South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has praised the work of Maggie’s after visiting their Edinburgh centre at the Edinburgh Western General.

The local MSP met with Dame Laura Lee, the Chief Executive of Maggie’s Centre to discuss the support Maggies provide to cancer patients and their families and to tour the centre in Edinburgh. They also discussed proposals being developed in partnership between Maggie’s and NHS Dumfries and Galloway to extend this support to more people from the region.

Colin Smyth said, “It was great to meet with Dame Laura Lee and the team at Edinburgh Maggie’s Centre to find out more about their work and to look around the fantastic centre at the Western General. This was the first ever Maggie’s Centre developed and there are very close links between the centre and our region. Not only was Dumfries the home of Maggie Jencks, the co-founder of Maggie’s Centre’s with her husband Charles Jencks, but many people from our region in particular those who receive cancer care at the Western General, benefit from the invaluable support from Maggie’s in Edinburgh”.

“What strikes you about Maggie’s centres is how calm and relaxing the whole environment is. It may be built next to a hospital but when you go inside, it looks more like your living room and you can see that provides a welcoming sanctuary for anyone and everyone affected by cancer. Maggie’s staff are on hand to provide support people need whether its emotional support from qualified experts, a friendly place to meet other people facing the same challenges, advice on benefits or just a calming space to quietly sit and have a cup of tea. I would encourage anyone from our region facing Cancer to find out more about how Maggie’s can support them, and to pop into a centre if there is one where they are receiving cancer care such as Glasgow or Edinburgh”.

“I’m also keen to see such a centre in our region. I’m encouraged by the discussions between Maggie’s and NHS Dumfries and Galloway around proposals being developed that will compliment what is already available locally. Over the next few decades the number of cancer patients is expected to increase which is why it is essential that NHS Dumfries and Galloway work with local and national charities to continually look at ways to build on existing support available in our region.”

Maggie’s Chief Executive Laura Lee said: “It was wonderful to welcome Colin to our Edinburgh centre and be able to show him how we support people to live well with cancer. I would like to thank him for taking the time to visit to see for himself the difference we make to people’s lives and I am delighted he is supportive of our ongoing talks with NHS Dumfries and Galloway.”

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