Marie Curie has seen an increase the number of people applying to volunteer with the charity after streamlining the process and launching a new campaign, according to its annual accounts.
Its recently published annual accounts for the 2016/17 financial year said it is running new national volunteer recruitment campaigns to “find the right people for more specialised volunteering roles”. It said that as a result, its internship recruitment increased by 260 per cent and its helper volunteer applications are up by 400 per cent.
The charity recuited 306 helper volunteers last year, bringing the total to 515. These volunteers support people and their families by visiting them at home to offer companionship and respite care.
Nearly 10,000 people volunteer with the charity as fundraisers, shop assistants or visiting hospices. The accounts say that by streamlining its processes volunteers are "able to get started quicker".
Marie Curie’s income is up by £3m to £159m, following an increase in voluntary income, according to the charity’s latest annual accounts.
Voluntary income overall increased by 2.8 per cent to £97.1m, while fundraising income was lifted by an increase of £4.5m from legacies including a single legacy of £5m.
The annual report for the year ending March 2017 showed that the charity’s expenditure remained consistent with the previous year, at £165m.
However, shop profits fell by £0.3m to £1.4m. Marie Curie said that it was a challenging time for its shops, and a key part of this decline was down to ‘high levels of competition and lower textile prices’.
The accounts show that sales of donated goods by the charity’s chain of shops were 4.6 per cent lower than in the previous year.
To combat this Marie Curie said it was implementing plans to increase the income its shops generate. It said it was “making changes to enhance our customers’ experience, as well as introducing new ideas to widen our reach”.
Changes include memory windows displayed in some of its shop windows where people could donate to add a memory of a loved one, as part of its annual campaign the Great Daffodil Appeal, which raised an extra £4,000 over the Mother’s Day weekend.
It said it was also “providing more development opportunities for our shop staff and volunteers, to make our shops great places to work”.
The charity’s chair John Varley and chief executive Jane Collins wrote in their introduction to the report: “At Marie Curie, we believe that the last days of your life are just as important as the first. If you’re living with a terminal illness, getting the right care in those days can make all the difference. We’re here to provide that care – and our expertise has never been needed more”
Marie Curie’s accounts mention its information and support services, which are now in the second year. Varley and Collins said: “The growth in numbers of people using our services shows how vital they are – not only for people living with a terminal illness, but for the people who care about them too.”
Following the charity’s name change from Marie Curie Cancer Care to Marie Cure in 2014, over a third of people now associate Marie Curie with any kind of terminal illness, according to a survey by NFPSynergy. It also found that over 70 per cent of those asked in January 2017 said they trusted Marie Curie ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’.