“END of life care is a taboo subject for people of my age,” says Zeb Un-Nisa Ali. “My friends say: ‘You must see death a lot in your job’. I do, and of course it affects me, but I also see beautiful moments when people are with loved ones. That’s a privilege.”

Zeb, 24, is a nurse at Bradford’s Marie Curie Hospice. She started as a student nurse in 2022, after being inspired by nurses caring for her aunt, who had Parkinson’s Disease for 20 years.

Now Zeb has joined Mollie Pearce - runner-up on BBC1’s hit show The Traitors - for TikTok inspired content raising awareness among younger people of the role of end of life nurses. Marie Curie has teamed up with Superdrug for the ‘Purchase for Marie Curie Nurses’ campaign, aiming to raise £200,000 for the charity.

In a twist on the #GRWM - a hashtag with more than 157 billion views on TikTok - the online video sees Mollie, a disability model and healthcare assistant, chatting to three Marie Curie nurses while they apply make-up. It’s aimed at educating young people about the importance of end of life care - and the remarkable nurses who deliver that care.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mollie Pearce with Marie Curie nurse Catherine Jones Mollie Pearce with Marie Curie nurse Catherine Jones (Image: David Parry/PA Media Assignments)

Marie Curie reveals that 150,000 people die every year without the care they need, which not only has a devastating effect on those dying, but also on loved ones of all ages. Purchase for Marie Curie Nurses sees proceeds from a range of products at Superdrug donated to the UK’s leading end of life charity. The latest venture in Marie Curie and Superdrug’s longstanding partnership, it aims to raise £200,000 to fund 10,000 hours of Marie Curie’s nursing service.

In the video content - running on TikTok and Instagram - Mollie meets the nurses as they prepare for their working day and chats to them about their roles.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The video is a twist on the Get Ready With Me social media trendThe video is a twist on the Get Ready With Me social media trend (Image: David Parry/PA Media Assignments)

Zeb provides specialised care role includes managing the end of life journey, easing pain and supporting patients and those close to them. In her spare time she’s a make-up and Henna artist. Earlier this year she appeared in a re-imagining of Edvard Munch painting The Scream as part of Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal. The charity commissioned artist Lisa Buchanan to re-create classic artworks, featuring real life Marie Curie nurses.

“The campaign leader saw on Instagram that I like make-up and contacted me about the Marie Curie video,” says Zeb. “It’s a great way of appealing to younger people and making death less of a taboo. As soon as people hear the word ‘hospice’ they feel scared, that’s how I felt as a student, but when I did my placement at the hospice I saw the amazing work that goes on to provide the best end of life care.

“I see beautiful moments, like families celebrating Christmas in summer, because it’s the last one they’ll have together. We celebrate birth - end of life should be just as beautiful as the beginning of life.”

Zeb enjoyed ‘getting ready’ with Mollie and giving her an insight into what she does at Marie Curie: “It’s a twist on ‘Get Ready with Me’ on TikTok. When I’m doing my make-up I have my phone on the side and I watc other people do their make-up. Mollie asked me about being a nurse, we had a nice informal chat. She was lovely, really down-to-earth. I asked her about being a healthcare assistant and living with a disability.

Adds Zeb: “End of life care can be needed by anyone at any stage of life, and we’re there to make sure someone’s last moments are just as beautiful as their first ones. The job has taught me that when life is coming to an end, everyone deserves the care and support that we nurses can provide.”

Zeb, who went to Hanson Academy, was keen to educate her own family about end of life care. “None of my family knew about hospices. I grew up near the Marie Curie hospice and didn’t even know it was there. I wanted to find out about the healthcare system,” she says. “Palliative care is so rewarding. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I did placements at BRI and St Luke’s Hospital but hospice care was closer to my heart. My aunt was nursed in bed, the nurses who cared for her really inspired me. They were Asian nurses and were a great comfort to family members who didn’t speak English very well.

“As hospice nurses, we’re honest with families but we comfort them too. It can be a scary process and we’re there to reassure them. Sometimes we have a cry at the end of a shift, and we have de-briefs. We’re a close team.”

In the videos, Mollie is seen applying lip gloss and blusher, as she and the nurses discuss how end of life care affects younger people too.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mollie chats to the nurses about their role in end of life careMollie chats to the nurses about their role in end of life care (Image: David Parry/PA Media Assignments)

Says Mollie: “It’s been a privilege to talk to some of Marie Curie’s wonderful nurses and get a better understanding of the care and support they offer to not just patients, but loved ones too. What they do daily is incredible, but it’s something that so many of us don’t even consider until we’re so much older. Getting the right end of life care isn’t just important to those dying, but to the people left behind, like children and grandchildren. It’s sobering to think that one in four people in the UK die without the care they need. I hope these videos inspire people to head out to their local Superdrug store and pick up one of the selected products knowing they’ll be supporting this invaluable service that Marie Curie Nurses provide.”

Megan Potter, Trading Director at Superdrug says: “Doing Good Feels Super, our ESG strategy, is at the heart of everything we do at Superdrug. Seeing so many suppliers come together for this campaign to deliver a huge fundraising target via products our customers love is incredible. We’ve seen firsthand throughout our partnership with Marie Curie the impact fundraising has on the support they are able to deliver and I look forward to seeing this campaign come to life with Mollie and the Marie Curie Nurses.” 

Maria Novell, Chief Innovation, Income and Engagement Officer at Marie Curie, adds: “Our partnership with Superdrug has funded so much nursing work over the 11 years we’ve been working together, and we’re so grateful to their customers for getting behind the cause and helping to raise millions of pounds for something so crucial. End of life affects everyone, whether you’re 20 or 70 years old. That's why this month we're urging people to buy their Superdrug Purchase for Marie Curie Nurses cosmetics or self-care products, so they can do a little good and support a worthy cause at the same time.” 

* Purchase for Marie Curie Nurses runs until May 21. Visit superdrug.com/mariecurie