Celebrity watch

This week Oxo mum Lynda Bellingham appears in an awareness-raising film for a disability charity, former Labour minister Estelle Morris becomes a patron of the e-Learning Foundation and Greg Rusedski's wife takes part in the Classic Oxfordshire Charity Bike Ride.

Lynda Bellingham
Lynda Bellingham

Actor Lynda Bellingham, who found fame in the 80s as the mum in the Oxo adverts and now presents ITV1 chat show Loose Women, is appearing in an awareness-raising film for disability charity Action For Kids.

She introduces the six-minute film, which follows families the charity has helped by supplying mobility equipment and family support services.

"As a parent, you work towards achieving your children's full potential," says Bellingham. "Action For Kids does this for thousands of young people, helping to give them the confidence and independence to fulfil their roles in society."

Young disabled people involved in the charity's Work Related Learning scheme, which develops skills that are transferable to employment, helped with the production. The film will appear on the charity's website later this year.

Matthew Wright, the presenter of BBC1 current affairs series Inside Out London and The Weekender on Radio 2, is encouraging people to take part in the Interphone National Road Rally on 5 and 6 July to raise money for Mencap. The rally is organised by the Auto Cycle Union and the British Motorcyclists Federation. They have chosen Mencap as their beneficiary charity.

Lucy Rusedski, wife of retired British tennis player Greg Rusedski, is taking part in the Classic Oxfordshire Charity Bike Ride to raise money for Against Breast Cancer on 11 May. Participants can cycle a 30-mile or 60-mile route through the county.

Rick Edwards, the T4 television presenter, has become a patron of the Media Trust's Mediabox initiative. The project is designed to help young people have a positive voice in the media and offers disadvantaged 13 to 19-year-olds the opportunity to develop and produce creative media projects.

Estelle Morris, the Labour MP and former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, has become a patron of the e-Learning Foundation, a charity set up to ensure that all schoolchildren in the UK have home access to technology for their studies.

Tania Bryer, the former Sky and ITV weather presenter, is taking part in Walk for Skin's sponsored walk in London this month to raise money for the coalition of 15 skin charities. "There are thousands of skin diseases that affect millions of lives, physically and psychologically," says Bryer. "These events are crucial in order to fund research - I'm really looking forward to being involved."

Alison Steadman, the film and television actor who plays Pamela in BBC Three comedy Gavin and Stacey, hosted a reception last month for St Catherine's, a national charity that works with young people with speech, language and communication impairments.

The charity approached Steadman to ask for her support because of her acting experience. At the event, held at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London, she spoke about the challenges faced by children with communication disabilities.

"We wanted someone who uses communication in their professional life," says Suzanne Hudson, director of development at St Catherine's. "Alison is a great example because she has a remarkable ability to communicate well across a range of mediums: film, TV and theatre. She can bridge the gap in understanding between those with speech, language and communication difficulties."


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