Happy New Year meeting and Maggie’s Centre Guest Speakers

It’s the new year, first meeting of the year, it’s a full house at the Oxford University Club, and in today’s meeting we have two guest speakers representing the cancer support charity Maggie’s.

The meeting began with a club activities update over the past 4 weeks. This included the Rotary Oxford Spires Christmas Dinner, the Carol Singing that the club did in Woodstock, and an update on Oxford Rotaract’s activities. Then it was Pip Dingle from Maggie’s who was first to give her presentation.

She spoke about the origins of Maggie’s and also about how over the years they have grown in size, with 20 centres across the UK as well as having an online centre and even a centre in Hong Kong. Pip went on to explain what Maggie’s does to help people who either have cancer or are affected by cancer in other ways.

Maggie’s is different from other groups because they provide support and they offer sign-posting to other services and information. They can provide help in directing people where to get information about the many different kinds of cancers. And they are proud to be a walk-in centre, no appointment needed.

The Maggie’s Centre in Oxford has an average of 60 visitors each day. They are 100% funded by supporters and receive no funding from the NHS.

Pip gave a friendly, insightful presentation about Maggie’s and the good work that Maggie’s does locally in their centre at the Churchill hospital in Oxford. Maggie’s also run Kids Days (in partnerships with the hospital) where they explain to children about the different machines used and about cancer in general. These activities are often craft-based and they can offer tremendous support to children.

After Pip’s presentation we had Stephen Allen step up to the stage to speak about his involvement with Maggie’s. His background comes from his love of singing.

He believes that anybody can sing and wants to get visitors to the Maggie’s Centre involved with in singing, and has been running an activity there called “Singing for wellbeing”

Stephen has an idea to bring all the Oxfordshire-based Cancer support charities and groups together to form a choir to directly benefit those suffering from Cancer through their taking part. This is a fun idea that we would love to see come into fruition.

Upcoming Maggie’s activities

Kitchen Table Day (Friday 5th May 2017)

On Friday 5 May 2017, we’re asking you to help us widen this welcoming feeling by inviting your family, friends and colleagues around your kitchen table in aid of Maggie’s.

Whether it’s a spectacular supper, a gigantic jigsaw, crafting cocktails or holding a book club, it’s time to get together to celebrate and to have fun so that more people in the UK can access the practical, emotional and social support that Maggie’s provides for people with cancer.

To find out more and to register for your free pack, go to

Culture Crawl (Friday 29th September 2017)

Maggie’s Culture Crawl is part night-walk, part cultural adventure. Our walkers enjoy exclusive access to amazing buildings, fantastic cultural experiences and delicious food and drink along the way. This year will be an 8 Mile walk through Oxford.

To find out more and to register (and receive £5 discount) go to

About Maggie’s

Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks.

Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.

Our Centres are places to find practical advice about benefits and eating well; places where qualified experts provide emotional support; places to meet other people; places where you can simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.

To find out more about Maggie’s Centres go to

If you would like to contact either Pip or Stephen about anything related to this article you can via:

Pip: [email protected]

Stephen: [email protected]