Marie Curie appeals for help to support terminally ill during coronavirus

Charity is asking advertisers and media owners to donate space for campaign.

Marie Curie has launched an emergency appeal to support nurses caring for the terminally ill during the coronavirus crisis. 

"On hold", created pro bono by Saatchi & Saatchi, reminds people that while the pandemic has put most things on hold, from theatre and weddings to sports and holidays, end-of-life care must continue. The charity is gearing up to help hundreds more dying patients as the NHS faces increased pressure to respond to coronavirus. 

Marie Curie and Saatchi & Saatchi are asking advertisers and media owners to donate media space that has gone unused during the crisis for the campaign. 

The work will run across radio, print and social media, with the aim to also launch on TV. It uses images such as an empty stadium and deserted museum to illustrate how our way of life has changed, followed by the message: "Not everything is on hold." 

At the end of the spot, a woman called Lin, who has terminal cancer, says she doesn’t know how long she has left to live. 

The voiceover is by actor Jim Carter, who starred in Downton Abbey, while singer-songwriter Tom Odell donated the soundtrack. 

It was written by Ryan Price and Sarah Heavens, and art directed by Maria Suarez-Inclan. Saatchi & Saatchi created the campaign in less than a week, with the team working remotely and using stock footage. 

Marie Curie says it will need to raise £2.5m a week to continue to run its front-line services, at a time when its ability to generate money has been compromised. 

Esther Jackson, marketing and communications director at Marie Curie, said: "At this time of national emergency, Marie Curie nurses and front-line staff are needed more than ever as the NHS is put under ever greater strain.

"Sadly, some people’s lives will be shortened by coronavirus, so the need for end-of-life care will be greater. Marie Curie can meet this need and, in doing so, will help free up intensive care beds needed for coronavirus patients. Consequently, we hope this campaign will raise further awareness of the vital role our front-line staff provide for people at the end of their life."

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