The latest signing for The Falkirk Herald’s team for the Edinburgh MoonWalk is a Maggie’s worker with local connections.
Ann-Louise Ward has worked for the cancer charity since 2008 and knows just how much the centres it runs benefit sufferers and their families.
With a Maggie’s Centre planned for the grounds of Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the charity Walk the Walk providing the funding for it from cash raised at the Edinburgh MoonWalk, she was keen to get involved.
Originally from Sauchie, she has lived in London since 1997 when she went to study drama. During ‘resting’ periods from stagework, she had a variety of roles in the NHS and quickly realised this was something she wanted to concentrate on.
Ann-Louise (33) said: “I really enjoyed it and when the opportunity with Maggie’s Centres came up, it really felt right. It’s a rewarding job and you know that the centres make a real difference.”
The programme director for Maggie’s, it’s her job to oversee all the centres up and down the country – there are currently 16 open or in development – to provide support which meets the needs of the local population affected by cancer.
She added: “It’s about making sure every person who comes through the door has a high quality, personalised experience. I’m also involved working on psychological research to try to reach out to those who don’t use a Maggie’s Centre to find out what they would like us to provide.”
With family still living in the area, including grandparents in Dunipace and an aunt in Larbert, Ann-Louise was very much aware that the people she is close to and grew up with may one day need the services of a Maggie’s Centre.
She said: “When you know what is provided, you want everyone to have this facility close at hand so that they are able to make use of its wonderful services.
“That’s the reason I’ve signed up to do the Edinburgh MoonWalk. The gesture by Walk the Walk is fantastic and I feel that I should do my bit so more people can have the opportunity to benefit from a Maggie’s Centre.”
Ann-Louise will be joined by Maggie’s staff from her London office, and from Glasgow and Dundee who have all signed up for The Falkirk Herald team.
Named after found Maggie Keswick Jenks, who came up with the blueprint when she was battling cancer, the centres provide help and support to cancer sufferers and their families in a non-clinical setting.
The MoonWalk takes place in the capital on Saturday, June 9, when thousands of women – and men – will powerwalk through the streets to fundraise.
To join The Falkirk Herald’s MoonWalk for Maggie’s team, visit www.falkirkherald.co.uk and click on the link.
Alternatively, entry forms are available from our offices in Manor Street, Falkirk, and the Gateway Business Park, Beancross Road, Grangemouth.