Snow storms and freezing temperatures have caused major problems for charity Marie Curie which fears missing out on its vital £264,000 target during March.

It provides care and support for more than 40,000 terminally ill people and their families in the UK each year.

The atrocious weather has meant volunteers have not been able to collect generous donations putting its biggest annual fundraising campaign – the Great Daffodil Appeal – at risk.

The Great Daffodil Appeal is Marie Curie’s biggest fundraising campaign held every March. The charity which was founded in 1948 invites people to make a donation in exchange for a daffodil pin.

Dianne Hughes in her Marie Curie nursing uniform with her pet dogs Polly and Sally. She is now a community ambassador and volunteer helper with the charity

Dianne Hughes, a Marie Curie community ambassador with 50 years nursing experience under her belt, said: “I am a Marie Curie volunteer helper, which involves three hours a week sitting with a client, to enable the carer to have a bit of respite, go out maybe, catch up on some job or shopping.

“I was unable to go to my client in the worst of the weather, in the first week of snow.

“Looking after a relative is a wonderful thing to do, but it is also very tiring. To give that carer some time to relax is a vitally important part of our service.

“If you have had the services of a Marie Curie Nurse, Carer, or Volunteer Helper, you will know its importance.

“As a nurse, I used to work at night, for Marie Curie, sitting with terminally ill patients, giving their families some well earned rest in a difficult time.

Dianne Hughes as a young cadet nurse

“Both my parents benefitted from the care of the nurses at separate times.

“I no longer am nursing, but I am a volunteer helper, a wonderful new service from Marie Curie, just recently having come to the Kirklees area.”

The charity is still looking to recruit volunteers to help with ongoing street and supermarket collections during March and into early April and people can book online at www.mariecurie.org.uk/collect

Jennifer Carmichael, Marie Curie community fundraiser said: “Our nurses do a sterling job whatever the weather, caring for people with a terminal illness in the comfort of their own home but we can only continue to do this with your support.”

If you can help keep Marie Curie nurses in the homes of people who are dying and who desperately need their care and support please donate today online or text DAFF to 70099 to donate £5.