Get behind the daffodil this March

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Last week I joined actress and presenter Linda Robson to say ‘get behind the daffodil’ and help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

It was a pleasure to meet and spend time with Linda and Marie Curie Nurses Leonie Christian and Elisabeth Goze, at a parliamentary event in Westminster to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

Marie Curie are a fantastic charity doing invaluable work. I was happy to speak up for charities like Marie Curie last week in parliament to highlight the work they do and to call for urgent action to support end of life care (see here). Public donations are increasingly crucial to the work of Marie Curie and hospices across the country, given that many hospices have suffered freezes or cuts to their funding from the government in recent years. That needs to be addressed, but it is more important than ever that people give what they can to support Marie Curie and their amazing work. That’s why I am urging everyone to get behind the daffodil this March and support this brilliant charity.

I am proud to pledge my support to the appeal and I encourage local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug and WHSmiths shops, during March.

Linda Robson, who plays Tracey in the hit television show Birds of a Feather, and co-presents ITVs Loose Women, is a long-time supporter of Marie Curie, having experienced first-hand the vital work of the charity.  At the event she told me: 'Our mum Rita was cared for by Marie Curie and we could never have coped without their constant support and care in her final months.  Our family still cannot put into words just how grateful we are. I’m delighted to be here with Liz to help launch the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal - and to thank personally Leonie and Elisabeth for their incredible care and support when we needed them the most.'

In the words of Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie: ‘Having the support of Liz and Linda makes a huge difference to Marie Curie in terms of raising awareness about what we do and helping us to reach more people who need us. We know that seven out of 10 carers say people with a terminal illness don't get all the care and support they need. We don't think that's good enough. That’s why we are asking MPs to commit to ensuring that everyone has the right to palliative care when they need it and help support our annual fundraising appeal.’

Our services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March. The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal will help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones at home and in one of the charity’s nine hospices.’

To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie has also published a new report which shows that people living with blood or brain cancer – which together account for around 10% of all cancer deaths annually – are more likely to miss out on care and support focussed on providing relief from symptoms, pain and emotional stress. The report, backed by Bloodwise and the Brain Tumour Charity, argues that all people with cancer should have their palliative care needs assessed when they are first diagnosed. 

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For more information about the Great Daffodil Appeal and to volunteer to collect for Marie Curie, please call 0845 601 3107 or visit mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil. To donate £5 text DAFF to 70111 or call 0800 716 146 and donate over the phone.

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