Employee stories

Marie Curie employs more than 4,000 people, from  nurses and complementary therapist to shop workers and fundraisers. See what some of our people say about the jobs they do and what it’s like working for Marie Curie.

Marie Curie Nurses, Who we are

How long have you worked for Marie Curie?

Great Daffodil Appeal

I’ve worked at Marie Curie for five years.

What other roles did you have before you joined Marie Curie?

Before joining the Marie Curie Nursing Service, I worked in private nursing homes that I don’t think understood let alone delivered good palliative and end of life care. Before working in healthcare, I was an international business consultant in the fashion industry.

Why did you get involved with the charity?

In my previous career I travelled the world selling my valuable experience to indifferent corporate vice- presidents in bland conference rooms. Then one day I woke up and opened my eyes. I needed to change my life, to do something more meaningful, fulfilling and emotionally rewarding. I had no idea how to do this until my aunt fell ill and needed someone to care for her. I spent six months not knowing what to do or how to manage her changing needs, but I asked for all the help I could and learnt day by day.  I found my calling through my aunt. She showed me my new path and I began an inspirational journey leading to my role with Marie Curie.

Can you describe a typical day?

For the past three years I have been caring for people with Motor Neurons Disease across Dorset. There is not really a typical day, I can work nights and days, caring for patients overnight or making visits during the day. We offer respite visits to allow families their own space and to help with their own wellbeing. During our visits, whether overnight and during the day, we try to satisfy every healthcare need from personal hygiene to emotional support, from reporting health changes to ensuring consistency in quality care, from a good night’s rest to a peaceful, dignified death.   

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

My role with Marie Curie is hugely rewarding, although challenging. I value the independence and autonomy entrusted to me to go into a patient’s home overnight to support, reassure and care for a person at the end of their life and give comfort, guidance and information to their family members.

This is not just a job it is a vocation and I’m proud to be part of such a great team.

How long have you worked for Marie Curie?

Dawn Mason

I have worked for Marie Curie for just over 6 years and it has flown by.

What other roles did you have before you joined Marie Curie?

After completing my counsellor training in 1991, I worked as a Counsellor/Group Facilitator in a small day centre with young adults with physical and learning disabilities. Since then I’ve worked for Mencap (which involved setting up a support worker service for people with learning disabilities)   and Women’s Aid (researching the needs of women and children experiencing domestic violence and developing services to meet those needs). I’ve also been a  school and college counsellor, set up a counselling service and worked as a citizen advocacy co-ordinator.

Why did you get involved with the charity?

I had breast cancer myself in 1990 and 1991 and then again in 2006 while I was working as a citizen advocacy coordinator.  After treatment I took stock and felt I wanted a new challenge while working fewer hours.  I particularly wanted to return to a more dedicated counselling role and, if possible, work with children. 

Can you describe a typical day?

Most of my work is counselling children and young people in schools so on any given day I could be playing games, doing simple art and craft activities or reading stories to encourage children to express their feelings and voice any worries or concerns they may have. I may also do a home visit to meet with parents to discuss any concerns they may have and tell them about  the support I can offer. Or I might meet families here at the hospice to offer advice and support around how parents or grandparents can tell children they have a terminal illness or are approaching the end of their life. The latter may involve what to say and when to say it as well as advice about children visiting the patient at the hospice, attending funerals, or information regarding how children grieve.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I enjoy the variety of my role, working with adults, young people and children both before and after bereavement, sometimes seeing the whole family or a parent and child together. Although the work can be very emotional, I meet such lovely people and working with children means there’s a lot of fun and laughter as well as sadness. 

What's your most memorable moment working for the charity?

There have been lots of memorable moments but one has been when a child I was saying goodbye to, at the end of our bereavement work together, flung her arms around me and gave me a big hug saying thank you, I had helped her so much and that she would never forget me. Feedback like that is priceless.

What are your hobbies/interests away from work?

Outside of work I like reading, walking and getting away to the countryside or coast for weekends. I also enjoy going to the gym, meeting up with friends for meals, drinks and having a laugh. I love my holidays in the sun and I must confess I am also a bit of a shopaholic!

How long have you worked for Marie Curie?

Great Daffodil Appeal

I joined Marie Curie in January 2013.

What other roles did you have before you joined Marie Curie?

I spent a year as Operations Manager at Relate Northumberland & Tyneside, a Counselling Charity and before that I was Finance and Office Coordinator for COCO Children’s Charity, an international development charity working in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Uganda.

Why did you get involved with the charity?

Joining Marie Curie was a wonderful opportunity for me as it allowed me to move to a large national charity and focus on a wholly fundraising role. My previous roles were a mix of fundraising, finance and operations. I personally feel that the cause is vital to your enjoyment of a job and Marie Curie is a truly worthwhile cause, not only because it affects so many people young and old but also because of the fabulous service that it provides people at such a difficult time.  

Can you describe a typical day?

There is no typical day in fundraising! I can be in the office doing admin, press or catching up on phone calls or emails one day and the next be 50 miles away meeting with supporters or fundraising groups helping them to plan their events.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy the variety. I need a changing, varied role to keep me stimulated and fundraising has it in bucket loads.

What's your most memorable moment working for the charity?

I picked up a cheque from a local group who had held a boxing night for Marie Curie. The press and a local legend of boxing were there to take part in the photo call. To my surprise they asked me to get in the ring, put on a pair of boxing gloves and spar with the retired boxer for the photos. Given I was pregnant at the time, it was definitely one of the most surreal things I’ve been asked to do.

What are your hobbies/interests away from work?

I have a little girl, Ava, who’s 14 months old, so she keeps me very busy. I’m also studying for a degree in history with the Open University and try to fit that in during the evenings. I do yoga classes once a week, am a slowly improving park runner. I also love vintage, so you’ll often find me at a local vintage fair, when I’m not at soft play or baby classes that is. 

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