To launch Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal, comedian Paul Chuckle added a special tribute to his brother onto a petal of the ‘Great Big Daffodil’. The charity says that creating and sharing happy memories can help people prepare for bereavement and cope better with the loss of someone to a terminal illness.

The striking super-sized daffodil was in Manchester at the weekend, one of six cities in the UK the Great Big Daffodil will visit during the Great Daffodil Appeal this March. The seven-foot-tall flower is on a 1,500-mile journey visiting Swansea, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Edinburgh until 15th March.

Paul Chuckle

Marie Curie provides care and support to people living with a terminal illness, and this March around eight million people across the UK will choose to wear one of the charity’s daffodil pins for the Great Daffodil Appeal. Launched in 1986, the Appeal is crucial in raising much-needed funds to enable the charity to continue providing nursing and hospice care, a freephone support line and information for people living with any terminal illness such as terminal cancer, dementia, heart failure, and motor neurone disease.

During this year’s Great Daffodil Appeal the charity is focusing on the stories behind why people wear their daffodil pins. People can visit the Great Big Daffodil to remember those who have been special to them and share the story behind their daffodil.

Paul’s tribute is one of many heartfelt messages being placed on the Great Big Daffodil. After writing a message to his brother Barry at the Great Big Daffodil in Manchester,

Paul Chuckle said:

“It’s just over six months since Barry died and I think about him every day. We worked together for 55 years and I feel like he is still beside me. It can be hard sometimes but my memories of Barry and the memories other people share with me do help.

“Marie Curie supported my brother at the end of his life and I’m grateful that I’m able to get behind the Great Daffodil Appeal and wear my daffodil pin.

“My message on the Great Big Daffodil is a tribute to Barry as a great brother and great comedian. I hope that lots of people share their own stories, wear a daffodil and donate to help Marie Curie continue to support people living with a terminal illness and their families.”

Marie Curie Chief Executive, Matthew Reed, said:

“In our busy lives, we often don’t have time to stop and pay tribute to the people that have been special to us. We know that most people find comfort in remembering loved ones who’ve died and taking a moment to reflect is what most people do to honour them. With the Great Big Daffodil, we’re hoping to create something that will give people this moment. Whether they leave a message of support or solidarity or a poignant memory.”

Research for the charity found the majority of people find comfort in remembering happy memories of loved ones who have died (68%), our memories help us feel more connected to them (48%) and we enjoy reminiscing (44%). It also found taking a moment to reflect (53%), sharing memories with family and friends (46%), and cherishing special keepsakes (30%) were the top three ways people chose to honour the memories of loved ones who’ve died.

Gerald Howell from Skewen, South Wales, was one of the first people to share a poignant message on the Great Big Daffodil, he wrote: ‘In memory of my wife Sandra who passed away in July and a massive thank you to Marie Curie for all the support they gave us.’

The Great Big Daffodil’s journey will culminate with each petal, full of messages and photos from each city, at an event in London on 20th March to celebrate the importance of memories in helping us grieve.

To support the Great Daffodil Appeal get your daffodil pin from volunteers on high streets around the UK, Marie Curie shops, Superdrug, Spar, Hotter and Wyevale Garden Centres.

To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil. Share your memory using #everydaffodil. To Donate £5 to Marie Curie, text DAFF to 70111.