Colin Beattie MSP is supporting Marie Curie’s 35th Great Daffodil Appeal this month, its biggest annual fundraiser by encouraging constituents to wear their daffodil pin.
The pandemic has forced the cancellation of all of the Appeal’s public collections for the first time in its 35-year history, leaving the charity with a potential loss of £750,000 in Scotland, and over £3 million across the UK.
The last 12 months have been extremely difficult as key fundraising events have been cancelled and all Marie Curie’s charity shops have had to close. Despite the cancelled collections, the charity is calling on the public to instead take part in virtual activities for the Appeal, including ordering an iconic daffodil pin online to show their support of the campaign which this year focuses on small gestures or moments which mean the world.
The charity needs to raise £250,000 per week in Scotland to ensure that Marie Curie nurses, doctors and hospice staff can continue supporting terminally people, their families and carers through its two hospices, nursing, and support services. across the country.
In Lothian in 2019-20, Marie Curie Nurses made over 4,000 visits to care for terminally ill people in their own homes.
Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland, Marie Curie, said:
“The Great Daffodil Appeal is vitally important to us as it’s our most iconic fundraiser. By cancelling this year’s public collections, the charity is potentially facing more than a £3 million loss, which is a significant drop in income.
“On average, each of our volunteers would raise £80 from a collection shift – this is what is costs for the equivalent of four hours of nursing care.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the distressing impact dying, death and bereavement can have on anyone at any time, which will affect many people for years to come. Our nurses and hospice staff have been on the frontline throughout the crisis, providing care and support for hundreds of dying patients every day.
“We have seen a 16.5% increase in the number of people we have cared for at the end of life in the last year, so now, more than ever, we really need people to support us to enable us to continue delivering our services across Scotland.”
Colin Beattie MSP added:
“The service that Marie Curie provides to those who are living with terminal illness and their families and loved ones is indispensable. We need to ensure that services like this can continue to support patients throughout and following the Covid-19 pandemic, and to do this it is necessary that we do all we can to support them, as we usually would, through appeals like their Great Daffodil Appeal.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Marie Curie staff have been on the frontline and they have provided vital comfort to those dying and their families. Services like this should not be forgotten about and that’s why I’m supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal.”
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. On 23 March, the first anniversary of UK lockdown, Marie Curie is inviting everyone to take part in a minute's silence at 12 noon to reflect on those who have died and then to appear on their doorsteps with candles, torches or simply lights from their mobile phones, for a second minute of silence at 8pm, to show support and solidarity for the millions of people who have been bereaved in these incredibly tough times.