To launch Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal, Leon Britton and Lee Trundle added a special tribute to their late friend onto a petal of the ‘Great Big Daffodil’ – a striking 7-foot-tall installation in Swansea on Friday.
During this year’s Great Daffodil Appeal the charity is focusing on the stories behind the 8 million daffodil pins exchanged for a donation to Marie Curie. People can visit the Great Big Daffodil to remember those who have been special to them and share the story behind their daffodil.
Every donation and daffodil worn helps Marie Curie provide vital care for people living with a terminal illness and support for their families.
Lee and Leon’s tribute to their late friend Kev is one of the first of these stories that has been placed on the Great Big Daffodil, which is in situ at The Quadrant Shopping Centre until Saturday. Swansea Lord Mayor David Phillips and Swansea West MP Geraint Davies also added their tributes to someone who has been special to them.
Lee posted: “In memory of Kevin Austin, once a Jack, always a Jack.”
Leon added: “It’s amazing for myself and Lee to be involved in this launch, because of what it represents and the care that Marie Curise Nurses give to people at the end of life.”
Gerard Howell added a tribute to his late wife Sandra, who was cared for in the couple’s home in Skewen by Marie Curie Nurses in her last week of life.
His tribute, which featured alongside a picture of the couple, read: “In memory of my wife Sandra, who passed away in July and a massive thank you to Marie Curie for all the support they gave us.”
Talking about the care Sandra and the family received, Gerard said: “That last week was a difficult week, but it was made a little bit better and easier by the support we had from Marie Curie. Apart from the care they gave to Sandra to make her comfortable, they had compassion for the whole family. You could never fault them for anything. Joan was the Marie Curie nurse that night. She called us and said that it was time. When it got to a certain point, she said to me – “go and hold her hand”. I didn’t even realise when she had gone. It was very peaceful at the end.”
Ingrid Trueman also attended to share her tribute to her father, Swansea Jazz Society founder, Derek Morgan. She was joined by daughter Maria and grandchildren 8-week old Leona and Jackson, aged 2.
Lord Mayor David Phillips spoke about the importance of everyone receiving support at the end of life – from those diagnosed with a terminal illness, to their families who often care for them.
Geraint Davies MP spoke about his backing of the #scrapsixmonths campaign led by Marie Curie, the MND Association and Madeline Moon MP.
Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association are calling for a change to the law, to give everyone with a terminal illness quick and easy access to the benefits they need.
Geraint said: “I am pressing the government to abolish the current rules, which is a cruel and heartless policy at the time when people need the most support.”
All of the stories shared by people in Swansea will come together with others from around the UK, which will be unveiled at a special event in London on 20 March 2019. Those who can’t get to the Great Big Daffodil can still take part by sharing stories or following its 1,500-mile journey around the UK on social media using #everydaffodil.
Marie Curie Senior Nurse Helen Siddons said: “Thank you to Lee and Leon – and everyone who is supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal this year. Coming to the Great Big Daffodil to share their stories means a lot to us. Whatever your story, donating and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil will help make sure help make sure all dying people get the care and support they deserve”
Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Shopping Centre manager, said: “The support and care Marie Curie delivers is inspiring and a lifeline to so many individuals and families across the Swansea community. We are absolutely delighted and honoured that Quadrant Shopping Centre has been chosen by the charity to kick off this amazing campaign. Our retailers and shoppers alike are always incredibly supportive and I know that they will help make this launch an event to remember.”
Daffodil pins are available at the Great Big Daffodil or until the end of March from Marie Curie shops as well as Superdrug, Spar, Hotter and Wyevale Garden Centres.