Attention book lovers – it’s the Big Readcycle!

This summer Marie Curie is excited to be partnering with WHSmith for the Big Readcycle.

Throughout August, you can donate your pre-loved books at WHSmith high street stores and Marie Curie shops across the UK. In exchange, you’ll receive a 25% discount voucher that you can spend on brand spanking new books at any WHSmith high street store.

Through the campaign we’re aiming to receive 30,000 donated books that will then be sold in our shops and given to our hospices, with all the funds raised helping to provide care for people living with a terminal illness and their families.

So if you were looking for an excuse to organise that long-neglected book collection and would like to help us reach our target, please do get involved. You can also help by spreading the word, using #readcycle on Twitter and Facebook. You could share a snap of the books you’re donating, take a readycling selfie or simply tell your friends and get them involved too.

Rachelle’s story

Rachelle Rogers is a supervisor at the WHSmith store in Widnes, Cheshire. Her nan, May Rogers, was cared for at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool for the last two weeks of her life. Rachelle shared her story with us and explained what makes campaigns like The Big Readcycle so important.

"Nan had been ill for the previous year, having had surgery to remove cancer from her lung and later finding out that she had secondary tumours on her spine. My Nan has always been a little warrior and was a warrior to the end. She hated being in hospital, she hated that we were limited to our visiting times, so we were extremely lucky that a place at the Marie Curie Hospice opened up.

"When we arrived at Marie Curie the nurses were wonderful. They spoke to us with the kind of care we had not experienced before – using her name, and calling her Nan when speaking to my sister, cousins and I. In her two weeks at the hospice she had plenty of visitors. We brought her old photos in and had the radio on; she loved listening to the radio. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the hospice.

"Every time the nurses gave her medication, they spoke to my Nan even if she was asleep and told her exactly what they were doing. Even when checking up on her, they would push her hair behind her ears, making sure she was as comfortable as she could be.

"On her last day, we had the phone call at 7am to say that Nan's breathing changed and it would be soon. We were all at Marie Curie within half an hour and we all sat with my Nan. Without prompt, the nurses brought us in tea, coffee, sandwiches, crisps and set up a family room for us to take turns in getting some sleep. They were looking after us as well.

"At 12.35am, Nan passed away, quietly in her sleep surrounded by her three children, my dad, my uncle and my aunty.

"I can't thank Marie Curie enough for everything they did. Losing my Nanny May was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to go through, and I’ve missed her a ridiculous amount in the nine months she’s been gone. Nan didn’t like being in hospital, and would have preferred to have been at home but she found comfort at Marie Curie, and the nurses took a lot of pressure of us in one of the most difficult times.

"Marie Curie relies on donations, and until you need them, I don't think anyone really understands how much care they give, and how they look after the family as well as the patient. I am forever grateful to Marie Curie, and try to take every opportunity to thank them."

Find out more about the Big Readcyle and get involved.