Fundraising: Me and my charity

Luke Hamill, a 31-year-old actor who stars in TV show The Bill, has been in a wheelchair since a car accident when he was 18. He supports six charities including disability charities Leonard Cheshire and Scope.

Why did you choose Leonard Cheshire? I have been involved with the charity for five years - I can't remember how I first came across it. I like the international aspect of its work. People in developing countries need more help than those living in the UK. They have landmines, famine and natural disasters. Helping them was the vision of founder Leonard Cheshire, who set up different care centres in India and other countries in the 1950s. I really admire that because his idea, to give independence to disabled people, was really ahead of its time, especially when you think that even today our Tube system is not accessible to disabled people.

What do you do to support them? I try to use my name to raise awareness of its work. In December I went to a Christmas dinner with director general Bryan Dutton to encourage business leaders to support the charity. In his speech Bryan mentioned my cycling challenge in Vietnam in November. I am going to cycle 50 miles a day for 10 days with a geared hand cycle. I have never used one before, so I am going to train most of the year to prepare for it.

I also provide Leonard Cheshire with quotes and articles. I wrote for Choices, the charity's in-house magazine, about access for disabled people, based on my personal experience and research on the internet.

How much time do you give? It is difficult to say. The time I spend training before a challenge can take a lot of time, sometimes months. Last year, I swam the length of the English channel over a period of three months in support of Aspire, a spinal injury charity that looked after me after my car accident 13 years ago.

Which are your other charities? Among the six are children's charity the Rhys Daniels Trust, for which I am going to cycle from London to Cardiff in April. This is the first challenge I am going to do with my hand cycle; it will be good preparation for Vietnam.

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