The importance of daffodils; “My daffodil is for better end of life care”

In the 27 years that the National Garden Scheme has supported Marie Curie we’ve donated over £10 million to help Marie Curie provide its national end of life community nursing service, supporting their nine hospices (many of which have garden open days) and funding their information and support service helpline.

As one of the UK’s leading end of life charities, Marie Curie services touch many of us and our loved ones, its nurses bringing support and companionship to many in a time of crisis. It’s a charity that also stands out from the crowd because of the bright, daffodil symbol that is now synonymous with Marie Curie.

The daffodil was adopted by Marie Curie in 1986 and is now at the heart of one of its most successful fundraisers, the annual Great Daffodil Appeal.

“Daffodils in bloom are one of the first signs of spring. They’re strong, resilient flowers that pop up year after year and they’re a symbol of new beginnings. Their bright yellow colour brings hope for brighter days ahead,” says Lily Whitlam, Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager. “The Marie Curie daffodil unites us in our wish for better end of life care for all.

“Taking part in the Great Daffodil Appeal and wearing your daffodil helps Marie Curie support everyone in the UK through all aspects of dying, death and bereavement. It also helps us fight for a world where everyone gets the care and support they need at the end of their lives.

“You might wear your daffodil in memory of a loved one or for someone you know who’s living with a terminal illness. You might wear yours to show your support for Marie Curie Nurses or to show people who are grieving that they are not alone. This year, I’m wearing my daffodil for all the families across the UK facing terminal illness right now and coping with their personal and collective loss.”

Funds raised from people wearing the yellow flower pin provide care for people living with a terminal illness but it’s not just supporters who wear their daffodil pins with pride. Marie Curie Nurses do too.

“My daffodil is for better end of life care,” says Daly, a registered Nurse at the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool.

Daly’s Story

Daly works on the wards at the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool as a nurse providing the best care for patients as well as supporting their families. She also works with and supports her colleagues. “We are a multi-disciplinary team so it’s important that we help and support each other,” she says.

Daly has worked full-time for Marie Curie since 2013. She first started on a bank shift in 2012 – and then after a year became permanent. With 34 years’ experience of nursing, for Daly working in palliative care is about offering the best possible care that she can provide to a patient at their end of life. “It’s also very important at that difficult time to support the family, and I see this as holistic care.”

Palliative Care

“Being a Marie Curie nurse is not like any other job in the health sector because it’s about taking care of terminally ill patients. It’s about making their time a priority and also comfortable for them to live their last days and hours in peace and with dignity. It’s not always an easy job and we often have difficult conversations. Sometimes it can be hard to explain things to the families and often, understandably, it’s heart-breaking. So it’s a very different job to other nursing jobs but extremely rewarding.”

“It’s very important to support the Great Daffodil Appeal as we need more people to know about the work of Marie Curie and to raise as much as we can to help continue the work we do. It takes a lot of resources to provide this care so the support and funding is very important. My daffodil is for better end of life care.”

Whether you plan to visit a National Garden Scheme garden full of gorgeous golden daffodils or wear your Marie Curie flower pin with pride, you’ll be helping to bring comfort to so many.

For more information about the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal click here

For more about daffodils: planting, caring for and discovering more – watch our video here

Visit a garden – many full of daffodils – over the Mother’s Day weekend – explore them here


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