Astronaut Tim Peake becomes an ambassador for the Prince's Trust

Plus: Andrew Hayden-Smith, Andy McNab, Carrie Grant, Anneka Rice and Joanna Lumley

Tim Peake
Tim Peake

Peake, who in December will become the first British person to go to the International Space Station, has become an ambassador for the young people’s charity the Prince’s Trust. Peake announced his appointment at a press conference held during his final visit to the UK before he blasts off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 15 December. He is due to return to Earth in May next year. "The Prince’s Trust is an amazing organisation that helps young people succeed in life, no matter their background,"
he said.

The actor and former CBBC presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith has become an ambassador for the blood cancer charity Leukaemia Care. He took the decision to represent the charity after his father was diagnosed with leukaemia in June 2014. He said: "I've witnessed first-hand just how important it is to have charities like Leukaemia Care on hand to offer support when people need it most."

The actors Christopher Biggins and Miriam Margolyes, the presenter Mel Giedroyc and the former rugby union player Michael Lynagh were among the celebrities that gave their backing to the Stroke Association's Give a Hand appeal. The event, which took place at the end of October, involved people taking part in activities such as cake decorating and bowling using their weaker hand, thus raising funds and awareness of what it is like for stroke survivors who have to learn to use their weaker hand.

The author Andy McNab is to take part in a trek to the South Pole in aid of the literacy charity the Reading Agency's #ReadingJourney appeal. The trek will join the Endurance South Pole 100 Expedition as it follows 100 miles of the route Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Antarctic mission would have taken 100 years ago if his ship, Endurance, had not been caught in the ice. McNab, who is an ambassador for the Reading Agency, hopes to reach the South Pole by mid-December and wants the expedition to inspire people to support the charity.

The actors Simon Pegg and Naomie Harris and the chef Jamie Oliver are among the famous names to take eyes-only selfies to show their support for an appeal by Oxfam. The #eyesonParis campaign is intended to put pressure on world leaders to take action on climate change at talks in the French capital starting at the end of November.

The presenter and vocal coach Carrie Grant attended the parliamentary launch of a new resource from the charity Crohn's and Colitis UK that is designed to empower people with inflammatory bowel disease to get the best from their local health services. Grant, who has Crohn's Disease, has been a member and supporter of the charity for almost 20 years.

The presenter Anneka Rice returned to visit the learning disability charity Leeds Mencap, which she helped 23 years ago as part of her Challenge Anneka programme, to see how it was progressing with a new building. In 1992, Rice led local businesses and volunteers in the refurbishment of a burnt-out school that has been used as the charity's headquarters ever since, but it has outgrown the building and work has begun on a new centre in the East End Park area of the city.

Brian May, the guitarist from the rock band Queen, was on hand to welcome the RSPCA's latest batch of newly qualified inspectors. May, who is also an active animal welfare and wildlife campaigner, congratulated the 21 new inspectors as they graduated at a ceremony held at the charity's headquarters in Southwater, West Sussex.

The former footballer James Beattie has called on young people in south Wales to volunteer with small groups of friends for the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability to raise awareness of issues affecting disabled people. The charity is looking for 50 volunteers aged between 14 and 25 to launch its Action For Disability campaign in the region.

The actor Joanna Lumley has launched a fundraising appeal on behalf of Animal Defenders International to enable the animal protection organisation to rescue two spectacled bears that have been seized by wildlife officials in Peru. The organisation hopes to raise sufficient funds to rehome Lucho and Sabina at a nature reserve in the country.

Famous faces including the actor Dame Joan Collins and the comedians Rory Bremner and David Walliams were among the 250 guests at an event that raised more than half a million pounds for the brain injury charity the Children's Trust. The event, which took place at the Tower of London, included an acoustic performance by the musician Ellie Goulding.

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