Flowers

Calling all florists to up tools for Marie Curie

Written by Claire Levi
February 15, 2016

Uniting the flower industry for a great cause, New Covent Garden Flower Market has launched the #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal, a new campaign to run throughout March in support of Marie Curie and their 30th annual Great Daffodil Appeal.

The #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal invites florists around the UK of any size, from freelancers to corporate florists, to get involved and fundraise. The idea is simple; to sell daffodil bunches, or designs and arrangements, during March, with florists donating a percentage of profits to Marie Curie.

Marie Curie #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal

For the last two years, Belinda of Sussex florist Chez Fleur, has been doing exactly that. But keen to get more florists involved and raise more money she turned to her suppliers, New Covent Garden Market.

As you may remember our traders have a history of working with Marie Curie even going as far as stripping off for a 'Cheeky' calendar in 2014!

New Covent Garden Market Traders get Cheeky for Marie Curie

The Great Daffodil Appeal is already well known, and is Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign. It encourages everyone to give a donation in return for a daffodil pin during March. We want to extend this campaign to fresh daffodils, which were what was originally sold 30 years ago. When better to launch the #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal than for their 30th anniversary?

How can I get involved?

The campaign will run throughout March, and you can take part for a day, week, or the whole month.

Whether you want to sell bunches of daffodils decorated with ribbons, cellophane and other sundries, or take it further and create larger arrangements and designs using predominantly daffodils, it is up to you.

All we suggest is that you then sell them at a slight premium to ensure you cover costs, and also raise money for Marie Curie. Whether you wish to add on 20p to a bunch or donate 10% of the overall price, it is up to you.

If you do not have a retail premises, but still want to get involved then great! Why not contact local businesses to see if you can do a pop up with them or leave some designs for them to sell on your behalf.

Once you have finished fundraising simply send in your donation using Marie Curie’s online form: www.mariecurie.org.uk/flowermarket.

Remember to post your designs on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal. Spread the word of the campaign, get more florists to join in, show off what you can do as a florist, and raise your profile. The Market and Marie Curie will be reposting our favourites throughout March.

Daffodils in Box

Promotional material

Don't forget to publicise the great work you are doing. There are a number of free downloads (here: www.mariecurie.org.uk/flowermarket) to get you started. These include:

Bunting - Decorative bunting templates which you can print out, cut and hang around your display.  Highlighting your fundraising.

Posters - Download and print a variety of posters to go alongside your daffodils or in the window. Show your customers and potential customers that you are getting involved with the campaign.

How the idea came about

Two years ago Belinda of Chez Fleur was keen to fundraise for Marie Curie, so she made up a few simple bunches of daffodils in cellophane and ribbon then sold them at her children’s school.

This proved a huge success and she was keen to expand the idea, but having no retail store she had to be more creative.

Last year she branched out selling bunches through her local market. She also spoke to small local businesses who sold them on her behalf. Belinda showed that no matter how small you are you can get involved, raise money for a fantastic charity and, who knows, forge a partnership with local businesses or two.

This year Belinda wanted to go even bigger and so she approached us to help galvanise the floral industry. And we said ‘OF COURSE!’

Chex Fleur and Belinda Supporting #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal

Who else is getting involved?

The campaign is already gathering steam within the industry with a number of florists and growers supporting it;

One renowned florist taking part is Paula Pryke, OBE who said: "We are delighted to be involved in raising money and awareness for the invaluable work that Marie Curie does supporting people living with a terminal illness, and their families."

Paula Pryke Supporting Marie Curie in the #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal 2016

Shane Connolly, another prestigious florist supporting the new campaign, said: "I was thrilled to hear of this new initiative to commemorate the 30th year of the Great Daffodil Appeal. No-one truly appreciates the extraordinary work of Marie Curie until they experience it in their own lives."

Shane Connolly Supporting Marie Curie in the #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal 2016

Gill Hodgson, from grower collective, Flowers From the Farm said: "I was delighted to hear about Chez Fleur’s idea to join the Great Daffodil Appeal by selling British daffodils, it’s a great way to promote British flowers and get involved with such a brilliant charity. We’ve Mother’s Day and Easter in March and if lots more florists get involved and commit to donating a small part of their profit for every bunch of daffodils sold it could make a very real difference to the appeal this year, and every year!"

Gill Hodgson Supporting Marie Curie in the #GreatFRESHDaffodilAppeal 2016

General Advice for Daffodils

When they're cut, narcissi and daffodils exude a toxic sap, which can damage other flowers. To prevent this, condition them separately for 24 hours.

Due to their soft stems, they prefer to be arranged in water rather than floral foam. And chicken wire is great to use to construct designs.

If you missed our Product Profile on Narcissi and Daffodils then you can still read it to discover different varieties of narcissi and daffodils that you may want to use.

Inspiration

Narcissi and daffodils look wonderful massed on their own or mixed with other spring flowers (remember to condition them separately for 24 hours though).

You can use them in vase designs, hand-tied bouquets and small posies. They're also the perfect bloom to use to make topiary trees.

With regards to potted bulbs, they make lovely spring arrangements when placed in rustic or zinc containers and decorated with birch twigs or pussy willow.

Daffodils in Pots

Sundries

We have been out and about in the Flower Market searching through the treasures in the 6 sundries companies.

For blue sundries to match the Marie Curie colours there are ribbons, cellophane, feathers, vases, tissue paper and more in every shade of blue you could possibly imagine. You can see a few of them below:

Blue and Yellow Sundries

If you want to be a bit more subtle than using the Marie Curie colours then there is also an array of neutral and natural sundries available. You can see a sample below:

Sundries for Marie Curie 2016

Remember to pick up your free Marie Curie Stickers from our sundries suppliers when you are there. Or you can email Arlene Main on Arlene.Main@mariecurie.org.uk or call her on 0207 599 7307 or 07885 479160 and she can send you some for free.

We cannot wait to see your designs and hear how you get on. If you would like any advice or have any questions about the campaign please do not hesitate to get in touch by either emailing Kathryn.Holden@cgma.co.uk or comment in the boxes below.

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