Superdrug and Savers fund free bereavement support service with £8.5m fundraising

Superdrug and Savers have been partnered with Marie Curie, the UK’s leading terminal illness charity, since 2013. This month they passed an amazing milestone of a combined £8,500,000 raised so far, funding the equivalent of 425,000 hours of Marie Curie nursing care to support those affected by terminal illness, and their families.

Marie Curie relies on volunteers and fundraising contributions to enable them to continue to provide the care and support for those who need it. Throughout the partnership, Superdrug has driven various fundraising activities, and earlier this year Superdrug colleagues got behind the ‘2.6 Challenge’ for Marie Curie. Completing challenges based on the numbers 26 or 2.6, from running 2.6 miles to cutting 2.6 inches off their hair, Superdrug raised £22,000 in total – the largest company contribution to Marie Curie’s ‘2.6 Challenge’ fundraising this year. Through colleague and in-store event fundraising such as raffles and fancy dress days, Savers have also raised over half a million pounds in donations, with huge annual support for Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal.

Since 2013, an amazing £1.6m has been raised through Superdrug colleague and customer fundraising in store alone. However, as the COVID 19 pandemic put a stop to fundraising community events and activities, Marie Curie is facing a devastating loss in funds. Superdrug, Savers and Marie Curie adapted quickly to ensure they could continue to generate donations and provide support at a time when it is needed more than ever. This April, one Savers regional general manager even took on a 100-mile solo cycle challenge lasting seven hours, which raised an amazing £1,664 for Marie Curie.

From the beginning of the partnership, Superdrug have donated funds to Marie Curie directly from the sales of their products in store, with Superdrug Own Brand label products raising £500,000 to date. This year also saw Superdrug suppliers including Clairol, Hawaiian Tropic, Skinny Tan, St Moriz and TRESemme give generous contributions of £20,000 each, a total lump sum donation of £100k.

As a result, this year Marie Curie has been able to expand its services to offer free telephone bereavement support. This new service offers a safe, confidential space for people to discuss feelings around bereavement, and has been needed more than ever in 2020. Providing ongoing support, the telephone line, managed by specially trained volunteers, offers emotional guidance as well as practical information around making arrangements and adapting to life after a bereavement. Superdrug’s crucial support helped Marie Curie launch and grow the service to ensure that bereaved people receive the support they need in a year full of restrictions, when their normal support networks, traditions and funeral rites have been disrupted.

Nigel Duxbury, property director at Superdrug, says: ‘We’re grateful to our colleagues, customers and suppliers for recognising and sharing our support for Marie Curie and are so proud to have reached this amazing six million pound milestone. Together we have helped to open this vital line of communication for those who need care and support at such an unprecedented time.’

Meredith Niles, executive director of fundraising at Marie Curie, says:“We are so grateful that Superdrug and Savers colleagues and customers have continued to support Marie Curie throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Their support has allowed us to expand our Information and Support services so that more people can receive vital emotional support for all aspects of life with terminal illness, dying and bereavement.

Superdrug and Savers are well positioned to help us reach more people and we’re proud to work alongside them toward the shared purpose of supporting the public during this unprecedented time.”

For the remainder of 2020 and in 2021 as restrictions are eased, Superdrug and Savers will be continuing to launch fundraising initiatives for Marie Curie, including festive fundraisers across head offices and stores throughout December.

In 2021, Superdrug and Savers colleagues will be taking part in several outdoor challenge events, including a Snowden Night Trek in June and the Bristol and Cardiff Half marathon, as well as supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal for the eighth year running. Marie Curie will also be welcoming more Superdrug colleagues as volunteers in different roles across the charity to help make a difference by donating their time and skills.