Marie Curie has welcomed the return of the annual Great Daffodil Appeal this March, encouraging a show of support to the charity that provides vital end of life care for thousands across the country.

SPAR NI has partnered with the charity for the past six years, and is making it even easier to support the Great Daffodil Appeal with the return of their Buy a Bunch to Give a Bunch initiative in-store.

For every bunch of daffodils purchased in-store until 26 March, 20p will be donated to Marie Curie and this year, £1 from the purchase of SPAR’s luxury Mother’s Day bouquets will also be donated to the charity. In addition to this, stores will also be holding in-store fundraisers and selling Marie Curie daffodil pins.

Daffodils in March are a timely reminder of what Marie Curie’s iconic floral symbol means to many who not only rely on the care provided by the charity, but to those who volunteer and work for Marie Curie too.

Laura Thompson, Corporate Marketing Manager at Henderson Group which owns SPAR in Northern Ireland commented, “We have been partnering with Marie Curie for the past six years and have raised over £714,000 for the charity, working alongside our generous shoppers and staff to raise this money, but also to raise awareness for the charity and the fantastic work they do. We will continue our support for Marie Curie to help improve end of life care in Northern Ireland.

“The Buy a Bunch to Give a Bunch initiative was created to show our appreciation to the Marie Curie nurses who provide unmatched compassion and care for those who need it most, while encouraging us to take a moment to remember those who have lost loved ones.”

Marie Curie provides vital end of life care to 2,500 people across Northern Ireland every year, in hospitals, hospices and patients’ homes. Anne Hannon, Marie Curie Partnership Manager, outlined how donations and support like this is fundamental to the charity, “A £20 donation pays for one hour of expert nursing care for someone living with terminal illness, in the comfort of their own home and to the patient, this care is priceless.”

Anne continued; “The Great Daffodil Appeal is a timely reminder of the change of seasons and encourages us to take a moment and remember those we have lost over the years. Not only are we encouraging support of the campaign throughout March, but we also want you to wear your daffodil throughout the month of March to help us spread awareness of the Appeal and what our organisation does to help those in our community. Our work can only continue thanks to donations and partners like SPAR NI and the support of their staff, retailers and shoppers.”

During the Great Daffodil Appeal, on 23rd March, Marie Curie is holding the third National Day of Reflection, marking it with a minute’s silence to encourage people to come together, take time to connect and remember loved ones, as well as showing support to those who are grieving.

Trevor Neilly a current patient at Marie Curie’s Belfast Hospice offered his support for the appeal as the Hospice marked the beginning of the Great Daffodil Appeal at the start of the month, “Marie Curie really is such a worthwhile cause to support, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. It’s a service that you don’t really think about until you or someone in your family needs it.”

Speaking of the Belfast Hospice, Trevor said, “This is an amazing place; the care, the nurses and the doctors are all great, I couldn’t be happier with my care. I will be donating to Marie Curie myself as I think it’s a great service. Well done to SPAR for supporting Marie Curie as well.”

Trevor, who is 71 years old, lost his wife Margaret 10 years ago, just two weeks after her cancer diagnosis. Trevor has now been living with cancer for four years and has received respite care and pain management from the Marie Cure Hospice. He hopes to return home soon.

Daffodils and pins are available at SPAR NI now and Buy a Bunch to Give a Bunch runs until 26th March.

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