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Doesn’t it already feel like 84th January? This month is renowned as the bleakest and longest of them all. Experts have given today the gloomy title, Blue Monday, due to the combination of post-Christmas blues, rubbish weather and the fact payday feels like six million years away.

However, beating ourselves up over the fact we ate too many Quality Street and whinging we’re skint puts us to shame when you think of all the folk who are worse off. Imagine starting 2019 knowing you have cancer? Luckily, for thousands of families across the North East who are facing the most difficult time of their lives, Maggie’s Newcastle is a special place where they can relax, meet friends and get valuable support – be that emotional, medical or financial.

You’d be mistaken though if you think it’s a sad place. Far from it. Maggie’s is a home from home with an atmosphere that’s ‘more coffee morning than cancer ward’. Described as a ‘happy place’, it’s filled with love and hope.

And if you’re wondering where the name comes from, the centres are named after Maggie Keswick Jencks who lived with advanced cancer for two years. During that time, she used her knowledge and experience to create a blueprint for a new type of care. The centres are built around her belief that people “shouldn’t lose the joy of living in the fear of dying”.

In an attempt to spread a little joy on statistically the most depressing day of the year, we’d like to celebrate the fact that Maggie’s makes a hard time that bit easier to get through. So today, we’re highlighting the fantastic work done by Maggie’s centres up and down the country.

Without the amazing generosity of the general public, Maggie’s, which relies entirely on charitable funding, simply couldn’t exist. Please take a moment to watch the video or find out how you can help. You can also make money for Maggie’s simply by booking a holiday – read more at Charity Escapes.

Keep an eye on @DrummondCentral on Twitter – we’ll be tweeting out more about Maggie’s throughout today.

Finally, I’m going to leave you with this thought:

The day before Maggie Keswick Jencks died in June 1995, she sat in her garden, face to the sun and said: “Aren’t we lucky?”

We really are lucky. A few pounds heavier and struggling to stay off the vino maybe, but lucky all the same.