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Daffodil Day goes digital as fundraiser is hit by virus

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Society chief executive Averil Power

Society chief executive Averil Power

Society chief executive Averil Power

It was a Daffodil Day with a difference yesterday for the Irish Cancer Society.

Instead of the familiar sight of buckets on streets and people walking around with the distinctive yellow blooms in their lapels, it was a digital Daffodil Day, with people being urged to donate online towards the society's vital services.

Earlier this month, the charity was forced to make the difficult decision to cancel street collections and events because of the coronavirus crisis.

Every year, Daffodil Day generates €4m for the charity, and is its biggest fundraiser.

People have instead been encouraged to download a digital daffodil to show their support.

Society chief executive Averil Power said people yesterday were taking part in virtual events, such as venues streaming online fundraisers and solo walks.

"When we made the decision earlier this month to cancel all Daffodil Day events and street collections, we were blown away by the response," she said.

"Across Ireland, we've seen people take up safe ways to raise funds.

"We've had dozens of offers from companies wanting to help in various ways."

Ms Power said it was important for society to be able to operate even during the Covid-19 emergency.

"Each year, more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, this will remain the case, even with the coronavirus outbreak," she said.

"What's more, there are approximately 200,000 people in Ireland living with and beyond cancer, many of whom are at a higher risk of developing a serious illness if they catch coronavirus.

Crucial

"The Irish Cancer Society is continuing to provide crucial services including our NightNurse service, providing end-of-life care for people in their homes, our volunteer driving service to transfer patients to chemotherapy and other support services.

"We're determined to be there for everyone who might need us.

"But as only 3pc of our funding comes from the State, we can't do that without the support of the public, so please help by donating what you can on cancer.ie."