This year's ITV Text Santa has raised an amazing £6.2 million

ITV Text Santa

The final total is in and this year's ITV Text Santa has raised an incredible £6.2 million! This is the most that the appeal has ever raised and means that Marie Curie will receive over £1 million to help fund the expansion of the Marie Curie Helper Service.

The Helper service is not currently available in all areas of the UK but, thanks to the money raised from Text Santa, we will be able to expand the service to six more areas across the country. The service provides invaluable companionship, emotional support and practical help to people living with a terminal illness and their carers, all completely free of charge. For up to three hours each week, people living with a terminal illness and their families can rely on the support of a dedicated, specially trained Helper volunteer who will visit them in their home. Find out how to get a Helper or become a Helper volunteer.

Michael's story

The theme of this year's appeal was 'the time of year to help those near' and the expansion of the Helper service will mean Marie Curie will be able to help even more peope in 2015. The service has already made a big difference to  people like Michael Rugman, who became isolated after being diagnosed with bowel cancer the day before his 47th birthday. Things completely changed for Michael once he'd been matched with Marie Curie Helper volunteer Danny, who provided him with much-needed companionship at a difficult time in his life. Michael's story was featured during the Text Santa live show on December 19. The story was presented by actress Brenda Blethyn and shows just how much impact the Helper service can have for people living with a terminal illness. Watch Michael and Danny’s moving story So thank you very much to everyone who helped make Text Santa such a massive success. Thanks to your efforts we will be able to help many more terminally ill people, and their carers, across the country.