17 August 2018

Sitting and working alongside NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie's Centres provide the emotional, practical and social support that people with cancer need.

On offer within the building is a free programme which includes group support, family and friends support, relaxation sessions, information access and benefits advice. Some will want to use the Centre to have a cup of tea and a quiet pause, while others will want to join in with groups and actively participate.


Maggie's Newcastle is beautifully nestled into the green space on the grounds of the Freeman Hospital


#MakeMaggiesYours - our design competition

We want to inspire you to learn more about the work Maggie's does by designing your own centre.There are three separate categories for students, professionals and families, so whether you design buildings for a living or simply have an idea for an inclusive, comfortable cancer centre we want to hear from you. 


Requirements for your Maggie's Centre


  • The size of your Maggie’s Centre should be approximately 280m2 and have an entrance that's obvious and welcoming.

Light and space:

  • There should be as much light as possible with views out to a garden/trees/sky.
  • The kitchen area should be at the heart with a large table to sit at least 12 people.
  • There should be other rooms that are flexible to accommodate large and smaller sessions e.g. Yoga classes, relaxation spaces, somewhere for 1-2-1 counselling sessions or where group talks can take place.

Other considerations:

  • A small number of same sex toilets; this is a home so there are no male or female units.
  • Office space for the Centre Head and Fundraising Team.
  • An impressive garden area.
More advice from Maggie's

"Maggie’s Centres are designed by some of the world’s leading architects. They understand the importance of good architecture and design and the difference the centres can make to people with cancer and their family and friends. We hope to inspire all those entering to learn more about Maggie’s and architecture by designing their own centre.

"The aim of Maggie's is clear: to encourage people who feel frightened and anxious about coping with cancer to feel better by developing their sense of confidence and resourcefulness. What they discover at a Maggie’s Centre may help them put a different perspective on what is happening to them and make a profound difference to their experience of living with cancer.

"The design should facilitate spaces where people can retreat with their families, where staff can meet with a centre user privately, where people can relax on their own, or with family and friends and where people can share their experiences with others. The kitchen table plays a key role for people to meet and should be at the heart of the design. The design should be sensitive to the surrounding landscape and provide an uplifting environment that inspires people to come in.

"We want people to feel protected and relaxed in the internal as well as the external space of the centre.

"We want people to feel more buoyant, more optimistic and more ambitious when they leave a room or the centre as a whole.

"We want people to feel at home, which makes them feel that there is at least one positive aspect about their visit to the hospital which they may look forward to.

"We want centre users to feel encouraged and not daunted."

Case studies to inspire you



What to submit

A design statement (max. 100 words):

This describes your design intentions, the atmosphere you would like to achieve in your design and the inspiration behind it.

A plan drawing 1:50

Architects scale drawings either 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 times smaller than the real size, or even smaller than that. For your Centre, we recommend you work in the scale of 1:50 – that means one metre will be represented on your drawing by two centimetres.

Two images or sketches of the design development

This could be a sketch, a drawing, a scale model, a photograph, a table full of materials, testing different shapes, colours etc. This should aim to give an insight into the design process you have been through.

Two interior images showing the intended atmosphere of your design

What will your Maggie's centre feel like on the inside?

Optional - A physical or digital model of your design

This is an optional choice for those who have the skills/resource to make either a digital or physical model. You can chose to do one, both or neither.



Download the design brief as a PDF



Submission details and deadline

Our competition launches on Monday 1st October 2018 and you must have submitted your finished entries by Monday 10th December 2018 at 5pm.

Digital files should be submitted to info@theNBS.com with the subject line ‘Make Maggie’s Yours Competition’. You can post or drop physical objects or drawings to the following address:

FAO Jennifer Scullion
The Old Post Office
St. Nicholas Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear NE1 1RH

Please do not send us your only copy of your entry as we may not be able to send it back to you.

For more information about Maggie's Newcastle and how to support them, visit their website.