Could you give SPAR an Hour in aid of Marie Curie?

Marie Curie in Northern Ireland is partnering with SPAR NI, which has been raising funds for the end of life charity since 2017, to call on even more volunteers this Christmastime.

“Time is the ultimate gift we can give, which is an ethos which runs throughout Marie Curie,” says Conor O’Kane Senior Partnership Manager for Marie Curie in Northern Ireland.

He continues; “We know that time is so precious, and especially so when it comes to our hospice in Northern Ireland where our staff and nurses give every second of their time to our patients.”

As the need for community nursing, and provision of services for those experiencing dying, death and bereavement increases, the organisation is in need of volunteers to raise much needed funds, which is why the charity has teamed up with SPAR NI to provide even more fundraising spots outside their stores for volunteers this Christmas.

SPAR an Hour aims to help Marie Curie bring care, comfort and joy by recruiting even more volunteers to stores for just one hour each, to carry out bucket collections in the coming weeks.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group which owns SPAR in Northern Ireland added; “Last year we had a great response to our appeal for even more volunteers in the run up to Christmas, helping us support Marie Curie in being there for those who need it most, no matter the illness.

“This time of year is such a huge driver of those vital funds for local charities, and we’re committed to doing all that we can to provide whatever our charity partners need to keep their funds coming in. Marie Curie provides a service throughout our local communities that too many of our staff and shoppers have had to make use of, but while it is something none of us ever want to face, we are so lucky to have this incredible organisation there to take care of our loved ones, whatever the illness, wherever they are, right until the end.”

Michele Button-Stephens is a Marie Curie volunteer from Holywood. She volunteers for the charity as a collection box coordinator in the north Down town, and as a collection volunteer in both Holywood and East Belfast. Michelle says she would encourage others to consider volunteering for Marie Curie this Christmas; “I enjoy volunteering and collecting for Marie Curie at my local SPAR. The staff are so welcoming, no-one passes without saying “hello”.

“Collecting gives individuals the opportunity to donate to our charity and what always amazes me is the number of people that do so and their generosity warms my heart. It also gives me the chance to chat and listen to each of their personal Marie Curie stories. I always go home at the end of the day feeling good. ”

In the past year alone, SPAR NI has raised over £110,000 for Marie Curie, meaning an incredible £814,943 has been raised since their partnership began in 2017.

Conor O’Kane continued; “We know that every penny counts this year, so we are overwhelmed by the generosity that continues to be shown by the public and SPAR shoppers. If you see one of our volunteers outside your local store, please do consider donating whatever change you can, it all makes a difference and we’re so grateful.”

Alongside providing spots for Marie Curie volunteers to fundraise at their stores, SPAR NI will also be donating 10p from each sale of their Christmas sandwich range to the charity, alongside EUROSPAR NI’s charity partner, Cancer Fund for Children.

To volunteer to collect at your local SPAR store for Marie Curie this Christmas, visit