Celebrity watch

Denise Lewis supports the Youth Sport Trust.

Denise Lewis
Denise Lewis

Lewis, who won the heptathlon gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, kicked off a series of workshops for teachers and lunchtime supervisors at the City of Manchester Stadium this month to show them how to help schoolchildren make the most of the Youth Sport Trust's Zoneparc playgrounds.

The trust's Zoneparc playground project designs playgrounds with three colour-coded zones, denoting a different use for each one, and provides equipment.

The trust plans to hold four roadshows across the UK before December to promote the project. There are already 424 Zoneparc schools across England, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"As a mother, I understand that for some children the playground can be a daunting place," says Lewis. "Zoneparc is an important step towards getting all young people active."

Greg Dyke, the former director-general of the BBC, will reveal some of his experiences of the business community as guest speaker at The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice's Business Lunch 2007. The annual fundraiser for the Glasgow-based charity will be held on 9 November at the City Chambers in Glasgow.

Ade Adepitan, who won Paralympic bronze with the British basketball team at Athens in 2004, has been made an ambassador for the NSPCC. The TV presenter and member of London's 2012 Olympic committee says: "It's a great opportunity to raise awareness of cruelty to children and to campaign for a better place for children to grow up."

Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts in ITV soap Coronation Street, visited one of veterinary charity PDSA's shops this month to launch its Gift Aid fundraising initiative, which enables the organisation to claim Gift Aid on items sold in its shops. "PDSA treats many thousands of sick and injured pets every day," said Nicholls on her visit. "All you need do is bring your donations and, if you're a UK taxpayer, you can sign up for Gift Aid at once."

Corinne Bailey Rae, the Grammy award-nominated musician, has become an ambassador of Cord, the Christian charity that provides support for refugees and people living in areas of conflict around the world. "People need to be made more aware of the vital job Cord is doing with those who have had to flee from war and violence, often losing everything," says Rae. "Cord helps them to build new lives, which is why I want to lend them my support in any way I can."

Ian Botham, the former England cricket captain and all-rounder, met the Queen earlier this month to receive a knighthood for his services to bone marrow cancer charity Leukaemia Research.

Botham has raised more than £10m for the organisation since his first fundraising walk from John O'Groats to Lands End in 1985, and has completed 10 other walks, including a trek through the Alps.

His interest in the charity began when he had a foot injury as a young Somerset player. Botham was sent to see a specialist at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, where he passed through a children's ward and saw four children sitting round a table playing Monopoly.

When Beefy asked why they were there, he was told they had leukaemia. Doctors explained to him about its high fatality rate in children. "I didn't need a second to make up my mind what to do," he writes in his autobiography, Head On. "I wrote out a cheque straight away. It was the start of a lifetime involvement with the fight against that terrible disease."


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