My chosen charity is Marie Curie Cancer Care, an organisation that runs 9 hospices across the UK and who care for 40,000 terminally ill people each year.
The unique thing about Marie Curie is the support that they offer to let people who are terminally ill with cancer, or other problems, to remain in their own home, surrounded by the things and the people they love. Most people do not want to be in a hospital or an institution in their last weeks and days. They want to stay in touch with the life of their family and to enjoy the time they have left.
That is not always easy and Marie Curie provides many different services to make this possible. They can help with emotional support at diagnosis, right up to caring for someone who is very, very ill during the night in their last days.
If you are a relative of someone who is dying at home, this is not an easy time; I have personal experience of the help that Marie Curie can give. When I cared for my own mum for 14 weeks at the end of her life (she was very poorly and was with me in my home rather than hers), the nurses who came were wonderful. So caring and so willing to do anything they could to help.
But, as poorly as my mum was and even though she was on the highest priority list, our access to Marie Curie nurses was very limited because they just did not have enough to go round.
Marie Curie does get some funding from the NHS but a lot of what its nurses do is funded by donations and fundraising. By raising more money for them, more people will be able to have the help of their nurses and more people will be able to die with dignity, surround by the love of their family.
Find out more about Marie Curie Cancer Care
Information from Marie Curie
- Marie Curie has just under 2,000 nurses in the UK and in 2014, these dedicated nurses spent 1.32 million hours caring for people with a terminal illness.
- In total, Marie Curie spends over £106 million a year on providing nursing and hospice care; research into better ways of caring for people; and work to improve care and support across the UK.
What the money can do
- Every £20 raised for Marie Curie will provide one hour of nursing care for someone who is terminally ill
- Every £80 raised will pay for a nurse to spend an evening with someone dying at home
- Every £160 raised will pay for a nurse to spend the night with someone very poorly, giving the family a time to rest