Much loved actress Alison Steadman OBE has very kindly supported Marie Curie for many years, giving up her time to assist us on campaigns including Light in The Darkest Hours (2016) and the Great Daffodil Appeal (2017). Alison’s mother Marjorie received Marie Curie care in the 1990’s and Alison says "I know from my own experience the positive difference Marie Curie Nurses can make. They did more than look after my mum, they took away her fear and looked after the whole family. This was so important for everyone at the time and still is now."
Ever-popular Chris Kamara was formerly a professional footballer and football manager. Chris now works as a presenter and football analyst at Sky Sports, and also co-presents the ITV series Ninja Warrior UK alongside Ben Shephard and Rochelle Humes.
Since his mother Irene received Marie Curie care, Chris has supported Marie Curie in various ways including donating prizes, supporting us on social media, and attending the 2017 Housebuilder Brain Game in London to read the questions for the Sport Round. Chris says "I am happy to have been involved with fundraising for Marie Curie for a number of years now, helping them with the fantastic support they provide to patients and their loved ones during difficult times in their lives. I will continue to count Marie Curie as my number one charity to support."
The beloved comedy duo (and Twitter sensations!) have supported Marie Curie for many years and became official Ambassadors in 2016. From TV to stage, Paul and Barry are always busy and we are very grateful that they find the time to support Marie Curie.
Every winter sees them performing in pantomime and in December 2016 they very kindly brought the cast of Jack & The Beanstalk to our Bulwell store for a surprise visit. Said Paul Chuckle “As always it was a pleasure to be there for Marie Curie”.
Edwina says “I first got involved with Marie Curie as a child in Liverpool, as my mother was a volunteer at the old Woolton hospice. When she died in 2004, we donated daffodils for a Field of Hope on the dual carriageway leading to John Lennon Airport, and she is still commemorated there.
"When I met my husband John he was a widower; his wife Frances had died aged only 56 in the Marie Curie hospice in Caterham. So it was natural that we should raise money together. John and I did lots of long distance bike rides, cycling through Poland (twice), Paris, Amsterdam (twice) Egypt and Russia; the 2006 Great Bike Ride finishing in Warsaw (Marie Curie’s birthplace) raised over £1million. My biking days are over but what adventures we had, and what good friends we made!
"Now I enjoy being Quizmaster at Marie Curie Brain Games in various cities, raising money from business. I’m proud to be a Marie Curie Ambassador because this remarkable charity helps people with terminal illness to face the last stages of life with dignity. With Marie Curie nurses, the choice can be there to be at home, with loved ones. And it’s all free. If we want that to continue, then we have to raise money for it. And I am glad to help that happen.”
Since being introduced to our work by music manager Peter Lorraine at Fascination Management, Frankie has been a huge supporter of Marie curie – both with her band The Saturdays and on her own. From visiting our hospices and meeting our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to launching our Garden of Light in London for the 2017 Great Daffodil Appeal, Frankie’s boundless enthusiasm makes her a brilliant spokesperson for the charity. Frankie’s wide social media reach also means that any Marie Curie campaign she gets behind is guaranteed to get a boost.
Of supporting Marie Curie, Frankie says: “I am so lucky to have met nurses, staff and volunteers who work to make the most difficult situations better. I really admire them and am so pleased to have spent time with them and seen just how far the money raised goes.”
Hugh began supporting Marie Curie following the sad death of his mother, Fynvola, in 2001. Fynvola, a teacher from Hounslow, was looked after in hospital, then at home by Marie Curie nurses. The actor said: "The nurses were just fantastic.”
By involving the charity in his film premieres and events, supporting our campaigns, and galvanising his network of contacts to support us, Hugh has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Marie Curie.
Of the Marie Curie Nurses Hugh says: “They were amazing. I didn't really know what Marie Curie did before - you think of her as that French woman with test tubes in her hand and had always assumed the charity was something to do with cancer research. Mum was very determined - as apparently most people are in her situation - to die at home and it simply wouldn't have been possible without them. She was in quite a lot of pain and very weak and needed 24-hour care. They were just incredibly discreet and good humoured and above all astonishingly kind.”
Actor Jim Carter is a man of many talents. His role as Mr Carson, Downton Abbey’s beloved butler, earned him an incredible four Emmy nominations - but Jim is also a skilled host and interviewer.
In March 2017 Jim attended a private dinner for fellow Marie Curie Ambassador Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and conducted a fascinating interview with Sir Ranulph on stage.
We were then thrilled to appoint Jim as the host for our sumptuous carol service Carols in the City at Southwark Cathedral on Monday 11 December 2017.
Jim says: “What better way to see in the festive season, and all aid of the wonderful Marie Curie charity.”
Jim became a Marie Curie Ambassador in 2017 and we are proud to have him supporting our work.
Comedian Jon Culshaw has actively supported the charity for many years and became an official Ambassador in 2016. In 2017 Jon hosted our inaugural Yorkshire Brain Game in Leeds, where he had the crowd in stitches with his fantastic impressions of current celebrities. Jon also kindly donated tickets for his UK-wide tour, which went down a storm in a supporters’ competition we ran.
Jon says: “I’m so honoured to be invited to be a Celebrity Ambassador for Marie Curie. I have always been inspired and amazed by what they achieve and look forward to pitching in and helping out wherever I can.”
Linda is an incredibly active Ambassador, regularly doing media interviews for us and supporting many of our events and campaigns. In 2017 Linda spoke about Marie Curie to an invited audience at the House of Commons, and appeared on ITV’s Lorraine to promote our Great Daffodil Appeal. She helped launched The Sun newspaper’s Health Awards, along with Basil, one of our longest-serving volunteers. While in the summer, Linda and her sisters Debbie and Tina organised a fabulous bingo night in memory of their mum, raising nearly £1,300 for Marie Curie.
Linda says: “If I had to describe Marie Curie nurses in one word it would be fantastic. That’s exactly what I thought of them when they looked after my mum. We lost mum in 2012 and it was devastating, but I know the nurses and all the staff at the Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice did everything they could to make sure mum was comfortable. They were so caring. My family and I will never forget their kindness and that’s why I am proud to be a Marie Curie Ambassador”.
Luke and Hazel Robertson
Luke and Hazel Robertson
In 2016, at just 30 years of age, Luke Robertson became the youngest Brit and the first Scot to ski solo, unsupported and unassisted to the South Pole in Antarctica, all in aid of Marie Curie. Before this Luke had already faced his own challenges – having a pacemaker fitted at age 23, and a brain cyst removed at age 28. These battles, and the loss of his uncle to cancer, inspired him to raise funds for Marie Curie.
Luke received high-profile support on his journey from adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, cyclist Mark Beaumont and Prince William, while Marie Curie CEO Dr Jane Collins said: "Luke's story is incredibly inspiring and I would like to thank him on behalf of everyone at Marie Curie for taking on this amazing personal challenge. He is a true inspiration to others and we know that his Antarctic adventure will make a real difference to people living with a terminal illness and their families."
Luke and his wife Hazel continue to push the boundaries of physical endurance – from ultra-marathons to world-first expeditions – all in the name of Marie Curie. Luke says their aims are “To raise significant charitable funds for Marie Curie and to inspire others to conquer similar physical or mental challenges, to keep getting out the tent to achieve goals and dreams and surprise themselves at how far they can go!”
We were very proud to make them Marie Curie Ambassadors in 2016.
Mark Lewis Jones
Mark Lewis Jones
Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones has been a long-term supporter of our Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Wales.
Mark does a fantastic job of promoting our Pay for A Day scheme across Wales, including recording thank you films for school’s who have done their own fundraising. A keen runner, Mark is also bravely planning to take on an ultra-marathon in aid of Marie Curie.
Mark said: “I have visited the hospice on many occasions and I’ve had the privilege of being introduced to the hospice staff and some of the patients. I have always found the atmosphere at the hospice to be inspiring – it is an extraordinary place. The care and support that is given is remarkable; nothing is too much trouble for the nurses. It is something I am proud to be a part of.”
TV and radio presenter Mel Giedroyc has been supporting Marie Curie since 2013 and is now the face of our Blooming Great Tea Party campaign. As a true lover of tea and cake, and with a joyous personality that would brighten up any party, we think Mel is the perfect person to lead the campaign. The promotion involves press and TV interviews, photo shoots and a press launch, and we are extremely grateful to Mel for all the energy she puts into everything she does for us.
Mel said: “I’m supporting the Blooming Great Tea Party because it is the most sublimely joyous, wondrous event that takes place in June for the best cause. I’m very proud to be involved. This year, when I hold my Blooming Good Tea Party, I promise to bake half the stuff and buy/distress the rest. I am very good at distressing shop-bought cakes and making them look home-made. I will also make a mountain of egg sandwiches. I prefer a tea party to a posh night out. It’s just so British, isn’t it? The world may be going crazy around us, but we’ll still sit here and drink tea.”
Impressionist, actress, comedienne and author, Ronni first supported our work in 2015 when she attended the West Midlands Brain Game, one of our popular gala dinners. In 2017, Ronni asked how she could help Marie Curie further, and became an official Ambassador. Later that year she attended the London Brain Game; at the star-studded event Ronni delighted the 600 guests by reading questions for the quiz, interspersed with incredible impersonations of iconic figures from Marilyn Monroe to Jennifer Saunders.
Ronni said: “I am beyond honoured to be an Ambassador for Marie Curie. It is a fundamental human right to have dignity and compassionate appropriate care when you have a terminal illness. And this is what Marie Curie offers people. They aren’t just a useful, important organisation – they are totally vital.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
According to the Guinness Book of World Records Sir Ranulph is the ‘greatest living explorer’ and his huge list of achievements – from Polar expeditions, to circumnavigating the world - is remarkable. Currently undertaking the Global Reach challenge on behalf of Marie Curie, Sir Ranulph is trying to become the first person to cross both polar icecaps and summit the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. During his long association with Marie Curie, Sir Ranulph has raised millions of pounds for the charity and continues to be a dedicated supporter of our work.
Sir Ranulph says “I’m raising money for Marie Curie because when my first wife, Ginny, died from cancer 12 years ago, I experienced first-hand how distressing it can be when someone you love has a terminal illness - and why the work of Marie Curie is so important. I hope that by my going for, and, hopefully, breaking world records, people will make a donation to Marie Curie. Unfortunately, I’m now 73, which is extremely annoying – it has a bad effect on getting up these mountains. I’ve had a couple of heart attacks, a double heart bypass, a cancer operation and this diabetes thing that doesn’t help in the cold. So while other people my age are sensibly enjoying their retirement, I’m taking this challenge. It unfortunately really isn’t going to be easy. But I want to persevere to raise money for Marie Curie, and help them do their vital work. With your help, we can all make a difference.”
Much-loved British actor Stephen has supported Marie Curie for more than 10 years, with activities including recording radio ad voiceovers, supporting campaigns, talking about us on social media … and winning game shows! Clever Stephen has managed to raise more than £50,000 for Marie Curie over the years by putting his intellect to the test on a variety of TV quizzes. In March 2017 Stephen also helped us launch our award-winning Garden of Light art installation in Paternoster Square, London, for the Great Daffodil Appeal.
Stephen said: “I experienced first-hand the difference Marie Curie Nurses make when they cared for both my mum and later, my dad at home. Having the Nurses there meant that we could spend time as a family, without worrying about anything else. The care and support they provided to both my parents and me, and my sisters, made such a difference and left me with some really special memories of our last days together.”
We were delighted when Tara agreed to be a Marie Curie Ambassador after supporting us at various events. Tara said: “I am genuinely always honoured to be a representative for your charity, which I think is remarkable in so many ways.”
In March 2017 Tara spoke on our behalf at the Fleet Awards at London’s Grosvenor Hotel. Her rousing speech, which she wrote herself, helped raise over £14k in donations on the night. Speaking about the charity, Tara said:
“Given the choice, most of us would want to die at home, surrounded by the people and the things we cherish most and Marie Curie makes this possible. Our nurses offer expert care and guidance for people living with any terminal illness. And their families. To help them get the most from life in the time that they have left. Or left together. There could not be, in my opinion, a safer pair of hands than Marie Curie.”
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Prince Charles has been Patron of Marie Curie since 2003 and has kindly supported the charity in a variety of ways including opening Marie Curie hospices and hosting events.
On 4th May 2016 Prince Charles hosted a reception at Clarence House to celebrate 30 years of Marie Curie’s flagship fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal. Guests mingled in the garden of Clarence House and enjoyed a speech by the Prince, who wore one of Marie Curie’s distinctive daffodil badges.
Marie Curie is proud to have Prince Charles as our Patron.