Scottish cancer charity Maggie's to feature in new film

The inspiring story of a Scottish cancer care charity is set to feature in a new BBC documentary.

The original Maggie's Centre in Edinburgh. Picture: Jon Savage

Since 1996, Maggie’s centres have offered a refuge for people up and down the country who are looking for support living with the deadly disease,

A new documentary ,‘Building Hope: The Maggie’s Centres’, directed by award-winning director Sarah Howitt, will tell the story of the Edinburgh-based organisation.

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In 1993, Maggie Keswick Jencks was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she had three months to live. On hearing this devastating news she was left to sit on a plastic chair in a hospital corridor. The only place she could find to cry was a toilet cubicle.

Her husband Charles Jencks, who is co-founder of Maggie’s, said:

“I think that initial shock was certainly the moment when Maggie thought we can do better than this.

Maggie, from Dumfriesshire, realised there had to be a better way and spent the last year of her life working on an idea for a cancer care centre which she hoped would change the lives of other people with cancer, as well as their family and friends.

The blueprints for the original Centre in Edinburgh were lying on her bed the day she died in 1995. Maggie’s family and friends were determined to turn her vision into a reality and the first centre in Scotland’s capital opened just over a year after Maggie died, with her friend - and former oncology nurse, and now Maggie’s Chief Executive - Laura Lee at the helm.

Since then the most prominent names in architecture have designed astonishing landmark buildings bearing her name across the UK, including London, and internationally in Japan and Hong Kong.

This BBC Scotland documentary features interviews with world-renowned architects Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers and will be aired on Sunday 6 November on BBC 2