Marie Curie’s Great Big Daffodil comes to Birmingham to launch the Great Daffodil Appeal in the Midlands

To launch Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal, local mum Tracy Inman was one of the first people in the West Midlands to add a special tribute onto a petal of the ‘Great Big Daffodil’ today. The striking super-size daffodil is in Birmingham from today until Thursday, one of six cities in the UK it will visit during the Great Daffodil Appeal this March.

Marie Curie provides care and support to people living with a terminal illness, and this March around eight million people across the UK will choose to wear one of the charity’s daffodil pins for the Great Daffodil Appeal. Launched in 1986, the Appeal is crucial in raising much-needed funds to enable the charity to continue providing nursing and hospice care, a freephone support line and information for people living with any terminal illness such as terminal cancer, dementia, heart failure, and motor neurone disease.

During this year’s Great Daffodil Appeal the charity is focusing on the stories behind why people wear their daffodil pins. People can visit the Great Big Daffodil to remember those who have been special to them and share the story behind their daffodil – #everydaffodil. The charity says that creating and sharing happy memories can help people prepare for bereavement and cope better with the loss of someone to a terminal illness.

Research for the charity found the majority of people find comfort in remembering happy memories of loved ones who have died (68%), our memories help us feel more connected to them (48%) and we enjoy reminiscing (44%). It also found taking a moment to reflect (53%), sharing memories with family and friends (46%), and cherishing special keepsakes (30%) were the top three ways people chose to honour the memories of loved ones who’ve died.*

Tracy’s tribute is one of many heartfelt messages being placed on the Great Big Daffodil this week, with Lord Mayor Mosquito planning to visit it tomorrow (Wednesday 6 March) and singer Ruby Turner making a guest appearance on Thursday (7 March). 

Tracy Inman’s mum was cared for at the Marie Curie West Midlands Hospice in Solihull. She said:

“They not only looked after my mum but the whole family as soon as we first walked through the door. They were wonderful in supporting my eldest son Tyler, who received support from the child bereavement services too. Everyone at the hospice is so passionate and I class us as being one of the lucky ones, knowing that my mum received such amazing and personal care right up to the day she died. The work that Marie Curie does is incredible and I wear my daffodil with pride to remember my mum during the Great Daffodil Appeal. It’s a brilliant idea to have the Great Big Daffodil, which gives people an opportunity to leave a message or tribute to the people in their lives they want to remember. I wish my mum was still here but she’ll never be forgotten and will always be a part of our family.”

After adding a tribute onto the Great Big Daffodil, Kim Fowler, a Clinical Nurse Manager for Marie Curie in the West Midlands said:

“It has been wonderful be at the Great Big Daffodil in Birmingham with so many people coming up to us to tell their story. It really is a privilege to hear people sharing their memories of people they have lost. I love working for Marie Curie and manage a team of 54 nurses and health care assistants who provide overnight care and support to people in their homes across six areas including Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall and Warwickshire. One of the main reasons I wanted to work for the charity was after they supported my friend towards the end of her life at their old hospice in Solihull. The care she received was invaluable to her at the time and I’m proud to wear my daffodil to show who I work for and in memory of my friend.”

Marie Curie Chief Executive, Matthew Reed, said:

“In our busy lives, we often don’t have time to stop and pay tribute to the people that have been special to us. We know that most people find comfort in remembering loved ones who’ve died and taking a moment to reflect is what most people do to honour them. With the Great Big Daffodil we’re hoping to create something that will give people this moment. Whether they leave a message of support or solidarity or a poignant memory.”

The Great Big Daffodil’s journey will culminate with each petal, full of messages and photos from each city, at an event in London on 20th March to celebrate the memories and talk about how important memories are in helping us grieve.

To support the Great Daffodil Appeal get your daffodil pin from volunteers on high streets around the UK, Marie Curie shops, Superdrug, Spar, Hotter and Wyevale Garden Centres. To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, visit Share your memory using #everydaffodil. To Donate £5 to Marie Curie, text DAFF to 70111.