New Maggies Centre
Today Her Majesty Queen Sonja and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay undertook the official opening of the new Maggies Cancer Care Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland. Maggies Centres provide support to people living with cancer and their friends and family.
A belief in the ability of architecture to inspire both hope and joy underlies the design of Maggies Centres, all of which are housed in exceptional structures. While each centre is distinctive and different, they all offer the same informal, comfortable surroundings for the people they serve.
The Queen and the Duchess were given a guided tour of the building. Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, it is conceived as a pavilion in a parkland setting.
Camilla, the Duchess of Rothesay has been committed to the cancer cause for many years, and is President of Maggies Cancer Caring Centres. During her visit to Norway with the Prince of Wales in March 2012, the Duchess accompanied Queen Sonja on a visit to the Cancer Clinic at Oslo University Hospital, where they spoke with patients and personnel.
Who Maggie was
Maggie Keswick Jencks was the co-founder, alongside Charles Jencks, of Maggies Cancer Caring Centres. She was a writer, landscape designer, painter and mother of two. She died of cancer in 1995.
During the last two years of her life, Maggie authored the article A View from the Front Line and put a great deal of effort into defining the real needs of people with cancer and their friends and relatives. She looked beyond medical issues, focusing instead on things that were important for everyday life: access to information, emotional support and a chance to meet others in the same situation.
The first Maggies Centre was opened in Edinburgh in November 1996. The centres provide information, support, practical advice and opportunities for networking in keeping with Maggies model. There are currently 16 centres in the UK, and several more are being planned.
Maggies Centres may be used by people at any stage of any type of cancer. The doors are open to patients, friends and family alike. No appointments are necessary.