A NEW £3m centre that will support cancer sufferers and their families is starting to take shape.

MAGGIE'S Oxford has had a base in a temporary building at Headington’s Churchill Hospital since 2004, but the new treehouse-style centre is being built opposite the existing cancer centre and will be able to help more people.

The UK’s 18th Maggie’s Centre is on track to open in the spring.

Father-of-two David Freeman, from Shipton-on-Cherwell, was supported by the centre during his wife Joanna’s illness. Mrs Freeman died of pancreatic cancer aged 57 in 2011.

Mr Freeman, 69, said: “The location is perfect. If you or a loved one has cancer, you go into the hospital to the cancer unit. The treatment is superb, but it is all a bit clinical.”

He added: “The new building looks great, but the people inside it will make it great.”

Anna O’Keeffe, community fundraiser for Maggie’s Oxford, said: “People are walking past and looking at it.

“It is really starting to take shape. We can see how it is going to look.”

Oxford Mail:

  • An artist's impression of how the new centre will look

The treehouse building, designed by Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre Architects, will be divided into three wings and have a central space, allowing separate areas for information, emotional support and relaxation.

The new building will be able to help about 100 people a day.

Ms O’Keeffe said: “Everyone who comes into the centre is really excited to see it now. It is taking shape before their eyes. It is a very exciting time.”

The temporary centre is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.