Celebrity watch

This week radio DJ Margherita Taylor visits children in hospital with Help a London Child, four of Arsenal's African footballers show their skills at a London school and musicians including Paul Weller make a record for Crisis based on a children's game.

Margherita Taylor
Margherita Taylor

Margherita Taylor, the Capital 95.8 radio DJ and television presenter, has been a patron of the radio station's charity Help a London Child for two years.

Help a London Child was launched in 1975 by Lord Attenborough, the station's founder. Since then, the grant-giving charity has raised more than £20m for young people's projects and charities in the capital.

"One in three children in London are living in poverty, so there is a great need for the work the charity does," says Taylor. "Londoners feel it is their charity, and their generosity in the way they support it makes you proud. I visit projects to raise the charity's profile, to see where the money it raises goes and to see that the people it supports get what they need.

"When you visit children's wards in hospitals with clown doctors, you walk in and the place can be really quiet. The clowns go in, there's laughter and the children relax and enjoy themselves - for a short time, they're not worried about their next dose of medication. It's a magic moment."

- Four of Arsenal Football Club's African stars teamed up with Link Community Development this month to launch its Great African Journey initiative at Holloway School in north London.

Ivorians Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure, Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor and Cameroonian Alex Song are supporting the educational and fundraising project, which encourages children to get sponsored to swim a distance equivalent to the length of the River Nile, climb the height of Egypt's pyramids and skip a distance equal to the width of the Sahara Desert.

Defender Toure says: "It was amazing to spend time with these wonderful kids. The journey encourages children to take part in sponsored activities for charity and teaches them about African nations."

Link intends to use the money it raises from the project to support its education work in African schools.

- Beth Ditto from The Gossip, Paul Weller, Supergrass and Andy Rourke from The Smiths are among the musicians recruited by homelessness charity Crisis and the Drinkaware Trust to make a fundraising record using a technique based on the children's game Consequences. The artists wrote and recorded their parts last week, with each act performing a section of the song not knowing what came before it, and then passing it on. Only Ditto, the vocalist, heard the song in its entirety. The resulting single will be released early in 2008.

- Georgia Horsley, the current Miss England, launched the RNID's annual Ear of the Year awards last month. The awards are designed to get people to look after their hearing.Horsley, who is profoundly deaf in her right ear, launched the awards in London's Leicester Square and encouraged passers-by to enter pictures of their ears.People can judge which celebrity has the nicest ears at www.breaking thesoundbarrier.org.uk.

- Ronnie Corbett, the comedian, helped to raise £7,000 for learning disabilities charity HFT, formerly the Home Farm Trust, with a stand-up performance at a show in Haileybury, Hertford, last month.

- Amanda Holden, the Britain's Got Talent judge, and children from Berger Primary School in Hackney, east London, helped to launch Batteries Not Included: Inspirational Things To Do With Your Children This Christmas, a new book from the Children's Society. The book encourages families to enjoy Christmas without having to buy expensive toys and gadgets. Holden says: "The book is full of stories and tips to inspire the whole family this Christmas - and it's absolutely free."

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