Cancer centre work starts
WORK has begun on a £6m cancer support centre that will provide free help to the thousands of people living with the disease in the region.
The new Maggie’s Centre at The Christie is being designed by worldrenowned Stockport-born architect Norman Foster and is set to open next year.
Bosses at Maggie’s, the charity behind the building, say the centre will offer practical, emotional and social support for patients – and their families – across the region and will be visited by 60,000 people a year.
Laura Lee, the charity’s chief executive, key donors Cathy Parfett and Norman Stoller, The Christie’s chief executive Roger Spencer, David Nelson of Foster and Partners, and landscape designer Dan Pearson visited the site to unveil a 20ft timber frame which will form part of the building.
They also buried a time capsule at the site.
The building will be named the Robert Parfett Building in memory of a local businessman who died in 2013.
Robert’s widow Cathy, who donated a significant personal gift to Maggie’s in memory of her late husband, said: “When Robert was having treatment for cancer, our family would have benefited from a place like Maggie’s based out of The Christie.
“Lives are turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis and patients at The Christie need this emotional and practical support both for themselves and for their families.
“I have spent some time at Maggie’s at Charing Cross in London and it is a very calm place where people living with cancer and their loved ones can visit and get the support they need in a number of ways.
“I know Robert would love this for Manchester and all the good it will do for the thousands of families it will help.
“Maggie’s is a very unassuming charity and it reflects Robert’s character completely.
“He was an extraordinary, albeit understated, man. He was such a caring man and he helped people in lots of ways, but he always did it quietly, without people knowing.”
She added: “One thing I want is for Robert, the wonderful man I love, to live on in people’s memories.”
Maggie’s at The Christie will open next year.
Laura Lee said: “Our aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer across the region.”
●●Pam Wright, campaign manager, and Cathy Parfett who had donated a significant amount to the centre in memory of her husband Robert, inset DOMINIC SALTER