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New Maggie's Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building sees over 200% increase in visits since opening

THE local charity Maggie's on the Wirral, who are located within the Steve Morgan Foundation Building has been able to increase its face-to-face support by over 200% for people with cancer since it opened in June 2021. The new centre, which was commissioned, designed, built and funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation, has given the charity more space and opportunity, with the centre and its professional staff seeing people with cancer 7,725 times and carers 4,412 times in just 6 months. This is an increase of 214% from the previous 6 months of support given in the charity's interim centre.  The Clinical Psychologist at Maggie's Wirral has supported individuals and families 1,223 times through a cancer diagnosis, both individually and in groups, while their Benefits Advisor supported people over 2,000 times, 864 of which were new visitors, helping them to get the financial support they are entitled to at a time that they need it the most. Maggie's Wirral helped people with cancer access nearly ₤1.3million of financial support in 2021.

Steve Morgan, CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said:- "I am so proud to hear that Maggie's Wirral at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building has already supported so many people with cancer as well as their family and friends through their programme and professional support. There are 18,000 new cancer diagnoses every year in Merseyside and Cheshire so we know that the support Maggie's offers is vital in this area and that so many more people living with cancer could access the free support that our centre offers."

Maggie's has more than 25 years of experience of supporting people with free cancer support and information in centres across the UK. The charity puts people with cancer at the heart of everything they do and believes that everyone should have access to professional psychological and emotional support to help change the way they live with cancer.

Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive at Maggie's said:- "It's fantastic to know that this new centre is already welcoming so many people through its doors at a time when people living with cancer need our support the most. The space and support wouldn't have been possible were it not for the generosity of the Steve Morgan Foundation and I know their continuing support will mean even more people across the North West of England and North Wales will be able to find the support they need at what is possibly the hardest time of their lives."

Maggie's helps people take back control when cancer turns life upside down, with support for anything from treatment side effects to money worries. The centres' professional teams provide help and information and run groups and activities, all designed to make coping with cancer easier.

Kathy Wright, Centre Head of Maggie's Wirral said:- "It has been brilliant to have the extra space to allow me and the other professional staff at Maggie's Wirral to reach so many more people with cancer and their family and friends. Since the Pandemic we are seeing people with cancer experience more complex psychological and emotional distress because of the trauma caused by treatment delays, the isolation during lockdowns and increased anxiety and stress, so I am delighted we are here to support them at a time when they need us more than ever."

Sam was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage 2B in 2021. She says:- "I visited Maggie's through treatment and used the centre for financial guidance. They helped me fill out all the benefit forms, which was a huge relief as I was constantly in tears. I felt I had to consistently prove how poorly I was, I found this very degrading and stressful. Maggie's took over and followed things up for me and filled out all the necessary forms, taking away this extra burden that I didn't have the physical or emotional strength to deal with. I just wanted to spend the time with my 2 children and to focus on getting well. Since finishing treatment, I have struggled a lot emotionally with the uncertainty of my future, trying to validate my existence and Maggie's have really supported that. When I 1st visited Maggie's, I was a broken woman, I had a meltdown and was instantly held up and reassured. The best thing is the little family that I feel like I have become a part of, they understand that my journey has only just begun. Maggie's is life-changing, supportive, friendly, and welcoming. I could not have gotten through my cancer diagnosis and treatment without them and having such a beautiful place to visit, that is so calming and peaceful, but at the same time full of life, makes visiting so much more enjoyable."

The Steve Morgan Foundation has generously committed to commissioning, designing, building and funding 2 more Maggie's centres. Maggie's Liverpool will be built within the grounds of the New Royal Liverpool Hospital next to the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre; Liverpool. Maggie's North Wales will be built on the grounds of Glan Clwyd Hospital, in North Wales. It is hoped that work might begin on both centres later this year. In 2020 the Steve Morgan Foundation committed ₤3 million to Maggie's across England as part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Community Match Challenge. This funding helps ensure we can continue to deliver our programme across our 14 centres within England.

To find out more about Maggie's Wirral and the programme of support offered or to get involved with fundraising visit:- Maggies.Org/Wirral or call:- 01513344301. You can also follow Maggie's Wirral Facebook, for all the latest news and stories and on Tweeter.

Health and Social Care Secretary brief the media on the Spring Covid19 vaccination rollout

THE UK's Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid has said:- "Thanks to our Covid19 vaccination rollout, we are already the freest country in Europe. It has saved countless lives, reduced pressure on the NHS and is allowing us to learn to live with the virus. I have accepted the advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to offer, from spring, an additional Covid19 booster jab to people aged 75 years and over, residents in care homes for older adults, and people aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed. All 4 parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI's advice. Following the JCVI's advice, I have asked the NHS to prepare to offer those eligible a vaccine from around 6 months after their last dose and they will set out further details in due course. We know immunity to Covid19 begins to wane over time. That's why we're offering a spring booster to those people at higher risk of serious Covid19 to make sure they maintain a high level of protection. It's important that everyone gets their top up jabs as soon as they're eligible. The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to further at risk groups. This is a national mission; the vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and I urge everybody to get your jabs as soon as you can. For anyone who is yet to get a booster, come forward to Get Boosted Now."

Will you get vaccinated, again if you get given the option? Please let us know your thoughts on this announcement by emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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