From Ayo Akinwolere becoming a Crisis Ambassador, Kit Harington’s ‘audition’ for the MS Society, and Sunetra Sarker’s support of SightSavers, here’s a round up of summer celebrity fundraising news.
Game of Thrones actors & MS Society
The MS Society has launched a star-studded new campaign featuring Game of Thrones actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, as well as Andy Serkis, and other celebrities with a close personal connection to MS. The ‘Team Stop MS’ campaign film was produced with creative production agency Brave Spark and directors Dario & Dom. It sees stars ‘audition’ to join #TeamStopMS and help fund life-changing MS research by supporting the MS Society any way they can – whether that’s donating, fundraising, or simply spreading the word on social media. Recorded before the pandemic, Kit takes part in a bucket collection with Breeders actor Alun Armstrong, and Rose undergoes a bike-athon fundraiser compèred by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills. Chef Ainsley Harriott and comedian Ivo Graham also feature.
Geoff Thomas & Cure Leukaemia
Footballing legend Geoff Thomas has helped Cure Leukaemia raise £1million. Match worn football shirts were auctioned off by Sliderstock as part of Cure Leukaemia’s cycling event, The Tour 21, led by Thomas, its Patron as well as leukaemia survivor. The first week of July also saw the former professional footballer, along with 24 other amateur cyclists take on all 21 stages of the Tour de France route one week ahead of the professional event to support Cure Leukaemia – the official Tour de France charity in the UK – to help it exceed their £1million target and increase awareness.
Sunetra Sarker & Sightsavers
Ackley Bridge actress and Celebrity Gogglebox star, Sunetra Sarker took to the airwaves recently to champion a BBC Radio 4 appeal for the international development charity Sightsavers. For one week from 27 June, Sunetra shared the story of Zuwaira, a Nigerian mother who had suffered in pain from blinding trachoma for 27 years until receiving life-changing surgery to save her sight – when she was able to care for her children independently and plan her return to work. Donations from the appeal will help give the gift of sight to others like Zuwaira and can be made by phone, post or online. Three generous supporters are jointly matching the first £15,000 pounds raised in the appeal.
© Sightsavers/Mark Letheren
Ayo Akinwolere, Imelda Staunton & Crisis
Broadcaster Ayo Akinwolere (main image) and actor Imelda Staunton CBE, have been announced as Crisis Ambassadors. Broadcaster Akinwolere has supported Crisis for a number of years. Most recently, he supported the charity’s Christmas campaign last year where he provided entertainment for guests at Crisis’ Christmas services and featured in the charity’s Christmas fundraising film encouraging viewers to support their work. Staunton has supported Crisis for the last ten years. She has been a regular attendee at Crisis events during this time, visiting its services to learn more about its work, and has supported the charity’s A Safe Home campaign. In recent years, she has also volunteered at the charity’s Christmas services, alongside her family.
Amrita Acharia, Jenna Coleman, Nina Wadia & the Happily Ever Smarter appeal
Actors Amrita Acharia [Game of Thrones, Good Karma Hospital], Jenna Coleman [Doctor Who, Victoria, The Cry, The Serpent] and Nina Wadia [Eastenders, Goodness Gracious Me] have joined the Happily Ever Smarter appeal calling for urgent support for children living in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities, as Covid-19 threatens to reverse progress on global education by a decade. Since launching eight weeks ago, Happily Ever Smarter, organised by United World Schools (UWS), has raised over £1 million. The actors are backing the appeal by putting a spotlight on the challenges of getting girls into school and staying in education by sharing real-life stories with films; Heena* and Soneeya* (voiced by Amrita Acharia) Chimini* (voiced by Jenna Coleman) and Preeti* (voiced by Nina Wadia).
Duchess of Cornwall joins Horseback UK as Patron
HorseBack UK has announced Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as the Patron of the charity. HorseBack UK helps those needing mental health support and the Duchess shares a passion for horses, is a keen rider and understands the incredible emotional impact horses have on human recovery.
Courtney Lawes & The Hygiene Bank
England rugby star and Hycolin brand ambassador Courtney Lawes recently paid a visit to The Hygiene Bank’s local community project in Milton Keynes to deliver Hycolin’s antiviral cleaning products to help those in need. The donation on behalf of Courtney Lawes is part of his long-standing partnership with Hycolin, the antiviral cleaning brand that has committed to donating over 120,000 of its products to The Hygiene Bank to help combat hygiene poverty in the UK.
Norman Cook & Martlets
Martlets Ambassador, international DJ and Brighton local, Norman Cook lent his support to the charity as it launched its first ‘Chip in for Martlets’ campaign on National Fish and Chip Day on 4 June. Cook asked people to celebrate the best chippies of Brighton and Hove and coastal East Sussex, by having their favourite seaside takeaway and to also ‘chip in’ with a donation to Martlets. Fish and Chip shops from Newhaven to Portslade also lent their support with collecting tins and window displays.
Pete Townshend & Global Blood Fund
To celebrate World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, Global Blood Fund released multiple interpretations of Pete Townshend’s song ‘Give Blood’, performed by leading musicians from around the world. Set to video to encourage sharing on social media and through other channels, these were donated by the charity free-of-charge to blood services in low and middle-income countries throughout Africa, Latin America and the Middle-East for use on and around World Blood Donor Day. Townshend gave permission for his classic song ‘Give Blood’ to be used for the first time to promote blood donation.