A home away from home
Margaret Stewart House provides a place to stay for out-of-town patients having cancer treatment at the Wellington Blood and Cancer Centre. The house is located in the grounds of Wellington Regional Hospital in Newtown, Wellington. Our accommodation facility relies on the generosity of volunteers and community support to host thousands of patients and families each year.
Grant & Cathy
When Grant found out that his partner Cathy would be receiving four months of cancer treatment in Wellington, it added another element of stress for the New Plymouth couple.
“When we were referred to Margaret Stewart House, we were anxious about what the living situation would be like, but I actually found it to be a type of therapy for me. Being able to interact with people who were all going through the same thing meant we could encourage each other and connect through shared experiences.”
Everyone adds their own piece to the community at MSH - Grant even decided to grow a tomato from seeds that were gifted to him by another couple in the treatment ward.
“The staff are very accommodating; they give people the room and the opportunity to be themselves and breathe. For me, the plant is a piece of home. It’s a piece of normality in a place where people are going through an incredibly difficult time, a welcomed distraction – and a great talking point too.”
Margaret Stewart was a major influence behind the building that now bears her name. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, she left the bulk of her estate to Cancer Society Wellington. Her bequest made up a significant part of the funding for the $2.15 million project. Born Margaret Broscombe in Yorkshire, England, on 21 August 1922, Margaret had her first close encounter with cancer in 1978 when her husband Peter was diagnosed with the disease. That same year, Margaret retired from her role as Patient Properties Officer at Wellington Hospital. While in that role, Margaret resided at the Wellington Hospital Nurses’ Home. The home overlooked the tennis courts that are now the site of Margaret Stewart House. Margaret had no direct input into the plans for ‘her house’ as she called it during the last months of her life. She died on 13 February 1996.
All people, every cancer.
Margaret Stewart House is run by the Cancer Society Wellington located down the road at 52 Riddiford Street. The Cancer Society provides free supportive care services for individuals and families facing cancer such as counselling, support groups, transport to treatment financial assistance and much more.