screenings during lockdown and 24,000 cases have gone undiagnosed. With treatment altered and surgery postponed there will be unbearable mental anguish as people learn that they face more extensive surgery, or their cancer is no longer treatable or survivable. Our psychologists and cancer support specialists will be here for them.”

Once open, Maggie’s will offer a variety of support which will also include tailored specialist help, nutrition workshops, stress management and benefits advice. Maggie’s relies almost entirely on voluntary donations to ensure it supports as many people living with or affected by cancer, as possible. Local fundraisers and donors, like the Barker Mill Foundation, are vital to ensure everyone who visits the Centre can use the facilities and sessions on offer.

Tim Jobling, Barker Mill Foundation Trustee, said: “Maggie’s is a wonderful organisation and I would encourage everyone to get behind it, by fundraising and donating for this very special service which is going to touch the lives of so many people with cancer, their friends and families. The work they do provides a huge boost to the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s oncology unit, which serves 3.2 million people across the south coast, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Wight. The work Maggie’s does will provide vital support for those receiving these specialist cancer services.”

Maggie’s is a national charity with 23 other Centres around the UK. It provides practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.

For further information about Maggie’s, please visit: www.maggiescentres.org/our‐ centres/maggies‐southampton/