Margaret Smithurst and Julie Stewart visited Maggie’s Cancer Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on Monday 20 February 2017 following the North 150 Fund’s support of their “Name a Day” campaign, which gives companies the opportunity to pay for the running costs of the centre on a particular day of the year.
North felt that 20 February was an extremely significant date as it represents the date of our P&I insurance renewals. The centre staff kindly invited us over to have a look around.
The centre itself is very bright and homely with a lovely positive atmosphere. It’s a very inspiring place where those affected in any way by cancer can drop in for emotional / social support or attend one of their many classes – anything from Tai Chi to healthy eating and yoga. We dropped in on “Maggie’s Monday Morning for Men” session and they were very interested to hear about the work of North Group and the shipping industry; so much so that they asked if we could go back and do a brief talk about our shipping lives with the proviso that we didn’t suggest 6 March as a date as we would have to compete with Robson Green! Interestingly, one of the gentlemen there had been a chief engineer and had worked for Bernhard Schulte. All of the group had either been bereaved, were coping with cancer, or undergoing treatment for cancer.
Margaret and Julie also visited a ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ workshop where women undergoing treatment for cancer are provided with advice about skin care and make-up application, using products provided by leading cosmetic companies such as Liz Earle, Clinique and Estee Lauder. Each lady also received a goody bag of full size products.
The centre was very busy with people coming in and out to read and have quiet time, others to use the computer facilities, or the chance to have a cup of coffee and a chat. Often patients being treated in the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital, which is opposite Maggie’s, will come over and use the facilities, rather than staying on the ward or in clinic. As well as managing the centre, Karen Verrill (an oncology nurse for over 30 years), provides support and assistance to those who may drop in, and as no appointments are necessary, every day is different and presents a new challenge.
Maggie’s operates 19 centres including one in Hong Kong and another due to open soon in Tokyo. We are very proud to support Maggie’s Centre in Newcastle.