This year marks the 30th anniversary of Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal. Catherine Scott reports on this year’s event.
For the last 30 years every March people have been asked to don a small fabric daffodil to show their support for Marie Curie.
Since its launch in 1986, the campaign has raised more than £73million. This year the Charity is hoping to raise £8.5million, so that it can continue to provide vital care for local people suffering terminal illness and their families.
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance.
Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, and with its nine hospices around the UK, is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the daffodil appeal, Leeds University students – Jess Leak and Charlotte Mansfield – who are currently on work placement at Marie Curie and plan to help turn the streets of Leeds yellow on 5 March to mark the beginning of the month-long campaign. The Marie Curie Leeds City takeover day – the first of its kind in Yorkshire – hopes to raise up to £10,000 in one day alone. Between 9am and 6pm, there will be 250 two-hour collection shifts across the City.
Jess, 21, from Derby, who is studying psychology joined the Marie Curie team as Community Fundraiser in September last year and is based at Bradford Hospice.
“Ultimately I’d like to enter the charity sector so my work placement at Marie Curie is providing me with some vital, hands-on experience,” explains Jess. “Being part of this major national campaign is so exciting and I’m looking forward to helping take over the city of Leeds. A major part of my role is to recruit individuals, groups, and local businesses to volunteer two hours of their time on 5 March for our street collections and I will be supporting the campaign through the Charity’s social media channels including Twitter and Facebook.”
Charlotte, 20 from Wakefield, has completed one year of her Events Management course and is working as a Community Fundraiser at Marie Curie’s Bradford Hospice.
“Following a battle with breast cancer, sadly my Auntie passed away in 2014 in the comfort of her own home. She was cared for by Marie Curie nurses during her final weeks, so I witnessed first-hand what an amazing service the charity provides both for the patient and their families. Coupled with my desire to carve out a career in events, this placement is very close to my heart.
“The Great Daffodil Appeal is the Charity’s largest annual fundraising event and I’m working closely with colleagues to help stage and manage the event on 5 March which will quite literally see the streets of Leeds being paved with gold. Already we’ve had overwhelming support from local businesses and major landmarks such as the Queen’s Hotel, the First Direct Arena, the O2 Academy, Bridgewater Place and Leeds University’s Laidlaw Library and multi storey car park have agreed to light up their facades in yellow. We’ve managed to commandeer a vintage London double decker bus that will act as the Marie Curie information centre on the day.”
Jess and Charlotte are working together to secure an action-packed line up of entertainment for the day and are approaching local singers, bands, street performers, flash mobs, jugglers and statue performers for support. They are also contacting local and national retailers to encourage them to change window displays and allow staff to wear yellow in support of the Great Daffodil Appeal; appealing to local celebrities to come forward and volunteer two hours of their time to help with street collections; exploring city centre big screen opportunities; and recruiting a local DJ to compere the event.
“In addition to the Great Daffodil Appeal, I’m also responsible for a project to evaluate the standard of nursing services in Bradford by obtaining feedback from patients at the Hospice as the Charity is dedicated to ensuring it provides relevant and tailor-made support packages for patients and their families,”says Jess.
Charlotte concluded: “I helped organise and run a sports dinner for Marie Curie sponsors at the Midland Hotel in Bradford that raised almost £38,000. The level of support that the Charity garners from local people and businesses is incredible and people’s generosity continues to astound me.”
For more information contact Jess or Charlotte on 01274 386190