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MSPs in joint push for local Maggie’s Centre

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By Fiona Reid
MSPs in joint push for local Maggie’s Centre

THREE of the region’s politicians are working together to try and get a Maggie’s Centre built in Dumfries to help cancer patients.

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson and South Scotland MSPs Colin Smyth and Emma Harper are keen to see the proposal for such a cancer care centre come to life as soon as possible. They are working with representatives from Maggie’s, as well as Professor David Clark and members of a support group to progress the matter and will raise the issue at Holyrood in the new year.

Mr Carson said: “Over 10,000 people are living with cancer in Dumfries and Galloway and there is overwhelming international evidence that the residents of Dumfries and Galloway should have the opportunity to access a Maggie’s Centre locally. I have pledged my assistance to help achieve this goal. “This is not just about bricks and mortar, this is about real support for individuals, their families and our communities.”

Mr Smyth added: “There is real momentum building behind Maggie’s desire to establish a centre in Dumfries and to reach out to support those affected by cancer across Dumfries and Galloway.

“It really would be a case of Maggie’s coming home: not only was Dumfries the home of Maggie Jencks, the co-founder of Maggie’s Centres with her husband Charles Jencks, but many people from our region benefit from the invaluable support from Maggie’s in Edinburgh and Glasgow especially when they are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. I know from speaking to Maggie’s how keen they are to build on this support but at a more local level.”

And former nurse Ms Harper met Professor Clark in the region last week to discuss the long-running efforts to set up a Maggie’s Centre locally. She said: “This would be a great benefit for all persons and families across the region – providing drop-in facilities and connecting people using technology through community outreach work.

“This is an issue which extends beyond party politics and I therefore look forward to working with Professor Clark and my South Scotland MSP colleagues to work to bring a Maggie’s Centre to Dumfries.” Maggie’s Centres are built in the grounds of NHS hospitals and provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends.

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