End of life charity, Marie Curie, is calling on people across the East Midlands to step into spring next month by completing a daily 10,000 step challenge to show support for those impacted by death, dying and bereavement.
Marie Curie’s flagship fundraiser the Great Daffodil Appeal – which is reaching its 35th anniversary next month – has, for the first time, had to cancel all of their iconic public collections for the campaign. The charity is facing a potential loss of over £3 million due to this, but is encouraging the people of the East Midlands to support in a variety of creative ways.
One way the charity is hoping their supporters will back the campaign is by donning their trainers, getting out in the great outdoors every day and walking 10,000 steps. Since The Great Daffodil Appeal 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 of Marie Curie’s charity shops have had to close. Despite the cancelled public collections, the charity is calling on the public to dig deep and donate online, where they can also order their iconic daffodil pins too.
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 at end of life [in their nine hospices and in people’s homes throughout the East Midlands. Last year, the charity saw a 16.5% rise in the number of people they cared for at end of life, compared to 2019 and their support line saw a 20% increase in calls too.
Charlotte Jackson, Marie Curie Fundraising Manager for Central England, 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. This 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 peoples’ support now more than ever. Volunteers play a huge role in helping us raise money, continue our vital work across the East Midlands 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.
“The work Marie Curie do is needed now more than ever as the Covid pandemic has had a big impact on their ability to fundraise. That is why I’m encouraging people across the whole of the UK to show their support in any way they can in March for this year’s Great Daffodil Appeal. Every donation means that when the time comes, Marie Curie can be there for people and their loved ones when they need it most.”
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, visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil
1 Based on the estimated number of people dying with palliative care need, a quarter of those would be potentially missing out on a palliative approach (1 in 4 estimate: LSE)