COVID won’t wilt Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal as charity urges supporters in the North East to wear yellow this Spring

  • Pandemic forces cancellation of all public collections for first time in the Great Daffodil Appeal’s 35-year history
  • Charity has seen a 16.5% rise in the number of people they are caring for at the end of life despite fundraising restrictions
  • Loss of collections will leave the charity with potential £3m deficit for the campaign
  • Residents and Business in North East are being asked to join “creative” fundraising efforts during lockdown

End of life charity, Marie Curie, is calling on people across the North East wear yellow this spring 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 North East to support in a variety of creative ways.

One way the charity is hoping their supporters will back the campaign is by wearing yellow on a dedicated day to school, the office, or the home office in return for a small donation to the charity. The Great Daffodil Appeal is the largest fundraising campaign in the hospice sector and, 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 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 Newcastle hospice and in people’s homes throughout the region. 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.

Hayley Revell, Community Fundraiser 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 around £80 from a two hours 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. [1]

“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 north east and ensure Marie Curie Nurses can be there to provide end of life care when people need it.

“Wearing yellow is a really simple thing to do, it can be bright and bold or understated, people can have as much fun as they like with it. We are really looking forward to turning the North East yellow this March.”

Sue Colvin from Killingworth has experience Marie Curie in the Newcastle Hospice.

She is encouraging people to get behind the Great Daffodil Appeal. She said: “My Mother in Law passed away there several years ago, and I was astounded to find what a happy and peaceful environment had been created, which working alongside the amazing care and support provided by the outstanding staff team there made what was a very difficult and emotive situation a lot easier for myself and my family.

“I recognise it must be even harder to achieve this with Covid restrictions in place, however somehow they manage to make it happen, and there are no words to describe what a difference that makes at the end of a loved one’s life. Many thanks to them all from the bottom of my heart.”

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