Celebrities: Emma Rigby becomes ambassador for Cafod

Plus: Pixie Lott tries some football; the former footballer Tony Adams becomes a patron; Dan Snow links up with Beanstalk and many more

Emma Rigby: ambassador for Caford
Emma Rigby: ambassador for Caford

Emma Rigby has become an ambassador for the Catholic aid agency Cafod. The actor, who rose to fame as Hannah Ashworth in the soap opera Hollyoaks, grew up in St Helens, Merseyside, where she attended a Catholic secondary school. "My Catholic faith is a huge, important part of my life, so it is brilliant to be able to collaborate with a charity that has the same values," said Rigby, who recently returned to the UK from the US.

Celebrities including the comedian Jo Brand, the broadcaster Phil Spencer, the Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman and the actor Linda Robson agreed to support St Mungo's Woolly Hat Day by taking selfies while wearing woolly hats. The homelessness charity aimed to raise £60,000 from the annual initiative.

Prince William has launched a new charity award programme to help children develop confidence and resilience. The SkillForce Prince William Award is delivered by the education charity SkillForce, of which he is patron. More than 1,000 pupils from 37 primary and secondary schools piloted the programme, which uses the skills of ex-services personnel who now work as SkillForce instructors.

Pixie Lott is organising a charity football match to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK. Both of the singer's grandmothers died after suffering from dementia. She and her uncle, Ricky Bennett, joint manager of Erith Town FC, will lead teams of celebrities and former professional and semi-professional footballers for the game on 2 April at the VCD Athletic stadium in Crayford, Kent.

The former footballer Tony Adams, who captained Arsenal and England, has become a patron of School-Home Support, which partners with schools, local authorities and families to maximise educational opportunities for children. Adams was born and raised in Romford and Dagenham, areas of Essex where the charity has worked for decades, and previously attended one of its open days.

The former Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sally Gunnell has become patron of Sussex Search & Rescue. Gunnell, who lives in Steyning, West Sussex, also took part in a training exercise for the charity, which Sussex Police uses to search for vulnerable missing people.

The actors Natalie Dormer and David Morrissey have recorded voiceovers for Plan International UK's Because I Am A Girl campaign. The stars, famous respectively for roles in Game of Thrones and The Missing, did the voiceovers for a new series of short films called Brave Girls, which will be screened on Channel 4 and social media. They show girls from around the world fighting back against stereotypes and discrimination. Dormer has supported Plan International UK since 2014.

The model and Celebrity Big Brother star Casey Batchelor was among 29 people who took part in Haven House Children's Hospice's chilly dip challenge at London's Parliament Hill Lido in February. Batchelor swam 27 lengths in water temperature of 4 degrees C to raise funds.

The Greater Manchester Law Centre, which offers free legal advice, opened in February with strong celebrity endorsement. The actor Maxine Peake, the film director Ken Loach and the human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC have all lent their support, the latter two as patrons.

The Paralympic champion Will Bayley has become an ambassador for the Kent-based learning disability charity Pepenbury. The table tennis star decided to support the charity after visiting it last year.

The TV historian Dan Snow has agreed to become an ambassador for the children's literacy charity Beanstalk, which trains volunteers to visit primary schools and give one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with reading.


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