The Daffodil Girls; How the daffodil has added flower power to Marie Curie

In 2021, the National Garden Scheme celebrates 25 years of support for Marie Curie. In that time we’ve donated over £9.5 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 to fund their information and support service helpline.

As one of the UKs 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 begin to pop up when winter ends. They’re a symbol of spring, new beginnings and rebirth. They’re a positive, life-affirming symbol, with a bright and joyful yellow colour,” explains Meredith Niles, Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement at Marie Curie. “Using this positive symbol has created national recognition of what we do and helps us raise vital funds.”

Funds raised from people wearing the yellow flower pin provide care for people living with a terminal illness but its not just supporters who wear their daffodil pins with pride. Paula Grufferty (pictured above right with colleague Jacqueline Nyabenda), a Marie Curie nurse working in the rapid response team across County Durham, a nursing team that responds to calls day or night, explains:

“When I’m out and about in my uniform I’ll get people coming up to me saying ‘my family’s being cared for by one of your girls’. ‘The Daffodil Girls’ is what they call us! We’ll hear such nice things from families we’re looking after. And it’s so lovely for them, knowing there’s going to be someone there to care for them emotionally, as well as us looking after their loved one when they need it.

“For me, the daffodil is a symbol that families can recognise – it represents who we are. People might also wear it to remember loved ones. When I see someone wearing the little flower on their coat, I think ‘they’re supporting us’ and that’s so great.”

So 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 about daffodil gardens within the National Garden Scheme click here

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

*due to the current coronavirus situation and to protect staff and patients, none of the Marie Curie hospice gardens will open for the National Garden Scheme this year but we do hope to share virtual visits with you.




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