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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Cancer Charity Maggie's starts work on new Northampton support centre

Maggies groundbreaking photo June 2024

In the photo from left to right: 1. Mary Laing who supported the project alongside her late husband and campaign chair David Laing CBE 2. Dame Laura Lee 3. Palmer Winstanley - Acting Chief Executive of NGH hospital 4. Liz Summers – Specialist Cancer N

National cancer support charity Maggie’s has started work on a new purpose-built support centre to provide expert care to people living with cancer from across the Northamptonshire area.

The centre, designed by renowned architect Stephen Marshall Architects, with a garden from landscaper Arne Maynard, is being built in the grounds of Northampton General Hospital.

Maggie’s plans to open the centre and be offering free expert psychological, emotional and practical support to people with cancer, as well as family and friends, by the end of 2025.

Dame Laura Lee, CEO of Maggie’s, Liz Summers Specialist Cancer Nurse at NGH and Palmer Winstanley, Acting Chief Executive of the hospital, gathered on site last week with some of the project’s key supporters James Morgan, Chairman of will trustees for the Diana Russell legacy, Dominic Hopkins DL partner at HCR Law, and Mary Laing who supported the project alongside her late husband and campaign chair David Laing CBE.

Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s said: “I am delighted to get started building Maggie’s for the people of Northampton and the wider region. It takes us closer towards our aim of reaching as many people living with cancer as possible.  Our centre will be open to anyone who needs it, with all our support free and no appointment or referral necessary.

We have been working closely with Stephen Marshall Architects and Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust to bring our expert support to the hospital and of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without our incredible donors.”

NGH Cancer Nurse, Liz Summers has been unwavering in her support of having a Maggie’s centre at NGH and has worked alongside teams across Northampton General Hospital and Maggie’s over the last 12 years. She said: “I am delighted that building work has now begun. We are so proud to be working in partnership with Maggie’s to develop a Maggie’s Cancer Centre attached to Northampton General Hospital. The centre will provide a beautiful, calm space where anyone affected by cancer can just walk in, have a cup of tea and find out any additional information, help and support they need. We strive to provide the best possible care for people affected by cancer and the development of this new Maggie’s will enhance the services we provide across the whole county.”

Fundraising for the new centre was given a huge boost in 2022 thanks to a generous legacy of £2,425,000 from Northampton business woman Diana Russell.

Diana, a member of the Phipps family owned a vintage car company, was a female racing driver well-known on the racing scene in the 1960s and 70s. The new centre will be named The Diana Russell Building in her honour.

Christina Attridge, legal advisor for the Dianna Russell legacy, said: “Diana was very passionate about Northampton and proud of her roots, she wanted her wealth to benefit local people. Former MP, Andrew Lewer, was instrumental in making the connection for us and Maggie’s project became a fit very quickly. Diana would have loved Maggie’s ethos and the permanent centre is a way to honour her memory in a way that fits her generosity and pioneering spirit.’

Dominic Hopkins, who fundraised for the project celebrated the many local people who have supported the new centre. He said: “We have had an incredible response from the local community and several generous gifts from local and national funders including The Davidge Usher Trust, The National Garden Scheme, The Bradbury Foundation, The Constance Travis Charitable Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation and the David Laing Foundation. We are enormously grateful to all those who have made this possible.”

Planning permission for the centre was officially granted in 2020.  Once open the centre will work closely with staff at Northampton General Hospital to ensure the 150,000 people in the East Midlands area living with cancer, and their family and friends, will be able to visit the centre for support.  It is expected that the centre will support approximately 15,000 visits a year.

Maggie’s has 28 years of experience and expertise providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK.  Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, the centres are warm and welcoming, and are run by expert staff who help people live well with cancer.   

To find out more about Maggie’s Northampton and how you can support the centre please visit

Posted on Wednesday 10th July 2024
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