Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Campaign for 3m cancer centre

The architect's vision of what the Oxford Maggie's Building will look like

A campaign has been launched to build a 3 million cancer support centre in Oxford.

Around the UK, Maggie's Centres provide free emotional and practical support to people with cancer, and their families.

Currently there is an interim centre at the Churchill Hospital, where Maggie's have used a small portable building.

The campaign hopes to raise enough money to build a custom designed centre on the Churchill site and provide running costs for the first two years.

Currently there are six centres around the UK and a further five are planned.

'Uplifting building'

Chairman of the campaign board George Robinson said the building itself will provide "hope, help and strength".

He said he hoped to build "a beautiful and uplifting building which will bring solace and peace to everyone who needs it in Oxford."

Currently there are six centres around the UK

Maggie's Oxford building has been designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

It is based on the idea of a treehouse and the finished building will have a tree running through the centre of the building.

Maggie's Centres are the vision of Maggie Keswick Jencks, an architect and garden designer who was treated for breast cancer. She wanted to harness the power of the environment to lift the spirits.

Sandy Briscoe is the community fundraiser for Maggie's Oxford and says the buildings are all landmarks in the counties they are in.

"We're currently very restricted in the space we are in, sharing a portable building with the oncology unit. The new Maggie's Centre would be opposite the new cancer building and enable us to expand," she said.

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