A peaceful haven whose doors will be open to anyone affected by cancer has celebrated its opening in the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

Maggie’s, the charity which provides practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends, has opened its new interim centre which can now be visited for previews.

The full programme of support will be launched on Monday, June 23 from 9am.

The centre has been developed by Maggie’s in partnership with The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre to enhance the cancer care and support already on offer at the hospital.

The charity says it marks a further step towards enhanced cancer care in Merseyside, Cheshire and the surrounding areas.

The hospital has future development plans to bring further support to people with cancer and their family and friends, which have been taken into account in the new Maggie’s Centre.

Visitors to the facility will be able to access the huge range of support that Maggie’s offers, including psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, art therapy, t’ai chi and yoga.

Maggie’s chief executive Laura Lee commented: “I am delighted that Maggie’s Merseyside at Clatterbridge will soon be offering a much needed programme of support to people with cancer and their family and friends across Merseyside and beyond.

“To watch a centre come into being is an incredible journey, one I have been privileged to share with every Maggie’s centre built so far, but nothing compares to seeing the centre filled with people benefiting from the support on offer.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who made the opening of our centre possible.”

Andrew Cannell, chief executive officer of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, added: “It’s been really exciting to be involved in such an innovative project.

“Patients now have immediate and easy access to the support services Maggie’s offers, which enhance our mission to deliver the most compassionate cancer care possible to our patients.”

Built in the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are described as warm and welcoming places with qualified professionals on hand to offer support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

A spokeswoman for Maggie’s told the Pioneer : “Maggie’s Centres have their doors open to anyone affected by cancer and their family and friends, for all types of cancer, all ages and from all over the UK. So if your readers can get to the centre they can use its facilities and support groups and all support is free.”

To find out more about Maggie’s Merseyside at Clatterbridge, the support provided, opening hours or to plan your visit or get involved with fundraising, visit www.maggiescentres.org/merseyside.