Great Daffodil Appeal launches in Wales

by Natasha Wynne
Policy and Public Affairs Assistant, Wales

Natasha Wynne, Policy and Public Affairs Assistant, WalesYesterday, Marie Curie launched our Great Daffodil Appeal in Wales at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay – the home of the National Assembly for Wales. We do things a little earlier in Wales so everyone has a chance to show their support and buy a daffodil in time for St David’s Day on 1 March.

The event was a real success, with Marie Curie Nurses, volunteers, supporters and Assembly Members coming together to celebrate our work in Wales. This included cheering on our top fundraisers as they received awards from Deputy Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething, and hearing from one of the people using our Helper service in South Wales who talked about the great experiences she is having with her Helper volunteer. A selection of photographs displayed from Patrick Olner’s exhibition, Fairy Dust – Marie Curie at work in Wales, provided a powerful talking point.

We were very pleased to welcome Dr Jane Collins, who spoke about the good work already happening in Wales to support people living with a terminal illness. For example, Byw Nawr is encouraging communities to talk about their wishes and promotes a healthy and realistic approach to death and dying.

We can also expect more support for terminally ill people from the Welsh Government in the year ahead, following the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford’s, announcement last month that one of his four key priorities will be designing the prudent healthcare system so that it meets the needs of people in Wales as they live longer and as they approach the end of life.

More support for people with dementia

An important aspect of this will be making sure that people with conditions such as dementia get the end of life care they need and that this care is appropriate to their wishes. In Wales, 95% of people with dementia are over 65, and the number of cases is expected to increase substantially in the coming years.

To coincide with our Great Daffodil Appeal launch, Marie Curie’s policy team in Wales published a new report, Living and dying with dementia in Wales: Barriers to care, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society. Our report finds that barriers such as failure to identify dementia as a terminal illness, poor planning, unequal access and inconsistencies in the quality of care prevent people with dementia from accessing the high-quality care they need towards the end of life.

We are calling for better strategy around end of life care for people with dementia to address these problems. We are committed to working with the Welsh Government, health boards and other partners to remove these barriers for people with dementia, and we will continue to work towards making sure everyone with a terminal illness gets the personalised help and support they need.