Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant MSP, lent her support to Marie Curie’s largest fundraising appeal month, the iconic Great Daffodil Appeal, at an event at the Scottish Parliament recently.
Meeting with staff and volunteers from Marie Curie, Ms Grant heard about the care and support that is provided to people living with terminal illness, their families and carers across Scotland.
The leading end of life charity supported over 8,600 terminally ill people across Scotland in their own homes and at its two Scottish hospices during 2021/22. In the Highlands and Islands Parliamentary Region, over 3,800 visits were made by the charity’s Community Nursing Service to support people in the comfort of their own homes.
Supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal, which started in 1986, by donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March helps Marie Curie to continue providing vital palliative and end of life care and support.
Rhoda Grant MSP said: “In the Highlands and Islands, 90% of people who died in 2021-22 had a palliative care need and we know that palliative care demand will continue to increase with two thirds of all deaths likely to happen in a community settings.
“Marie Curie nurses allow patients to die with dignity in the setting of their choice while also supporting family members and carers during this time.
“When days are few, life becomes very precious for both the patient and their families.
“Marie Curie’s work is invaluable and I am pleased to support their efforts during their Great Daffodil Appeal month.”
Hayley Smith, whose husband Matt was cared for by Marie Curie Nursing Service at home, before being admitted to Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, spoke at the event.
Hayley said: I’d gone a whole year of Matt being very ill with no support. I was basically his full-time carer, had to shower him and everything, and was doing all the cooking, all the cleaning, still working in between. I had absolutely no support.
“But in July 2021, Marie Curie stepped in and I went from having zero support to having all the help I needed. The Nurses who came to the house were fantastic. Just coming in in the morning, giving Matt a bath, enabling me to have some respite. I know people think they can do it on their own, but in reality it’s not sustainable – both mentally or physically.
“The Marie Curie Nurses and Healthcare Assistants really helped Matt keep his dignity. He had the 7-day service for a week before we got a call saying that there was a bed available at the Marie Curie hospice in Edinburgh.
“I work for a hospice charity, and I think for a lot of people they don’t really understand how amazing hospices are, but for me I knew Matt was going to be really well looked after there. It also meant I just knew when he was in the hospice I could actually go and spend time with him as him, not caring for him, which was so important.”
Amy Dalrymple, Associate Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Marie Curie, Scotland, said:
“Thank you to Rhoda for her ongoing support.
“Seeing and hearing first-hand stories of how living with a terminal illness and caring for someone is a sad reminder that many of us have and will encounter Marie Curie at some point in our lives.
“We know that by 2040, a further 10,000 people will be dying with palliative care needs. We need to ensure Marie Curie Nurses will be able to be there for everyone across Scotland who needs them, which is why buying a daffodil pin in March, can help make this possible”.
To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, visit mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil
Photo attached: Left–Right is Ann Traynor, Senior Marie Curie Nurse, Rhoda Grant MSP and Lee McLean, Marie Curie Nurse.