We are pleased to announce that Advancis' parent company Brightwake are again supporting Maggie’s Nottingham this year.
Maggie’s is a charity very close to our hearts which we have supported in the past. In 2021, Managing Director Steve Cotton, along with Finance Director Iain Osborn and friends Dave Bowden and Jason Simpson (aka ‘The Old Spokes’) supported them by completing the Lands’ End to John O’Groats route to raise money and awareness.
This year The Old Spokes dusted off their cleats and took on the London to Paris route to raise awareness for Maggies, and have supported them with a donation of £2500.
Maggie’s is a charity that provides free cancer support and information in their centres alongside NHS hospitals and online. They run groups where their visitors can meet other people in a similar situation and get information about their type of cancer.
We recently visited Maggie’s Nottingham, and everything is designed with their service users in mind. You won't see a reception desk, or signs on the walls; no name badges or uniforms. There are no clocks either, as they want visitors to feel they can stay for as long as they need, and come back as often as they like. On arrival, you will be greeted by one of their volunteers who will guide you in and make sure you are comfortable. The building itself is designed to feel like a tree house; with an abundance of natural light and welcoming and relaxing feel. With a large kitchen at its heart, it has balconies overlooking their gardens to sit with a cup of tea and a biscuit, and a variety of differently decorated and sized rooms for group and individual sessions.
Maggie’s have seen an influx of demand for their services recently, consistently welcoming over 100 visitors at their drop-in sessions each day. To keep up with the new demand whilst ensuring that sessions aren’t overcrowded, they have added additional sessions to their weekly schedule.
“We find that just being able to talk to someone who knows what they’re going through, or with the same diagnosis and challenges, really helps our visitors” – Liz Sudbury, Centre Fundraising Manager, “We offer our sessions as drop-ins because we understand that some days are harder than others and we don’t want to add the pressure of having to make an appointment and be here for a set time”
Maggie’s professional staff are clinically trained and experienced, so can offer support and information around treatments, alongside this they regularly work with specialists from Nottingham City Hospital who attend the drop-in sessions to provide additional support. This is a hugely valuable resource for the hospital Clinicians as it allows them to give more time to their patients and to answer their questions by being in a group setting than they could ever achieve at individual appointments due to time pressures within the NHS.
Maggie’s take a very holistic approach to the support they offer, their courses and workshops are designed to help patients and their families live well with cancer, as well as helping with all of the other stresses and worries that come along with a cancer diagnosis. One such worry which has become more prevalent over the past year is financial difficulty, they have even recently employed a second Benefits Advisor who can tell patients what they’re entitled to and help with things like parking permits and extra money they might be able to claim.
This year Maggie’s organised a children’s tea and games morning for those coping with the diagnosis or death of a parent or sibling over the summer holidays. This proved very successful as it allowed the children in the group to speak to others that understand what they’re going through, and also gave them an opportunity to have fun.
“There is a lot of support given to children who are living with cancer, and their parents, but children who are living with the diagnosis of a loved one are sometimes overlooked, we want to provide them with a safe space to come and to feel supported”
As a self-funded charity, the money donated by Brightwake be a huge help to Maggie’s and we hope to continue to support them in the future.