Celebrities: Zadie Smith, Richard Hammond, Alexei Sayle, HRH Princess Alexandra, Joe Pasquale, Tana Ramsay

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

Author Zadie Smith
Author Zadie Smith

A numberof authors, including Zadie Smith and Hanif Kureishi, gave readings at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London, on 6 February in aid of Brent Centre for Young People. The evening, organised by Smith, raised more than £4,500 for the charity, which provides psychotherapeutic treatments to young people aged between 14 and 21 with emotional and mental health difficulties. "Personally, it was wonderful for me to hear writers speaking so eloquently of teenage life, a period that is so difficult for so many," Smith said. "It reminds you that services like BCYP aren't a luxury; they're a necessity."

Top Gear presenter Richard HammondThe Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is fronting a BBC Lifeline appeal, which will first be broadcast on 20 February on BBC1, to raise funds for Spinal Research. The appeal also features The Times journalist Melanie Reid, who was paralysed after a riding accident.

HRH Princess Alexandra officially opened the restored Victorian pharmacy at Holly Lodge Centre, which runs activities to help disabled people learn about Richmond Park's wildlife and heritage, on 26 January. Guests included the TV presenter Ben Shephard and the actor Peter Davison, both of whom are patrons of the charity.

The comedian Joe Pasquale is running this year's London Marathon for Diabetes UK and joined fellow fundraisers for a training day on 13 February.

The chef Tana Ramsay, a former Dancing on Ice contestant and ambassador of the Meningitis Trust, has launched the charity's BIG Dunkathon Coffee Break. The charity hopes to raise £100,000 through this year's event, which will take place in March. Ramsay survived bacterial meningitis when she was 18 years old.

Comedian Alexei SayleThe comedians and cat owners Alexei Sayle and Ricky Gervais have backed a campaign by Cats Protection encouraging more people to adopt cats. On Valentine's Day, the charity released a list of the top words owners use to describe their cats.

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