Gareth Davies MS is calling on the people of the Vale of Clwyd to host their own Daffodil Day as leading end of life charity Marie Curie launches its biggest annual fundraising appeal.
The charity is also calling on volunteers to give just two hours of their time to hand out the charity’s iconic daffodil pins in return for donations.
Gareth joined Marie Curie’s Nurses and Policy and Public Affairs team at an event to hear about the charity’s work to improve the availability of palliative care overnight and at weekends (or ‘out of hours’). According to their latest research, people in their last year of life make 30,000 ‘out-of-hours' emergency visits to A&E each year in Wales. Women aged under 65 who live in more deprived areas of Wales are the most likely to need emergency out-of-hours visit to A&E in their last year of life. But access to good quality palliative and end of life care in the community can support dying people to stay out of hospital and remain at home, if that’s where they want to be.
Marie Curie is calling for:
A 24/7 telephone line accessible within each health board in Wales to ensure palliative care services have a single point of access for dying people and their carers, no matter the day or time
A long-term action plan led by Welsh Government to improve end of life care
The Welsh Government to tackle the deep inequalities facing women in palliative and end of life care by prioritising it as an action in the forthcoming 10-year Women and Girl’s Health plan
Natasha Wynne, Marie Curie Cymru Senior Policy Manager said: “We cannot tell people that they need to die during office hours to get the care they need. The lack of support out-of-hours causes unnecessary distress to patients and families and can lead to upsetting and avoidable emergency admissions which increase pressure on an already stretched NHS.
“There is a real opportunity in Wales to sort out the problems with out-of-hours care through the implementation of the recent palliative and end of life care Quality Statement. This says that everyone, regardless of where they live, should have 24/7 single point of access to co-ordinated care, medication, and advice about end-of-life care.”
The event follows the formal launch of the charity’s Great Daffodil Appeal –on February 9 at the Senedd – which people can support by hosting a Daffodil Day and fundraising in whatever way works for them – a bake sale, a fitness challenge or whatever sparks their inspiration. The charity is also encouraging people to get involved in the National Day of Reflection, which will take place during the Great Daffodil Appeal on 23 March. People across Wales are being asked to wear their daffodil pin and create their own ‘Walls of Reflection’ by contributing memories of loved ones who’ve died.
Marie Curie will provide a downloadable toolkit and encourage people to add their public walls to the map on their website.
The charity is dependent on public donations so that its nurses can continue working on the frontline caring for people at the end of life in their own homes and at the Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Penarth. Donations also support its Information and Support line, which provides a listening ear to anyone dealing with any aspect of death, dying and bereavement. Last year Marie Curie provided direct support to more than 3,000 people in Wales.
Gareth Davies MS said: “The work Marie Curie do is needed now more than ever. That is why I’m encouraging people across the Vale of Clwyd to show their support for the Great Daffodil Appeal in any way they can by hosting a Daffodil Day. Every donation means that when the time comes, Marie Curie can be there for people and their loved ones when they need it most, and continue to campaign for a better end of life for all.
“I’ll be wearing my daffodil on the National Day of Reflection to connect with all those bereaved. I hope my constituents will be able to create their own Walls of Reflection to remember those people they’ve loved and lost.”
Anyone wishing to host a Daffodil Day will get support from Marie Curie’s fundraising team as soon as they sign up to volunteer, and all the money raised will help Marie Curie continue to provide vital end of life care for terminally ill people and their families during their final days, weeks and months.
If you’re interested in taking part in the Great Daffodil Appeal or hosting a Daffodil Day as an individual, community group, school or business in the Vale of Clwyd, contact your community fundraiser Victoria Hardy on07720 949007 or Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about your idea, request an information pack or sign up to a collection or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil
To sign up to the National Day of Reflection visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection