Maggie was determined that people should not “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying”
Maggie Keswick Jencks is the founder of Maggie’s. Maggie was a writer, gardener and designer and at 47, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five years later, in May 1993, Maggie was told that it had returned.
Accompanied with her husband Charles Jencks they where moved to a windowless corridor where they were left to process the news. Here the idea was born for people needing a ‘better’ space to process this kind of news - outside of but nearby to the hospital.
Maggie’s husband Charles was a renowned cultural theorist, landscape designer, and architectural historian and together they designed the blueprint for the Maggie’s centres together, enlisting the help of some of their friends from the architectural world.
From his own experience of battling cancer, Charles firmly believed that architecture and art can make a real difference to people’s recovery.
The first Maggie's opened in Edinburgh in 1996. Now there are centres across the UK and even some abroad. Maggie died shortly before the first centre opened, at the Western General Hospital – but with the support of Charles, and her medical team, including her cancer nurse Laura Lee (now Maggie’s CEO), her vision has lived on.
Maggie Keswick Jencks founder of Maggie's Centres