Celebrity watch

This week actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman raise £300,000 for charity with a party to celebrate their motorcycling exploits, model Lisa Butcher creates window displays at a Children's Society shop and singer Natasha Bedingfield launches a bag for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ewan McGregor (photo: David Alexanian)
Ewan McGregor (photo: David Alexanian)

Actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman raised more than £300,000 for Unicef, Riders for Health and the Children's Hospice Association of Scotland with a party and auction at the Evolution venue in Battersea Park, London, this month. The event was held to celebrate the duo completing their 15,000-mile motorcycle journey from John O'Groats in Scotland to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa.

The pair visited three of Unicef's projects during their journey through Africa, including a mine-awareness project highlighting the dangers of landmines to children in Ethiopia, an intitiative to rehabilitate former child soldiers in Uganda and a community childcare and education centre in Malawi helping children with HIV.

"It seems strange that you have these wars and the people who have to mop up all the mines are independent charities," says Boorman. "The only people who really get hurt are children. And people still make mines. How thick is that?"

McGregor and Boorman also visited Chas's Rachel House hospice in Kinross on their way through Scotland. In Kenya, the pair visited a Maasai area where Riders for Health's work supports an HIV/Aids, malaria and nutrition programme.

Actors Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and former England football captain David Beckham are some of the famous names to have contributed to Celebrity Handprints, a new book to be published on 1 December in aid of Children in Need and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

John Barrowman, star of BBC sci-fi drama Torchwood, is backing gay rights charity Stonewall's new anti-bullying campaign. Posters, stickers and postcards with the legend "Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!" were sent to 5,000 secondary schools in England as part of this year's Anti-Bullying Week. "Help exterminate homophobia," says Barrowman. "Be brave. Be a buddy, not a bully."

Comedian Catherine Tate and Niky Wardley, co-star of Tate's eponymous television show, are supporting the Willow Foundation's Piece of Cake campaign, which encourages people to raise funds by holding tea parties.

Singer Natasha Bedingfield launched the Teenage Cancer Trust's Bag for Life this month. The bag is a limited edition and will be sold in high street shoe chain Dune's stores to raise money for the charity.

Nick Miles and Charlie Hardwick, stars of ITV1 soap Emmerdale, turned out to support the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People's annual Focus on the Senses wine-tasting evening this month. The event helped to raise more than £2,000 for the charity.

Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood has become an ambassador for the Media Trust's Youth Media projects. He will also mentor a young person, through the trust's youth mentoring initiative, which links media professionals with at-risk young people.

Lisa Butcher, the model and co-presenter of BBC1's What Not to Wear, helped young volunteers at the Children's Society's shop in Surbiton, south London, to create window displays as part of the charity's contribution to the Campaign to End Child Poverty's Dare to Care initiative.

The scheme is designed to broaden young people's horizons by encouraging professionals to share their skills. "I was impressed with the children's ideas," said Butcher, who posed in the shop's window as part of the display. "I would urge people to volunteer their time and skills to help children benefit from these educational experiences."

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