Members of the Wanstead, Woodford and Barkingside Marie Curie Fundraising Group have reached their £100,000 target. Jill Playford thanks local supporters and explains how the money will be used
A celebration was held in February to thank all supporters and collectors who helped us to raise the fantastic amount of £100,000 over the last few years, paying for 5,000 Marie Curie nursing hours.
We get wonderful support from our local communities with local businesses donating raffle prizes, Wanstead High School donating the proceeds from their annual charity cross country run, Wanstead House holding cake and coffee mornings to raise money and students from Forest School helping out at our Great Daffodil Appeal collections.
The group was formed in June 2013 with four members who had all been local supporters of the Marie Curie charity. The initial aim of the group was to raise awareness of the work of the charity in the local area as well as to fundraise. At that time, we did not set ourselves a target – this evolved as the amount of money raised increased each year.
Group membership has changed over the years, and we always welcome new members, as they bring new ideas and energy to our group. Members commit as little or as much time as they can, and the larger the group, the more money can be raised each year.
To raise money, the group now hosts about 20 street and store collections, runs two quiz evenings each year, has stalls at the Wanstead Festival and Disability Awareness day and holds tea and coffee afternoons. Residents have quickly come to recognise the bright yellow uniforms – especially the hats – of our collectors and can be seen proudly wearing Marie Curie stickers and daffodil pins.
The Marie Curie charity has, in recent years, widened its services to offer support to anyone with a life-threatening illness in the last few weeks of their life. A free support line (0800 090 2309) also offers help and advice to people with a terminal illness and to their families and friends. Marie Curie nurses and health care assistants work in the local area to provide free, overnight home nursing care, enabling people to make the choice to die in their own homes, knowing they and their family will be well supported and cared for. A rapid response service, as well as a day respite service, is also available in Redbridge. These are supported by the money raised by local groups. Feedback from local families acknowledges the important role nurses play in giving the patient dignity in dying.
People living in the local area have played their part too by volunteering as collectors or donating generously when they see our collectors at local venues. The street collections for the Great Daffodil Appeal will take place on 7 March, so expect to see a blaze of yellow on Wanstead High Street and George Lane. If you feel you could offer two hours of your time to help at these collections, please get in touch.