Celebrities: Pam Ferris, Sir John Major, Cherie Booth, Roger Brown, Julian Norton, John Bercow, Ricky Tomlinson

This week's round-up of famous names supporting charities

Pam Ferris
Pam Ferris

Pam Ferris, the actress and former star of the TV show The Darling Buds of May will be featured in one of two 45-second videos to be shown in doctors' waiting rooms in an attempt to reach out to carers who are struggling with their responsibilities. In the clip, Ferris, who is vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, which launched the campaign, discusses her own experiences as a carer. "We hope that these films reach many of the six million carers in the UK so they can stay healthy and have a better quality of life," she says. The film will be broadcast in 1,800 GP surgery waiting rooms until the end of the year.

King's College London has embarked on its largest-ever fundraising drive with the support of the former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, who is chairing the charity's World Questions campaign. It seeks to raise £500m by 2015 in order to research key questions in three different areas: neuroscience and mental health; leadership and society; and cancer.

Cherie Booth, barrister and wife of the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is helping to raise the profile of an annual poetry competition launched by Adoption Matters Northwest. Adults and children in Cheshire, north-east Wales, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire can enter a poem under the competition's 'belonging' theme. It is hoped the poetry will encourage more people to become adoptive parents.

The Olympic rower, Roger Brown, and the former British 100km indoor rowing record holder, Julian Norton, helped to raise more than £10,000 for the Herriot Hospice Homecare when they took part in a record-breaking 24-hour indoor tandem row that covered 364km. The cash raised will help to launch an overnight service at the hospice to give carers a place to rest.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has become a patron of Research Autism, which supports scientific research into the disorder. Bercow, whose son has an autism spectrum condition, said he hoped the group's work could help society to understand better the complexities of autism.

Actor Ricky Tomlinson has donated £1m to Ronald McDonald House, a charity that provides housing that enables the families of children receiving hospital treatment to stay nearby. The gift will allow the charity to build 15 new apartments in Liverpool.

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