BBC Documentary – Building Hope: The Maggie's Centres

Thursday 3 November

We're delighted to announce that on Sunday 6 November a new BBC documentary about Maggie's and the cancer support we provide will air on BBC 2 Scotland at 8pm.

Building Hope: The Maggie's Centres is a beautifully shot film, directed by award-winning director Sarah Howitt, and tells the story of Maggie’s, our approach to cancer care and the role that great design plays in the cancer support we offer. 

In 1993, Maggie Keswick Jencks was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she had three months to live. On hearing this devastating news she was left to sit on a plastic chair in a hospital corridor. The only place she could find to cry was a toilet cubicle. 

Her husband Charles Jencks, who is co-founder of Maggie's, said:

“I think that initial shock was certainly the moment when Maggie thought we can do better than this. You don’t have to suffer in a corridor on death row having just been told that you are going to die.

That was the moment architecture and medicine met in our minds.”

Maggie, from Dumfriesshire, realised there had to be a better way and spent the last year of her life working on an idea for a cancer care centre which she hoped would change the lives of other people with cancer, as well as their family and friends.

The blueprints for the original Centre in Edinburgh were lying on her bed the day she died in 1995. Maggie’s family and friends were determined to turn her vision into a reality and the first centre in Scotland’s capital opened just over a year after Maggie died, with her friend - and former oncology nurse, and now Maggie’s Chief Executive - Laura Lee at the helm.

Since then the most prominent names in architecture have designed astonishing landmark buildings bearing her name across the UK, including London, and internationally in Japan and Hong Kong.

This BBC Scotland documentary features interviews with world-renowned architects Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers.

 

Watch the documentary

Tune in to BBC 2 Scotland on Sunday 6 November at 8pm.

If you are not in Scotland you can watch the programme live in a number of different ways.

  • BBC iPlayer – watch live on the BBC Scotland page 
  • Sky – Channel 970
  • Freesat – Channel 970

The documentary will also be available to watch on catch-up on iPlayer until Monday 6 December.

A 45-minute version will also be shown on BBC Global on Saturday 19 November.

Contact us

For press enquiries please contact Sam Booth by emailing samantha.booth@maggiescentres.org or calling 07825 056 394.