Celebrity watch

Dexter Fletcher supports EveryChild

Dexter Fletcher, who stars in the new series of BBC1's hit drama Hotel Babylon, travelled to Ukraine to see EveryChild's work with vulnerable children.

The actor met families in the Kiev region. The charity helps to prevent their children being placed in outdated Soviet-style orphanages. More than 95 per cent of children living in institutional care in Ukraine have at least one surviving parent.

Fletcher also visited Zgurivka Internat School, the largest residential institution in Kiev, which is home to about 80 children. He said: "The one thing the children really needed, they weren't getting at all - the chance to grow up in a normal, loving family.

"Despite the best intentions of the staff, the brand new furniture and the three nutritious meals a day, there was a pervasive sadness about the place."

Suzanne Shaw, who formerly sang in Hear'Say, is presenting the Harrods Rocks fashion show on 22 February at the London department store to raise money for Jeans for Genes. Model Sophie Anderton and Big Brother 3 winner Kate Lawler are among the celebrities who will take to the catwalk in designer jeans. Throughout February, customers will have the chance to bid for jeans signed by the likes of rock legends Bryan Ferry and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters, comedian Graham Norton and 60s fashion icon Twiggy. All proceeds will go to Jeans for Genes.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, unveiled an MRI scanner unit for the British Heart Foundation that was made possible by an appeal he launched with his attempt on Mount Everest in 2005. As president of the Healthy Hearts Appeal, Fiennes made his attempted ascent of Everest to raise money for the BHF, despite suffering a heart attack and having a double bypass operation in 2003. He said: "I'm so proud to be a part of the BHF's achievement.

I know first-hand the life-changing difference research makes: my own heart bypass saved my life and has allowed me to carry on doing the things I love to do."

Dame Helen Mirren, tipped for an Oscar for her performance in The Queen, is the new patron of the Scollar Trust, an educational charity in Southend.

It was set up in 2002 to provide new or additional learning opportunities for people who might otherwise not have access. The actress said: "I am proud to be a patron. This work is very important for its investment in the future of Great Britain."

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