Text Santa appeal boosts Helper volunteer service

Last December, Marie Curie was chosen as one of six charities to benefit from ITV’s Christmas fundraising appeal, Text Santa. The final amount raised was a record-breaking £6.2 million, which meant Marie Curie received over £1 million to fund the expansion of our Helper volunteer service.

Helper volunteers provide invaluable companionship, emotional support and practical help to people living with a terminal illness, as well as their families, friends and carers.

A year later, your Text Santa donations have enabled us to make some incredible improvements to our Helper service across the UK. Since Text Santa, we’ve launched the Helper service in five new areas:

  • Tyne and Wear
  • Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Grampian
  • and West Yorkshire, which launched earlier this month 
Text Santa logo

Plans to make Helper volunteers available in Devon and the South East are already under way, and will be launching in the first half of 2016.

In Tyne and Wear, our new Helper service has already started making a big difference to the lives of people living with a terminal illness. Laura was the first volunteer to sign up in Tyne and War.She was matched with Audrey, who has motor neurone disease. Both Audrey and her husband Norbert, who are in their 70s, have benefitted from Laura’s support, particularly in the run up to Christmas.

Practical and emotional support

“With Audrey needing more and more care, Norbert is facing a raft of challenges,” Laura explains. “He usually enjoys going to a church service on a Wednesday evening, and because I can be quite flexible about when I’m at home with Audrey, he’s able to do that. When I’m with Audrey, Norbert can also go out and do his Christmas shopping, secure in the knowledge that Audrey isn’t alone. While Audrey’s MND symptoms make it difficult for her speak, we’re able to communicate with thumbs up and thumbs down signs when we spend time together.”

We need your help

Text Santa made it possible for us to do a huge amount, but we still need your support to keep our volunteers out there helping people like Audrey and Norbert.

If you were inspired by the work of our Helper volunteers last year, why not keep the good work going and fund a Helper volunteer’s training  ? You’ll be giving someone living with a terminal illness a priceless gift this Christmas.