Heathrow press releases

20 September, 2008

Runners fly along Heathrow runway at midnight in aid of Marie Curie nurses

A 120-strong team of runners raced along Heathrow Airport’s Northern Runway at midnight Saturday September 20, to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, BAA Heathrow’s charity of the year.

The 10K Midnight Runway Run is expected to raise £34,000 to help Marie Curie nurses care for terminally ill people in their own homes at the end of their lives, in the Heathrow area.

Local Marie Curie nurses, Honor Wright and Hope Price, cheered on the runners as they pounded the tarmac last night. Honor said: “It was fantastic to be at the Midnight Runway Run to offer support to the team. It was such a great atmosphere, a really fun and different event. The funds raised will help Marie Curie Nurses like Hope and myself care for terminally ill people at home, so they can spend their final days surrounded by the people they love the most.”

Cheryl Monk, Head of Community Relations at BAA Heathrow, said: “We were absolutely delighted with the response to the Midnight Runway Run and I would like to thank everybody for taking part and rising to the challenge. We are thrilled that the run is set to raise £34,000 which will help us smash our charity of the year fundraising target of £100,000. This will help Marie Curie Cancer Care provide at least 5,000 hours of home nursing in the Heathrow area.”

Marie Curie Cancer Care was voted for by BAA Heathrow staff as the organisation’s first ever charity of the year. Since then, staff have raised £84,000 to date through a range of events including golf days, balls and foreign coin collections.

For more information about Marie Curie Cancer Care, please visit www.mariecurie.org.uk

Notes to editors

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it expects to provide care to around 27,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its ten hospices this year, and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

Funding

Around 70% of the charity’s income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS. In 2008/09 it needs to raise £115 million.

Marie Curie nurses

The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.

Research

The charity has two centres for palliative care research, The Marie Curie Palliative Care Unit in London and The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool. It also runs the world-renowned Marie Curie Research Institute, which investigates the causes and treatments of cancer.

Campaigning

Supporting the choice to die at home

Research shows around 65% of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50% of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die at home.

Delivering Choice Programme

In 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care launched its first major palliative care service improvement plan, the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme, to provide greater choice for patients in end of life care. The programme has six projects underway across the UK- in Lincolnshire, Leeds, Tayside (Scotland), Barnet (north London), south-east London and Somerset.

About Community Relations at Heathrow Airport

BAA Heathrow has strong commitment to the communities around the airport and aims to address issues of prime local concern

Heathrow’s community relations programme seeks to support environmental, educational or economic regeneration projects through a variety of methods including charitable donations, sponsorship, staff volunteering and collection of foreign currencies donated by passengers

It supports charities that work in the boroughs closest to the airport: Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough, Spelthorne, Ealing, Richmond-upon-Thames and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

The BAA Communities Trust has donated money to a number of good causes and projects over recent years. These include Project Hope - which delivers vital pharmaceuticals drugs to areas of need in South America, Africa and Asia

A number of schools around BAA airports have been awarded specialist school status through excellence in specific subject areas, from IT to engineering and languages. The Trust has supported the schools’ bid for specialist status by awarding grants ranging from £3,000 to £15,000

The BAA Communities Trust has awarded grants for a wide range of community projects to benefit young people. These range from equipment for a youth club and sponsoring travel costs for members of West Sussex Youth Cabinet and Parliament to a £50,000 grant towards the creation of a vocational skills centre for Hayes and Southall

BAA Heathrow donated over £1.5 million to local good causes during 2006/7. Nearly 200 staff volunteered over 3,000 hours of company time in that period.