Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

United legend Peter Beardsley and Reserve Team Manager Willie Donachie visited the recently-opened Maggie's Centre at the Freeman Hospital's Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre this week.

Maggie's Centres - named after Maggie Keswick Jencks, who lived with advanced cancer for two years and during that time used her knowledge and experience to create a blueprint for a new type of care - are for people at any stage of any type of cancer and no appointments are necessary. Their aim is to provide healing spaces that offer emotional, practical and social support to those living with cancer, their friends and family.

There are now 16 permanent centres in the UK with more in the pipeline, while Maggie's first permanent international Centre opened in Hong Kong earlier this year. Maggie's Newcastle was opened in May 2013 by Maggie's patron Sarah Brown. Since then there has been nearly 7,500 unique visits from people looking for support.

The unique programme of support available at Maggie's has been developed by Maggie's Professional Advisory Board, which includes top academics and oncologists, and includes drop in with cancer support specialists, nutrition workshops, Yoga, Tai Chi, stress management, relaxation and one-to-one sessions with clinical psychologists.

Beardsley and Donachie met staff and sampled the Ashtanga Yoga class that runs every Tuesday at 11am, led by Mileva Donachie. For more information about the yoga class call 07725 915 855.

Maggie's Online Centre extends support to reach people wherever they are in the world and whenever they need it at community.maggiescentres.org. Maggie's Centres are all completely self-funded and rely on donations.

Contact the Maggie's Centre Newcastle on 0191 233 6600 or newcastle@maggiescentres.org.