Scottish cancer charity launches ?xA3;24m appeal

A Scottish cancer care trust that operates alongside the NHS is stepping over the border into England and Wales. The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is launching a ?xA3;24 million appeal to open cancer care centres across Britain.

Maggie's UK Appeal is set to run for five years and is being headed by Nicolette Shaw, who will hire a voluntary chair and committee of around seven members.

The appeal will operate from office space in Fulham, London, which has been donated by Richard Rogers, who was the architect of the Millennium Dome.

"We want to provide a service for all people with cancer in this country and Maggie's is designed to be a one-stop-shop for people with cancer,

said Shaw.

Maggie's has appointed Dr Henry Drucker, a major capital fundraising consultant, who is mentoring Shaw on the project. Ten years ago Drucker raised capital of ?xA3;342 million for Oxford University.

Maggie's UK Appeal will seek to raise capital funds, two years revenue funding and investment funding to grow the fundraising team from 10 staff to 24 by 2007. It will be supported by a mixed marketing campaign next year in a bid to recruit regular givers.

The trust, which currently runs Maggie's Centre in Edinburgh, plans to operate a network of 13 centres in the UK, six of which will be in England and one in Wales. Each centre will be run as a separate charity with its own regional board. The first of the English centres, which has been designed by Lord Rogers free of charge, is planned to open next to Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham, London in 2004.

Maggie's Centre Glasgow is set to open next month, with Dundee following next Spring. A further three centres will open in Scotland including Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands Centre.

Around ?xA3;4.8 million has already been raised for the appeal through key major donors, trusts, companies, the people of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, as well as a grant from the New Opportunities Fund.

The centres provide cancer patients and their families with information and support on cancers and their treatments, as well as structured emotional support and relaxation techniques.

Each centre costs around ?xA3;300,000 a year to run, managed by a senior care nurse, who is accompanied by a team of information support specialist nurses, a psychologist, as well as relaxation staff.

"The centres are specifically designed to create a friendly environment and are designed in contrast to the hospital ward,

said Shaw. "People with cancer can go straight from diagnosis to specialist counselling support.

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