Star Supporters: Kym Marsh supports the Dechox campaign for British Heart Foundation

Plus: Dermot O'Leary, The Queen, Nina Conti, Russell Kane and Charlotte Dujardin

Kym Marsh
Kym Marsh

The Coronation Street actor Kym Marsh has been encouraging people to join her in giving up chocolate for a month as part of a new British Heart Foundation fundraising campaign. Marsh is supporting the campaign, called Dechox, because she has been personally affected by the issues surrounding heart disease. Her father has had both a cardiac arrest, at the age of 49, and a heart attack two years ago, when he was 67. Her son also contracted a heart infection last year.

The television presenter Dermot O'Leary put his dancing shoes on and boogied for 24 hours to raise more than £640,000 for Comic Relief. He was joined in his Day of Dance by other celebrities, including the chef Jamie Oliver, the comedian Lenny Henry and fellow TV presenter Caroline Flack.

The Queen visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to officially open the charity's new £4.8m kennels. The Queen, who has been patron of Battersea since 1956, was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. They were shown how the new facilities would play a vital role in supporting dogs during their early days at Battersea.

The ventriloquist and comedian Nina Conti has become a patron for Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough, Leicestershire. She visited the children's hospice with her side-kick puppet, Monkey, while filming a documentary on giggle doctors – entertainers and play therapists who work with sick children to distract them from treatment or pain. She was so moved by the children and young people she met that she wanted to help further. "I had never been to a children's hospice before and was nervous before arriving, but what I found was a warm, loving place with an emphasis on fun and happiness," said Conti.

The animal-loving comedian Russell Kane has been joined by the TV and reality stars Anthea Turner and Lauren Goodger in backing a call by the veterinary charity PDSA for more stock to be donated to its shops after a fall in donations. The Spring Clean campaign runs until the end of April.

The double Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin has become global ambassador for the equine welfare charity the Brooke. The dressage rider will help promote the work of the charity that operates in 11 countries to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules.

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