The Big Readcycle! Still plenty of time to donate your pre-loved books

The Big Readcycle, our exciting partnership with WHSmith, is continuing until 28 August 2015.

The Big Readcycle Marie Curie WHSmith

We’re asking people to rifle through their bookshelves and donate their pre-loved books at WHSmith high street stores and Marie Curie shops. In exchange they’ll receive a 25% discount voucher that can be spent on shiny new books at WHSmith. 

We’d like to thank everyone that’s taken part so far, helping us towards our target of receiving 30,000 donated books. For everyone else – we urge you to get readcycling now! The donated books will 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. 

You can also help by using #readcycle to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

And why not take part in the Readcycle selfie competition? To be in with a chance of winning a short UK break for two, snap yourself handing your donation over, capture your final tear-filled moments with the books, show us your newly sorted bookshelves or share a pic of the new books you’re buying with your Readcycle voucher. Using hashtags #readcycle and #me, upload the picture to WHSmith’s Facebook wall or tag @WHSsmith on Twitter. You’ll be entered into a draw and could win a two night break at a UK hotel in a choice of locations. Terms and conditions apply. 

Jill’s story 

Jill Parkinson is a manager at the WHSmith store in Kendal, Cumbria. Her mother was cared for by Marie Curie Nurses in her home at the end of her life. Jill shared her story with us and explained why campaigns like The Big Readcycle are so important.

"My mum was very poorly for 10 years with an incurable muscle wastage disease which left her wheelchair-bound and dependent on others. She also had a narrow heart valve that couldn’t be operated on because of her muscle disease. In 2012 she started suffering black outs as a result of her heart condition and was eventually told that she had between 18 months and two years to live, if she was lucky. It was at this point that she was referred to the Marie Curie Nurses at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.

"The nurses visited fortnightly to talk to her and support her. It wasn’t just the practical help the nurses offered; it was the emotional support they gave my mum as well. When times were hard for her, the nurses helped her to look back over her life and talk about things that bothered her. They also helped her to talk and make decisions about what she wanted for her last weeks and days. She was able to confide in the nurses and talk to them about things that she didn’t want to burden her family with.

"On the morning of 29 July 2014 I got a phone call at work – my mum had had a massive heart attack. Her lungs had started to shut down and she had been put on constant oxygen. At that point Marie Curie Nurses were in close contact with our family; arranging times to come round to help and giving pain relief when it was needed. They provided 24 hour support for us and were there if things became too much or if we needed advice.

"My mum picked up a little that evening and we got the time to chat a little to her and say the things we all needed to say. Amazingly, when the nurses came that evening, she managed to chat to one of them and clearly felt safe and at ease in their presence.

"The following morning the whole family were by mum’s side as she passed away after another heart attack, and she was finally at peace. The nurses called within the hour to offer condolences and ask what help they could provide. They came to help prepare her for her funeral, and treated her with such respect and compassion; talking to her while washing her, brushing her hair and spraying her with her favourite perfume. We were warmed by the amount of support they gave us and the respect and care they showed for my mum.

"My mum was incredibly lucky to have such support and compassion from the nurses at Marie Curie. The kindness they showed was of real comfort to our family – they do an amazing job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I will always be incredibly grateful to them for the support they provided my family but most importantly, for the physical and emotional support they provided my mum over the last 18 months of her life."