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Actress joins Marie Curie fundraising volunteers in virtual tea party

Fundraisers hosting a virtual event with tea and cake had a surprise guest at the weekend – when actress Suzanne Packer popped on to their Zoom meeting.

The volunteers from the Marie Curie Cardiff Fundraising Group had come together via the video calling app for their very own version of the famous Blooming Great Tea Party – held virtually for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The tea party was organised by Rachel Powell, whose parents both received support at the end of life care charity’s Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Penarth.

Suzanne, who became a Hospice Ambassador last year, surprised all the guests by also jumping on to the call with her own cuppa.

The Blooming Great Tea Party is an annual fundraising event for the charity, which needs tea party hosts more than ever before to make up for the devastating effect the coronavirus crisis has had on the charity’s income.

Suzanne said: “It was such a pleasure to pop into the Cardiff Fundraising Group’s virtual Blooming Great Tea Party on Saturday. The guests all looked like they were having a great time –  enjoying a cuppa and some cake together, and having a good natter.

“They weren’t going to let lockdown spoil their fun! The Group do a fantastic amount for Marie Curie, and raise a lot of much-needed money. It was lovely to be able to surprise them, and chat about our favourite cakes.

“Marie Curie is such an important charity. I’ve seen first-hand the amazing care they give at the end of life – both in their Cardiff hospice, and at home, when their nurses cared so beautifully for my father. I’m proud to now be an Ambassador for them and I would encourage everyone to hold a virtual Blooming Great Tea Party, to raise funds, and have some fun at the same time.”

The end of life charity is calling on you to throw a Blooming Virtual Tea Party from home this summer. While staying indoors is the new normal, throwing a virtual tea party is a fun way to stay connected to the ones you love during this time and a great way to support nurses working on the frontline of the crisis.

In people’s homes and in the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale the charity is caring for people with terminal illnesses, as well as people with Covid-19, and is protecting the NHS by keeping patients away from hospital. However, as the charity has stepped up its support for the nation, its fundraising income has been devastated by the impact of lockdown measures – it had to cancel its Great Daffodil Appeal in March and closed all its charity shops shortly after.

Hannah Leckie,  Community Fundraising in Cardiff and the Vale, thanked Suzanne for joining the group and added:

“Our Blooming Great Tea Party looks a little different this year but I think everyone needs an excuse to meet up with their friends and family – online of course – and check in on the people they love. If you can do that while raising some money for Marie Curie, then your generous donations will enable us to help even more people at the end of their lives get the care they need in this time of uncertainty.

“We rely on the support of the amazing public to ensure our nurses can keep caring for people. And while the coronavirus crisis has badly impacted our fundraising events, we hope by going virtual we’ll be able to raise the vital funds we need to keep supporting people in our communities across Wales.”

You can still register as a Blooming Virtual Tea Party host. Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty or call 0800 716 146 for you fundraising pack full of hints, tips, recipes and fundraising ideas.