Gary Barlow's new musical will raise funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Plus: Tim Vine, the Fairbrass brothers, The Duchess of Cambridge, Michael Bond, Chris Jarvis, James Roby and Samantha Cameron

Gary Barlow with musical co-writer Tim Firth and the original 'calender girls'
Gary Barlow with musical co-writer Tim Firth and the original 'calender girls'

The blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is to receive donations from a new musical co-written by the Take That star. The Girls is based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women (pictured with Barlow and the musical's co-writer, Tim Firth) who produced a nude calendar in 1999 and have to date raised more than £3m for the charity. The musical is due to open in November.

The comedian Tim Vine and the Fairbrass brothers from the pop band Right Said Fred acted as starters for the two routes that make up the annual Marsden March between the cancer hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton, south-west London. The walk raises funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

The Duchess of Cambridge heard stories from volunteers and families about the work of Home-Start UK on a visit to Brookhill Children's Centre in Woolwich, south-east London. The duchess spoke to parents of young children and learned how the family support charity helps them.

The children's author and Paddington bear creator Michael Bond has backed a campaign by the animal rights charity Animal Defenders International to save Cholita, an elderly endangered bear in Peru who was kept illegally and mistreated by a circus.

The CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis has become the new patron of the Bournemouth-based charity Round Table Children's Wish. Jarvis, who has lived in the town for 10 years, will help to promote the charity's work granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

The rugby league star James Roby has become patron of Group B Strep Support. He decided to raise awareness of the infection after his son, Ollie, nearly died from meningitis caused by group B Strep. Roby said: "I hadn't heard of group B Strep before Ollie became so ill. Luckily he made a full recovery, but not all babies do."

Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minister's wife, hosted a charity reception for Kids, the disabled children's charity, at 10 Downing Street in March. More than 100 guests attended the reception including children, young people and families who have been supported by the charity. She said of her late son: "Ivan had a profound disability and I will always remember how helpless David and I felt when he was born."

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