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Hendry and Isaacs hope to spread a little sunshine on Great Daffodil Appeal

By Tom Ramage

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Badenoch's MP has joined with a Harry Potter star to help one of the country's leading cancer charities recover from its 'extremely difficult' year through the pandemic.

Drew Hendry is chair of the UK Government All-Party Parliamentary Group for Terminal Illness. He has teamed up with film actor Jason Isaacs to support end of life charity Marie Curie provide care and support to more people living with a terminal illness.

The Great Daffodil Appeal is Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign held every March. The campaign, which reached its 35th anniversary this year, has for the first time had to cancel all of the public collections, leaving the charity with a potential loss of over £3 million.

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. Last year, the charity saw a 16.5% rise in the number of people they cared for at end of life compared with 2019 and their support line saw a 20% increase in calls.

Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry
Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry

Mr Hendry has pledged his support to the Great Daffodil Appeal and is encouraging constituents in his Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey constituency to donate and wear one of the charity’s daffodil pins to help fund vital care and support for people living with a terminal illness, and their families, in a year where Marie Curie have been on the frontline providing care to people dying both with and without coronavirus.

He said: “I am delighted to support Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal. I work closely with Marie Curie and the work they do to support people at the end of their lives, and their families, is remarkable.

“Every five minutes, someone in the UK dies without getting the care and support they need at the end of their life, and this last year has been a stark reminder to us all of just how valuable end of life care and support is, that’s why I’m supporting this appeal and asking my constituents to do the same.”

Mr Isaacs, who became a Marie Curie Ambassador in 2018, said: “Marie Curie does amazing things, and when people don't have the family members around, they provide love. Towards the end of life, they help the end to be as serene and beautiful and loving as it can be. The work Marie Curie do is needed now more than ever as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on their ability to fundraise.

“So, I’m here to support them and the Great Daffodil Appeal and encourage everyone to wear their daffodil or join in fundraising any way they can as every donation means that when the time comes, Marie Curie can be there for people and their loved ones when they need it most. For anyone who chooses to support them too, you’re supporting a really wonderful charity.”

Ruth Driscoll, head of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, said: “Having the support of Drew and Jason makes a huge difference to our Great Daffodil Appeal, which we need people to support more than ever this year.

“Over the past year, our nurses, doctors and other staff have been on the frontline providing care for people dying both with and without coronavirus. But still too many people miss out on the care and support they need at the end of life.

“By donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March you are helping us to support more people at the most difficult time of their lives. We want to make sure that everyone affected by terminal illness, wherever they may live, gets the right support, at the right time – whether that is high quality nursing care, emotional and practical support, or fast access to the benefits they need.”

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.

For more information on how to fundraise, donate or set up a virtual collection for Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil

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