END of life charity Marie Curie’s flagship fundraiser the Great Daffodil Appeal, which is reaching its 35th anniversary in March, has for the first time, had to cancel all of their public collections for the campaign, leaving the charity with a potential loss of over £3 million.
The Great Daffodil Appeal is the largest fundraising campaign in the hospice sector. Since it began in 1986, the money raised has helped Marie Curie run its essential frontline services providing care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families across the UK.
The last 12 months have been extremely difficult as key fundraising events have been cancelled and all Marie Curie’s charity shops have had to close. Despite the cancelled collections, the charity is calling on the public to dig deep and donate online, where they can also order their iconic daffodil pins.
Last year, the charity saw a 16.5% rise in the number of people they cared for at the end of life, compared to 2019, and their support line saw a 20% increase in calls. All donations from the Great Daffodil Appeal will ensure that Marie Curie Nurses, doctors and hospice staff can continue working on the frontline throughout the pandemic caring for people and their families in the charity’s nine hospices and in their own homes.
The pandemic has also exposed the fragility of the hospice and end of life care sector, which relies on donations from the public to survive. Figures show that within the next 10 years, more than six million people will die in the UK and of this number 75% will need end of life care.
Meredith Niles, Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement at Marie Curie, said:
“The Great Daffodil Appeal is vitally important to us. Having been held every March for over three decades, this is the first time we’ve had to cancel all of our public collections which is a huge blow as each volunteer would raise £80 from a collection shift, enough to pay for the equivalent of four hours of nursing care.
“The campaign would normally bring together millions of people across the country to volunteer, fundraise, donate and wear a daffodil and we’re still encouraging people to do this in any way they can in a safe manner.
“Around 300 people a day already miss out on the end of life support they need, and we expect this figure to rise as a result of the pandemic, combined with usual winter pressures associated with seasonal flu and the backlog of people who have missed diagnoses.
“In these unprecedented times, we need people’s support now more than ever in helping us raise money to continue our vital work across the country and ensure Marie Curie Nurses can be there to provide end of life care when people need it.”
Alison Steadman, actor and Marie Curie Ambassador said:
“I have seen first-hand the incredible difference Marie Curie makes and just how important their work is in caring for people with a terminal illness and their families. The loving care they gave my mum when she was dying is something that I’ll never forget and will always remember. I don’t know how we would have managed as a family without the Marie Curie Nurses and doctors and dread to think about what it would mean if they weren’t there for all the families that need them.
During the Great Daffodil Appeal, the first annual National Day of Reflection will take place. Since the first lockdown began in 2020, millions of people have been bereaved. Join Marie Curie on 23 March, the first anniversary of UK lockdown, for a day to reflect and commemorate this tragic loss of life.
For more information on how to fundraise, donate or set up a virtual collection for Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal, please visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil.