Terminal illness charity, Marie Curie, has announced that all of its upcoming public collections in Belfast and across the UK as part of its biggest annual appeal will be cancelled due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
The Great Daffodil Appeal, which runs throughout March, sees hundreds of volunteer collectors across Belfast hitting high streets and supermarkets to hand out the charity’s iconic daffodil pins in exchange for donations.
The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal helps Marie Curie provide much-needed expert care to people with terminal illnesses, as well as support for their loved ones across Northern Ireland, helping them to make the most of the time they have together. The appeal also helps the charity provide practical information and support, fund research and campaigns for more people to have access to high quality, personalised care wherever and whenever they need it.
With over 2200 collections across the country cancelled with immediate effect, Marie Curie has estimated that it will lose £1 million from these vital collections alone – with further losses coming from many other cancelled fundraising activities and events. This will impact the charity’s work, which is going to be more important than ever over the coming months as the NHS focuses on the coronavirus.
In light of this, the charity is urgently asking people to get involved in the appeal via other ways to help its nurses care for more people at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast and in homes all across Northern Ireland. You can donate online (mariecurie.org.uk/donate) or via text-to-donate (text DAFF to 70111 to donate £5*).
Meredith Niles, Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement at Marie Curie, said:
“It is with great disappointment that we have decided to cancel all of our Great Daffodil Appeal public collections due to COVID-19 as well as a number of other fundraising events that were due to take place over the coming weeks and months – a decision which has not been taken lightly.
“The health and safety of our dedicated volunteers and staff is of utmost importance. We are extremely grateful to the thousands of people who signed up to collect for us, without whom the Great Daffodil Appeal would not exist. Where possible, we hope to be able to re-schedule collections and events for later in the year, and would like to thank all our volunteers, supporters, corporate partners and staff for their ongoing support at this challenging time.
If you, or someone you know, is affected by a terminal illness and concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19), our Support Line team are ready to help with the information you need when you need it. Call free 0800 090 2309**. You can also find more information on our website: mariecurie.org.uk/coronavirus