Christmas fairs will help fund care for terminally ill patients
CHARITABLE volunteers are getting into the festive spirit by appealing to organisers of Christmas fairs to house their stall.
Fundraisers of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Marie Curie group – which has been running for just over a year – want to raise even more awareness about the work their nurses do for terminally-ill patients.
Since the group was established in September last year, it has already raised £17,000 for the charity.
Now, for the first time ever, members are seeking to attend Christmas fairs and are asking organisers of such events if they have space for them to set up a stall.
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Their idea is to bring along Marie Curie merchandise ready to sell, aiming to grow upon the success of their fundraising pot.
Marie Curie nurses are a lifeline for many families, providing flexible day and night care during the last six months of a patient's life.
There are currently 22 nurses in North East Lincolnshire who ease the strain at the most difficult of times.
Half of the funding which allows them to continue their work comes from the NHS and the rest from the public.
Ann Walker, of Humberston, knows all too well the good work they do, after nurses cared for her late husband during the last few months of his life.
Now a community ambassador for the charity, the 56-year-old said: "Many people only realised just what Marie Curie nurses do when they actually needed their help.
"We are constantly trying to change this by raising more awareness and that is where the idea of attending Christmas fairs came from.
"It is something completely new to us but we hope if organisers have space for our stall, then we can reach out to people who would never normally associate themselves with the charity."
Merchandise, such as note pads, garden aprons, garden kneeling pads, pens, broaches and mini Morris Minor sets, are just a few items which the charity hope to sell.
Ann said: "This is one of the easiest ways for us to raise some extra cash by attending events arranged through others.
"We are looking to attend as many Christmas fairs as possible – the more the merrier as we have plenty of volunteers ready to help out."
Marie Curie spends more than 70p of every £1 raised directly on patients care and research.
The remainder is spent funding all the fundraising and support activities.
Ann said: "I wanted to become a volunteer for the charity to give something back to the nurses who helped my husband.
"They would come and look after him from 10pm to 7am. This gave me the chance to have some sleep and time to myself.
"Without them, I would have found things very difficult."
Any organisers of Christmas fairs who have space available for a Marie Curie stall, can call chairman Julie Saunders on 07535 257762.