How Maggie’s Support Centre Is Aiming to Raise Money With a Culture-Filled Tour of Nottingham

Words: Lizzy O'Riordan
Photos: Little Posy
Friday 23 September 2022
reading time: min, words

Providing care to patients and their families, Maggie’s are the free cancer support centre stationed outside City Hospital. Now they’re raising money to keep the centre running through their annual Culture Crawl - the five-mile night walk kept lively by a selection of Nottingham personalities and performers. We catch up with Maggie’s about the work they do, the celebratory nature of the walk and how to get involved…


To start with, what is Maggie’s?
We are a support centre who offer psychological, emotional and practical support to anyone affected by cancer across the East Midlands. We’re actually a national charity with about 25 centres, and the idea is that we’re a place of calm. We’re based at City Hospital and often people come when they’ve just had the diagnosis and are feeling quite overwhelmed. So we have cancer support specialists that can talk them through their situation, prompting them to ask the right questions in appointments and so on. We also run a lot of workshops around mindfulness, relaxation, art therapy and creative writing. Plus groups for families, children and the bereaved. People can access this support for as long as they need. We always say that there is no expiry date on using Maggie’s.  

Coming up this September, you have a ‘Culture Crawl’ fundraising event going on. Can you tell me what this involves? 
The Culture Crawl is a five-mile walk to raise money for Maggie’s. It’s going to start at the University of Nottingham and go all the way into Wollaton. It's a walk that incorporates all kinds of Nottingham culture - so Robin Hood and Maid Marian will be there, along with the Tuneless Choir, and lots of other local artists and performers. There will also be a reflection tree where people can write their thoughts and take a moment of calm, surrounded by classical music from the Nottingham Youth Orchestra. It’s not anything to do with pub crawls but it’s really about community culture, and entertaining people as they walk. 

How does the fundraising aspect work? 
People pay £20 to register for the event and then we ask that they raise a minimum of £100 from sponsorships. The £20 will cover their T-shirt and the administration for the event, but they will also be given some food on the route from Memsaab and a prosecco at the finish line, so it’s a really nice experience. Often people raise much more than they think they will. I think last year we raised about £25,000, which is really good - especially because it costs about £2,400 to run the centre every day.

Last year we raised about £25,000, which is really good - especially because it costs about £2,400 to run the centre every day

From the stories on your website it seems like it can be quite a heartfelt experience to take part in the Culture Crawl…
I get goosebumps when you say that because it’s so true, we find that in Nottingham a lot of our centre visitors are the ones who take part. Stephen, for example, is one of our centre users and the face of the Culture Crawl this year. He tells his story of losing his wife to cancer, alongside his own cancer experience. But a lot of people walking are survivors, the bereaved or those going through treatment. It's very emotional but it’s also a massive celebration.

And finally, how can people get involved? 
They can check us out online on the Maggie’s Nottingham website, through which they can sign up for the walk and set up a fundraising form. Or if they aren’t so computer savvy, they can come into the centre and pick up a paper form. We’re also looking for volunteers, either to be marshals or performers - so, please do just get in touch!

The Culture Crawl is taking place on Friday 30 September at 6pm. Find out more on the Maggie’s website

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