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Actor Stephen Mangan and Crawley MP join forces for charity

Crawley MP Henry Smith and actor Stephen Mangan have joined forces this March to help Marie Curie provide care and support to more people living with a terminal illness.

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© Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

They also met a Marie Curie Rapid Response Healthcare Assistant at the event in Parliament (on Wednesday, 6th March) to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

Henry pledged his support to the Appeal and is encouraging local people to donate and wear one of the charity’s daffodil pins to help fund vital care and support for people living with a terminal illness, and their families.

Henry said;

“Every five minutes, someone in the UK dies without getting the care and support they need at the end of their life. The money raised from the Appeal will help Marie Curie be there for more people living with any terminal illness such as terminal cancer, dementia, heart failure, and motor neurone disease.

“As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer, I know the importance of the support provided by nursing staff to patients and their support networks, not only when undergoing treatment but also when waiting for it to start, and even during periods of uncertainty over when or what treatment they may have.”

Launched in 1986, the Appeal is crucial in raising much-needed funds to enable the charity to continue to provide nursing and hospice care, fund research and campaign on behalf of everyone affected by terminal illness. 

The charity’s free national Support Line now also offers clinical support, enabling anyone with a terminal illness to access a Marie Curie Nurse. The Information and Support Nurses can answer any clinical questions or concerns people may have, from understanding a diagnosis to explaining treatments, or talking about painful and distressing symptoms.

Stephen Mangan, a Marie Curie Ambassador, commented;

“I experienced first-hand the difference they make when they cared for both my mum and later, my dad at home. 

“Chances are, we all know someone who’s been affected by a terminal illness. That’s why I’m delighted to be here with Henry Smith MP to help launch Marie Curie’s annual Great Daffodil Appeal. 

“Whether its worn in celebration, in solidarity or in memory of a loved one, by donating and wearing a daffodil pin during March, you and thousands of others in Crawley will help make sure thousands more dying people get the care and support they deserve.”

Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said:

“Having the support of Henry and Stephen makes a huge difference to our Great Daffodil Appeal.

“Too many people miss out on the care and support they need. By donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March you are helping us to support more people at the most difficult time of their lives. We want to make sure that everyone affected by terminal illness, wherever they may live, gets the right support, at the right time – whether that is high quality nursing care, emotional and practical support, or fast access to the benefits they need.”

Patricia McDonnell, a Marie Curie Rapid Response Healthcare Assistant, added;

“Behind every daffodil, there’s a story. Whatever your story, donating and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil will help make sure we can be there for more people when they need us the most.

“I know how important it is to be there for patients and families when they are struggling to manage painful and distressing symptom flare-ups and cope with moments of crisis. Your donation can help us provide more care and support to people living with a terminal illness, and their families at the right time and in the right way that suits them.

“Marie Curie services rely on the generosity of the public, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March.”

Daffodil pins will be available from high streets across the country, Marie Curie shops and stores including Superdrug, Spar, Hotter Shoes and Wyevale Garden Centres.

To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, held every March, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil. Share your memory using #everydaffodil.

The Information and Support Nurses can be accessed through the Support Line on the existing number: 0800 090 2309 from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Charity

Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community

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On Sunday (8th November} Crawley’s first ever ‘free supermarket’ opened its doors to the local community.

The Free Shop Crawley is a store run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing locals with food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated cost.

Inspired by Marcus Rashford and his campaign to have school meals funded year-round, the stores inception came about when four local women shared a common desire to create a safe place for people in need to come and receive help without fear or shame.

Laura-Jane Wainwright, one of the founders of Free Shop Crawley said:

“Having used food banks in the past, I know first-hand how degrading it can feel.  We wanted to create a dignified space where anyone in need could come and access essentials in a friendly and inclusive environment. The thought of children going to bed hungry and adults losing sleep over financial anxiety broke our hearts and we knew we had to use our skills and resources to help”

Shoppers are encouraged to take up to 10 items from the shop each visit giving them a full basket of daily necessities. Anyone is eligible to visit the store and although there is a ticketing system in place the team are ready to welcome anyone who is in need.

The shop offers a fresh produce section, toiletries and sanitary care, tinned and dried goods, nappies and formula and even children’s clothing and toys.

In week one alone, over 100 people have been fed by the shops offering, showing just how big a need there is for support in not just this area but country wide.

Local businesses have been quick to support the store donating essentials by the van load, even down to kitting out the shop with shelving, tables and hanging racks. Companies including Asda, Co-op and Tilgate Bakery have committed to donate to the store each week.

Free Shop Crawley can be found at CJ’s café, Kingsland Court, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1HL, on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.

Anyone wishing to donate or find out more can visit the Free Shop Crawley Facebook page www.facebook.com/freeshopcrawley  or contact the team direct on freeshopcrawley@gmail.com

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