Deborah Laidlaw's selection

  • Deborah Laidlaw, Chair of the Campaign and Centre Fundraising Board at Maggie’s Oxford.

  • Kimberley Gundle’s Gathering of Companion Cups_always teas in company’. When people walk into Maggie’s, the first thing we do is offer a cup of tea. It’s part of our warm welcome, helping people to feel as though they’re almost visiting the home of a close friend, where they can relax and feel at ease. I love that each cup has a different face on it, which again, really represents Maggie’s Centres where everyone is welcome.


    Gemma Petrie’s ‘Be Gentle of Those Days’ really drew me in. What a beautiful sentiment and intricate painting. The colours remind me of the soft interiors of Maggie’s and how that helps people to be calm even in the most difficult of times.Outdoor spaces provide a vital role in Maggie’s Centres providing a place to reflect and connect with nature.


    Geoff Hands’ ‘Garden III’ captures the essence of green space through his painting and our gardens. Just looking at his work, I feel more relaxed and in the moment.


    Similarly, Catherine Harrington’s ‘Treetops’ provides that reflective moment that people often speak about at Maggie’s. Looking up to trees can help you think about the loss of a loved one and focus on the light coming through – brighter days to come. At Maggie’s we provide the space to think about what has happened, but also advice on how to live well with cancer.


    Paula Cave’s ‘Embrace, 2020’ reflecting on how few embraces we have been able to experience lately, but at Maggie’s, people so often describe their experience of the centre as ‘a warm hug’. We provide free professional support and advice when people need it most, and that can feel like the most important kind of embrace.

    I love ‘Anthony Lloyd’s ‘Everything is Connected, 2020’. More than anything, I feel as though we’re all connected – when someone you love has cancer, it brings people together and highlights connections that you might not have noticed previously in a circular way. Maggie’s helps people to connect through their shared experiences and this beautiful piece hugely powerful, spherical and speaks to a crucial need during a difficult time.


    Anish Kapoor’s ‘Glow for Maggie, 2020’ marks 25 years, since Maggie Keswick Jencks created a new blueprint for cancer care – which then became our ‘Maggie’s’ centres. I am so proud to be involved with this organisation, and love how Anish has captured the light and glow Maggie’s sheds where darkness can crowd in for our Centre visitors.


    Last but not least I have chosen ‘Mary Dickinson’s ‘Cyril on the Sofa’ as it makes me smile and laugh out loud.Maggie’s idea was that with the right support, nobody would ‘lose the joy of living in the fear of dying’ when diagnosed with cancer. Joy is so important, and Cyril certainly brings that and despite everything there is much laughter in every Maggies Centres.